Sibling Life is Stressful and Soothing in "Danchigai"

"Cruising the Crunchy-Catalog" enjoys daily life with the Nakano family in this short-form TV anime from 2015


Life is Short, and So is Anime.


No one has a lot of time to fool around with intros, so we'll keep it brief. “Cruising the Crunchy-Catalog” is all about curation. There's so many anime to choose from and so little time to watch them all, so we're here to provide additional info and cultural context to help fans decide whether or not they'd like to try out an unknown show.



What's Danchigai?


Danchigai is a 2015 short-form TV anime with direction by Hiroshi Kimura and animation by Creators in Pack TOKYO. The series is based on the 4-panel comic by Kazusa Yoneda, which is serialized in Ichijinsha's Manga 4-Koma Palette seinen manga magazine. Crunchyroll describes Danchigai as follows:



Based on a four-panel manga by Kazusa Yoneda, Danchigai focuses on the life of Haruki Nakano and his four sisters, all of whom live together in the same apartment complex. The only boy of five siblings, Haruki lives with his older sister Mutsuki, difficult younger sister Yayoi, and mischievous twins Uzuki and Satsuki.



With each episode clocking in at about 3.5 minutes, Danchigai is a situational comedy focusing on the daily apartment life of the Nakano family, which features two high school age siblings (Mutsuki and Haruki), one ill-tempered middle school student (Yayoi), and a pair of grade-school age twins (Uzuki and Satsuki). With their parents away on business, it's up to the siblings to hold down the fort, and their off-kilter interactions often cause fireworks to fly.



Stereotypes and Beyond.


The humor in Danchigai (whose title in Japanese means “Great Differences”) results from the friction of people with different personalities living in close proximity, but also from the gap between appearances and reality. Haruki, for example, is an ordinary teenager who wants to spend all of his free time playing video games, but through comedic misunderstandings he butts head with his tsundere younger sister, Yayoi.



Specifically, Haruki often innocently ends up in situations that appear compromising, and Yayoi interprets these as him being a pervert, and so she clobbers him with judo and pro-wrestling moves. Similarly, the eldest sister Mutsuki appears capable and collected in public, but in private she's a complete slob.



Finding Humor in the Everyday.


The Nakano siblings bond through situations both oddball and ordinary, ranging from a friendly rivalry over who is the best math tutor, to a tiny power struggles over who gets first dibs on the most recent issue of a popular manga magazine, to the twins imitating what they see on TV. Danchigai's most consistent aesthetic is the ability to discover a gentle sense of wonder in even the most mundane experiences.



A Modern Day Fantasy?


On average, Japanese couples tend to get married later in life and to have few children, to the point where the country is experiencing negative population growth. Having a large family with many siblings is especially uncommon in crowded urban areas where space is limited, so for some audience members, Danchigai is like a work of speculative fiction.



Home is Where the Heart Is.


Crunchyroll currently streams Danchigai in 250 territories worldwide. The series is available in the original Japanese language with subtitles in English, Spanish, Latin American Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Italian, and German. Unfortunately, there's no North American home video release for the Danchigai TV series, and no official English language version of the original Danchigai manga. What you see is what you get.



Danchigai is a cute show filled with slapstick, exaggeration, and just a hint of fan-service and sexual humor to give the series a bit of grown-up appeal. It's possible to blaze through the entire series in only 42 minutes, so if you've got an hour to spare and you like finding humor in the everyday, please consider giving Danchigai a try.



Is there a series in Crunchyroll's catalog that you think needs some more love and attention? Please send in your suggestions via e-mail to [email protected] or post a Tweet to @gooberzilla. Your pick could inspire the next installment of “Cruising the Crunchy-Catalog”!


Paul Chapman is the host of The Greatest Movie EVER! Podcast and GME! Anime Fun Time.

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