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The Spring 2024 Anime Preview Guide
Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again

How would you rate episode 1 of
Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again ?
Community score: 2.9

What is this?


Elderly husband and wife Shōzō and Ine Saitō live a quiet life in Aomori harvesting apples. One day, they wake up and find their physical age restored to their 20s.

Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again is based on the Jiisan Baasan Wakagaeru manga series written by Kagiri Araido. The anime series is streaming on Crunchyroll on Sundays.

How was the first episode?

Richard Eisenbeis

I should dislike this show. Just yesterday, I wrote about how I don't enjoy slice-of-life in general and find it more boring than fun. Frankly, Grandpa and Grandma Turn Young Again is about as Slice-of-Life as you can get. I mean, this episode features such exciting events as “hanging out with the grandkid” and “going to the intercity field day.”

This show is centered around a simple idea: “What if a 90-year-old couple was suddenly in their 20s again?” It's a giant thought experiment that puts our not-so-elderly old couple in various situations to see what comedy ensues. Yet, therein lies the key. What sells this show is not what happens but rather who it happens to.

Ine and Shouzou are a couple as in love now as they were when they got together 70 years ago. However, just because they have a house and a successful apple farm now, that doesn't mean they were doing so well back then. Their lives came with a lot of hardships—there were many important things they missed out on (like an actual honeymoon). Now they have a second chance to do those things—but just because their bodies changed that doesn't mean they are different people.

Thus, most of this episode is showcasing how their friends and family react to the change—and how they deal with the fact that they are once again stunningly attractive. While this does cause a bit of friction at times, there is a bond of 70 years of love between them—and that's something no one has a chance of damaging.

The show is heartwarming and delivers its fair share of lighthearted laughs. This is why I like it—or maybe it's just the sound of young people talking like ol' country folk that hits my funny bone in just the right way. (Those grins and other facial animations are fantastic as well.)

James Beckett

If nothing else, I can at least say that Grandpa and Grandma Turning Young Again is working with a unique premise. I mean, it's not unique in the grand scheme of all modern pop culture, at least not if you've ever seen Cocoon or that one awful segment that Steven Spielberg directed for Twilight Zone: The Movie, but it feels pretty novel for an anime rom-com. Grandma and Grandpa are in their twilight years, wondering how things would go if they could just turn back time and do it all over again, and then what do you know? Bam! Magical cartoon circumstances give them just that chance.

Unfortunately, Grandpa and Grandma Turning Young Again doesn't have much else going for it. For one, it immediately runs with the joke that Young Grandpa is such a hottie that he can even get his own daughter and granddaughter all hot and bothered. Now, to the show's credit, it doesn't do anything especially lewd or graphic with this weird gag, but it's still strange as hell foot to put forward for what is ostensibly supposed to be a cozy, family-friendly series. The real problem, though, is that the “Young Grandpa is a living adonis that threatens the fundamental laws of nature and human decency” is the only joke in the show that's halfway memorable. Everything else is about as understated and predictable as can be. Grandma and Grandpa run a marathon and beat all the young 'uns because they know each other so well. Grandma and Grandpa still act like old snoops.

It's not an awful show, and folks who really need something to put on in the background might get more out of it than me. Grandma and Grandpa just aren't my definition of a good time, though. It's boring, not especially pretty to look at, and the writing is even more tired and decrepit than Grandma and Grandpa were at the beginning of the show. I am sure that I will have completely forgotten about this series by the time I submit this review, except for all of the weird stuff about Grandpa being really hot.

Nicholas Dupree

Take a second to think about the title of this show. Consider, for a moment, what kind of jokes you would make if you were tasked with creating a comedy based on that title. You'd probably throw in some gags about our newly young octogenarians acting old-fashioned in their new bodies. Or maybe you'd have some punchlines about them struggling with modern technology. Most of you, I assume and hope, wouldn't fill roughly 70% of the first episode with gags about how everyone – including their family members – is now super thirsty for Young Grandpa and Young Grandma. Because that would be really goddamn weird.

The creators of this show seem to disagree, which is why the first 2/3rds of this premiere are just repetitive jokes about how incredibly handsome and sexy Young Grandpa is, especially to his daughter-in-law and granddaughter. It's not even a case of mistaken identity, either. The characters know that this is their father-in-law/grandfather. Yet there are multiple jokes about the granddaughter trying to cuckold her grandma, presented like it's a simple, innocent, natural impulse that anyone would have if they saw what their living ancestors looked like in their 20s. It'd be one thing if this were trying to be genuinely salacious or taboo, but the entire vibe of this show is that it's a mild, middle-of-the-road comedy. So the persistent incest vibes are that much more uncomfortable.

If it seems like I'm harping on that, it's only because there's really nothing else to this show. The form of comedy it prefers is to find a single punchline and just repeat it a dozen times until moving on to the next. Hey, Young Grandpa and Young Grandma are really good at sports now, despite being 80. Let's have them do Sports Things for about 5 minutes, and every joke is just that they're good at it because they're young again. Now that they're young, all their old friends think they're really hot! Let's have that gag run through the whole episode! If it weren't for the weird incest vibes, there wouldn't be anything to talk about. It's a bland, poorly structured comedy that slides off your brain the moment the episode ends.

It doesn't help that it just looks bad. Despite the insistence that Young Grandpa is such a hotty that he makes you want to recycle bloodlines, the characters are plain and uninteresting. The animation is limited and jerky, with a few moments where it feels like a cut is just missing, and they had to edit around it. One character wears a sweater with a digital texture so hazy that you'd swear it was rendered in 480p. So you're left with a show that's ugly in mostly boring ways, filled with bland jokes, and also makes you feel weirdly icky. No thanks.

Rebecca Silverman

In every Preview Guide, one show makes me feel bad for rating it so low. This seems to be it. The premise is just so good-natured – an elderly couple wakes up one day to discover that their bodies have become young again overnight. They're still in love and still act like themselves, and the first thing Shouzou tries to do is jump his wife because they're both young (and hot) again. It's a second chance, and caring for my parents as they age makes this more appealing than it otherwise might be.

But then there's the other stuff. It certainly is a decision to interrupt Shouzou and Ine's wedded bliss by having their granddaughter Mino fall for her newly-young grandfather the minute she sees him and to have their daughter-in-law Kaede also have to run to the bathroom to fan herself when confronted with a father-in-law younger and better looking than her husband. As the episode goes on, Mino seems to get over her inappropriate crush, and a love interest her age is introduced. However, it's too late to fully overpower some very uncomfortable points in the earlier moments. It is a little awkward that every female seems to find Shouzou irresistible, especially because from what we know about him and Ine in flashbacks, he doesn't appear to have been hot stuff back in the day. Ine had another man vying for her affections, but Shouzou had an arranged marriage partner who was in love with someone else. Is he meant to represent a variety of masculinity not seen in the modern world? Or am I grossly overthinking this, and is it just casual wish fulfillment?

This also feels like that show that would have worked as well, if not better, as a short. Although not as blatantly segmented as other series, it still is easily separated into isolated chunks, and watching it that way may help with the dragging pace that begins to plague it fairly early on. It probably doesn't help that the other characters they interact with aren't nearly as entertaining as the show wants them to be, and I can't help but think that this might have been sweeter with more of a solid focus on the eponymous couple. Still, it's something a little different in the slice-of-life vein, and questions such as, "Why is their hair still grey?" and "How does Shouzou keep getting buffer every time he's on screen?" can be brushed aside easily enough.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.

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