Osomatsu-san is a comedic anime from 2015 to 2016, recently adapted into a manga, brought to us by Pierrot. Yes, the studio that worked on Yu Yu Hakusho & Hikaru no Go. Along with a bunch of stuff I haven’t reviewed. It’s also set up as a sequel to a manga/anime originally from the 60s. I’ll be up front, I haven’t seen or read that one, so I won’t know how well this one follows it. How does this one compare to Pierrot’s other works? Well, let’s have a look at it and see.
We open with a black and white scene of a group of identical sextuplets being told that they’re getting a new anime after their long absence from the air. We’ll ignore the fact that identical sextuplets make no sense since it is a comedy. From there, we get a bunch of stand along gag episodes, most of which have multiple segments of varying lengths & art styles that may or may not be related. The humour involves a lot of fourth wall breaking, a lot of zany hijinks and a lot of gags about how the sextuplets are generally terrible and life deservedly kicks them down.
Honestly, the humour doesn’t always work. Most of the stuff prominently involving Dayon and/or Dekapan is just stupid. There’s also some humour that’s very much the puerile “we mentioned private parts” type. There are also some jokes where the set up is fine, but the pay off falls short.
That being said, the series does have a lot of really funny moments. Some with the sextuplets just having crazy hijinks and there are others that involve one shot gags about F6, girlmatsu or something else that might be called back to a few times but won’t have any impact on anything and involves a shift from the regular content. Then again, most of the segments don’t have an impact on any of the other segments. I will also credit this series for making me laugh at toilet humour twice. That’s not something that happens often. I usually just roll my eyes at it.
This isn’t a series with complex characters. The characters are pretty basic, each one having some quirks. However, they do play off of each other pretty nicely and they’re varied enough that there are a lot of comedic possibilities. So, for comedic purposes they work well.
The main art style is pretty simple, but there are a lot of things I appreciate about it. I like that the designs serve as a call back to the old series. At least they seem to based on screen shots I’ve seen. To reiterate, I haven’t seen Osomatsu-kun. I also like that Pierrot makes the sextuplets distinct enough that you can easily tell which is which in a group shot, even when it’s a group shot at the bath house and they aren’t wearing colour-coded shirts. I will also credit the series for being quite good at visual gags. It really is a case of simplicity not being a bad thing.
They did get some really talented actors for this. Ono Daisuke, Fukuyama Jun, Irino Miyu, Kamiya Hiroshi, Nakamura Yuuichi & Sakurai Takahiro voice the brothers. And, as a whole, the performances are pretty good. There are times when they get a bit exaggerated for my liking, but they are generally strong. The music was composed by Hashimoto Yukari. She’s done a lot of music for series I’ve reviewed: Penguindrum, Yuri Kuma Arashi, the ending theme tune for Strike Witches, Upotte, & Toradora. As for her work here, it really suits the series. She does a great job.
There are a few jokes involving things looking homo-erotic or yaoi terms being used incorrectly, but that’s basically the extent of it.
So, that was Osomatsu-san. Honestly, I kind of enjoyed it. I wouldn’t call it one of the best comedies I’ve seen, but it had plenty of funny moments and it kept me mostly entertained. As such, my final rating is going to be a 7/10. Next week will be this year’s film festival week. It all starts on Sunday with Dragonball: Shenron no Densetsu. And, if you’re wondering, yes there will still be a bonus review for April. It’s already written and it’s Doctor Who related because I felt we needed a change from superhero stuff.