Review for Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto Complete Season 1 - Collector’s Edition
I’m warning you straight up that I always confuse this and Tanaka-kun is Always Listless, which means that I’m starting from a position of disappointment when it comes to reviewing Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto.
Sakamoto isn’t listless; far from it. In fact it’s fair to say that he’s perfect, which is my second stumbling block into this show. After all, who likes perfect characters? They’re worse than Mary Sues, people who look perfect, can do no wrong, have no flaws and weaknesses, and are tediously boring to watch in entertainment. But, Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto is a comedy, and while Sakamoto may be perfect, the students and teachers in his school certainly aren’t, and the joke is on how the people around him respond to his idiosyncratic perfection.
13 episodes are presented across 2 discs from Manga Entertainment.
1. Sakamoto-kun of Class 1-2
2. I Want to Protect Rather Than Be Protected
Love Psychology Techniques You Can Use Today
3. Sakamoto the Errand Boy
Hide-and-Seek of Love
4. Is Sakamoto a Pervert?
Lesson Scenery Omnibus
The Summer Sakamoto Disappeared
5. Throwing Softballs
Hayabusa-senpai the Charismatic Ruffian
6. End of School Rules
Love via Camera
7. Sure Enough, is Sakamoto a Pervert?
Sera’s French Revolution
8. The Cultural Festival is Gloomy
9. How Sakamoto and I Met
The Person Nearest and Farthest
10. Demon King
That Which is Lacking
11. No Need For Warmth
Memories of 1-2
12. Goodbye Sakamoto-kun
13. Haven’t You Heard, I was Sakamoto
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto gets a 1.78:1 widescreen 1080p transfer on these Blu-ray discs. It’s a solid transfer bringing across the animation without compression, aliasing or visible banding. Colours are strong, and detail levels are good, while the animation itself comes across without any flaw. It’s a fairly unremarkable comedy show in terms of visuals, Sakamoto has the pretty boy looks to go with his perfection, while the rest of the cast live up to the usual comedy anime tropes. It’s all perfectly fine to watch.
The images in this review were kindly supplied by Manga Entertainment.
You have the choice between DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo English and Japanese with locked subtitles and signs. I was happy enough with the Japanese track, the characters are suitably cast, the dialogue is clear, and the comedy action comes across well. I gave the dub a quick try and wasn’t compelled to turn it off. The subtitles are timed accurately and are free of typos.
The discs present their content with static menus, and each episode is followed by a translated English credit reel.
Disc 2 has the extras, the textless credits, 48 seconds of promos for the show, and trailers for Flying Witch, Chihayafuru, Amagi Brilliant Park, and Himouto! Umaru-chan.
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto was originally meant to be released in November 2017. It then got pushed back to the first week of April, and then, when I was halfway through writing the review, it got pushed back again to July 2nd. It begs the question, is it worth the wait? For me that is definitely a no. Sakamoto isn’t so good a show that it’s worth waiting for, it isn’t even good enough to set some time aside to watch. It’s an agreeable comedy series, but that is as far as it goes. As always, comedy is in the eye of the beholder, so you should take this review with more of a pinch of salt than usual. I’d suggest trying before buying, but the Crunchyroll streams are geolocked.
Personally, I though the show was mildly humorous. It had a couple of laugh out loud moments, but I found that it’s one of those comedies that I really have to be in the right frame of mind to appreciate, and more often than not, I wasn’t in the mood to laugh at Sakamoto’s antics. The second thing is that I really did get a Cromartie High School vibe from the show, in that it takes a premise to ridiculous and absurd extremes (I found Cromartie to be only sporadically funny as well back in the day). However, unlike Cromartie where its samurai delinquent premise applied across the board to all of its weird and bizarre characters, here the premise of absolute and utterly eccentric perfection is applied to Sakamoto alone, and the humour comes from how the world reacts to him. Finally, just like Cromartie High School, the series lives and dies on the back of just one joke, and for me, 13 episodes is pushing it beyond breaking point.
Sakamoto is perfection incarnate. He’s immaculately dressed at all times, not a hair out of place, he punctuates his existence with model poses, and he faces all challenge and adversity with utter coolness. He’s also armed with an arsenal of special moves and secret techniques to emphasise his suave sophistication. This is a man who saved a woman’s honour from a horde of groping teenage boys by tying a couple of curtains together, distracting them when the wind billowed them into a pair of giant breasts. Girls swoon over him, and boys’ initial jealousy tends to quickly transform into idolisation. His biggest challenges come from the school’s delinquents, and the adoring mother of one of his school-mates.
Perfect characters are as dull as dishwater, but that is the whole point. The humour in the show comes from how the people around Sakamoto react, and given that they all tend to react in the same, predictable ways, means that for me, the humour barely sustained for half of the thirteen episode run. The show also makes the misstep of introducing a storyline for its last couple of episodes, giving the absurd concept a faux-serious edge. Haven’t You Heard, I’m Sakamoto makes me resort to the reviewer’s fallback position. If this sort of thing makes you laugh, then you’ll probably enjoy it.