I am sort of embarrassed to admit this but NouKome was one of my favorite Fall 13 anime. Granted, it was probably because I didn’t keep up with Kill la Kill, White Album, Golden Time, Outbreak Company or any of the other various, popular anime this season.
NouKome had a good amount going for it. It had a pretty good cast, good visuals, good soundtrack and a great sense of humor. All of that was brought together in one enjoyable package thanks to “Absolute Choice”.
(Absolute Choice refers to the choice in his head that Kanade would be presented with every now and then. In the show, an Absolute Choice was always announced with “Erabe!” which means Chose.)
The genius of “Absolute Choice” lies in how flexible and useful its use could be.
It could be used to make an arbitrary, normal situation hilarious. “What’s that? Kanada is having a normal conversation with someone? Well, that won’t do. Let’s present him with a terrible Absolute Choice to make this situation as awkward/hilarious as can be.”
Another thing that “Absolute Choice” did was that it demonstrated and developed Kanade’s character. As a general rule of thumb, Kanade would be presented with a two choices. Often, once choice, if taken, would embarrass himself and a the other choice would potentially embarrass/offend someone else.
Kanada almost always chose the latter choice. That is to say, if possible, he chose the choice that caused him and not someone else, harm. This went a long way in demonstrating Kanade’s character.
Often in anime, we are expected to believe a main character is nice. Other characters seem to like (romantically or otherwise) the main character for no real reason.
They claim the MC is nice, but we, as the viewer, often find that hard to believe. This is especially true if the “niceness” of the MC is really just common courtesy.
Despite his brash nature, Kanade is actually quite caring and nice. And, we know this is the case because his choices in “Absolute Choice” demonstrate this.
He isn’t selfish. He almost always places other people before him. I really like that. He is definitely among the best Male MCs this year.
They say the you choices you make reveal the true nature of your character and that is most certainly true here. It is perhaps even more true because no one apart from Kanade (and I guess the sensei/President) even know he was presented with a choice.
The other great use of “Absolute Choice” was in dispelling/reversing serious situations before they got really serious. The show would have something beginning to get serious and just when the audience is most scared/nervous, an “ERABE” comes out of nowhere and results in stomach clenching laughter.
One of my favorite examples (and favorite NouCome scenes in general) of that kind of use came at the end of Episode 9 when Kanade was about to shoot Ouka with onion extract.
Earlier on in the episode, Kanade had been told that cheating would end badly for him. This lead to an uneasy feeling in the audience (or in me anyway). When Kanade ended up pointing the pistol at Ouka, I got really nervous.
What really bad thing is going to happen now? Will Ouka hate him forever? Will Ouka somehow forget about him? Will he fail the challenge because he cheated? And then…
Fantastic. That was a hilarious way to calm my worries. That scene was even more impressive because of the excellent voice acting. That “Right. I guess I can’t cheat ” was said in a different, deeper, defeated tone.
Some Other Great Little Moments
From the hilarious one-liners, great jokes, great poses, great scenes ( e.g. Oni-chans vs Masochistics, Chocolat’s Yaoi fantasies, Ouka vs Konagi oil wrestling, etc…) and the ever present Absolute Choice, NouKome was a hilarious, great show.
It was as a friend once said, NouKome is not an average tier anime.
This post should have been published on Sunday the 22nd of December, but it was instead published on the 25th. So, I will take this chance to wish you all Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays.