Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto Anime Review
Written by: ClayDragon
There was always that one guy in school. The popular one, the smart one, the one that everyone would describe as ‘cool’. This series is entirely focused around one such guy. No matter the situation, he’s able to overcome any obstacle in his way, and what’s more, he does it with flair. Be it mundane or over-the-top, nothing can keep him down for long. He’s stylish, flamboyant and resourceful. Haven’t you heard? He’s Sakamoto.
To be honest, I was curious as to whether or not this premise could even work as a show. After all, the series is pretty much based around one joke – Sakamoto is utterly perfect, and he solves every conflict effortlessly. I expected the quality of the show’s humour to decrease over time, simply because I thought it would run out of material fairly quickly. But, just like its main character, Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto overcame the low expectations effortlessly.
The situations that Sakamoto is put into range from the ordinary – bullies, studying, sports festivals etc. – to the ridiculous – rescuing an injured bird from a hurricane, singing opera at a karaoke, and swordfighting a bee with a compass. Sakamoto’s perfection never gets tired or stale because it works in virtually any setting, and his solutions are often so dramatic that they make you laugh at the sheer absurdity of it all.
My main gripe with Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is that, despite featuring a very memorable cast, most of the characters don’t feel very fleshed out. Sakamoto himself comes off as rather distant, which isn’t helped by the fact that we rarely hear his thoughts on any given situation. On the other hand, hearing Sakamoto’s thought process might take away from his overall mystique. It’s really Sakamoto’s friend Kubota that gets the most development, and the show does a good job of showing how his friendship with Mr Cool gave him the self-confidence he needed.
|And he's still overtaken everyone!|
Apart from Kubota and Hayabusa (a delinquent in the year above Sakamoto), the rest of the characters are fairly one-note. There’s the delinquent who has a massive man-crush on Sakamoto, the flirtatious girl who’s in love with Sakamoto, the shy photographer who’s in love with Sakamoto, and the divorced housewife who’s in love with Sakamoto. Granted, most of them are funny, but since most of the jokes are focused around Sakamoto, they get very little screentime. Even the show’s ‘villain’ is rather underwhelming, and even worse in a show like this, he isn’t even funny.
|...I think my heart just skipped a beat.|
Before I sat down and watched Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto, I was worried about how good the animation would be. See, this series is animated by Studio Deen, and my previous experience with them was limited to the Fate/Stay Night anime, which…let’s just say it had its moments (I still haven’t forgiven them for the CG dragon). Of course, that was ten years ago now, and my worries were unfounded – Sakamoto’s adventures are very well-animated, regardless of how zany the situation is.
|This is essentially a patty-cake fight. And it's glorious.|
Music-wise, the show performs admirably. The background pieces are mostly standard fare, although Sakamoto’s recurring leitmotif both suits the series perfectly and is incredibly catchy. The opening is a lot more energetic than I was expecting for what is essentially a school comedy, but it works really well and has become one of my favourite openings of the year so far. The ending is a lot more relaxed and low-key, and whilst it doesn’t have the impact of the opening, it’s still pretty decent.
The only other problem I really have with Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is that it’s over. It only lasts twelve episodes and, even though the last two have more drama and so aren’t as funny, once it was over I was left thinking “Is that it?” The manga only has 24 chapters, and the anime adapts it all. Despite my worries at the start about whether the show could sustain itself over time, it feels as though the series was cut short. That being said, I’m very happy with what we got, it just seems that more could have been done with the premise.
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is definitely worth a watch. It’s certainly one of the best comedy shows of the year so far, and some moments (like Sakamoto’s escape from his friend’s mother) had me pausing the show because I was laughing so much. If you’re willing to overlook a relatively underdeveloped cast and a somewhat truncated ending, there’s an awful lot to like about this show.
|Do not adjust your television set.|
Good Things: Sakamoto is flat-out hilarious.
Kubota and Hayabusa get a decent amount of development and backstory.
Well-animated, and with a good soundtrack.
The opening is pretty damn awesome.
Bad Things: The rest of the cast are fairly one-note, and the villain is boring.
The ending is a bit underwhelming.
Got a suggestion for an anime I should review? Let me know in the comments, or submit it to ask.fm/ClayDragon!
|Fire escapes are too normal for Sakamoto.|
ClayDragon has finished studying Physics at university, and understands about as much as he did when he started. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has an ask.fm account at ask.fm/ClayDragon. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to figure out what to do with his life. Next time: Assassination Classroom!