The deeper we get into this season, the more I understand the mountain of hype built around Sousou no Frieren. At first I thought it was just another decent fantasy show focused on characters similar to Mushoku Tensei, but as time has gone on I realized that it has carved out its own unique presence entirely in the fantasy anime space. The story, character writing, and recently the fantastic animation have been coming together to build an identity for the anime to make it stand out from the competition and part of that has come from the comedy too.
You see, most of the time I would advise these serious and mature projects to avoid comedy and especially sexual comedy altogether because most authors don’t seem to know what the hell they’re doing. Anime comedy commonly falls into the trap of being too repetitive and predictable (oh no, they went to the wrong hot springs!) and this stays true for sexual comedy (oh no, he bumped into a girl’s boobs and got a nosebleed!). Even in Mushoku Tensei which I think is overall a well-written adventure, there are still moments of sexual focus or comedy that fall flat for me and feel like a waste of time. By contrast the rare yet recurring sexual conversations of Frieren and her group are landing for me and I’ve figured out it’s due to two reasons: they are short and people react to the discussion in human ways.
Serving up some good food and good episodes. Thanks ladies.
I’ve legitimately sat through scenes where a guy bumps into a girl, falls down, gets a nosebleed, gets hard, apologizes to the girl for smacking into her, she yells at him and smacks his head, and they go their separate ways. This can last from 1-3 minutes which isn’t that bad, but when you consider a normal episode is 20 minutes and that said scene is essentially a trope itself at this point, that’s pretty tiresome. When Frieren and her companions bring up sex, so far it’s to make a specific point or comment, and then we move on. Nobody freaks out, nobody loses their mind over the mention of a chest, etc. The lack of typical anime sex talk panic means we quickly get back to progressing the plot or developing the characters so it comes across as a lighthearted moment to breathe rather than a portion of time wasted. And since nobody overreacts to the mere mention of reproductive traits and activities, it feels way more human too. For example, in one episode they acquire a spell that allows the user to see through clothes. In a shitty anime this could be the focus of the entire installment. In this anime, a few comments are made about the party members’ naked bodies, a single joke about a guy’s dick is told, and we’re off to something with a deeper significance. I love it.
Alright that’s enough gushing for today. Point is, I was starting to think I just didn’t like anything sexual in my regular anime at all, save it for the doujins and hentai, but this show reminded me that with proper timing and character writing even sexual comedy can add to the charm of a series and feel more like a natural part of human conversation and observation rather than something forced into a series to appease watchers with fanservice. Are you watching Sousou no Frieren? Have you heard about the hype surrounding the production? What anime do you think handled sexual comedy well? Form a party, gather some grimoires, and slay demons together in the comments below!