Seton Academy: Join the Pack! – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Seton Academy is a place for animals of all types to come and learn. Donkeys, Horses, Bears, even Wolfs and Humans too! But Mazama Jin, the only human Male at Seton Academy, hates animals with a passion. He wishes they’d all go extinct! His patience is then tested when Ookami Ranka, a Wolf girl, insists he join her pack! Ranka wants nothing more than to build a pack with all kinds of different animals, and she’s got her sights set on Jin first!
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The first thing you’ll notice as Seton Acamdemy starts is that all the female animals in the show look like human girls with very basic animal cosplay, aka fluffy ears/horns, tails, that’s it. Whereas all the male animals have got the full anthropomorphized look; animals standing on two of their feet and wearing human clothes. This immediately makes it obvious that the show is pandering to straight male viewers, refusing to deprive them of fantasy material and eye candy. While the sexuality isn’t overt and constant, it’s also hard to ignore especially when the end credits feature a future female character with a very, very generous bust. Also, in a later scene, three male bears surround a human female and grab her in a sexual manner, making for an uncomfortably strange sequence.
Tom: Outside of the blatant ecchi/fanservice justification for the female character designs, Seton Academy also suffers from a lack of narrative justification for the existence of its titular school. We don’t spend even one minute explaining why there’s a school for animals and humans, why animals can talk, why the female animals all look more human than animal, or anything. It’s a comedy, but even shows like Prison School put some explanation for why the world is the way it is before we get too far into things. As it stands Seton Academy opens with a ‘lol so random vibe’ thanks to its insistence on throwing us in the deep end. Once the show gets going however, and we’re able to swallow the premise, no matter how under-cooked it is, we start to get a sense for what Seton is going to be like week to week: It’s a comedy based around human-looking girls behaving like whatever animal they’re ‘cosplaying’ as, a few zoology facts here and there with periodic boats of full on groping, panty shots, and boobs.
Linny: Yes, Seton Academy can come off as a ‘lol so random’ comedy and maybe even feel familiar or worn to others thanks to the ever popular comedy set up of a frustrated and belligerent protagonist stuck in his least optimal situation along with a bumbling, rough simpleton character to be the bane of his existence. But what might save Seton Academy for some is that it does a decent job of playing around with its strange animal school setting. We get all sorts of gags such as taking down a vain zebra using zoology; or utilizing bear spray to get out of a dangerous situation. It even cracks jokes built upon the premise that these aren’t just your run of the mill animals but animals with human levels of knowledge and abilities thus making it come off as a comedy with some variety and creativity.
Tom: Another thing that helped me warm to the series was its emotional undercurrent. We come to learn midway through the connection both Jin and Ranka share. It’s pretty bog standard, predictably tropey stuff, but gives the show this thin message of general tolerance and accepting different people, in this case animals, but I digress. It’s not a big bonus, and it is a very, very tropey element, but it helped to give this otherwise light-hearted, whimsical comedy some depth. Like swallowed end of the pool but it’s there.
Linny: Besides a couple of stellar jokes, what really sells Seton Academy is its very adorable opening and ending credits which feature not only adorable voices but equally cute animation to really sell and grow the charm of its characters. If you like your comedies to feature furry characters, random comedy, and a dash of heart, then Seton Academy might turn out to be the comedy of the season for you. Everyone else may have to keep searching.
Tom: To be honest I started out low-key hating Seton Academy. The total lack of explanation/justification for its world really put me off. I wasn’t a big fan of the ‘lol so random’ tone it had going either. But by episode’s end it grew on me. Not enough that I see myself recommending it, but I do come away feeling like it has some value once we see how it’s going to toy with zoology and using its cute girls to behave like wild animals. That makes for some fun and bizarre imagery. If you like the idea of cute girls behaving like animals, a couple zoology facts along the way, and a drop of fanservice, Seton Academy seems like a decent enough Winter watch.
Seton Academy: Join the Pack! is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.