Anime Taste Testing: Uramichi Oniisan

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.

Score: 5/10

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6 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Uramichi Oniisan

  1. I barely got through the episode. I didn’t find it funny at all. The kids were occasionally cute; that’s the best I could say. You really need a sense of satire to make this work; this feels more like cathartic humour to keep gaman culture going to me. I haven’t been put off a premier this much in a long time. It’s probably not fair, and part of it is probably that it hits me at the wrong time. But at the best of times, with the most good-will, I can’t see myself laughing at any of this.

    And I’m definitely fine with black humour in general.

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    1. My thoughts exactly – this needed a lot more in the way of actual social commentary to make this a comedy that hits or even goes anywhere. The set-up is fine, but judging by the first episode, there’s no kind of follow-through, and that feels like such a waste to me.

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  2. I currently have the show on pause because I’m trying to decide if I really want to continue. You’re right, this show would be a ton better if it had more bite. I know I’m not supposed to question it, but whenever the host gets depressed my immersion breaks and I just think he’s going to get fired. This wouldn’t happen if I actually bought into the premise. Although now I’m thinking the show would be funnier if the guy was deliberately trying to get fired.

    Also I’ve got to say I find it obnoxious when the lights get dark as the guy says a depressing punchline. Stop telling me when to laugh, show, I’ll do it when I think something is funny.

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    1. You’re totally right, it /would be way funnier if the guy was actually trying to get fired by for some reason kept failing. I didn’t mind the lights getting dark with each punchline so much as I minded every punchline basically being the same thing over and over again, but you’re right on that too, it’s just lazy storytelling.

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