OP Sequence

OP: 「Story」by Maeshima Mayu

「 17年の長い年月を経て、ついにグランバハマルのファンタジー世界から戻ってきました」 (17-Nen no nagai nengetsu o hete, tsuini guranbahamaru no fantajii sekai kara modotte kimashita)
“I’m Finally Back From The Fantasy World Of Granbahamal After 17 Long Years”

Isekai Ojisan is this season’s hilarious home-life comedy about making ends meet with an enchanted uncle. Although the release schedule is gonna be all over the place for this one, they really nailed the comedy behind an otaku uncle having to cope with all of the changes that the world has gone through 17 years after the year 2000.


I’d like to apologize in advance since this is yet another post I’ve made on a Netflix series that wound up devolving into outright ranting about the platform. But my patience is wearing thin with having to deal with them as a middleman when they haven’t proven themselves to be reliable.

Yes, unfortunately, this is one of the shows that got swept up by Netflix’s ever-oppressive tentacles. Because of that, people in the States will have to wait until July 20th for their weekly stream to begin. But since Japan’s Netflix branch doesn’t seem as borderline obsessed with binge-watch culture or simulcasting weeks later, we still have access to Isekai Ojisan.

Now there are a few choices to be made: Kill the hype altogether by releasing an analysis a few weeks after everyone else has seen Episode 01, or watch it with everyone else using the episode that has already premiered in Japan. The first one would have been necessary if it came out in a massive batch for binging purposes. If the thousands upon thousands of comments I’ve had to sift through for my posts on Stone Ocean are of any indication, feasibly covering it would be as easy as finding beachfront properties in the Midwest. The same could be said for how many people were clamoring to engage with Little Witch Academia once our coverage ended and Netflix’s coverage began.

If I liked and appreciated Netflix as a company, I would have taken into consideration covering it at a later date. I mean, after all, it means I could put off this post until the end of the month. I don’t have any other premieres after this aside from Fuuto Tantei and Saikin Yatotta Maid ga Ayashii, so my slate wouldn’t have much on it before then aside from shows I picked up. The main problem here, however, is that I don’t like ‘em. Even if the fate of anime on Netflix is entirely up to the producers they play ball with, it is a terrible format to engage with if you treat seasonal anime as an opportunity to have water cooler talk with fellow anime fans online.

On top of this, I can’t recommend a platform where neat ideas and imaginative programming are entirely shelved if it’s not projected to do Boss Baby numbers or if you can act like you support LGBTQIA content yet elevate entertainers who are proudly on Team TERF. Not to mention how often they flirt with banning account sharing and adding paid advertising for their failing service. It’s frankly bullshit, and I would rather not suck up to them or watch their stock numbers go back up if they’ve learned absolutely nothing from the backlash they consistently receive.


I don’t blame Netflix for picking up the show. Isekai Ojisan fits squarely within the mold of The Way of the House-Husband and Kotaro Lives Alone as slice-of-life shows about the foibles that happen when nutty older men are stuck having to navigate through unknown territory. They seem to be releasing it under the same scheduling method as Komi-san Can’t Communicate, which also fits the mold of being an anime that could easily pass off as a J-Drama about awkward people having to live amongst each other.

Strategically, Isekai Ojisan taps into both the wackiness of using extraordinary powers in the real world and the humor that comes from making sense of an otherwise cruel and bleak fantasy world. I’m also a sucker for supernatural anime where people apply fantasy elements to an ordinary modern-day setting. If a show manages to have a guy using magic tricks on par with an isekai hero’s abilities to make money on YouTube, you’ve already won me over, content-wise.

While it leans on being a comedy, it’s also important to note that there is still an emotional core to the uncle by virtue of the fact that he only really has his nephew Takafumi to lean on. Despite Takafumi’s insistence on using his uncle as an instant meal ticket, he’s also the only person who had his uncle’s back with Takafumi’s family fighting over whether to keep him alive. With Takafumi’s mom outright refusing to ever see him again, there are far more issues the uncle will have to face beyond adjusting to newer tech.


What was funny about the first episode is how much of it centered around the uncle having to come to terms with how he’ll have to deal with the state of the world by the time 2017 rolls around. Buttons and screen-flipping are no longer a selling point for newfangled cellular phones, SEGA bowed out of the console wars to make some of the best third-party games out there, and there is a feasible way to make money off of filming yourself and submitting the videos online.

It’s a natural environment for someone as proudly deep in otaku culture as the uncle, but even so, his attachment to how life used to be in the year 2000 paints his personal interaction with contemporary sensibilities. It doesn’t matter if you can pull up your map on a smartphone because he just wants what was seen as cutting edge at the beginning of the new millennium.

SEGA’s downfall was painful enough to be comparable to the atrocities he encountered in the isekai world of Granbahamal and erasing the memory of knowing we won’t get a Dreamcast 2 allows him to proudly flex his stubborn otaku tendency of avoiding what’s cool. As amazing as the Yakuza games, the Valkyria Chronicles games, and eventually acquiring Atlus was, I can’t help but feel guilty about being too young to snag up Shenmue, Jet Set Radio, and Sonic Adventure 1 back when it could’ve potentially saved the uncle his sudden heartbreak.


The isekai aspects are also very welcome in this show as it mainly appears through flashbacks as the uncle tells Takafumi about how he had come out of a coma being well-versed in both magic and survival in an isekai.

It was tragically hilarious to see that he was hyper-aware of his ugliness because everyone initially thought he was an orc. It also adds an interesting element to the story that he had been widely shunned upon even arriving in the isekai, whether it be because he had an orc-face or because the world’s religious nuts didn’t appreciate his witchcraft.

Another hilarious thing about Takafumi’s uncle is how his experience in another world ended up causing him to accidentally foretell contemporary anime trends. His mind was still trapped in 2000, but Takafumi was mind-blown to hear about the elf girl’s attitude since he had always recognized the Tsundere trope as hitting its biggest stride in 2004.

Speaking of the elf girl, her presence holds a much higher significance to Takafumi’s uncle than he’d like to admit. As time goes on and we learn more crazy details about the man like how he gave her an engagement ring only to pawn it off, it’s easier to see why the elf girl had such complicated thoughts about the uncle.

At the moment, Isekai Ojisan remains a victim of its circumstances as another hilarious yet meaningful domestic comedy snatched away by an underperforming and overambitious streaming site. It sucks because the show holds a ton of promise and potential as a genuinely funny comedy packed with many laugh-out-loud moments. I’d just need some time to gauge if it’s a worthwhile venture to have to deal with having the discussion knee-capped by the decision to push a wider release back to the 26th.


  1. When I see the comments about Netflix I can’t help thinking that Takafumi’s uncle lived in a simpler time when you could simply rent a movie at Blockbuster without worrying about socially progressive narratives.

    I personally enjoyed it but I think it might suffer from a limited demographic as if you didn’t grow up with flick phones or playing Sonic the Hedgehog you might miss out on the nostalgia.

    It’s also quite funny how people are slowly brainwashed since my reaction to seeing a Tsundere is completely different now to when it first appeared when I assumed only a masochist would want to hook up with one.

  2. I found the first episode hilarious, even more than I had expected. I’m glad I always watch my anime from Japanese sites, because otherwise I too would’ve been frustrated with Netflix for their weirda$$ control/binge-watching agenda.

    I love Jun Fukuyama, so as soon as I saw his name on the VA list I was going to watch it, but Takehito Koyasu is also killing it for me. If Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer’s adaptation ends up trash, this will probably be one of my top picks for the season.

    I have no memory of when tsundere characters came on the scene, and I’m glad
    the anime is pointing it out (and also you reiterating it), because I have almost no memory of when certain things emerged after ~25 years of watching anime.

    Finally, when they said he was 17 when he went “into a coma” and emerged 17 years later, I had to quickly do the math… the guy is younger than me but looks like he’s in his late 40’s. Harsh. I feel attacked. >_< (lol)


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