Greetings, fabulous people of the Internet! Hanime on Anime here, and man, I needed this after last week’s show.
I clearly wasn’t a fan of Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro. But while I can’t say I’m a huge fan of today’s anime, I was looking forward to it. And in the end, I enjoyed it. The show has an obvious problem, but it’s an all-around good time.
I’m excited about today’s anime, so let’s start with today’s review on Way of the House Husband!
Tatsu was once the feared leader of a yakuza gang. He infamously killed ten rivals in one night without injuring himself, giving him the nickname The Immortal Dragon. But nowadays, he’s a stay-at-home husband.
Having left his gang not long after marrying his wife, Miku, Tatsu spends his day cooking, cleaning, running errands, and hanging out with some of the other neighborhood ladies as they participate in various clubs along the way. Though Tatsu left the yakuza, the yakuza never left him; he often acts brooding and often references and behaves similarly to his past life, leading to some hysterical moments. And what’s more, some other yakuza pop up who find themselves in equally mundane situations doing what they can.
And that encompasses most of the series. It’s episodic, but some recurring characters show up every once in a while. But for the most part, it’s multiple stories compiled into a fifteen-eighteen minute episode. Still, it works for what it is.
And what it is is one of the funniest and most wholesomest anime I’ve seen in a newer show like it.
I love the show’s concept, and argue it’s the best thing the show has going for it. The idea of a former gang member or criminal turning his life around to become this homemaker isn’t anything new. I’d imagine the idea has been done before. But what makes it funny is that, as I said in my synopsis, Tatsu hasn’t been emotionally separated from the yakuza. That’s not to say he hasn’t adjusted to life as a stay-at-home spouse. It’s obvious he does well at that. Tatsu doesn’t know how else to act in everyday situations because he was never a part of that world until now.
A great example of this is from the first episode. Tatsu throws a birthday party for Miku, which he’s preparing for throughout the episode. But when Miku opens her presents, she says that she already has one of the gifts, a DVD set of her favorite anime. Most people would probably react to this by saying, “oh! I’m sorry! I’ll take that back and get a refund.”
But what does Tatsu do? He shoves everything out of the way, grabs a knife, and gets ready to cut off his fingertip shouting, “I MUST PAY!”
But that’s how you’re punished in the yakuza for a failed mission. And Tatsu is just following that. And honestly, too, if this aspect were taken too seriously-like if Tatsu acted like an average person-it wouldn’t be as funny. And that also lends itself to moments when other gangsters from his past start to show up, another part of the show that I loved.
From time to time, Tatsu will run into some old yakuza members, either from his gang or rival gangs. But like him, they’ve been thrust into everyday life and seemingly adjusted very well but still act like yakuza. One of the characters, Masa, is an exception as he just so happens to run into Tatsu and just follows his lead, but most everyone else has a reason for leaving their previous lives. And most, if not all, aren’t by their choices. But I feel it adds a layer to the show that says that that kind of life impacts you one way or the other. Granted, I wish this were explored a little more in areas-which I’ll get to later-but it works and adds to the laughs.
So yeah, I wasn’t disappointed at all with this anime. It was hilarious with its colorful cast of characters and its concept. But there’s a considerable element it falls completely flat on.
The animation in this show is nonexistent. It’s very stiff and stilted, almost like it’s not done. And that can be distracting because good animation is critical to any good anime show. And given a company like Netflix producing it, I don’t see why more effort could have been put into it. I want to think that Netflix rushed production on this, and when the studio handed over what they got, they refused to pay for it but were still stuck with it and decided to put it on their platform anyway.
But in all seriousness, I don’t know why this animation style was chosen. All I know is that it’s terrible and doesn’t work.
Even if it’s done in a style that, from the opinions of Geeky Sparkles from Clownfish TV, is meant to resemble a visual novel, to me, it makes no sense because there are moments where you have some decent and fluid movement. And I wouldn’t mind if it was used for a few comedic moments. But for the whole show?
Yeah, that part was a letdown.
What also hurts is that there aren’t any details-that I know of- on how Tatsu and Miku got married. I wanted to hear more about their backstory. We’re given some details about why the other yakuza who show up in the show are where they are, but I’m surprised there’s nothing more detailed with the show’s two main characters. I think some questions about this relationship would be fascinating to explore here. How did Miku and Tatsu meet? What was it about Miku that attracted Tatus to her? And what about their marriage (besides the obvious keeping Miku safe) caused Tatsu to leave his syndicate?
It opens a door of questions that I’ve yet to see an answer to. But who knows? That may come in a future episode if it hasn’t come out already. And besides, this is more of a personal preference. But there’s no excuse for the animation. That was bad. This could have been something great if more was put into the animation.
But for what it is, it’s just okay. Okay, it’s more than okay, but this aspect considerably hurts it.
Still, Way of the House Husband is a good show with a fun concept and some equally funny and entertaining characters. But the animation holds it back. Not to mention a lack of intriguing backstory on Tatsu and Miku, and you get a show with everything for it but missed big in a crucial element. Though all things considered, I had fun with this anime comedy regardless. If you can get past the animation, I recommend it.
At least it’s better than Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro!
And so that wraps up today’s review! Thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned next week for Character of the Month!
I’ll also have some announcements in that post about this year’s return of Hanime on Autism.
Stay tuned for more next time, and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!
-Hanime on Anime