Random Curiosity

Osomatsu-san – 01

「ふっかつ おそ松くん」 ()
“Resurrected Osomatsu-kun”

Osomatsu-san may put your conventional ideas of how comedy works to the test.

Osomatsu-san is the first of my sleeper picks this season (well – I only had two, and one of them turned out to be a short), and it delivers the goods with the funniest episode of the season so far (except perhaps for One Punch Man).  But as anime comedies go, it’s certainly an odd one – all the more so if you’re a foreigner who wasn’t watching anime until years after the series it’s based on ended.

The first hurdle for this series, to be blunt, was whether it was going to be watchable at all.  I suspected no one would stream or sub it (there aren’t many groups left that actually translate and sub, thanks to streaming), as that usually seems to be the fate of shows like this one.  But I suppose one of the nice things about having so many competitive streaming services now is that fewer non-otaku series like this one slip through the cracks.  And Osomatsu-san was picked up by the best one, Crunchyroll (though I also like what I’ve seen of Daisuki so far).

The thing is, I know next to nothing about Osomatsu-kun - the manga (1962-1988) and anime (1988-1989) this series is based on (in fact this revival was produced to honor the 80th birthday of the mangaka, Akatsuka Fujio).  And on the surface, it would appear that most of the comedy in the show is based on understanding the context – if you don’t get what’s being satirized or spoofed, why would you laugh at it?

Yet, oddly enough I did – and a lot, too.  Why is that?  I think there are several reasons, starting with the fact that the humor here is pretty universal.  Osomatsu-kun was pretty archetypical of the Japanese family comedy of the Showa era, and the modern tropes it pokes fun at are familiar to every serious anime fan on the planet.  There’s also the fact that Fujita Yoichi is one of the directors of Gintama - he directed the underrated comedy Binbougami Ga! too – and he brings some of the Gintama staff with him.  These are obviously folks who know how to make anime funny.

The idea here is that the original six Matsuno septuplets (played by an all-star cast of Sakurai Takahiro, Kamiya Hiroshi, Ono Daisuke, Irino Miyu, Fukuyama Jun and Nakamura Yuuichi – several of whom do an admirable job of disguising themselves) are launching a new anime, and eldest brother Osomatsu hatches a plan to make their dated Showa personas – and those of their wacky supporting cast – seem fresh and up to date.  That means becoming on idol group “F6” – and enrolling at the “BL Academy” and perpetrating every modern boy-anime cliche there is.

Again, I acknowledge some of this would have been even funnier with a deeper grounding in the original series.  But the parodies, from the sports “big thee” of Haikyuu, Kurobas and Yowapeda to Attack on Titan itself, are spot-on.  And the notion of a bunch of Showa characters trying to make it in the cutthroat “anime warring states era” is pretty hilarious.  There are no sacred cows here, and the humor is pretty fearless.

This appears to be one of those premieres that’s very different from the show itself, so a longer-term judgment will have to wait – the whole F6/BL thing was apparently a one-episode setup.  But the fish out of water story of Showa kids trying to impress the Ikebukuro crowd will likely continue to drive the series, and as such the ground is spectacularly fertile for parody.  Simply put there’s an awful lot there begging to be made fun of, and this series seems more than willing to take up the challenge.  Even if you’ve never seen an episode of Osomatsu-kun or read the manga, if you’re an anime fan I suspect you’ll find this revival hits pretty close to home – in a good way.

 

OP Sequence

OP: 「はなまるぴっぴはよいこだけ」 (Hanamaru Pippi wa Yoiko dake) by (AOP)

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「SIX SAME FACES ~今夜は最高!!!!!!~」 (SIX SAME FACES ~Konya wa Saikou!!!!!!) by (VOICE)

Preview

October 8, 2015 at 7:04 am
13 comments »
  • October 8, 2015 at 7:41 amdanes256

    i really thought they’re making osomatsu-san to an idol anime

  • October 8, 2015 at 8:06 amYukie

    This premiere completely floored me. I really should’ve known, considering it ticks off so many boxes: my favorite comedic seiyuus all in one show, fantastic music, even more fantastic animation, and Gintama staff(?!) What a nice surprise. The meta humor definitely has Gintama staff’s handprints all over it lol. I was laughing so much, particularly when they all adopted Kise-speak and when Totoro came out of a pokeball. Hope it continues in the same vein.

  • October 8, 2015 at 9:40 amAmiluhur

    “BL Academy for mesmerizingly good looking people”

    I died while reading this line.

  • October 8, 2015 at 10:03 amkuroko

    when they beacme idol i tought oh my god whyyyy don’t tell me they will copy uta no prince-sama ,i didn”t expect this anime to be this interesting i’m loving it

  • October 8, 2015 at 10:35 amBarzam

    Tumbling down: The anime

  • October 8, 2015 at 11:57 amstarss

    …. The hell!!??

    I saw these screenshots and the only thing I’m thinking is, “…. am I really seeing Osomatsu-san!?!”

  • October 8, 2015 at 3:48 pmAnimeFan

    My jaw dropped on the first 3 to 5 minutes at the style they were going, but once it sank in i couldn’t stop laughing lol

  • October 8, 2015 at 5:29 pmsauce

    next episode is osomatsu-san no yuutsu (melancholy of osomatsu-san). huehuehue can’t wait for parody of suzumiya haruhi

  • October 8, 2015 at 9:08 pmstroller

    aw they aren’t going with this bishie style on episode 2 onwards??

    • October 8, 2015 at 9:23 pmguardian enzo

      Console yourself with the fact that F6 good are already on-sale.

  • October 8, 2015 at 11:47 pmOnePunch_Guy

    OMG, this is probably the dark horse of the season!

  • October 9, 2015 at 7:23 amCVNOV15

    My first reaction was “DA-ME DA-ME-YO” after I saw the sextuplets repackaged as bishounens and Totoko becomes a Fujoshi.

    Probably because I am more familiar with the gag comedic anime genre from the Showa era.

  • October 20, 2015 at 7:37 pmWhyY

    the F6 setting while parady, also conveniently highlight the distinctive characteristic of the six brothers, who otherwise look identical…
    well played on that!