Osomatsu-san – 02

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Context is important, but humor can be universal.

It’s funny the things that strike a chord with you in watching anime, and how that impacts the experience of watching it.  I have very little knowledge of the original Osomatsu-kun, as I said last week – and one of the remarkable things about the premiere is that it was as funny as it was even without that foundation.  But as soon as I saw Osomatsu and Todomatsu fishing, I was connected – because that fishing hole is right next to Ichigaya Station, which was one stop away from my Tokyo apartment in Kagurazaka (Golden Time was set in the same neighborhood). I used to walk down there for ramen a lot, in fact, and it always struck me as weird that there was this big, square fishing hole with a bunch of old dudes right next to the Chuo Line tracks.

Whether or not you have a personal connection to the comedy in Osomatsu-san, I still think this show is pretty damn funny.  Many anime comedies, in fact, are quite steeped in Japanese pop culture, but somehow the best of them – stuff like Hoozuki no Reitetsu – seem to work even without the decoder ring.  Funny is funny, I guess – and Osomatsu-san is funny.  The basic premise is straightforward enough that any anime fan can grasp it instantly, and the comedy takes off from there.

As expected, things dialed back a bit from the madness of the premiere, and the series settles in as a satirical take on the Matsuno septuplets struggling to adapt to life as adults in modern Japan. Their individual personalities are instantly reconizable – they’re archetypes after all, and the A-list seiyuu list knows how to work that fact.  And the joke is a good one that manages to be a broader observation of young adulthood too – six boys from the Showa Era forced to try and cut it in the age of Abe.

The humor here is pretty weird shit – the ass-hair stuff, and the whole extended gag about old guys in the toilet.  I loved the scene where Choromasu is eyeing the two pretty girls on the bridge, and how different the world from his perspective is from reality.  The whole “black factory” chapter is pretty dark and surreal, and the montage of the septuplets on the assembly line (creating Dayon faces) is really well-done.  Not to mention Osomatsu embarrassing the hell out of his brother at the “Nyan” event, asking her to have sex with him about 10 different ways. Osomatsu-san is pretty random, pretty shameless, and very Japanese – but if you come into it with the right mindset, I think it’s seriously funny comedy anyone can appreciate.

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5 comments

  1. N

    I did't find this episode as funny as the first, but it has heart. The satirical take on adulthood and family relationship are surprisingly sharp. Especially when the number of anime that talk about real life trial is so low. Ironic that a show with such ridiculous humour can be more realistic than most serious anime.

  2. e

    The comment above nailed the serious undertones already, so… Silly mode alert:
    'The humor here is pretty weird shit – the ass-hair stuff, and the whole extended gag about old guys in the toilet.' Smells like pun here.
    The disco pants! The Asura jelly (is that edible btw?) statue! S**! S**! S**!The black humour of the black fabric! Dark&mysterious glasses wannabe delusions! The (de)idealization of siblings bonds vs only child! Cats!
    It works. And I really like both the colour palette (She-nata's Mom would approve I'm sure) and the animations itself, OP+ED included. Among the new non-sequels of the season this is my favourite so far.

  3. C

    I liked this episode more than the first, it was much funnier for me, and the visual style is just wonderful.
    I really liked the touch of having Dayons appear in the background in the second half of the episode, after they were mass produced in the "black factory". It's little touches like that that really sell you into a series. (:

  4. A

    After last week's episode, I was prepared for anything and dang was this hilarious! The comedy is definitely universal enough to be enjoyable with the occasional culture references. This episode I think helped distinguish the sextuplets (*ahem* not "septuplets") better than the pilot too: Karamatsu tries to act cool, Todomatsu seems sort of a ladies man, Jyushimatsu is kind of dopey and fun-loving, and Ichimatsu seems a bit of a loner. And Osomatsu is kinda self-explanatory. . . . I'm sure (hope) it will flesh out a little more as time goes on though.

    I checked out this show solely because of your write-up on episode 1, so place another series on the Enzo successful recommendations list!

  5. C

    This episode sealed the deal. I can't believe it managed to be so hilarious, while being the next one after the fantastic premiere.

    This is most definitely gonna be comedy show of the year.

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