It tickles me to imagine “Photo Kano” as a mischievous alias Yoko Kanno assumes at parties whenever she feels like getting silly with the camera… and maybe that’s a sign of just how far my mind was drifting whilst watching this.
Look, it’s a high school harem show. It’s a cute little trifle, right? We're on the same page there, right? Past that, I found this show amusing for a number of reasons that honestly had more to do with my own wandering mind than the actual content…
First, the show’s kind-of funny for being a dramatization of that little chestnut about how taking up photography is one of the easiest ways to pick up pretty girls. The lead character doesn’t have much of a personality, and the premise of the show is essentially about him gathering a harem after just arbitrarily picking up a camera. No passion, or real enthusiasm, required.
Second, Japan has a very special place in its heart for that very special breed of over-eloquent, over-enthusiastic, almost-but-not-quite-charismatic pervs who always happen to hold some form of after-school club leadership. I’ve run into characters like this so often, over so many different shows, that I like to entertain the notion that they’re all just the same guy who really does have an infinite amount of free time to fill up.
Third, the show’s absolutely spot-on about there being a lot of redundancy in club rosters. I’ve run into plenty of Photo Club vs. Photography Club conflicts in my day, and they always exist because of silly disagreements you’d expect a reasonable scholastic board wouldn’t ever actually encourage.
Maybe there actually is an interesting premise in this blank-slate average Joe coming to a moral fork-in-a-road where he has to choose between hanging out with the Peeping Toms or the girls who are picking up cameras for ostensibly more wholesome fun. Actually, there’s maybe even some hilarious potential in him choosing to infiltrate the pervs… but such thinking seems a little beyond this fluff’s entertainment agenda, so I'll just leave it where it is.
Watch this episode, "Encounter" here and decide for yourself.