「最近の若い子」 (Saikin no Wakai Ko)
“Recent Young Child”
In the most recent Uramichi Oniisan, Uramichi is tasked with being emotionally prepared for the End-of-Year party. Luckily (or unluckily) for Uramichi, he now has to deal with someone with an even worse disposition with newbies Kikaku and Uebu aiming to ruin his holidays.
So far, Kikaku has been an entertaining new character with how he provides even more toxicity to Uramichi’s workplace. For a children’s television show where one of its principal actors espouses the hopelessness of growing up into an adult when they are doomed to inherit a broken world on fire, it’s hilarious that the scariest dude there is the new guy in the Merchandising department.
It’s hilarious how he endears himself to Uramichi as a mutual buzzkill, but also just as quickly distances himself from Uramichi by proving himself to be the one person working there who revels in his own nastiness. Eagerly forcing Uramichi to help him mass produce dolls because he projects his abandonment issues onto others is the kindest he gets.
Within the span of this episode, he singles out fellow newbie Uebu for making his job harder and dogpiling him with as much weapons-grade rage as he can, casually mentions spending his holidays with side-women, and throws a hideous mannequin he created into the holiday party’s bingo raffle. I’m impressed that they managed to make such a mean-spirited character who’s consistently hilarious and doesn’t try to get under the viewers’ skins.
He’s a miserable dude, but every joke that involves him in this episode lands so well because of how swiftly Uramichi’s dreams of finding a mutual pessimist in the office are dashed. Right when Kikaku lures him in with his “screw-it-all” energy, he is left disappointed once Kikaku proves to be an even gloomier bastard than he is.
Uebu is also a nice addition to the show with how distant he is from everyone else. In addition to being uninterested in 3D women, he has no consideration towards any of the other departments’ plans as he takes it upon himself to set up preorders for merch that doesn’t exist. The combination of arrogance and flakiness helps Uebu fit in with our miserable cast, even if it makes him an instant target of Kikaku’s fury.
With the Year-End Party making up a bulk of the episode, it also gives the other cast members some time to shine as well. It was sad to hear that both Iketeru and Uramichi both grew up with parents who had only gifted them items that would push them towards their specific career path, but the impact of this is immediately defused when Iketeru’s belief in Santa is brought into the equation.
It was also hilarious to see the GM’s daughter and grandson return with Uramichi being tasked to carry his heavy grandson while Iketeru is tasked with entertaining his fanatical daughter. Another development during the party was how Utano chose against her preferable gift to get her partner expensive beef. They don’t give us as much Utano and they barely move the needle on whether she really likes her partner or not, but at the very least, it gives us a small sign that Utano still looks out for the guy that she’s reluctantly with.