Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou – 12 (End) and Series Review

Tonkatsu Dj Agetarou really was the little series that could – but not as much as it could have.

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou - 12 -1I have nothing but good feelings for Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou itself, because it was a series that was full of nothing but good feelings.  Anything Akitarou Daichi does is going to be stylish and interesting, and Tonkatsu was certainly no exception.  It managed to be visually interesting and inventive on an obviously shoestring budget, and dealt with its subject material was an affection that was obvious through and through.

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou - 12 -2For me, there’s also the love affair with Shibuya.  This neighborhood really is the melting pot of Tokyo, the one ‘hood where almost everybody goes – the cool and the uncool, the local and the tourist, the young and the elderly and the skater and the punk and the hipster.  With most of Tokyo’s famous and important areas if someone asked you to sum their style or vibe up in a word, you could do it – but not Shibuya.  That’s because Shibuya is a little bit of all the others.

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou - 12 -3My only real disappointment with Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou is that it was too short.  11 minutes really isn’t enough for a series with this much to say, especially when you consider it only got 12 episodes.  This show really needed to be full-length of multiple cours, because it was barely able to scratch the surface of what it could have been.  That’s not to say the surface wasn’t damned fun and entertaining, and Akitarou-sensei is way too smart and seasoned to have ruined things by biting off more cutlet than he could chew.  I just wish he’d been given a chance at the whole meal.

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou - 12 -4The finale was about what one might have expected – the summation of the “Hey, kids – let’s put on a show!” theme that’s been a recurring one for the duration.  It just so happens that Lard City falls on the night of a highly unusual blizzard in Tokyo, which naturally causes problems (and memes galore).  Now, as it happens I was in Tokyo for the two biggest snowstorms in 50 years – and they happened exactly one week apart.  And I can tell you, the city does kind of go into dystopian mode when it happens.  And yes, someone invariably puts a hat on Hachiko to keep the snow off.

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou - 12 -6Long story short – Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou has to open the show at the ungodly early hour of 11:30 PM, not knowing if any of the invited guests will show up.  But one by one, they trickle in – Amakara hitching a ride from Harajuku (which is one stop on the Yamanote, a walk I’ve made in weather good and bad), Ikenosuke walking all the way from Ikebukuro (which is a flight of fancy given the weather – that’s like 8 miles) – showing his integrity despite his gruff demeanor.  And Dong-myeong makes it all the way back from Seoul – he does need a plane to get to Japan, but only as far as Fukuoka (which is FAR) from whence he hitches a ride on (top of) a truck That’s dedication.

Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou - 12 -7Having opened the show, Agetarou has one final role to play – he makes some Tonkatsu DJ pork soup to warm up the masses, and leaves it to Oily-san to heat them up.  Which the old war horse does in his own signature style, showing these youngsters a thing or two about kicking it old school.  Is it hokey?  Sure – but the tongue is thoroughly in-cheek, and it’s all comes from a good place.  This was a fun ride – I wish it had been the ride from Ikebukuro (or better yet Ikebukuro) to Shibuya rather than from Harajuku, but with oddball little series like this I’ve learned to be grateful for whatever I get.



  1. E

    I figured Dong-myeong was in Fukuoka because he had to take a ferry rather than the plane. (If you’ve never tried the JR Beetle, it’s pretty great. If you just want to get from Fukuoka to Busan and back, it’s faster door-to-door than a plane!)

  2. H

    I am seriously going to miss this show. All of the characters are lovable, it has a great sense of humour, and the music is actually pretty great. I’m still listening to a remix of ‘Rainy Lenny’. I get the feeling I’ll be coming back for re watches whenever I’m in need of a pick me up.

    I missed the Hachiko in the hat. That is adorable.

  3. e

    Could it have been more? Sure. But for the constraints they had they still managed to put out a delightful series that never failed to deliver good feelings and lift one’s spirit… while digging a hole in the watcher’s stomach. The meat cravings were strong wit this one, oh man XD.
    Concerning this final episode I was expecting mr mean rapper DJ to put on more of a fight before marching stoically to the event rescue but hey time constraints. In the end he too surrendered to the tonkatsu&music shonen’s irresistible power and joined the feelgood. Between the timing and the snow this episode built to a Xmas urban fairytale of sort, with miracle marches, miracle rides (Korean DJ was especially plus ultra), lard cubes wrapped like candy delivered by Oily Santa and Age&Friends skiing through the blizzard to bring the final gift to the party :,D. Aw <3 .
    I wish we could have glimpsed Age's future. But again, given the time available what we got is as enjoyable as his good bowl of soup. Something to cherish and support you when the world seems overcome by coldness and hostility. I'll miss it.

  4. R

    It was pure hokey but I was smiling so hard my cheeks hurt so as far as I’m concerned it doesn’t matter at all.

    I am going to hold out hope for the non-existent chance of a second season because like you said, 11 minutes is just too short. God this series was great. It was the perfect chill out and enjoy series of the week for me. AND IT MADE ME CRAVE TONKATSU EVERY TIME DAMMIT. There’s a Kimuktasu restaurant near me (yay Sawtelle and little Osaka) that’s delicious but so damn expensive but I never failed to get cravings every time.

    This show probably indirectly caused me to spend more on food these past few weeks than I have the rest of the year.

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