The Fall 2017 Anime Preview Guide
Mr. Osomatsu 2nd Season
How would you rate episode 1 of
Mr. Osomatsu (TV 2) ?
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How was the first episode?
Like the series premiere (which is regrettably no longer available), Mr. Osomatsu's second season opener gets incredibly meta. The first half of the episode explores how the 20-year-old Matsunos are dealing with their newfound celebrity (particularly among the fujoshi set) as their 10-year-old Osomatsu-kun incarnations watch in horror. The boys allowing fame to go to their heads and using their newly acquired riches to finance sickeningly indulgent lifestyles is absolutely in-character for each of the Matsunos, even the seemingly straight-laced Choromatsu. Iyami and Chibita's shock at these selfish, lethargic dregs of humanity attracting scores of adoring fangirls is spot-on and serves as a nice commentary on the unexpected success of the first season.
After all, when you get right down to it, these characters have few (if any) redeeming qualities, so it's easy to be confounded by how beloved they've become. The second half, in which the brothers envision themselves living respectable adult lives, is a slower burn than the first, but in true Mr. Osomatsu fashion, things eventually go off the rails in a delightfully twisted manner. Once Osomatsu reunites with his brothers and we get a glimpse of their “proper” lives, the show is back in full form: random, hilarious, and unflinchingly absurd. In the end, the (fictional) viewing public is dissatisfied with both versions of the show, possibly serving as a meta-commentary on anime fandom in general.
The first season was always strongest when it stuck to telling one or two stories an episode. This isn't to say that I didn't enjoy the skit-driven installments, but the longer stories tended to leave more of an impression. That being the case, I was pleased to see the premiere adopt this format, though I doubt every episode of season 2 will do the same. As much as I enjoy random wackiness, I like having a small narrative hook on which to hang it.
Given this show's general lack of continuity, I can't really think of a bad jumping-on point, and I'd argue that this latest installment is as good a point as any for new fans to climb aboard. Of course, viewers familiar with the first season are likely to get more out of the jokes, particularly in the first half. For existing fans, this episode is more of the same—and that's not a bad thing, especially after a lengthy hiatus. Although Choromatsu laments that being off the air for a year and a half stands to compromise the show's popularity, that's unlikely to happen if the current level of quality is maintained.
One of the most popular (and transgressive) anime comedies of all time has returned! Not only did Osomatsu-san and his five terrible brothers become an almost unprecedented mainstream phenomenon in Japan, its episodes repeatedly came under fire from copyright holders and incensed parents alike for its choices of parody content. Anime companies didn't appreciate its "disrespectful" takes on extremely recent series, and parents didn't appreciate the show's blatant disregard for decency in both its humor and lack of morals. (No matter what lessons they almost-learn along the way, all six Matsus remain wholly irredeemable manchildren.) You can't even watch the first episode of Mr. Osomatsu anymore, since it was pulled to avoid ensuing lawsuits. So I guess it shouldn't come as a surprise that the first episode of season two is entirely about this "problem" of being defined by both success and controversy. (Financially speaking, it's probably a great problem to have.)
Mr. Osomatsu 2nd Season doubles down on its nonsensical indecency and then some, but fortunately for its enormous army of fans, the success of its first season allows this premiere to push the envelope with jaw-dropping style. This episode's animation is somehow bursting with both excess and nuance, with a new joke in almost every shot carried by dozens of absolutely awful (amazing) comedic flourishes. The celebrity Matsus aren't just fat slobs, they're show-stoppingly slobbish from little details like Osomatsu's fly stretching open as he moves his legs to garish displays like the Tetsuo-esque mountain of flesh Jyushimatsu has become. Even before we get to the stylistic casserole of the episode's second half, the animators are having a field day tossing mad references and grotesque expressions into an orgy of comedic excess you just can't look away from.
If you prefer Mr. Osomatsu's brand of absurdity to its pure grossout humor, you'll have a field day with the second half, where Osomatsu-kun and his brothers try to undo their future selves' mistakes. Did you ever want to know what it would look like if Tsukasa Kotobuki (of Saber Marionette fame) made your name? No? Too f#%^&ing bad then! These more respectable Matsus throw every successful genre of anime at the wall to see what sticks, and the result would be painful if it wasn't so aesthetically impressive. (CG Jyushimatsu looks like he came right out of Stand By Me Doraemon!) In the end, there's just no pleasing some people, and things will return to the status quo for the rest of the season. Still, if this is the level of animation and comedy quality we can expect going forward, this second season is guaranteed to outshine its predecessor.
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