Anime Taste Testing: Isekai Ojisan and The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting

The anime I was looking forward to the most this season based purely on the premise was weirdly disappointing. The one I had little enthusiasm for ended up surprising me in a good way.

Isekai Ojisan/Uncle From Another World

I remember watching the trailer for this show a while back and not being particularly impressed. From what I saw, the series seemed very slow-paced and dialogue-driven, which didn’t seem like a recipe for good comedy to me, at least when isekai was shoved into the mix. However, I ended up quite enjoying episode 1 and will certainly be back to see what more Isekai Ojisan has to offer.

Granted, the anime has yet to prove that it can last the distance in terms of its comedic chops, which will largely depend on whether it plays the same joke over and over again about video game consoles or whether it introduces more variety into the mix. However, I think that if the emphasis is placed more on applying the ojisan’s magical skills and items to modern-day Japan to make life more convenient and less on the fantasy video game tropes like tsundere elves, the series will be able to keep delivering the same general level of enjoyment. I like the parody material as a whole, but fish-out-of-water comedy tends to do better long-term (at least for me) than poking fun at stereotypes, which really has to work hard to remain fresh for an entire series.

I will definitely say that if you’re the kind of person who’s burned out by the constant barrage of isekai anime, or else if you never much liked the isekai genre at all, Isekai Ojisan may turn out to be far more enjoyable than you think.

Score: 7/10

The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting

… Meh. I was ready to be wowed and I just… wasn’t. I mean the anime is fine. It’s not offensive or anything, it just feels kind of disjointed and neither especially funny nor especially poignant. I wouldn’t have minded a dumb but laugh-out-loud comedy like Way of the Househusband, and I also wouldn’t have minded an emotionally hard-hitting found family piece like Usagi Drop. The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting sits somewhere uncomfortably in the middle, not committing to either of these things tonally and as a result failing at both.

Moreover, there’s a pretty odd disconnect with the anime seemingly telling viewers that Kirishima is this swell guy who’s actually good with little kids when that’s not the case. The dude’s flat-out murdering people in a surprisingly violent scene before the opening credits have even played, and then it feels like a very hard transition to the character somehow being redeemed because he’s given the job of looking after the boss’ kid and doesn’t screw it up. Like that’s cool and all but I don’t see how that makes him any less a murdering psycho? He’s not sorry for anything he’s done in the past and he’s not striving to leave the yakuza lifestyle behind – he just got saddled with a job and is now performing it competently, so there’s no comedic or heartwarming twist in there. Sure, there are a couple of mildly funny moments and a couple of mildly touching moments, but nothing that really hits home either way, and the anime as a whole is too slow-paced to offer nothing much in between.

I’ll likely give this one more episode to try and prove itself, but based on what I’ve seen so far, I’m not holding my breath.

Score: 5/10

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5 thoughts on “Anime Taste Testing: Isekai Ojisan and The Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting

  1. Yeah, I was also really looking forward to Yakuza’s Guide to Babysitting, but I thought the first episode was a little odd. I thought the scenes themselves were fine, but they didn’t seem to be related to each other. I mean, it just felt like a series of random scenes with a yakuza guy and a little girl rather than an actual story being told. Hmm, I don’t think I’m describing this very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean. Like it all made sense technically speaking, but there was a sense of disjointedness throughout. I was confused about what the show was going for both narratively and tonally.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Isekai Ojiisan felt like a show of two halves to me. At times it tries to play what-would-it-be-like-if as comedy, while at other times it feels it’s trying to go more meta. An example: the scene where they stored the sword in the bag of holding only to realise at the same time that that would make a profitable youtube video was great: good timing, good idea. The tsundere elf and the uncle not realising she’s a tsundere elf because it wasn’t a thing back then? You’re scaling up the meta level and scaling the down the realism. The show dialed those two levels back and forth and in the end that just left me too confused for the humour to work. Generally, the show worked better on me when it went for for realist situational comedy. If I can find a mode to watch this consistently I can see myself liking this, but right now I’m just not into it.

    The Babysitting show I thought was mostly harmless. I enjoyed it. It was easy to relax to, but it’s hardly going to be a memorable entry into the taking-care-of-kids show and it’s *definitely* no Usagi Drop (but that’s sort of my benchmark). I’ve never really been that fond of the way that anime (and games) often romanticise the Yakuza, so the violence in this show basically doesn’t go through my auto-anime-filter, so I don’t mind that much. For what it’s worth, family values and violence are a common combo in anime-yakuza, so it doesn’t even feel out of place when I think it through. It’s not that I disagree with you; it’s just that I’m lucky enough that it doesn’t bother me. And in this rather weak season, it’s probably my favourite new show so far (and it still comes behind both Made in Abyss and Jasshin-chan Dropkick).

    Honestly, I’m not even sure what to look forward to that’s not a sequel. My best bet is Hoshi no Samidare/Lucifer and the Biscuit Hammer. I don’t know the mange, but I did really enjoy Planet With.


    1. I agree that the situational comedy in Isekai Ojisan was funnier than the meta-comedy. If nothing else, the former just had way better delivery. As for for yakuza show, I just felt it was sorely lacking in almost all areas. I wasn’t offended or even particularly uncomfortable watching it – as you say, it seems a fairly harmless series in all. It did feel a bit all over the place for me though, both narratively and tonally.



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