Everyone in Gakubun Prefectural High School is talking about the first year who transferred to the School not long ago. He is stylish at carrying out class duties, stylish at lunch break, and stylish at almost everything he does. All the girls in the class are crazy over him and no one can seem to disrupt his coolness no matter how they try. Wait, you haven’t heard about Sakamoto!?
Sakamoto is a very interesting character at first. You’ll laugh at how he turns the whole situation into a one big laugh, trust me. Sakamoto is well prepared for any kind of trouble he might get himself into and his elaborate and unexpected personality makes it all the more cheesier. Throw a bucket of water over him and he’s got an umbrella. Ask him to do one thing and he’ll wrap it up in style. Need help stopping some bullies? He’ll help, but not like what you’d expect. A fire broke out in the school? Don’t worry Sakamoto will make sure that everyone comes out unscratched. He’ll be jumping out of windows, building bird houses (that’s random), making sure there are no unfortunate accidents and more importantly, helping everybody around him as much as he can, especially his classmates.
He’s a little weird sometimes. I mean, he’s too perfect to be true. He’s also got the looks to match, enough to make every women obsessed about him, they even cheer for him at every PE class. One of his weakness would be his disinterest that he clearly shows, he takes no sides, he has no favorites and doesn’t have any trace of concern in most cases whatsoever. Life is sunshine and butterflies for Sakamoto.
The plot is very simple, Sakamoto solving a bunch of people’s problems. He always does this for the good of both sides. His actions actually teach the characters about how they were approaching their struggles the wrong way and how to fix them. Sakamoto is a nice and caring person but he doesn’t show it. We clearly see that he has emotions, he’s not a completely boring character. My rule of thumb would be: “If the protagonist isn’t a racist asshole, I’ll watch”.
Look into his eyes I dare you, don’t you get a feeling that he may be hiding emotional traumas from his past and not just trying to look cool? Not a little bit huh? What makes him so shallow anyways? I can’t stress enough that there can be characters who don’t reveal much about themselves not because they are poorly written but because they were so by design. You’re no fun mate, there are a lot of clues peppered in the story.
This is actually one of the reasons that he gets written off as a boring protagonist by a lot of people but say what you want, he is far from one dimensional. I find his coolness to be hilarious and……cool? I just love it when he goes all like…..Secret Technique…….
While we’re on that, there’s a stalking revelation that I want to discuss in this post to those of you whom watched all 12 episodes.
The episodes are arranged like a set of side stories with two or three parts in each episode, with mini-stories having their own set up, and of course their fair share of good laughs. Or an episode might focus on one particular event. And all of them have their own story to tell. Some are purely comedic. Some might convey us life lessons. Some show us more about the characters and so on. You’ll also notice some nicely hidden references from previous episodes. Not a lot of tension throughout the show because Sakamoto is pretty invincible as it is.
The humor and comedy are a hit or a miss. I absolutely love the way the show makes everything Sakamoto does absolutely fabulous. I’m a big fan of that word. It gets me laughing as soon as something completely unexpected (and often ridiculous) happens and Sakamoto is always at the center.
Nothing’s really special to talk about the animation here, the characters look normal, and the backgrounds are far from astounding, even the effects used are standard issue. Although they thought of some cool uses for the stylish effects, aside from the adrenalin- pumping scenes, it’s kept to an acceptable level.
Now let’s move onto the theory that I talked about. This theory contains minor spoilers so skip to The Conclusion if you don’t want any (there’s no plot twists so what’s the harm?)
I first found this theory (more like a fact really) when I finished watching the last episode and I was curious about how Sakamoto answered Hayabusa-senpai’s question. The pieces fit in too perfectly, this actually may be the real story of Sakamoto’s first year in high school. Here it goes……….Sakamoto is Dying! He is terminally ill, he only has one year left to live so he attends high school to make new friends and to experience everything that a normal high school student would without holding back and to leave no regrets behind before he dies. Sounds depressing, right? If I were in that kind of situation, I’d actually have a hard time controlling my emotions. Okay, proof…..
- Don’t you think his personality is a little doubtful? He doesn’t speak much. He puts on the same face every time. Nobody knows his first name (he is not allowed to say it on-air actually). Yet he’s smart, cunning and physically adept. Does he even have a hobby? Why does he isolate himself from the rest of the class? Hypothetically speaking, considering that he is good natured, shouldn’t he be socializing? Are Achan and Kubota his only close friends?
- Why does he take it to himself to help every single person that he finds? Performing school duties, resolving people’s personal issues, fixing things like bird houses and equipment, and doing every good deed out there. Who knows what other good deeds he may have done? Doesn’t he have anything useful to spend that time, or did he memorize the entire text book before classes even started?
- How the hell does he blaze through something at lightning speed? Is he an alien? Probably, not likely. He must have had prior training. How much time he devoted to his training is a mystery but he definitely did spend a lot of time to train. His techniques don’t seem ethical either.
- Sakamoto doesn’t seem to care what happens to him at all. It’s like he’s a daredevil. Sliding through a gap in the gate when the teacher was closing it, fighting in the rain in episode 5 and getting a fever the next day. Seems like he actually didn’t care.
- The song that he picks on episode 10 is about a father, his sick son and death. The father seeks help but his son plays with death and dies. It reflected his condition. He is playing with death by going to high school. Obviously a hint.
- At episode 11, when Achan and Sakamoto have a snow fight, Achan says something like this: “I thought I would be able to walk side by side with Sakamoto……..at that time I still……believed it.” Bad news….
- His little talk with Fukase-san at the infirmary in the last episode. Sakamoto’s answer was serious.
There’s an entire reddit thread about the final episode and this theory here.
Sakamoto desu ga is a mixed bag, you might like it or you might hate it. The comedy is well done in my opinion, especially at the fact that Sakamoto is such a funny protagonist to watch. He is the main reason you should give this some thought. The side-stories are good and don’t feel forced or out of place. Aside from Sakamoto, the characters don’t bring anything new, they get their time in the spot light but after that, not much appearances. Again, this is to be expected on a twelve episode anime. But they’re enjoyable none the less. Sakamoto gives a hand to every single one of them and we’re revealed enough about them to be able to relate to their personalities. Overall, a great anime to watch if you’re feeling down. The jokes will stretch you right up.