Anime as a genre is difficult to define. This is because it is really just a method of telling a story, like any other form of visual medium. This means that people not accustomed with anime may not understand the staggering amounts of genres and sub-genres that exist within the subculture, and the niche aspects of it are growing every year. It allows anime to have plots and styles which would simply be too outlandish for other mediums. Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is a show that tries to be a sitcom and a sketch comedy at the same time, with a basic premise that seems as if it would only give enough material for a single sketch, rather than an entire series.
The basic plot of the series is that there is a high school student, Sakamoto, whom is perfect. He isn’t perfect in the traditional sense that he is simply a top achiever or good looking, but he is perfect to ridiculous levels, which forms the basis of the majority of the comedy. When he is kicking a stone along the road and it falls into a canal, he proceeds to kick the stone along the verge and over the water. When he encounters a large gust of wind, he opens an umbrella and falls gracefully to land, whilst saving a small bird. The situations he finds himself in escalate as the series go on, and it is very amusing to see where the show will go next.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always that interesting. Towards the middle of the series run the show starts focusing on some of the side characters, which aren’t as fun to watch as the protagonist, and repeats some of the situations from earlier in the series. All of the other characters in the show define themselves by their relationship with Sakamoto. Kubota, his best friend, has an intense admiration for Sakamoto as whilst he lacks courage, Sakamoto is brave and defends him. Aina is a girl in his class who believes only she is worthy to date him, and many more. All of the characters go through arcs in which they evolve slightly, but their evolution is more about how they frame their own self-esteem in relation to having a person like Sakamoto in their lives, and how his influence changes them.
In addition to these characters, there are three delinquents, Atsushi, Mario and Kenken, whose main purpose in the show is to attempt to humiliate and embarrass Sakamoto, as they are all intensely jealous of him. Many of the male characters in the show suffer from this trope, as they are specifically envious of his ability to attract everyone of the opposite sex. They try to throw water on him in the bathroom, to which he has an umbrella, and many other schemes, all of which fail in unpredictable, yet funny circumstances.
As a show, it doesn’t bring a lot new to the table. It straddles the line between a sitcom and a sketch comedy, finding itself in a place where it can lift aspects from both of those variants without fully committing to either style, but this lack of commitment also has some drawbacks. Whilst some of the situations and moments can be genuinely hilarious, it means the show has no real grounding in any kind of reality, so the more heartfelt moments which are intended to be dramatic, come off out of place and lose any impact they could have had.
Over the course of the series, it manages to keep up it’s entire premise until the very end. With a series that has a core concept like this, it would seem obvious for them to do an episode or feature a moment when he loses his perfection, so that the viewer can see the character in a situation that they are completely unfamiliar with. It never does this, which I think is to it’s credit, as it’s a lazy trope and often means that a show has run out of ideas.
In terms of the animation and art style, there is nothing to particularly say. It’s decent enough, and is a lot better than cheap anime which features barely moving characters. As a comedy show, there aren’t too many scenes which would require anything too detailed, but it delivers in what it needs too. The art style is run of the mill, and does not try and stand out or be unique in any way.
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is an interesting anime. On the one hand, it’s energetic comedy and basic premise give rise to some really funny situations, and it’s an incredibly easy watch that doesn’t require much in the way of brainpower to enjoy. On the other hand, if you don’t think the premise is funny, then you won’t like any of the show. It occasionally gets bogged down into some of it’s side stories with some of the less interesting side characters, but when it returns to its protagonist, it’s a fun, enjoyable show.