Review/discussion about: Okusama ga Seitokaichou!
I remember having a position in my high school’s student council. By student council, I mean a shoddily put together group of kids that mostly used the affiliation for their college applications rather than as a means to “make change.” Of course, we did take part in acts of kindness – I distinctly remember creating gift baskets for the bus drivers and dealing with the tabulation of numbers on a spreadsheet. The sad revelation is that, outside of those two moments, I did not do much within the student council. I was not the president, the vice president, or even a member with an official title. I was simply one more body to be called on when a specific occasion popped up, with nothing but the extra graduation chord around my neck signifying the impact I had while a part of that club. Needless to say, then, marriage was not on the menu during my brief stay within the student council, but the same cannot be said for Okusama ga Seitokaichou!, an anime related to matrimony, important meetings, and a smattering of breasts now and again.
Okusama ga Seitokaichou!’s narrative can be summarized as one word: amount.
The heftiest amount of emphasis the anime has is on the concept of marriage. Traditionally, marrying another individual involves devoting one’s body, mind, and soul completely. Polygamy exists – where one marries many – but the majority of people think of the one-to-one bond as opposed to the multiplicative one. In other words, the amount of times someone marries – excluding divorces and death – is once.
Interestingly, despite the anime’s focus, it blurs the line between singular and some. While not technically listed as a harem, the anime goes out of its way to place attention on a handful of women. The busty “tsundere,” the “Christmas Cake,” the “loli,” the “kemonomimi,” and so on are present, giving the audience a plethora of girls to root for or fancy. Granted, the only other true contender besides Ui is Rin, but even then it goes against its own tenets. The show is titled, “My Wife is the Student Council President.” Not “My Wives Include the Student Council President” or “One Wife of Mine is the Enemy of the Student Council,” signifying the importance of the relationship between the male and female leads. So it is strange to see the anime trying to force the supposed husband onto other women; the “tsundere” specifically has erotic scenarios, with one instance having her and Hayato in a love hotel and another with him groping her butt. Again, for the sake of argument, Hayato does not seek these situations purposefully – the former was the result of bad weather while the latter was a classic misunderstanding. But that still does not detract from the notion that the show intermittently reduced its attention on its marriage aspect in favor of contextual cheating.
Reduction can also be seen in the amount of minutes available. At approximately eight minutes per episode, the show is constantly pressed for time, leading to two types of thought. The first requires the anime, due to so little time, to do more per episode than a normal, twenty-four minute one. The anime literally has no time to prolong conflict, forcing it to cram in as much as it can in order to leave an impression and to push its narrative and its characters in a worthwhile direction. The second requires nothing of the anime since it is understood that less time means less to offer. It might be slightly unfair to expect the show to do much of anything with the minimal amount of resources it has.
In Okusama ga Seitokaichou!’s case, it combines both routes, resulting in even further reduction. At times, the anime goes meaningful, trying to instill some value in the tale it was telling. This most notably happens near the end, where Hayato recollects his past, causing him to care deeper for Ui than he had previously. But it feels awkward following a pair of boobs being (literally) shoved in the viewer’s face. Other times, the anime sticks to its “ecchi” guns, opting for nudes instead of platitudes. For example, Hayato and Ui have a side alley escapade, with Hayato removing Ui’s panties, heating up the atmosphere both in and out of show. But similar to the other example, it feels out-of-place, with a touching exchange between Ui and her lackeys happening just prior. The anime takes this approach often – shifting between both extremes – leaving the audience, and subsequently the show, unsure of what it really wants to be.
At the minimum, the anime is not unsure about the amount of concealment when it comes to its material, providing uncommon and uncensored skits. Uncensored events are usually favored for being “true” in their presentation, but here especially it makes logical sense because the maturity of marriage somewhat demands it. After all, a man and a woman in the throes of love will most certainly show each other a bit of skin, even more so if that couple happen to be married to one another. So when a scene with passionate kissing, bodily sucking, or genital messaging does occur, it not only demonstrates the strength a marital bond holds but also fits within the themes of the show.
“Amount” is the name of the game for Okusama ga Seitokaichou!, especially when it comes to its narrative, however that amount is low when execution is fully calculated.
The anime takes place primarily at three locations: the school, Hayato’s apartment, and random outside locations. None of them are particularly noteworthy, mostly due to the lack of detail. Each does little more than act as a simple background in which the characters move, causing the show to gain nothing in terms of power. To compensate, the anime often transitions into a “chibi” or minimalist form to displace the attention away from the art and onto the characters currently being drawn in this comedic manner.
The character designs are as simple as the art, with characters more or less having a singular trait defining them. Hayato wears glasses to give him an air of intelligence, Ui has a sharp tooth to enhance her cuteness, and Rin has massive breasts that increase her overall sexuality. Misato, Ui’s mother, actually reveals a common thread: each design is the opposite of its respective characterization. For example, Hayato is not always the smartest when it comes to handling the situations he is thrust into, Ui is rather forward, Rin is on the disciplinary committee to thwart lewd behavior, and Misato’s short stature paints her as a child and not an adult. In this way, the character designs have a degree of cleverness that makes them, however slightly, better than the art they find themselves on.
Not as clever is the actual animation, which is barely above passing at most points throughout the season. The “chibi” art is used once more to combat this fact since such a comedic style uses exaggerated movements, meaning less fluidity and more choppiness is permitted. The anime also leans on the use of head-only-cut-outs, for quick transitions and as a way to, once again, avoid extensive animation. It tends to pick up a bit during the steamier moments – tongue twirling, breast squeezing, and hip gyrating, to name a few – but since these instances constitute the minority, the majority of the time the characters refrain from moving too much.
Okusama ga Seitokaichou! does not have particularly complex characters, with it focusing mainly on the trio of Hayato, Ui, and Rin.
Hayato is arguably the best of the bunch, not due to his main lead status or his kindness but instead due to his more instinctual behavior. Hayato, being a male teenager, has spouts of horniness; when he gets into a situation that pushes his hormones to the brink, he sort of snaps, becoming a lion where he once was a cub. His lapses in rationality do not last terribly long, but they do last long enough for him to act out on his base desires. While a literal and natural part of life, this feature makes Hayato more human, more relatable – for men and for women – since such moments of “weakness” are something people experience in their own lives. Conspiracy theorists might argue that Hayato’s forced femininity correlates to a stance on same-sex marriage, but considering that his makeup, wig, and female underwear was more a comedy sketch than a political statement, the interpretation has little merit.
Weakness of the first variety continues in Ui. Technically the star of the show, Ui is a young woman who does not have to search for “the one” since she has known who that was and who that would be for most of her life. Part of what makes Ui’s character similarly interesting is how, like Hayato, she does not follow standard tropes, at least in relation to anime. She is the aggressor and the instigator, the one who pushes the issue when she is alone with Hayato because she wants to make him know just how much she cares for and wants him. She is shy and nervous, as are most people performing sexual acts for the first time, but she always manages to overcome these feelings, creating intimacy and sensuality whenever she interacts with Hayato. Again, such actions are relatable because people in love want to express their emotions, with Ui’s palpable libido a natural extension of this type of expression.
Hayato and Ui’s relationship being as open and physical as it is aligns well with its overall marital vibe. Much like the story, where the uncensored material makes sense in the context of the anime’s goals, it likewise makes sense that a couple, primed to be together until death parts them, be as sexually active as they are. Yet Rin’s inclusion sort of throws a kink in the works, seemingly dampening the relationship the main duo share. As a character, she does not do much besides having a few sexy scenes and supporting Hayato’s misunderstood crossdressing hobby. Surprisingly, though, it is how her character affects the other two that gives her strength. For Hayato, he never actively pursues her, instead worrying about Ui’s well-being or wondering how best to protect her whenever Rin happens to be around. For Ui, Rin’s presence generates urgency and on some levels jealousy, spurring her to control and drive her connection with Hayato forward. Under this view, Rin is not an obstacle but rather a provider, pushing the other two into thinking about each other, thereby tightening the bond that they share.
The rest of the cast is largely forgettable: Ayane is a “cat” who understands the feelings of others the most, Karen is a violent lesbian, Mato is a girl who soils herself any time she accidentally falls over, and Ryouji, Ui’s father, is overprotective of his daughter. However they, too, exist to push Hayato and Ui closer together. Ayane and Karen make Ui realize the importance of communication, Mato forces Ui to think critically about why she loves Hayato, and Ryouji gives Hayato the opportunity to decide on what kind of relationship he wants to have with Ui. So while the side characters are hardly around, they at least manage to have some purpose within the anime.
Collectively, the cast is clearly not complex. While everyone does not see much development whatsoever of their own, Hayato and Ui foster the foundation of their relationship, with the people surrounding them bolstering it as much as they can.
The opening theme has nice vocals, an upbeat tone, and a set of instruments that give it a light-rock feel. Combined together, they create a track that is appropriate for the anime. While not that catchy or long, it still does a nice job of getting the viewer ready for what the show has in store. The ending theme increases the speed, with its vocalist “stepping” between the syllables of the lyrics to form a simple yet fun track. However, like its OP counterpart, it is neither catchy nor memorable.
The remainder of the soundtrack is by no means vast, but it, like the OP and the ED, are pieces that fit the occasion as well as they can. A techno ensemble plays during mellow moments, a dainty piano for the silly times, and a gentle track is heard when Hayato and Ui are getting frisky. None of them are extravagant but they get the job done.
Voice acting for the anime is somewhere around average. Ayana Taketatsu as Ui provides a cute and girly voice to improve her already established adorableness. Kazuyuki Okitsu as Hayato yells a lot but does not come off as annoying. And Tomoko Kaneda as Misato gives as childish a voice as she could muster. It is also worth noting that Ayana Taketatsu and Kazuyuki Okitsu did a reasonable job panting, grunting, and moaning during their sultry scenes.
This is a short show. So it is understandable that it does not do much of anything besides showing a nipple or two, providing a laugh every once in a while, and showcasing a cute girl here and there. Coincidentally, it does all three: the uncensored events were both thematically relevant and a sight for sore eyes (due to how much the medium loves to censor its material), the show’s brand of comedy was up my alley, and Ui and Rin definitely fit the “cute girl” definition. From the formatting of the jokes to the actual substance of the ideas, it being shorter worked mostly in its favor. If anything, the side cast is severely ignored; characters like Ayane and Kei – Rin’s older sister – are there but play only their absolute bare minimum roles. The problem, though, is that giving them more screen-time means less for Hayato and Ui to share which in turn leads to weaker themes, and giving them less screen-time means their characters are neglected even further. Simply put, it is a lose-lose situation of the anime’s own design.
The ending of the season also cuts off way too hard. It came off as wanting to tell more, almost as if there might already be a second season in production. This is not a huge gripe, but it was enough of a head-scratcher that I made a mental note of it.
What I found most entertaining about the show was its ability to consistently progress beyond the previous episode’s limits. First it was naked apron wearing, then some hand holding, which quickly changed into tight bikinis, make-out sessions, and transparent lingerie. The anime also incorporated nether regions, with Hayato putting his face or his hands directly on Ui’s crotch, a large leap ahead of many “mainstream” anime. Consequently, the show managed to “go where most anime have never gone before,” adding an air of uniqueness to the total experience.
In the end, Okusama ga Seitokaichou! is an average anime. Its relatively nice cast picks up the slack of the less-than-stellar story it weaves, with the rest of its offerings – from its art to its music to its comedy – being little more than par for the course. Analogously, the anime is me when I was in the student council: mediocre at best.
Story: Bad, semi-harem antics hurt marital motif, flip-flopping from super-“ecchi” to super-“serious” is jarring, but the uncensored material fits thematically
Animation: Fine, boring art style, interesting character designs, just about average actual animation
Characters: Good, Hayato and Ui break tropes while maintaining a nice relationship, with the rest of the cast supporting their “marriage”
Sound: Fine, okay OP, okay ED, okay OST, about average VA performances
Enjoyment: Fine, sexiness, laughs, and cuteness in handfuls, an untimely season cutoff, and steadily expanding lewdness
Final Score: 5/10
Thanks for taking the time to read my review. If you want, take part in the discussion below! :3