Chio’s School Road – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: Miyamo Chio, a first-year at the completely ordinary high school Samejima Academy. Chio just wants to get through her school life without standing out too much, but for some reason, all kinds of obstacles await her along the path she takes to school. Her long-time friend Nonomura Manana, who’s trying to quit being an otaku; the flawless Hosokawa Yuki, who occupies the top caste in the school; and lots of nameless people about town find themselves in Chio’s path as she employs the (useless) techniques she’s acquired from her Western video games in her daily efforts to get to school. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Chio’s School Road has some great gags taking advantage of its video game loving protagonist’s addiction to mixing real life and gaming. Not only that, our titular lead herself, Chio and her best friend, Manana are both such quirky high school girls that a lot of humour arises just from their daily interactions with each other and their ‘adventures’ together. However, there is something that tends to ever so often hamper all the great comedy and that is the show’s tendency to harp on the same punchline for far too long until it has lost any trace of what made it funny in the first place.
Tom: When Chio herself is the focus, Chio’s School Road is often producing the best content it can. Even Nonomura Manana, Chio’s best friend, is often a part of the stronger elements to the series. But Chio’s School Road boasts a three-girl main cast, yet that third girl featured heavily in the credits and even described in the synopsis above, Hosokawa Yuki, feels more a side chaarcter than a staple to the series. With only two leads to generate what is effectively Chio’s School Road’s best content, the series often dips into using side characters as additional plot lines. But these gags are far less successful, frequently bouncing between funny, not funny and simply too drawn out, killing a joke by allowing it to overstay its welcome. The show can even dip into offensive territory in this manner.
Linny: Building upon Tom’s point about offensive content, Chio’s School Road features a Kabadi (think playground style game like four-square) obsessed high school senior whose entire punchline is revealed to be her inner desire to grope other girls when playing kabadi with them. Even if you aren’t offended by the show potentially portraying an lgbt character in an unflattering manner/treated as nothing more than a punchline, then you’ll still likely be annoyed when the show spends way too much time depicting said character realizing/embracing her true reason for wanting to play kabadi. It quickly goes from a barely funny gag to completely overbearing and overdone by the second time it is featured in the show, with an extended sequence that goes on for far, far too long.
Tom: Chio’s School Road is still amusing, if only mildly so. The show has few highs, only a handful of sequences that stand out in my memory as actually getting me to laugh out loud. More often than not Chio’s School Road produces a chuckle at best and a thin smile at worst. Because of this Chio’s School Road feels too lukewarm to recommend, even if my experience with it has been positive, only just. If you’re starved for comedy this season, and Asobi Asobase isn’t doing it for you in the zany antics department, then Chio’s School Road might be worth a look in.
Linny: Chio’s School Road is an average comedy show at best. It definitely has some solid gags and will leave some in stitches. But at the same time, if you do not find yourself intrigued by the premise, you could safely give this a skip and not worry that you’re missing out on a gem by any measure. If shows that feature bizarre, high energy characters, smatterings of video game based humour and references are a high point of interest for you, then Chio’s School Road should be a nice fit but everyone else can give this a safe pass.