Seton Academy: Join the Pack!

Seton Academy: Join the Pack!

Seton Academy: Join the Pack! anime series cover art
Seton Academy: Join the Pack!

Series Overview

Seton Academy: Join the Pack! (Murenase! Seton Gakuen / 群れなせ!シートン学園) is a comedy series about a high school for animals. But while the idea of a school for animals may be unique, the basic premise of the show really isn’t. It focuses on a club comprised of misfits who eventually break down social boundaries through the power of friendship.

And while that may not sound interesting to a lot of people, it really is a good comedy with a lot of unique ideas. The fact that all the students are animals (there are two humans) makes for a lot of great animal-related gags. For example, the male protagonist has a male giraffe admirer because most giraffe sex is actually homosexual (happy pride month).

There are many random animal facts featured throughout the series, and just about all of them are used for a gag at one point or another. One of the long-running gags involves the class president who’s a naked mole-rat. Because of her species, she’s always in her underwear and views wearing clothes the same way we would view not wearing them.

Also, a great gag in the series is that all the female animals are humanoid and essentially look like human girls cosplaying the animals they’re supposed to be. But the male animals actually look like the animals they are, just with the ability to stand on two feet.

But the gags I really like are the ones that don’t really apply to the characters even if they would have applied to the real-life animals. In episode 12, marbles are spilled around a pygmy mammoth girl to stop her from moving. A normal mammoth wouldn’t want to step on the marbles, but this girl could easily just avoid them.

Cooking Club Members

Jin Mazama is the protagonist of the series. He’s a human male who’s speciest — he hates all non-human animals. I forget why he’s at Seton Academy in the first place, but this obviously wasn’t his first choice of school. Jin also has a crush on a human girl by the name of Hitomi.

Hitomi Hino, while being a human like Jin, is not speciest. She embraces members of all species and frequently invites the other members of the cooking club to activities Jin planned to be for just the two of them.

Ranka Ookami is a small, pink (for some reason) wolf. She’s the president of the cooking club, and the club functions as her “pack.” Ranka’s dream is to have a pack made up of all different species — and so far she’s doing a good job.

The cooking club from the anime series Seton Academy: Join the Pack!
The cooking club

Miyubi Shishio is a three-toed sloth, and probably my favorite member of the six core cooking club members. There are a few, good, running gags related to Miyubi, including her immensely slow speed and the fact that she “dies” any time she exerts herself in any way.

Meimei is a panda and another great character. She’s basically a school idol and is used to everyone bending over backward to appease her. However, Jin doesn’t do this, and we learn that Meimei is a bit of a masochist.

The final main member of the club is Yukari Komori, my personal least favorite. Yukari is a koala with some rather interesting gags associated with her.

Additional club members include Kurumi Nekomai (a lazy cat of some sort), Iena Madaraba (a genderfluid hyena), and An Anetani (a neanderthal).

Other Characters & Stuff

I’ve tagged late-series spoilers so far in this review, but for this section, they’re going to go untagged. Proceed with caution.

Getting to some spoilers right away, let’s just briefly go over one of the parts of the series I think was a potentially missed opportunity: the placement of the extinct species. As the series currently is, the students of Seton Academy are extant animal species, while the students of another school are extinct animal species (from the past few ten thousand years).

My issue with this is that the teachers of Seton Academy are dinosaurs (extinct 65 million years ago) and the principal is a Peytoia (extinct 488 million years ago). Since the teachers and principal were introduced long before the extinct animal students, it gave the impression that the longer ago an animal went extinct, the older they were portrayed to be in the series.

So following this logic, the recently extinct animals shouldn’t be from another school — they should be the upperclassmen. Or they should have at least been college students. That would have fit into the structure set up at the beginning of the series.

Donkey: The Gathering from the anime series Seton Academy: Join the Pack!
Donkey: The Gathering

With my main complaint out of the way, let’s now get into some of the fun aspects of the series I liked, such as the donkeys (and zebra) being nerds who play Donkey: The Gathering. Many of the species groups are depicted as different cliques. So while the donkeys are nerds, the bears and other predators are all thugs (they reminded me of Cromartie High School).

Also, what’s probably my favorite running gag with side characters involved King Shishino (a male lion) and Shiho Ihara (a female antelope). Normally lions would prey on antelope, but King is actually in love with Shiho. Their dynamic is great, especially when at the end of the series King literally fights Shiho’s father for permission to date her.

Conclusion

In the end, I gave Seton Academy: Join the Pack! a 7/10. It’s a good comedy series that I think more people should watch. When it originally began airing I wasn’t watching it because I thought it looked pretty dumb, but once some of my friends mentioned how good it was I picked it up. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I also have to say that both the OP and ED for this series are actually great. It’s hard to put what makes them so good into words though, so just go watch them for yourself.

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