Just finished with the 26 12-minute ep Cromartie High School which is one of those great comedies that in spite of being licensed has been largely overlooked. It’s one of the most manly and badass shows around, being as it is about a school full of punks, gangsters, and badasses. Also there’s a robot, a gorilla, and Freddie Mercury, only Freddie is like super manly. The most similar shows I can compare it to without using names no one would know of (Pugyuru, Gag Manga Biyori, etc.) I’d say it’s most like a SHAFT comedy and possibly could be considered similar to Azumanga Daioh (to use a show I know you’ve heard of.)
– Lots of awesome characters. Kameyama made me laugh almost every time he was on screen because his acting was so perfect and dialog so insane, plus the way he was always looking off into the distance. Hayashida was also hilarious constantly with that damn living mohawk. Maeda, the dude with the afro, and the fat dude with motion sickness were repeating gags that worked. The long-haired rich kid was not, and neither was his lackey’s inability to get his name out.
– Every moment with Mechazawa was that something extra that moved this show from ‘great’ to ‘awesome’.
– It was pretty interesting how this show could randomly get into some really deep shit and then make hilarious social commentary Zetsubou-sensei style, but treat this kind of thing like it’s own recurring joke rather than the center of the show. There were so many things that Cromartie was ‘about’ that it’s almost impossible to describe the plot beyond ‘there was a school full of badasses, weird things, and Norio Wakamoto, and it was hilarious.’
– There was a SHAFT level of awesome budget techniques in this show. I mean, almost none of it was even really animated and 90% of it was reused, but that just became part of the joke. The random shit happening in the background, faces randomly expanding or hair growing and otherwise weird shit happening to the character designs served to keep one’s mind off of the lack of movement and make the show that much more unique and hilarious.
– What the hell was the deal with the music? Most of it was total chaos. It stood out, but only sometimes in a good way. Sometimes it really detracted from a comedic scene because it was so loud and chaotic. Other times, though, like with the Moto-Mechazawa music videos, it was spot-on. The opening theme was fucking awesome, and the endings which used the Cromartie Alma Matter were badass.
– The show really got better in the second half, I think. Through the whole show, there were those episodes that were really great, those that really sucked, and those that just seemed like another episode. Most of the ones where things got really over-the-top were the best, such as ones where Freddie got really involved in the plot or the whole cast got involved in something completely tangential (like the train episode.)
– ‘Gorilla Sushi’ was fucking brilliant. A perfectly written drama story centered around the usually-overlooked Gorilla with Wakamoto switching roles but still kicking ass.
– In case I didn’t stress it enough before, Mechazawa is fucking awesome.
Overall, this show was very funny, if a little bit forgettable. I kind of wish it was longer, because it’d be a fun show to watch whenever, but I’m not sure how high the rewatch value is with a lot of the episodes, and the show is so damn short. Anyway, I just wanted to get my thoughts out of the way for a major post on Mechazawa.