My Girlfriend Is Shobitch Collection (Cert 18)
2 Discs Blu-ray (Distributor: MVM) Running time: 266 minutes approx.
Release Date: September 20th
Oh boy…where to begin with this one.
Humour is subjective, whether it is harmless jokes, satire, black comedy, straight up silliness, or smutty innuendo. The latter is arguably the most contentious as it is either the height of puerility or simply a lame attempt to shock for the attention. To that end, My Girlfriend Is Shobitch will have people phnar-phnaring at the relentless onslaught of unbridled sexual references or shaking their head in disbelief.
The set-up is thus: Haruka Shinozaki summons the courage to confess to his crush, the studious and quiet Akiho Kosaka. To his surprise, Akiho accepts Haruka’s confession and agrees to date him, but points out that whilst this will be her first relationship, she is prepared to do everything right to make him happy.
So far so good – except, Akiho has a very prurient mind thanks to her shameless pervert of a mother, and immediately asks Haruka about any sexual desires Akiho can fulfil for him. Haruka is taken aback by this, hoping for a simple steady going relationship that may one day bloom into romance. Unfortunately for Haruka, everyone around him is equally as filthy minded making his chasten ideas of love difficult to put across.
And that is about the sum of the plot. It serves as conduit for the female cast to spout out obscene and often very graphic one-liners turning the most innocent of things into a sexual innuendo. If this sounds unpleasant for you, many of these gags are accompanied by visual representation to tip their inappropriateness into the danger zone, whether required or not – and nary a single damn is given.
First an explanation of the title. Shobitch is a portmanteau of “shojo” and “bitch”; in this case “shojo” mean “virgin”, hence the full original title Boku no Kanojo ga Majime Sugiru Shojo Bicchi na Ken translating to My Girlfriend is a Faithful Virgin Bitch. Quite why Akiho needs to be referred to as a bitch I don’t know but there may be a difference in meaning in this context in Japanese.
Based on the manga by Namiru Matsumoto (male, in case you were wondering), whose mind is deviant beyond belief, Shobitch could be likened to a cake covered in spikes – at its heart it is innocent and normal, it is the topping that makes it unpalatable. I suppose the idea is to provide a raunchier version of a high school romance tale, although there are plenty of those in existence, only Matsumoto has debatably gone a bit too far.
Haruka being the straight man is the conceit behind the joke, whilst the lurid lasses are clearly a form of wish-fulfilment for those fed up with the girls being fluffy innocents. Akiho is not deliberately lewd per se, she is a blank slate of a girlfriend trying to do what she thinks is right by Haruka, per her pragmatic approach to studying and life. As mentioned earlier, Akiho has been corrupted by her mother Fuyumi who has a lot more to answer for than this.
Keen eyed viewers watching this UK release may notice episode three is shorter than the others by almost 3 minutes. This is due to the BBFC cutting a whole segment of Akiho’s father Natsuo reminiscing about baby Akiho being exposed to her mother’s vulgarity. Having seen the excised material, I can see which parts cross the line of good taste and breach guidelines; personally, I think they could have cut round them to minimise censorship damage, but you don’t notice any disruption to the narrative without them.
Considering the sort of content they DO get away with, I’d say this release got off lightly from further cuts. Anyhoo, for the most part, the gags involve turning things like fruit or everyday objects into priapic totems, when they haven’t already taken on a phallic form. The representation of slushy foods and liquids being spilled should need no explanation, yet ironically the one thing this show does lack is nudity (until the OVA).
Whereas Akiho is naively crude, other girls are less inhibited. Haruka’s childhood friend Shizuku Ariyama, whom he platonically calls “Sis”, throws herself at Haruka; his real younger sister, Kanata believes she should be his girlfriend; transfer student Rina Saijo, formerly from an all girls school, inappropriately uses explicit terms relating to her dogs; and school nurse Aoi Koshimizu “entertains” older male students after school.
I imagine teens watching might wish they went to a school like this but older, more sensitive viewers can’t help but cringe at how excessively tawdry it all is. It certainly isn’t Carry On level subtle, which makes it worse – yet it is occasionally amusing. The real joke is not in the vulgarity but in Haruka’s shocked reactions; in essence he is the viewer’s conscience and morality, and if it weren’t for him, this would be as offensive as the pseudo-hentai of Why The Hell Are You Here, Teacher?!
Earlier I mentioned an OVA. This interesting addendum enlightens us regarding cryptic scenes at the end of the episodes from 4 onwards, in which ambiguous dialogue plays over still shots of a hotel interior. The OVA reveals all (literally), sharing a side adventure for our young lovers. Something which is genuinely funny is found in the extras – Fat Load Of Dirty Jokes has the characters of Kana and Shizuku provide their own alternate dialogue for episode one; it is still bawdy but less explicit and far more irreverent.
My Girlfriend Is Shobitch will have an audience albeit a niche one, unless I am becoming too prudish in my old age. It is a well animated show, often amusing when it keeps it simple, and does attempt to move the main relationship forward, but in hanging its coat purely on its one-note joke premise, it will likely end up a test of endurance for some, even with just 10 episodes, excluding the OVA.
Unequivocally not for everyone, especially the easily offended.
Japanese Language 2.0 DTS-HD MA
English Language 2.0 DTS-HD MA
Fat Load Of Dirty Jokes
Clean Opening Animation
Clean Closing Animation
Rating – **
Man In Black