Student Council’s Discretion (Seitokai no Ichizon)
Series directed by: Takuya Sato (1st series), Ken’ichi Imaizumi (2nd series)
Written by: Aoi Sekina, Jukki Hanada, Reiko Yoshida
Cast: Mariko Honda, Takashi Kondo, Misuzu Togashi, Yuka Saitou, Yuki Horinaka, Ai Shimizu, Haruka Tomatsu, Kazutomi Yamamoto, Mami Kosuge, Mamiko Noto, Ryoko Shintani, Takahiro Sakurai
Production: Kadokawa Pictures
Broadcast: Currently Streaming on Crunchyroll
Based on a light novel series written by Aoi Sekina, Student Council’s Discretion, or Seitokai no Ichizon, is a funny romp through the idiosyncrasies of anime and manga fandom, as well as the foibles of its own sometimes deeply flawed characters.
A prestigious private school named Hekiyou Academy is the setting for this self-effacing high school comedy, where members of the Student Council are elected by means of popularity contests. Kurimu Sakurano is the current President of the Student Council, along with Chizuru Akaba, the Council’s Secretary, Vice-President Minatsu Shiina, and her sister and Council Treasurer, Mafuyu Shiina. Rounding out this stellar cast is one male member, however: Ken Sugisaki, who acquired the coveted Student Council “Blue Chip” seat for Vice-President by being the top academic scorer on campus.
Although the majority of the Council is composed of popular students who are good-looking, this particular Council is a rogue’s gallery of peccadilloes and human foibles. Sakurano, despite being a senior, is quite small for her age and still very childish in both her looks and behavior, much to the amusement of her fellow Council members and Sugisaki’s frequent bemusement. Chizuru can be mature and poised one minute and viciously sadistic the next, as in one scene where she brain-washes both Sugisaki and Sakurano. Minatsu is not only a top athlete in the school, but a bit of a shonen and yuri manga fan, and her sister Mafuyu is an incorrigible boy’s love otaku, constantly fantasizing about Sugisaki in all sorts of romantic scenarios with another male student named Nakameguru, much to Sugisaki’s chagrin. And then there’s Sugisaki himself, whose brain-damaged obsessions with harem anime and eroge, or erotic games, frequently drives his fellow Council members into apoplexy, resulting in all manner of breakage, bedlam, and hilarity.
The two series revolve around the day-to-day interactions between the members of the Student Council and members of the Academy’s student body, including a nosy reporter for the school newspaper who’s constantly trying to discredit Sakurano and the other members with racy headlines about all sorts of dirt – usually untrue – that she’s uncovered about the Student Council, which already has a reputation for strange behavior. Episodes frequently start with some opening statement written boldly on the whiteboard by President Sakurano, who’s always got some high-flown sentiment or idea for that day’s meeting, but it quickly descends into complete chaos, usually because of Sugisaki, who refers to the Council as his “harem,” with predictable results.
In the second series the story arc takes us deeper into the lives of the Council members themselves, particularly Sugisaki, who we learn has deep personal reasons for wanting to be on the Council. The series makes fun of itself quite frequently, even referring to the light novel series that it’s based on in later episodes. However, it also delves deeply into the ties and bonds that human beings from diverse backgrounds can make, even when they seem to be diametrically opposed in every sense, as is frequently the case between Sugisaki and Sakurano, or “Aka-chan,” as Chizuru refers to her.
Student Council’s Discretion is currently streaming for free on Crunchyroll. I highly recommend this series, especially if you’re a fan of one or more of the genres of anime and manga that it frequently pokes fun at. Enjoy Student Council’s Discretion for the laughs, but stay for the story, too.