As anime fans, we’re exposed to some incredibly offbeat stuff.
And, by offbeat, I mean “weird.” I’m talking about shows starring talking turds, comedies where a narrator details a woman’s death in scientific detail, and OVAs that consist of little more than a cute girl sleeping. And, really, if you hang around popular fan haunts long enough, it’s easy to think you’ve seen everything after a while.
Still, there will always be that one thing that causes people to take pause and say “What the hell is that?”
Shimajiro is a popular kid’s character in Japan, who’s been the star of four long-running anime shows, as well as a movie. His adorable little mug adorns shirts, toys, and the usual stuff that gets marketed to the under-four demographic.
Possibly the most unusual thing that could be mentioned, though, is Shimajiro: Toilet Training: a three-part series of shorts about, well, potty training.
Normally, this wouldn’t be noteworthy. One would assume that the two go hand in hand, given the target audience. That said, though, Shimajiro’s experiences are possibly one of the most surreal out there. We’re talking about a world of talking toilets with dead, soulless eyes. We’re talking about a show where excrement literally screams for help, and where EVERYONE joins in song when it’s time to blaze a trail on the Hershey Highway.
This all pales in comparison, though, to the finale: a short live action sketch, which features a kid grunting on the throne, as the upbeat melody plays. It’s this moment that really just seals the short as an unintentionally hilarious oddity.
The sequel sees Shimajiro tackling public washrooms. And yes, it’s just as bizarre, with singing pee buckets, and an anthropomorphic version of a squat toilet that begs to be crapped on. It’s strange, it’s a little unsettling, but it’s undeniably worth inflicting on friends and enemies alike.