Sumire UesakaShiori IzawaTaku YashiroSayaka Senbongi
Aho Girl
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2017: A
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2017
Director: Keizou Kusakawa, Shingo Tamaki
Writer: Takashi Aoshima
Original creator: Hiroyuki
Actor: Aoi Yuki, Daisuke Namikawa, M.A.O, Rena Maeda, Rina Satou, Sayaka Harada, Sayaka Senbongi, Shiori Izawa, Sumire Uesaka, Taku Yashiro, Tomokazu Sugita, Yoko Hikasa, Yuka Iguchi
Keywords: anime
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: Twelve 12-minute episodes
Website category: Anime 2017
Review date: 28 July 2018
It's a short-ish form comedy about an idiot. ("Aho" means "idiot". If you're wondering how that differs from "baka"... well, different sources answer that question differently, so it looks as if they're interchangeable except for regional variations that have probably shifted over time anyway.) Our idiot heroine is Yoshiko and she's not the slow, amiable kind of harmless idiot who'd have made this a relaxing, gentle series. Instead she's the non-stop, high-energy kind who's very, very loud and would score top marks at anything involving strength, stamina or speed. She's also blind to how other people feel (and to reality), doesn't realise that there's anything wrong with sexual assault and has the attention span of a caffeine-crazed frog with a firework up its arse.
This is not a relaxing, gentle series.
Personally I have a theory that Yoshiko herself isn't actually that funny. She's certainly not plausible or in any way approaching a three-dimensional character. The show's jokes are mostly in other people's reactions to her. Yoshiko's an engine of obnoxiousness, albeit also a paradoxically likeable one because she's so unstoppably happy and enthusiastic even while she's driving the rest of the world insane. WARNING: not everyone agrees with me there. There are Yoshiko-haters who watch this show just to watch her being beaten up, which happens almost every time she approaches her, ahem, best friend, Akkun. He's either hopelessly in love with her (according to Yoshiko Reality), or else a snarling, hostile grump who couldn't make friends to save his life and has been doomed by knowing her to a life of socially inept aggression.
Other cast members include:
SAYAKA, aka. the normal one. Sayaka's a nice person who's never committed assault (sexual or otherwise) and isn't terrifyingly stupid, making her unique in this show. This show's funniest scenes, for me, tend to involve her trying to get some realities across to Akkun (in ep.5) or in ep.8 to...
STUDENT DISCIPLINARY COUNCIL PRESIDENT (aka. Iinchou), who becomes Akkun's stalker. Officially she's in charge of maintaining school morals.
YOSHIE, Yoshiko's evil mum. At first, she just seems dodgy. Later, you realise that she's a scheming, rapist monster whose retirement plan involves forcing Akkun to marry Yoshiko (because no one else ever will) and she'll do anything to anyone she sees as an obstacle. If you had to marry someone in this show, you might rank them as follows (from least-bad to worst):
1. Sayaka (although she really needs to become more assertive),
2. Ruri (but only once she's grown up, obviously),
3. Iinchou (pretty, buxom and quite nice underneath her strictness, but also increasingly insane and scary),
4. Akkun (if you don't act like an idiot and get punched),
5. Yoshiko (bubbly, infinitely forgiving and cheerful, but also... uh, BLOODY HELL)
6. The dog.
7. A crocodile at the zoo.
8. Bananas, which are incidentally Yoshiko's favourite food. Guess which animal the show's comparing her with.
9. A life of infinite misery and loneliness.
10. Yoshie.
This is one of those shows where almost everyone is either horrible, stupid and/or to be pitied. There's a group of three tiny children with whom Yoshiko regularly plays (against their will), but even they realise what a hopeless case she is and start giving her Dad Lectures. Akkun's little sister, Ruri, and she's Yoshiko-level dumb when it comes to schoolwork, but with self-awareness. ("Yoshiko-level dumb", by the way, means thinking 11+3=5 and 2x2=1. Those are real examples from ep.4 and Yoshiko's in high school. The first of those mistakes I squint into in a "getting confused with Roman numerals" way, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't the problem here.) Ruri is a nice girl who works hard at her schoolwork, making it doubly tragic that she can't outscore the banana-crazed monkey. There's also a teacher who tries to advise Yoshiko in ep.7 and gets broken.
This isn't a particularly family-friendly show. Yoshiko is an offensive sexual weapon who doesn't realise and/or care when she's showing her underwear, but more importantly the comedy isn't afraid of dodgy situations. Akkun regularly commits violence on Yoshiko (who shrugs it off as effortlessly as Bugs Bunny), while various female characters molest their fellow cast members (male and female). In one episode, this includes handcuffs. It's quite funny, but it's the kind of show that might have got a bit much with full-length episodes. Twelve minutes is good. I can take twelve minutes.
Is it watchable? Yes, actually, although it might get less so if there are other people in the room. Depends who they are. It's light (if sometimes mean) in spirit and quite easy to watch. I'd watch a second season. Some of its situations aren't really funny, but even so I think the show's quite good, if aggressively questionable.