Post Reply Group Review: Mr. Osomatsu
Content Overlord
608702 cr points
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F / San Francisco
Posted 12/10/15 , edited 12/11/15

Not many anime push the envelope as far as Mr. Osomatsu does, and it’s a shame; it's a hilarious series filled with jokes both silly and crude. The first episode is incredibly self-aware and has possibly the most anime and video game references ever made in a single episode — it is no longer even legally available online as a result. Despite having source material from the 1960s, such relevant jokes make the anime feel modern, so it is easy for those new to the series to enjoy. For those familiar with it, however, the art style is now slightly more detailed while still retaining its simplicity, which can be seen in the subtle physical differences between the brothers. This creates opportunities for new stories that capitalize on the brothers being individuals, not identical characters.

The only potential barrier to enjoying Mr. Osomatsu is that it assumes familiarity with the original series. Supporting characters are given little introduction, but the lack of running story does help viewers to quickly acquaint themselves with them. The lack of plot shouldn’t be a deterrent either, as this anime is a gag anime not meant to be taken seriously. This light-heartedness, along with silly jokes, is what makes Mr. Osomatsu so charming and worth watching.


Mr. Osomatsu answers the age old question of how you revive an old property for a newer audience. The latest anime based on the popular manga from the late Fujio Akatsuka breaks away from the mold the franchise is known for, by first and foremost aging all of the characters up several years. Now all the characters who were kids in the original manga, the original anime, and the revamped anime from the late 80s are adults, and this allows for new jokes and themes. Having Yoichi Fujita, the guy who directed the majority of a little known series called Gintama, direct this show ensured it would be a much more adult-themed take on the classic characters. Unfortunately that ended up being a double-edged sword as, while the show has been phenomenally hilarious to this point, it has not been without controversy. For starters the first episode was pulled from all legal sources because it was too aggressive with its references to copyrighted characters, which is a huge no-no in Japan, and then episode three had some very adult oriented visual gags have their visuals edited, thus ruining the jokes in the process.

Moving on, not only are the characters older and the jokes aimed at an older audience now, Mr. Osomatsu fixes one of the major hurdles people could face when getting into the series, and that is being able to tell the Matsuno brothers, a set of sextuplet brothers who are the main characters, apart from one another. You may still have trouble remembering who is named who, but you can easily remember them by their new personality traits. For example, one brother is now a depressed introvert who always slouches and has his eyes half closed. Another brother constantly stares off into space and has a dumb look on his face. And yet another one tries too hard to act "cool" so he always has a mean mugging look on his face.

All in all Mr. Osomatsu is one of the biggest surprises of the entire year. It is nice to see another gag anime directed at adults. It gives us older folks another comedy series where we can relate to the characters on some level. Whether you check out Mr. Osomatsu or you watch something else instead, always remember to anime at your own responsibility.


Nothing this season caught me off guard quite like Mr. Osomatsu this anime season, or almost any other, for that matter. A singularly weird comedy based off of a gag manga and anime from yesteryear (originally the '60s, and then a revival in the '80s, which is being rerun on a Japanese satellite channel in reaction to this version's success), it has the real possibility of being a staid or nostalgic production primarily for the entertainment of Japanese grandparents. We don't typically get that kind of anime in the west, so it is mildly disappointing that instead, it's a weird, almost gonzo combination of pop culture parody, strange animation, and character comedy that plumbs the depths of its heroes neuroses for laughs.

It's not much of a disappointment, though, because it's absolutely hilarious. I don't think I made it a few minutes through any given episode without laughing, and certainly got big laughs out of every segment, even the ones that are mostly focused on watching the various siblings bounce their ridiculous personalities off each other. In fact, those may be the best segments of all. I still have not tired of Jyushimatsu shouting "Baseball! Baseball!" or whatever other topic he gets stuck in his head.

Even though it's a show that's constantly transforming from one thing to another -- the wild animation of the opening that reminds me of American cartoon Superjail, the kind of pop culture reference comedy that hasn't been done (well, at least) since Excel Saga and gags that, while certainly more ribald, wouldn't be totally out of place in the old show. Sometimes they even combine the two, like in the delightfully stupid Saw parody in episode 2. It's a riot, and unlike so many anime comedies, doesn't rely so much on puns that your timing is thrown off and you end up feeling like you read a page of translation notes that had some animation thrown in. As long as you're on board for lovingly idiotic jokes, you're going to love this, and even if you're not, it's worth a shot. There's six siblings: You're sure to find one you can relate to.
13718 cr points
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22 / F / Somewhere?
Posted 12/21/15 , edited 12/22/15
Good reviews! I'm glad that people are enjoying this anime. If you haven't seen it yet, I totally recommend it. It's one of my favorite anime this season.
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