Seton Academy: Join the Pack
Jin Mazama is a human male student at Seton Academy, and he doesn’t get along with non-human animals. Therefore, he gets incredibly annoyed when a wolf female, Ranka Okami, takes an interest in him.
Desperate to get away from Ranka, Jin runs into Hitomi Hino, a human female, and the two start a cooking club. However, to Jin’s chagrin, Ranka sees this as the perfect opportunity to bring as many different members from many different species together.
Was Seton Academy: Join the Pack (Senton Academy) a good series? Well, it certainly wasn’t an awful one. The best way I can think to describe this show is by calling it a potential guilty pleasure. Some problems brought the whole thing down, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this weren’t someone’s particular cup of tea. Still, it would also be a lie if I told you I didn’t find enjoyment.
To, hopefully, better understand what went on, let’s break Senton Academy into two core ideas.
The first core idea: This was a series centered around a school that enrolled anthropomorphic animals. However, what separated this show from others which have done something similar, the titular Senton Academy included humans as a part of its student roster. On the surface, that may seem like a small detail, but I assure you, it is a significant one.
The second core idea…will have to wait for later in the review.
What was great about Senton Academy, there was very little of the usual, species-specific self-entitlement. There was no difference between man and beast in terms of status. In the eyes of this show, both were animals and members of the much larger animal kingdom. As a result, neither Jin Mazama or Hitomi Hino felt out of place because, to Senton Academy, they were just another form of primate.
A scene I very much appreciated was when someone mistakenly referred to Jin as a chimpanzee. When this happened, Jin got defensive and angry in the sort of way other animal or animal-like characters from other shows have done when a human did something similar.
This may have been a brief moment, but other brief moments like it helped prevent Senton Academy from coming off as gimmicky in this aspect. That said, let me emphasize. This series wasn’t gimmicky in this one single aspect. More on that soon.
Additionally, it was pretty clever on Senton Academy’s part to have the teachers at Senton Academy be giant dinosaurs that could instantly ego-check all the modern-day predators. It was quite funny.
Speaking of funny, this series did reaction humor well. There was also a bunch of slapstick, dialogue, and physical humor, but this show was far more comfortable with being far more reactionary. And the best character for this – as well as my favorite – was Miyubi Shishio, the three-toed sloth-girl. Most of the laughs I got out of Senton Academy was thanks to her.
So, as I said at the beginning, this series did have elements worth praising. Unfortunately, the entire time I watched Senton Academy, I couldn’t help think that someone somewhere was looking for an excuse to f@#$ a cute animal girl.
The second core idea to this series was having every female be an adorable, moe-moe, fill-in-the-blank-with-an-animal girl. Which, according to this show, meant a tail and ears (big boobs varied).
I get that this was Senton Academy’s thing, but it got pretty damn ridiculous pretty damn fast. Granted, it was much less awkward to watch this show than it was to watch Beastars and its bunny boobies, but Senton Academy was far more fanservice-focused. Also, by the by, Beastars was one of my absolute favorite anime from 2019; so, there was that.
Now to be fair, coming across an anime with a bunch of animal-girls running around isn’t that fantastical to me. Even with this series being as blatant as it was, things were what they were. What did get to me was more of what was suggested — namely, the possibility of Jin being in a relationship with Ranka Okami, the wolf-girl.
Fortunately, Jin had a massive crush on Hitomi. However, near the end, this show hinted that Jin might have started seeing Ranka in a different light. This series never went as far as to straight-up say that a Jin-Ranka pairing was going to happen. But the idea wasn’t made impossible either. After all, one of the major side plots of Senton Academy was the inter-species relationship between a lion and a gazelle-girl. How would that be any different than a human and a wolf-girl getting together?
Potential creepiness aside, it certainly didn’t help that Senton Academy had a rather forgettable cast of characters. Apart from the previously mentioned Miyubi, everyone else in this show didn’t leave much of an impression.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. Jin made an impression. He was an utter dick, and I didn’t like him. Seriously, Jin was nothing but a colossal tool throughout the series, and it was irritating to have him be the main character. He may not have flat out ruined this show, but he is the reason why I am not looking forward to any possible second season.
On the one hand, I didn’t hate my time with this show. On the other hand, I didn’t end up caring about it either.
There was fun to be had, but there wasn’t enough to be worth watching.
Senton Academy: Join the Pack can be skipped.
Seton Academy: Join the Pack Series Review: Animals and Animal-Girls
Writing - 6/106/10
Plot - 6/106/10
Character Development - 5/105/10
Production - 6/106/10
Music - 5/105/10
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