Cromartie High School is not Slice-of-Life (Unfortunately)

Cromartie High School? Slice-of-life? Holy shit, that would kick ass! I would do anything to live in a world where it’s plausible, let alone ordinary, to go to school with a sentient robot, a sushi-making gorilla, and Freddie Mercury. Unfortunately, Cromartie High School is the least realistic anime I have ever seen.

That’s not to say the show is 100% unrealistic. It actually reminds me a lot of CMU: there are more robots than women. It’s also realistic enough to have me as a side character, except I was given an afro and renamed Yamaguchi.

Relevant scene begins at 0:41

How does a farce like Cromartie High School get the slice-of-life tag? In this post-Lucky Star age of ignorance and pedophilia, you need to pass only three tests to be categorized as slice-of-life.

1. It is what it is

No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find a single difference between Cromartie High School and Cromartie High School. Its cast of characters was the same as its cast of characters. It had the same number of episodes as it had. Was I missing something? To clear up this confusing matter, I paid another visit to The King of Anime.

The King of Anime: Baka-Raptor, my dearest friend, what a pleasant surprise! How I’ve missed you—

Baka-Raptor: Shove it, King. I’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

The King of Anime: You may ask me anything about anime, for I, The King of Anime, know all and see all.

Baka-Raptor: Is Cromartie High School what it is?

The King of Anime: Yes.

Baka-Raptor: Is any anime not what it is?

The King of Anime: No.

Baka-Raptor: Then why do so many people attempt to defend shows by saying “it is what it is”?

The King of Anime: Because they love shitty anime that can’t be defended with anything other than a tautology.

Baka-Raptor: Your wisdom belies your slovenliness. I shall now take my leave.

The King of Anime: So soon? I am grief-stricken. Please, call me sometime, or at least respond to my e-mail.

Baka-Raptor: Gayyyyyyyyyyyy

2. It’s relaxing

Cromartie High School is the anime you could have a beer with. After a long, hard day at work, nothing relaxes me like an episode of Cromartie High School. Have you heard Mechazawa’s voice? So soothing. Cromartie High School isn’t some fast-paced, intellectual anime that’s up its own ass. It’s good ol’ down-home entertainment for everyday folk like you and me.

3. It has no plot, or some plot, but not too much plot

You will not find an anime with less of a plot than Cromartie High School.

It is what it is + It’s relaxing + It has no plot, or some plot, but not too much plot = Slice-of-Life

That’s all it takes to call something slice-of-life these days. Useless? Inane? Sure, but I’ll play along. If Cromartie High School is slice-of-life, it’s immune from criticism, so if anyone tries to disagree with my rating, I can simply say, “you’re watching it wrong.”

Final Grade: ++

Slice-of-life idiocy aside, this rating is highly subjective. In its weaker moments, Cromartie High School devolves into something of a Lucky Star for Men: the jokes are bland and predictable, but fans ignore it because they like the character designs. As Lucky Star uses moé character designs as a crutch for bad humor, Cromartie High School does the same (albeit much less often) with manly character designs. As Lucky Star’s OP has a moé cheerleader dance, Cromartie High School’s OP has the manliest walking in the universe. I would seriously reconsider the value of friendship if I met six other people who could walk this way.

Relevant scene from 0:42–0:53

71 Replies to “Cromartie High School is not Slice-of-Life (Unfortunately)”

  1. ROFL, whoever tagged this show slice-of-life deserves to be hung by a noose of their large intestine.

    Cromartie is the fuckwin, though it is almost overshadowed just by the awesomeness of Mechazawa and Wakamoto playing him.

    • ROFL, whoever tagged this show slice-of-life deserves to be hung by a noose of their large intestine.

      Along with the guy who said it had nudity. Excluding the genderbending episode, there were only two females on the entire show: Maeda’s mom and that chick who got harassed before being saved by moto-Mechazawa. Neither was nude by any strech of the imagination. No male nudity either.

  2. Sentient robot + sushi making gorilla. Why would someone even attempt to call that a slice of life anime?
    And I definitely wouldn’t say relaxing and plotless make for a slice of life…that’s much too broad.

    • Agreed, but ridiculous as it may be, that’s the definition people actually do use these days. If they used an accurate definition, most of the shows they call slice-of-life wouldn’t be included. Then they wouldn’t be able to say, “This show isn’t supposed to be good or exciting or well-written; it’s slice-of-life! If you don’t get it, you’re watching it wrong!”

  3. Popeye says “I yam what I yam.” I also find his cartoons relaxing, since they remind me of my childhood watching old cartoons. There’s no interlocking plot that branches between episodes of his cartoon.

    Therefore Popeye is a slice of life anime. Also, Olive Oyl is very moe since she appeases he pettanko/flat-chested fetishists.

    • Damn that Popeye and its moé-pandering.

      Now that I think about it, my favorite show when I was three years old, Sesame Street, was also slice-of-life. Cookie Monster doesn’t take himself seriously. He isn’t trying to be intellectual. He’s just eating his cookies, doing what he loves, living his life. How can that not be slice-of-life?

  4. Maybe it was just labeled as slice of life because most think that seeing a school setting that seems similar to school settings in slice of life anime is considered such as well? Ah I dunno . . .

    What I know is that I should catch up on this *reads to-catch-up list* . . . . shit freakin’ long. . .

    • I do hear almost every show in a school setting being called slice-of-life these days. Then again, I hear shows about magical spirits in the forests of nowhere being called slice-of-life too. It doesn’t matter anymore. The term is beyond saving.

  5. Thats why you shouldnt care too much about genre definitions of media since they are very often bullshit made up by fans/media/whatever.The people who truly care about those use them to profile themselves or use it as an ace up their sleeve to defend their precious gem.
    Its the same arguments when theres shitty music and people defend it by beeing indie/punk.Fine,so its music from an exclusive club of elitists but that doesnt change the fact that its SHITTY music.
    The same applies to Anime…

    In the end most people use the genres of any media to identify themselves and show off their “personality”.Its especially evident with the people who are in puberty and still are searching for themselves.Instead of training in the mountains they argue about Anime Genres and why its superior to X or Y.

    A genre should only help you to identify if you could like this particular anime and not be a goddamn religion / wildcard for shitty stuff.

    • People who actually do use genre to help decide whether they’d like a show are thrown off by these far-fetched slice-of-life claims. Some people out there are actually going to reject Cromartie High School because the Anime News Network page says slice-of-life. They’re the real victims.

  6. Much funnier than I expected. Since this is dubbed (and surprisingly good) does that also mean it is or was being broadcasted over here at some point?

    • My assumption is that the regular gorilla is male and the flower-wearing gorilla is female. You know, ’cause being male is regular and being female is special.

  7. Why is there even a ‘slice-of-life’ genre!? Who invented that genre!? The Japanese people!? Oh God why are Japanese people so out of their mind!?

    It usually tries to depict the everyday life of ordinary people..

    In anime, there is NO anime that depicts the everyday life of an ORDINARY person. We all know that anime shows are crazy. well, most of them are kind of realistic.. but most of my watched anime are unrealistic and let’s say ‘you wouldn’t see that everyday!’ kind of story. But their genres are slice-of-life! Oh Japan..

    What? This post is about Cromartie High School? Oops sorry wrong post. Also, Cromartie High School is shit! Bad shit.

  8. All this discussion about slice-of-life. I have no idea now what the genre is actually is.
    I always thought slice-of-life anime is a slice of the character’s lives, an anime where it’s a depiction of the everyday routine of the characters, but…
    I haven’t seen Cromartie High School though, so I don’t know if it actually is in that genre.

    • That’s what it’s supposed to be. But when the jokes on Lucky Star sucked, all of a sudden it was slice-of-life to ignore the everyday routine of the characters and by jumping from gag to gag. Then K-ON comes along, and suddenly it’s slice-of-life to put on cat ears and maid costumes in every other scene. So yes, basically, you have the right idea, and the rest of the anime-watching community has it screwed up.

      • If Cromartie is not at all any manly or slice-of-lifey to you, then what about Golden Boy? I mean, that one’s SLICE-OF-MAN, not slice-of-life, right? RIGHT?

      • What I meant was that slice of life is a routine of their lives not ours. So the routine gags of Lucky Star and the cosplaying of K-On!, while not a good portrayal of a slice of our life, is indeed a depiction of the girls’ lives in that world, thus making it part of that genre.
        However, nowadays, I don’t even know anymore.

  9. Baka-Raptor is what it is.
    I just love plotless animes that doesn’t suck.
    After watching DMC, i’m looking forward to your next good recommendations 😉
    Will watch this one as soon as i have time 😛

  10. Honestly who the hell would care about 100% slice of life? Why watch someone else do the laundry when I can do it myself? Let’s call Gankutsuou slice of life since it depicts a young man riding a motorcycle and you know, that happens in real life!

  11. I started watching some of this on Anime On Demand sort of thing, but never really finished. I think it’s definitely a really funny show, but I still think Azumanga is THE best.

  12. Cromartie High School’s OP has the manliest walking in the universe. I would seriously reconsider the value of friendship if I met six other people who could walk this way.

    Hell yes.

  13. Dude, that OP is hilarious. If this is as good a parody of shounen anime as School Rumble is of Shoujo/harem/fanservice anime, then Im sold.

  14. I once watched too many terrible, unfunny shows in a row. My doctor gave me a bottle of Cromartie high school and told me to take one when feeling nauseous. This show is how I make it through schlock (because, you know, you can’t say you don’t like something until you actually see it)

    As for slice-of-life, what the hell does that even mean? Aren’t most things essentially one thing with slice-of-life elements? Like, if a bunch of characters are on a space ship doing menial tasks, it’s a sci-fi with slice-of-life elements. Or, if you have a bunch of characters interacting with each other, dealing with issues, it’s still a drama with slice-of-life elements. Gosh, this genre confuses me.

    • The phrase “slice-of-life elements” is nonsense. You can’t break a scene into elements, point to some elements as slice-of-life, and carry that over to the entire scene. You have to look at the scene in totality to determine if it’s slice-of-life. Nobody does this for action, drama, comedy, etc. Why do it for slice-of-life? Because they’re pulling shit out of their asses to pretend their favorite shows don’t suck.

  15. I must apologize for not visiting as often as I should.. (I’m still catching up on my blogroll as of late) as here is one of the very few places on the interweb where I can find true peace, and where the freedom to express my distaste against the moelification of the anime industry is not discriminated against.

    There is only one true slice-of-life show that I remember watching as a kid is Doraemon. Doraemon is literally, a slice of Nobita Nobi’s life, why isn’t it labeled as such???? I remember spending my childhood looking forward to Doraemon, just what has gone wrong here?

  16. I fucking love Cromartie High School. There are anime that attempt to be all smart and everything by pulling off “Socrates for Kids” type of philosophy left and right, which just makes them sound incredibly pretentious above all else; then there are other anime that occasionally brandish a philosphy slip that one would find in a fortune cookie before slam dunking it into the nearest garbage bin and then quipping a highly amusing one-liner. Cromartie High School fits under that second category of anime, and even then it’s set apart from the others in that category because its understands the elements of comedy much better than do any others, despite any snobby commentary Yamaguchi might say. Though the jokes are pretty predicatble or not quite laugh-out-loud funny, it’s fully aware of when a joke has reached its punchline and can be dropped then, or if a joke needs to be elongated wherein which it stretches the joke to a favorable length, part of the reason why none of the episodes really reach over 10 minutes. It also keeps its references to a minimum – though most of them are references to western rock music – and those references are also done very subtley. Furthermore, in comparison to Lucky Star or some other similar ones, where the anime is apparently trying way too hard to be funny, i.e. inexplicably obvious references to other anime/gags that run too far or jokes that are overly verbose, and Cromartie High School’s comedic genius is only further shown.

    It’s also super manly. And it has Freddie Mercury.

  17. I assume that “slice-of-life” is meant to refer to anime that are not driven by a main narrative, but rather just a look into the day-to-day lives of the characters, regardless of how insane and weird those lives may be.

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