Mr. Osomatsu Season 2
by Anne Lauenroth,
How would you rate episode 14 of
Mr. Osomatsu (TV 2) ?
As expected, Mr. Osomatsu kicks off 2018 with giggles and grossne--hold on. There's Sanematsu. Things are going to get depressing. And it's really depressing to think about getting the chance to hang out with our mischievous, selfish, NEET sextuplets being the stuff of Sanematsu's dying dreams. Granted, these are the sunset-colored, idealized versions of regular Matsunos, and hanging out with them involves more activities of the melancholic reminiscence of adolescent summers variety instead of just losing money at the races.
After several seconds of blackness, Osomatsu being compassionate is already a foreboding sign that all that lovely watermelon-splitting and sand-digging Sanematsu stumbles upon after (sadly not) waking up from his nightmarish life couldn't be real. Sending the saddest of alternate reality Matsus back only to die in his own spoilerific preview is just cruel.
The Sanematsu segments are Mr. Osomatsu at its most miserable – certainly not because they're bad. Topping season one's reveal of Sanematsu's "brothers" being the sad products of his imagination with him actually getting to meet them (well, their alternative reality versions) is both brilliant and brutal. It's hard to laugh at someone as sad and lonely as Sanematsu, whose loser status is much closer to the reality of many than the cartoonish world of our six manchildren.
Apparently, all the color Sanematsu's grey office world is lacking went into Mr. Osomatsu's new ED. The wonderfully titled Otona (adult) ÷6 × Kodomo (child) × 6 is a literal explosion of color. Still, I was a huge fan of Let's Go! Muttsu Go! ~6-Shoku no Niji~ and am somewhat sad to see/hear it go.
Before holding on to his cherry in the new OP, Maboroshi Wink (once again courtesy of AŌP), Jyushimatsu goes on an expedition to find and naturally be killed by a Mongolian Death Worm. If you ever wondered what would happen if Jyushimatsu and Hatabou got their hands on automatic rifles, it's exactly what you're imagining right now. Iyami softly sheeh-ing while being disintegrated is a surprisingly touching sound, but all in all, this week's shortest segment only serves as an interlude between the somber Sanematsu and hysterical third segment.
The Choromatsu Incident is an absolute delight, proving that timing is everything in comedy, and that Mr. Osomatsu is a pro at holding back to hit harder. Dragging out the reveal of what's up with Choromatsu as long as possible, all we initially get are his brothers' reaction shots, building up tension only to reveal – not that big a disaster, actually. Sure, his new look is lame, and the motivation behind it even lamer, but it's hardly the tragedy they make it out to be. The fact that he did something to make himself stand out is the bigger deal than the actual result of looking even lamer than before (while constantly harping on about not being a delinquent).
The facial expressions of the three youngest Matsus holding telepathic conversations about how (not) to destroy or at least prolong the destruction of Choromatsu's self-esteem are pure gold. Their hesitation is contrasted poignantly with Osomatsu entering the scene and blurting it all out in a second. Once again, we don't get Choromatsu's reaction shots for every new insult during Karamatsu's well-meant but painfully misguided speech, allowing for ample time to build up anticipation. When we eventually do cut back to him, he's already hollowed out, only for Totoko to arrive and save the day, like she did with bold Chibita – except that punch line has already been used, so it's time to twist the knife instead.
It's amazing to witness Todomatsu, Ichimatsu, and Jyushimatsu's level of self-control when blamed for the emotional destruction they intended to avoid. Letting themselves be turned into the bad guys, I'm wondering if they always expected to get the ultimate payoff of sanctioned revenge, or if they were simply too perplexed. Quietly undressing to let himself be punished, Choromatsu doesn't have to say anything. Wanting to be cooler than one's brothers comes with a terrible price for any Matsu. And with Osomatsu and Karamatsu congratulating themselves for saving his dignity, we end the episode on his utter humiliation.
It's just so much more fun when the Matsu suffering is one of ours.
Mr. Osomatsu season 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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