「時をかけるローマ人／白鳥の湖」 (Toki wo Kakeru Rōmajin / Hakuchō no Mizūmi)
“The Roman Who Leapt Through Time/Swan Lake”
「サンプーハット／皇帝の憂鬱」 (Sanpū Hatto / Kōsei no Yūutsu)
“Shampoo Hat/The Melancholy of the Emperor”
「湯のちから」 (Yu no Chikara)
“The Power of Baths”
Thermae Romae is a historical fiction work set in the 2nd century about a Roman architect. In the beginning of the first episode Lucius is told by his boss that his designs are outdated and that Rome is looking for something new and trendy in the field of architecture. He then goes out to a public (Roman) bathhouse to try and relax his stress away (after being fired) while brainstorming what could be something new and unique to his trade. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) he gets sucked into a mysterious drain only to end up in a foreign place.
Every episode has him traveling to the future where he finds some new inspiration from modern day luxuries. Once he passes out and returns to the past, he implements these new ideas as well as any person can in the 2nd century. Despite the language barrier he still manages in the foreign land of Japan. Most of this is due to his uncanny luck. For example, in the finale episode Lucius ends up at a Japanese spa resort. He is unable to pay for food he was served but was lucky enough to be eating with a pawn shop owner who told the restaurant owner that his silver Roman coin was valuable.
All of the comedy comes from Lucius’ reaction to our modern day inventions/ideas and his 2nd century recreations. It’s hard to explain why the show is funny but seeing him anguish over the novelty of inventions made by people who he first mistakes as slaves is interesting. He becomes a hero in Rome for his originality but secretly anguishes over the fact that the ideas were not his.
This show is done by DLE Inc. (Dream Link Entertainment) which is a studio that focuses on short flash animation series. This marks only the second time I’ve encountered their work. The first time I saw something made by them was when I watched Haiyoru! Nyaruani: Remember My Love(craft-sensei) which is also a short flash animation series based on a light novel.
From what I’ve seen from the manga, the anime stays faithful to the source material while trimming the fat. There isn’t much to be excited over when it comes to the visuals. There isn’t much “animation” in the series per se but it is still good enough for a show made with flash. The cast isn’t something to phone home about either. It is basically filled with unknowns which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For example, Ono Ryo, who is the Chief Creative Officer of DLE, does a fine job voicing Lucius.
In conclusion (TL;DR), this is a nice short series with a relatively original premise. If you haven’t seen it already, you should give it a chance. You might find that you like its quirky humor.
ED: 「テルマエ・ロマン」 (Thermae Roman) by チャットモンチー (Chatmonchy)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼
Watched all 6 eps and loved it.
Made me wonder: if someone from an early civilisation came to our timeline for a limited time, what sort of knowledge would our society offer to him to spur the most technological progress when they go back.
I’m a sucker for anything having to do with time travel. This anime screams time paradox.
same for me, unlisted. same for me.
Joking aside. Romans are crazy about art, architecture and engineering.
Anime of the year.
And I totally called this in the Winter Preview!
Finally! Someone at Random Curiosity making a review about Thermae Romae. The thing that drew me in was Lucius’s reactions when he finds that the “flat-faced tribe”: a.k.a. the Japanese, have outdone Rome’s achievements in culture yet again, especially the part where he praises Ramen as being above Rome’s finest delicacies.
The Roman Facepalm: https://randomc.net/image/Thermae%20Romae/Thermae%20Romae%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2006.jpg
How come one of 2012’s Best Anime is only in three episodes?
P.S. My fujoshi friends are now shipping Lucius x Hadrian (who is Broskander in Fate Zero) XD
Hmm this seems to be a promo for the upcoming live action : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0eqHjKlNYY
Yup, a movie is coming out. I would love to watch this.
lol, them “flat faced” Roman
Isn’t anybody reviewing Natsume Yuujinchou Shi? If only for the fact that the Manga and the anime has become even more ambiguously…effeminate of late.
I believe Enzo is covering it on his own website
There is a movie about it with Abe Hiroshi coming out this year: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0eqHjKlNYY
That old man looks like a freakin’ alien, and it’s awesome!
I might give this show a chance. At first glance i wasn’t going to start watching a show about naked roman dudes in a bath.
You should! It was worth it. I’m also not really sure why it was so enjoyable (other than Lucius being such a Large Ham), but it was. Plus it’s really short, so it’s easy to slip in among the more meaty series.
Kinda makes you wonder: Rome and Japan are the only well known civilization that has public bathes. Do you think there are others too?
We need a poker face meme with lucius face xD
This whole series had me in stitches. Partially because it’s satirical and partly because I can relate to Lucius reactions to Japaneses food (being part greek haha).
GOOD to have in the archive!
Surprised you blogged this. It’s arguably the bast anime of the year so far.
Truly deserving of the noitaminA slot, unlike some of the kiddy drivel (guilty Crap) that’s polluted that timeslot lately.
Five minutes in.
The poster in the background, for “Thermae, Roma.”
Abe Hiroshi doing the live action is what made me watch the anime in the first place. :3 Loved the tip of the hat to him.
Loved this series, glad to see it blogged here. I found myself laughing a lot during its short, but good, run. If you haven’t seen it yet, go see it. It’s funny.
I felt a little sorry for Lucius when he became Hadrian’s “pet”… but not bad enough to keep from laughing about the wisecracks that the centurions (and everyone else) made about it. XD
Glad you blogged this unlisted, kind of assumed it would be overlooked seeing as its only 3 episodes.
I’m still not sure what was amusing about the show either, it just is. Kind of sad it was so short. I wouldn’t mind seeing more. Definitely interested in seeing how the ridiculousness translates into live action with flat faces playing romans no less.
The animation is bad mostly except for Lucius and some of the more important character’s faces but the story is good, if somewhat repetitive. The contrast of what Lucius’ copied bottles vs the real modern stuff is funny as well as his reactions to modern stuff like thinking there’s a band playing behind the toilet.
It does make me interested in watching the live action series. Abe Hiroshi is a great comedian and Aya Ueto is very pretty.
Hehe love the series. I’m surprised that they actually made a live action movie though!
Should be fun! …except that Japanese people are acting as Romans… -_- that sort of ruins the joke, doesn’t it?