We are introduced to the main cast’s trio – Hanako Honda, Olivia, and Kasumi Nomura. They make up the heart and soul of this show as every episode deals with their daily life adventures. Together, they are the Pastimers Club. As the group’s most energetic girl, Hanako often gets her classmates to play games at school. These games usually end up being formulated with outrageous rules and ideas. Her classmate Olivia pretends to be an American with broken Japanese to fit with the crowd. Finally, Kasumi is the studious girl in the show with a dislike of playing games. With such an oddball cast, you’d wonder how this show can connect with the audience. Well, stop. Don’t think hard about this show because if you do, there won’t be enjoyment coming from it. Asobi Asobase’s key to selling itself is the absurd humour. Nothing will probably ever make sense in the end, and it doesn’t need to be. These girls’ games have high stakes, too, such as the loser being having to lick armpits. While this sets up for anticipating who the victor or loser will be, the sheer thrill of getting to the outcome always ends up in an outrageously humorous manner.
The leading trio carries most of the show, but some of the supporting cast also gets their moments of fame. Characters like Chisato Higuchi makes a fool of herself despite being a teacher. Oka adds her taste to occult games to bring out this show’s black comedy. Characters like Tsugumi Azora become a source of feminine jokes because of her appearance. On the contrary, the show also loves to make fun of masculinity with characters like Takayanagi. If you don’t believe me, look at her face and tell me if she is manly or not. We even have a butler in the show by Maeda, who would do anything for Hanako. As you may guess, it leads to hilarious moments like when he shoots beams from his butt. There’s more on that list, but the general idea is that Asobi Asobase doesn’t care about whether it makes sense or not. It cares about being entertaining.
By the time you read up to here, the consensus is probably to accept this for what it is or not. It’s an easy decision as the show isn’t hiding its intentions from the moment the girls appeared on the screen. I’m not going to lie, though. Some episodes stand out more than others. However, each episode contains multiple segments where at least one stands out more than the rest.
In some cases, you may end up liking them all equally or hate them altogether. There are also so many jokes in this show that ranges from many categories to the point where you may think everything may be a parody. Believe it or not, it’s more about making its viewers laugh rather than looking for attention.
What also did catch my attention is the character expressions. Watching Asobi Asobase is like the show challenging you to laugh at how characters react. It never takes a step back to showcase how mean the characters can be. Add to their hyperactive personalities, and you get absurd humour. The artwork is also mostly soft with palette colouring. Yet, it’s never hard to take eyes off the Pastime Club as they stand out above all else that’s going on in every scene. Character designs in the show are delicate, with the main cast as teenage girls. Others, such as Oka and Takayanagi, stand out with their unique appearances. The theme songs are sung by the main characters where every lyric can easily catch your attention. As gimmicky as everything sounds, I have no shadow of a doubt that the show knew what it was doing all along.