- Alt. Name
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen
- No. of Episodes
- Winter 2020
- Studio Gokumi
Seton Academy: Join the Pack! is a 2020 Comedy, School Life anime series where the main premise of the story is that even though everyone’s different, we can still be friends. While the series doesn’t have anything new to add to the genres it’s in, I do believe it has some merit. The series does showcase an interesting depth, but perhaps it was just first impression. Although the message is great, that doesn’t always translate well into entertainment.
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Seton Academy is a place that’s attended by a plethora of interesting and diverse animal species. Jin Mazama is one of the few humans there, who also happens to vehemently hate animals from the very bottom of his heart! One day, he finds a rambunctious and assertive girl Ranka Ookami, a small “lone wolf” without a pack, who has not a single friend. She desperately tries to invite Jin into her nonexistent pack; Jin naturally refuses. Jin later meets Hitomi Hino, a fellow human, and promptly becomes fascinated with her. It’s a story that teaches the watcher that friendship isn’t bound by a single-grouped species.
While I’m not against having anthropomorphic characters – or series – I am against having them just for pure fanservice. Having said that this series did not have that problem, which was a wonderful thing, but that was just the first hurdle that the series needed to leap over. Though it was great to not a series that wasn’t purely fanservice though it did have some moments. It shows that a series that has an overtly cute appearance follow through with the same benchmark they set up from the first episode.
The negative aspect of the story is that you’ve seen over two school-based anime series then you’ll notice a similar structure. Now the problem wasn’t unbearable, but it was a tad redundant after the first couple of episodes. Which unfortunately potentially brings the shows value down for the viewer, however viewers who do stick past the initial “getting traction” phase will potentially be rewarded by the character arcs. However, the problem with a series that potentially rewards its viewers after X number of episodes means they’re risking a lot when they’re viewers could be gone by episode 2 or 3.
The art style in Seton Academy is very vibrant but cartoonish. The animal species are more vibrant with colors – female characters – than humans. The lack of detail towards the background characters is very apparent due to the multiple close up angles in the first few episodes. Although the designs are vibrant and cartoonish, the series isn’t damaged by it. There isn’t a master copy of generic animals that were copied and pasted to fill in space but though they may look alike, each character has its own look. Having multiple animals in a group look slightly different gives this series a better value because since they’re either throwaway characters or background means the artists needed to spend more time on them.
While the show may become dull in some moments, it never really lasts for long. The animation of this series is great, and what is nice to have is the opening theme. The opening theme is a great example that many series – anime and not – have a terrible problem with. The opening pretty much covers the three main parts of what an opening should cover in this genre; the main cast, relationships, character traits are kept throughout the actual show. It meets all three of those with not only the main cast but also the secondary and even minor characters. While it completes the trifecta, the opening is even better due to it having a catchy theme.
The main characters in the series are an interesting bunch, but not a total stereotype based on other shows. Jin, a male who hates animals after an incident when he was a child. He developed a crush on Hitomi, the only other human at Seton Academy, he enjoys cooking for himself as the academy’s cafeteria only caters to animals. He is very knowledgeable about animals based on their instincts, weaknesses, and modern history.
Ranka Okami, a pink female wolf with a short temper. Self-proclaimed pack leader, she treats Jin as the alpha male and becomes very possessive and even jealous when approached by any other female. She becomes friends with Hitomi, the only female in school and becomes embarrassed when watching Jin deal with the animal habits of the girls.
While there is a good amount of secondary characters the only ones that have anything to do with the story are Komori and Miyubi, but even then, they don’t contribute much. Komori, a female koala who has grown tired of only eating eucalyptus and joined the cooking club to expand her diet. Miyubi, a female three-toed sloth who likes any sloth moves extremely slowly. If she exerts herself, she will pass out and die. She joined the cooking club to make friends. These two have interesting chemistry with our main cast, and others but what’s interesting is Miyubi as her character arc is the better of the two.
The two characters that do not need to be in the series is Mei Mei, a female panda who is a spoiled brat due to her popularity as a celebrity. Her character doesn’t have an overarching purpose, nor did her character change. From her first appearance to the very end she’s still self-centered, bratty and the only redeemable quality of her is that she goes from that to a little more helpful. This is truly an example of using a cute animal-girl with no real plotline, especially since she makes her first appearance halfway through the series.
While Mei Mei is a character made for pure filler, she’s on the same coin as Miki Hadano, a female naked mole-rat, and Student Council President. She is against the idea of mixed-species romance and considers it her duty to keep students, particularly Jin, from dating outside their species. The most pre-eminent aspect of her character is that she can’t stand wearing clothing, and when alone she strips down to her underwear. This is just for fanservice and although the first couple of times were funny after a while it just became stale. Outside of these two characters most of the characters are enjoyable, but if you’re outside the main or secondary cast don’t expect much.
Throughout the series, the viewer will notice that Jin is a male Tsundere, which is interesting in this series. From the first episode, we learn he hates animals – I mean who could hate all animals? – but by the end, we can see that although he still dislikes animals to a certain extent the viewer can clearly see that he cares deeply for his friends, and especially Ranka.
While the characters were decent, but not overly original. The entertainment value is more than what the viewer may expect. While the viewer may not be a fan of the somewhat sluggish start, but great chemistry between each of the characters then the entertainment will be vastly more enjoyable. Although I wouldn’t pin this series as a haram though it does have its moments where it could easily turn into one. I did enjoy this series but what I did find more entertaining that was a huge surprise was the Rocky Balboa ending. Though the ending was semi-terrible and had a huge chance of potentially ruining the series for viewers with its shoehorned character, I believe it added the last amount of oomph the series needed to hit its overarching goal.
Upon first viewing, I wasn’t very keen in this series, but after the second time around I noticed aspects of the show that I missed. Though it may have its problems with fanservice and somewhat lacking character plot lines, I believe this series has a lot of redeeming qualities. Having said that though it should be said that if you’re just getting into anime, or showing someone an anime series, then you might be turned off. But at the end of the day, this series was very well made, and though it wasn’t perfect I’d consider this to be an above-average anime series that if you’re looking for something easy to follow, but have a slight romance then it’d be perfect for you.
Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.