There always seems to be one show every season that I want to like more than I actually do. This time around, that’s Uramichi Oniisan.
Man, this show looks good on paper. It’s the kind of anime that would generally be right up my alley – full of adult humor that’s nonetheless focused more on the ultra-jaded characters and their point of view working in the entertainment industry than on purely crass or slapstick comedy centered around b00bs and general fanservice. (And given the studio behind this – whose most famous anime title to date is Ro-Kyu-Bu! – that’s probably a feat in and of itself.) However, the biggest problem with Uramichi Oniisan isn’t its premise; it’s that any joke, no matter how good, will eventually get tiresome if repeated ad nauseum.
Even then, the first episode of Uramichi Oniisan could have been pretty fun if the delivery had really nailed it. However, although I’ve happily watched plenty of other titles made up of numerous short skits involving cynical or otherwise adult-style humor of the “Yup, this is the actual reality of the situation” variety, this show simply lacked that ‘oomph’ factor that would have made said jokes land properly. I blame the direction for this – had Uramichi Oniisan been helmed by someone like Shinbo Akiyuki (Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei), or even a slightly gentler touch like Kawatsura Shinya (Non Non Biyori, Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge), I would’ve been a lot more engaged. As this first episode stood though, I felt that most of the punchlines wrote themselves to the point where they either became incredibly predictable, and/or never quite went anywhere at all beyond pointing right back to the premise and going “Ha-ha, isn’t this hilarious?” That’s not even a joke so much as it is a raw concept idea, which in turn makes the show feel lazy since it means that both the story and the character development is more or less non-existent.
Bottom line: this is by far the worst thing I’ll probably be trying out this season, but a solid concept will always fail without the execution to back it up, and I just don’t think Uramichi Oniisan has the comedic chops to pull off anything that hasn’t already been presented in its premiere.