Miki Ishimoto just graduated college; she's a frustrated artist who got tired of dealing with sculpting and is now looking for a career change. She becomes the manager to a supposedly new and up-and-coming idol group, the Rockies or "Sekkou Boys"....only for her to find that the group she's managing is literally a boy band composed of sentient statues!
So, this is honestly one of the most ridiculous series I've ever come across. And you know what? It's actually tons of fun.
Shows like Sekkou Boys that rely on variations of a single gag have been hit-or-miss, in my experience. These usually get released as short series, and from what I've seen, there's two possible paths for the writers to take that'll actually make a good show. Either they 1) pick a premise that generates a lot of different variations of the same joke or 2) find a premise that's good for inside jokes and references so that the humor isn't totally one-dimensional, and if they don't pull off either of these, the series just ends up being a waste of time. For example, My Neighbor Seki doesn't get boring because Seki's tomfoolery is significantly different every time, and the delivery varies a lot, even if the show doesn't have much in the way of referential humor to draw on; conversely, I got bored with Ojii-san and Marshmallow pretty fast, since it doesn't have a lot of material to mine for in-jokes, and it doesn't change the "old man will do anything for a marshmallow" joke around much at all. Sekkou Boys works for reason #2, and, also, because it totally runs with a completely ridiculous premise and milks it for all its glory. The show's worth a watch for anybody who'll get the art and mythology references, but even without that, the ridiculousness factor makes this funny in itself.
So outside of the show's setup as a one-gag short series, where the premise of Miki trying to get a bunch of sentient statues to act like professional idol singers is ridiculous in itself, Sekkou Boys is playing homage to two common types of series that've been all over the place lately, and in my opinion it does a good job of affectionately parodying them; personally, I'm just not usually a fan of parody that exists for no reason other than to laugh at people or a fandom, unless the people are legitimately doing horrible, hurtful things. The first, of course, is idol shows, of which we've been seeing a lot during the past few years: off the top of my head, I can name AKB0048 (which is really a weird sci-fi show showcasing a real-life idol group), The iDOLM@STER and its various spinoffs, Love Stage, and, of course, the ridiculously addictive Love Live! franchise.
....for the record, Carlos and Kara, I entirely blame you both for turning me into Love Live! trash. Now, returning to the subject at hand....
Most of those shows have female leads, but we've been seeing more male idol shows lately (with more female-targeted shows being animated in general) and, of course, Sekkou Boys is most directly parodying the trend of idol shows full of moody, dramatic pretty boys; for example, choosing Daisuke Ono, who sticks out to me as somebody who's really nailed the art of playing angsty teenage boys, to voice Mars was a stroke of genius on the creators' part. But Sekkou Boys, just as importantly, is (affectionately) parodying anime bildungsroman like Barakamon, Sakura Quest, and Hanasaku Iroha, where a character ends up making progress with their career, their artistic dream, or their spiritual journey by working through a situation they don't exactly want to be in. If anything, Sekkou Boys making Miki the main character was actually the best possible move: the boys could get pretty tiresome on their own, and Miki's a pretty sympathetic and relatable character for anybody who's had to deal with difficult people. Like Yoshino Koharu from Sakura Quest, who went to Tokyo to escape her tiny town, only to finally find career advancement working for a small town's tourist board, Miki gave up on art after getting sick of sculpting and tried a new career.....only to deal with, well, sculptures as clients. Obviously, it's a ridiculous premise, but the show's affectionate enough towards its source tropes that Miki's still a sympathetic character. I also feel like making the boys the main characters would have made her come across as a nag, and given how they're, let's just say, not super mature, I'm glad the show doesn't frame her that way: it's never fun to have to be the bad guy, in a situation like this. There's one other character of note, Mira, another idol, who dresses in a total decora/visual kei style and is probably the Sekkou Boys' only real fan; she makes the show a little more sweet, which is a nice counterbalance considering how sarcastic and cynical it can sometimes start to get.
As for the show itself? We've got gags like Hermes sneaking off to sell a steel bolt with supposed supernatural lucky powers, much to Miki's chagrin (a total parody of washed out celebrities getting involved in marketing schemes), or St. Giorgio getting famous for his supposedly "constipated"-looking facial expression, or Mars, the supposed "tough guy" of the bunch, actually totally buckling when he gets chewed out by his sister Athena...not to mention, the literal "infant Dionysius" from Hermes' namesake statue enjoying his role as the "god of wine" a bit too much. Again, it's funniest if you at least have a little bit of art or Greco-Roman mythology background, but I think even without it, the situations are still pretty funny in themselves, and seeing a bunch of "dignified" looking statues acting with the personalities of spoiled teenage guys is pretty amusing. But nobody really crosses the line into being overly obnoxious, which is good; I'm very rarely a fan of shows where everybody is truly an awful person (or at the very least, I can only take it in small doses, like with Arrested Development).
I had a good time with Sekkou Boys. Like a lot of short series, it's not that well-made as far as art and animation go (although the ending theme is absolutely hilarious), and you could argue that it's something to take or leave, but honestly, it's clever and funny enough in its humor and homages that it's worth watching for something that isn't just the "WTF" factor. I'd say check it out.
Now if you'll excuse me....
Pretty funny as short series go, and surprisingly clever. — Nicoletta Christina Browne
Recommended Audience: There's some drunkenness and some lewd jokes involved, but nothing else that's seriously inapprorpriate for kids.
Version(s) Viewed: Streaming on crunchyroll, Japanese with English Subtitles
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Sekkou Boys © 2016 Zarigani Works • KADOKAWA•Holbein Art/Sekkoboys PARTNERS
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