Since I’ve been doing this 3 episode thing, the whole point of which was trying to find some new shows to watch, there have been a few of them that I’ve just rallied against from the get go. Which kind of defeats the purpose of giving new things a chance. There is some element of wanting to be fair and give everything a chance, but often it’ll feel like watching something out of begrudging obligation rather than keeping that open mind.
The problem here is that more often than not, I’ll go into the show already ready to dislike it before I even got going. That was the case with Seton Academy: Join the Pack! I’d seen a few people complaining about it on Twitter, and the premise seemed super generic to me, and so I was certain that this would be one of the shows I’d drop. But after all that, I guess that actually giving things a chance has paid off in some weird way.
But y’know what, after watching three episodes of this show, it kind of got me. Don’t get me wrong, this is some trope heavy, ecchi garbage, yet this whole “junk food” aspect of the show has worked on me and I’m getting something out of it.
The premise of Seton Academy follows Jin Mazama, the only human male in a school full of anthropomorphic animals, and unluckily for him he just so happens to despise all animals. So he’s a massive racist, gotcha. He meets and falls for Hitomi Hino, the only other human in the school, and they form the cooking club together.
However, his personal bliss is constantly being endangered thanks to the wild antics of the other, animal members of the cooking club and school in general. Specifically Ranka Ōkami; a she-wolf who is more interested in making friends outside of her own species rather than forming a pack with other wolves.
Right off the bat, this show is riddled with every single cliche and trope of the romance and harem genre. Which is par the course I suppose. Ranka and Jin had an encounter with one another in their adolescence which formed a large part of their personality and outlook on life growing up. Although the experience was less than ideal for Jin and the reason he is a massive racist.
From here, we find ourselves getting introduced to more and more characters and getting involved in hi-jinks based on their species and their traits. Which is helped along with a very helpful (and weirdly intense) narrator. This approach of setting up a situation and then having a voice over basically establish the stakes and give context is a gag that I always find funny.
It reminds me of shows like Kaguya Sama: Love is War and Killing Bites which did the same thing. Actually, now I think about it, this show just seems like a combination of the premises of those two anime just mashed together… weird. What else is weird is how they society even functions. Despite being in a cooking club, it appears everybody in this world is a vegetarian. And avoiding other species is encouraged, which is even weirder considering the number of different animals attending.
Which doesn’t make sense when the show itself even states that carnivores and herbivores don’t really get on. I don’t really get how it works, but then again, I never saw Zootopia which I assume clears all this confusion up. Unlike Zootopia though, there is some major gender dimorphism going on in this show.
All of the male animals looks like the animals they’re supposed to be, just with a shirt and tie slapped on them. The girls however, all just look like cute anime girls with ears and a tail. This is the main thing I’ve seen people complaining about when it comes to this show. But this is a shonen series and if they can’t objectify their girls, then is this even anime?
But it does makes me want to watch Beastars even more, which actually has an all animal cast. And from what I hear is really good.
Verdict: This is garbage and I am a garbage person
Jin is kind of a stalker douchebag and Ranka is a little gremlin of a character that seems to get smaller every time I see her. But the weird animal based humour and bizarre characterisations of everyone who shows up had me catch myself chuckling a lot more than I’d expected.
I was ready for this to be one of the shows I dropped like a bad habit, but after watching the first three, it’s entertained me enough that I think I’m going to keep watching it a bit longer. It’s junk food and despite how distasteful come aspects of it can be, the wholesomeness and silliness of the rest of it makes me want to keep watching. Much to my own shock. Will it keep my attention for the rest of the season? Maybe not, but it’s surprised me enough.