「先輩と後輩」 (Senpai to Kouhai)
“Senpai and Kouhai”
Uramichi Oniisan’s second episode dives into the ultimate horrors that face our cast of put-upon children’s show hosts when they have to confront the idea of relaxing on the weekend. As each of the actors and actresses decides how to use their free time, we get a nice character analysis of what each character represents to go along with the show’s numerous gags.
I had a great time with the segment on how the cast members of “Together with Maman” spend their Sundays before the work week begins. It gives you some good insight into how the characters operate and what we can expect from each of them as time goes on. You see glimpses of why Utano feels lonely even in her long-term relationship with a comedian as she has to stifle her laughter during a Manzai comedy sketch. Similarly, you understand what Uramichi was talking about when he was dressing down Usahara for his lack of fulfilling hobbies when Usahara has to rely on pachinko to fill his time in as he resorts to spending time with a man he openly finds unpleasant.
The most normal characters end up being Mitsuo for just enjoying his hobby of fishing and Iketeru for being into cooking. Iketeru even has a cute dog he takes with him when he needs to pick up some olive oil. He might still have a debilitating tendency to seize up in laughter at any mention of a low-brow pun, but facing it in his off-time looks like it’s far less harrowing than the psychological terrorism that comes from Uramichi wanting to remind him of the CHINCHIlla.
Episode 02 was also a good opportunity to play catch-up with some of the side characters that didn’t have as much presence in the premiere. Mainly, it was Utano who had the spotlight with the lament she had for a question the kids gave her about love. As it turns out, her personal life ended up making romance a hot-button topic for her as she broke down in tears while she lectured the kids not to jump into love as quickly as she did. With the picture that she paints of her boyfriend not being ready to commit to marriage or placing the latest JUMP over her Zexy magazine, her race to find someone to co-exist with ended up landing her in the same level of misery as her other co-workers.
I guess that’s the funny thing about Uramichi Oniisan. Where, at the end of the day, it’s a comedy that tackles the lost period of time of late 20-somethings who are still trying to find themselves just as they settle into a temporarily stable lifestyle. Uramichi might represent completely giving up on finding any kind of solace, but you also have the fear of being alone through Utano, the fear of not amounting to as much as you would’ve hoped through Usahara, and trying to find the few simple pleasures to keep you perked up like with Iketeru.
It also helps that it continues to be hilarious. I had a kick out of Derekida’s vindictive streak as he had a creepy bird puppet modeled after Uramichi’s sketch, had Usahara use it as his mouthpiece for calling out Uramichi, and had Uramichi dress as a spider because he captures the spider’s listless agony well.
What I’m enjoying the most about the anime’s sense of humor is how it alternates between relatable young adult humor and the absurd humor that comes from being unscrupulous in such a cheery backdrop. The moment where Uramichi decides to survey the kids on whether they want the bird puppet removed was hilarious, especially when one of the children unintentionally dunks on him for not valuing his friends.
Likewise, it’s hard not to chuckle with Uramichi’s short burst of energy in the morning just for it all to plummet down immediately after getting ready in his green room. It’ll be more than exciting to see what else Uramichi Oniisan has up its sleeve throughout the season with its chaotic cast and optimistically pessimistic comedy.