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Post Reply The Laughing Salesman Discussion
DP0083 
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Posted 4/12/17
An unusual series with its throwback animation style. I actually don't mind this because of the style. At least, all of the characters look different and, for once, it is a series with adults which has become a lot rarer in the anime being brought over here, compared to the nineties and early 2000s.

World Fool News is another one with an atypical look; although, that one has a look somewhat influenced by "The Simpsons". It also is a lot harder to get than this one as it is more comedy based, while this show is more a series of morality plays.

I'd say this show is aimed more at an older demographic of anime fans who want a dose of nostalgia.

I thought the "Black Company" segment in Ep 2 ended on a nasty note. I'm not sure the protagonist really deserved what happened to him in the end.
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45 / M / WA
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Posted 4/12/17
Too depressing, I'm going to pass on this one.
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22 / M / Philippines
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Posted 4/15/17
The shows charm lies on its dark antics and its pretty fun to watch
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34 / M / Seattle
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Posted 4/17/17
Episode 3

First part is all about bentos and wanting to eat someone else's lunch instead of the one made by his mother. Masao goes off to to have a picnic with Kimiko everyday where they exchange bentos, but both agree that his mom's lunches are unfit for grown-ups. So Moguro has delicious powder to make it taste great while he thinks of a solution, but mom makes something that scares off Kimiko away for good.

Then Kamera wants to ride the 583, and while Moguro made it possible, it happens at the worst possible time as he had an important assignment due, and he got fired from his job leading him to ride the 583 again despite the warning, and as such he's forever attached to a train that won't ever go in service again.

And once again, Moguro leads those down a road to ruin through self-inflicted wounds and poor judgment.
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Posted 4/17/17
today lesson by your lunch at work and trains are evil
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Posted 4/17/17 , edited 4/17/17
Needs a Rod Serling cautionary tales intro and closing.
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38 / M / SW Ontario, Canada
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Posted 4/17/17

wingate wrote:

Needs a Rod Serling cautionary tales intro and closing.


This is exactly the sort of thing I was thinking. As I said in my first impression of the series, this sort of thing just feels so familiar. It's not that I think this show is necessarily bad or anything, it's just that I can't help but feel that I've seen this show before and seen it done better.

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Posted 4/17/17
zangeif123 mentioned this show is based on manga from 1968. Is anyone else having trouble relating to the "problems"? They seem so outdated.
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Posted 4/18/17 , edited 4/18/17

54bubbles wrote:

zangeif123 mentioned this show is based on manga from 1968. Is anyone else having trouble relating to the "problems"? They seem so outdated.


Many of the problems are still quite relevant in today's Japanese society, even if the subject matter is slightly different.
I also suspect non-Japanese audience will have a much harder time relating to obsessions with classic trains, which is a prevalent and uniquely Japanese culture.

I am a 41 year old who lived the era when this show first aired during "Give me a Break" show back in the 80s, so while nostalgic, it still hits home.


DP0083 wrote:

An unusual series with its throwback animation style. I actually don't mind this because of the style. At least, all of the characters look different and, for once, it is a series with adults which has become a lot rarer in the anime being brought over here, compared to the nineties and early 2000s.

World Fool News is another one with an atypical look; although, that one has a look somewhat influenced by "The Simpsons". It also is a lot harder to get than this one as it is more comedy based, while this show is more a series of morality plays.

I'd say this show is aimed more at an older demographic of anime fans who want a dose of nostalgia.

I thought the "Black Company" segment in Ep 2 ended on a nasty note. I'm not sure the protagonist really deserved what happened to him in the end.


NO ONE deserves what they get in the Laughing Salesman. This isn't a show of morality.
Moguro is by all intents and purpose, "The Devil". He relishes in misery of others, and uses his mystical powers to tempt them into breaking the "contract".

There is even an equivalent of an "Angel" in the form of his brother, Fukujiro, a purely well-intentional being who strives to better others. Fukujiro has his own spin-off, and perhaps he'll make a guest appearance in one of the episodes of this anime.
Ejanss 
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Posted 4/21/17 , edited 4/22/17

aohige_cr wrote:


54bubbles wrote:

zangeif123 mentioned this show is based on manga from 1968. Is anyone else having trouble relating to the "problems"? They seem so outdated.


Many of the problems are still quite relevant in today's Japanese society, even if the subject matter is slightly different.
I also suspect non-Japanese audience will have a much harder time relating to obsessions with classic trains, which is a prevalent and uniquely Japanese culture.


I know it's an ancient manga staple brought back from new Fujio interest after the Doraemon revivals (I'd never even heard of the show until an obscure pop-ref showed up on an Urusei Yatsura episode when Ten-chan did the "Boom!" pose) but the "Problems" thing brought out the new show's urge to start soapboxing about current work-ethic morality--Like Black-company bullying, shopaholism, etc.
A Japanese show can do ironic humor, but once it starts getting on the Social Responsibility podium, it starts wondering who it can publicly send to the guillotine.
(As otakus well know by now, with their "pedophilic interest in magical girls" and "refusal to work" now being the "cause" of Japan's recession, of course.)



DP0083 wrote:
I thought the "Black Company" segment in Ep 2 ended on a nasty note. I'm not sure the protagonist really deserved what happened to him in the end.


NO ONE deserves what they get in the Laughing Salesman. This isn't a show of morality.
Moguro is by all intents and purpose, "The Devil". He relishes in misery of others, and uses his mystical powers to tempt them into breaking the "contract".


I'm having trouble figuring out who's side this show's on--
I know it was Fujio's "adult Doraemon", with the joke of devilish Moguru not so nice about pulling magic gadgets out of his pocket, and the same Be-careful-what-you-wish-for accidents as when Nobita would try to use them.

But if the show is set up to "punish" various Problems In Our Society, not sure why it goes so far out of its way to make the customers so sweetly sympathetic and then clearly show them messing up and getting their cruel comeuppance since it's "their fault".
It starts to bring up the image of hypocritical Japanese society, so determined to Mind Its Own Business for the Greater Good, that you can be friends with your co-workers, but should they even hint that they belong to a Current Problem, like they have a drinking problem, or going through a divorce, or secretly turn out to be anime otaku (and therefore clearly "perverts"), they're instantly a Cancer Of Our Society.
The show tries to walk the tightrope between both, and poor Irony loses in favor of Social Finger-Pointing.

As for a show "lacking in morality", I had the same problem trying to get through the first Hell Girl series back in the 00's, which showed our poor hero of the week being tormented by some Problem of the Week bully, and calling the demon-for-hire to torment them and drag them to Hell, even though they'd be going too as part of the bargain...Where do we place our sympathy in the end? Who wins? Who cares?
Again, in Japan, that doesn't seem to be quite as big an issue: We see Tragedy in the sense of Macbeth or Oedipus, that good people suffer when they didn't heed warnings about their own failing that they could have and realized too late; in Japan, tragedy is bad stuff happening to good people, but someone should have told them it was going to happen, for their own good...Otherwise, they wouldn't have been doing it in the first place, would they?
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Posted 4/21/17
I'm not so sure and I know nothing about this series. But I've read through a couple of these comments and I guess it's somewhat dark comedy? It sounds really interesting and I don't particularly have any standards for anime or anything. If something is made well with interesting characters/story/elements I'll watch it.

How much would y'all recommend this show to somebody who would watch anything? It it more for a niche or is it good in itself?
(I'm asking because I have a lot on my plate and I'm genuinely curious, so please don't ask me to Google it or anything because that's missing the point)
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Posted 4/22/17

Ejanss wrote:


aohige_cr wrote:


54bubbles wrote:

zangeif123 mentioned this show is based on manga from 1968. Is anyone else having trouble relating to the "problems"? They seem so outdated.


Many of the problems are still quite relevant in today's Japanese society, even if the subject matter is slightly different.
I also suspect non-Japanese audience will have a much harder time relating to obsessions with classic trains, which is a prevalent and uniquely Japanese culture.


I know it's an ancient manga staple brought back from new Fujio interest after the Doraemon revivals (I'd never even heard of the show until an obscure pop-ref showed up on an Urusei Yatsura episode when Ten-chan did the "Boom!" pose) but the "Problems" thing brought out the new show's urge to start soapboxing about current work-ethic morality--Like Black-company bullying, shopaholism, etc.
A Japanese show can do ironic humor, but once it starts getting on the Social Responsibility podium, it starts wondering who it can publicly send to the guillotine.
(As otakus well know by now, with their "pedophilic interest in magical girls" and "refusal to work" now being the "cause" of Japan's recession, of course.)



DP0083 wrote:
I thought the "Black Company" segment in Ep 2 ended on a nasty note. I'm not sure the protagonist really deserved what happened to him in the end.


NO ONE deserves what they get in the Laughing Salesman. This isn't a show of morality.
Moguro is by all intents and purpose, "The Devil". He relishes in misery of others, and uses his mystical powers to tempt them into breaking the "contract".


I'm having trouble figuring out who's side this show's on--
I know it was Fujio's "adult Doraemon", with the joke of devilish Moguru not so nice about pulling magic gadgets out of his pocket, and the same Be-careful-what-you-wish-for accidents as when Nobita would try to use them.

But if the show is set up to "punish" various Problems In Our Society, not sure why it goes so far out of its way to make the customers so sweetly sympathetic and then clearly show them messing up and getting their cruel comeuppance since it's "their fault".
It starts to bring up the image of hypocritical Japanese society, so determined to Mind Its Own Business for the Greater Good, that you can be friends with your co-workers, but should they even hint that they belong to a Current Problem, like they have a drinking problem, or going through a divorce, or secretly turn out to be anime otaku (and therefore clearly "perverts"), they're instantly a Cancer Of Our Society.
The show tries to walk the tightrope between both, and poor Irony loses in favor of Social Finger-Pointing.

As for a show "lacking in morality", I had the same problem trying to get through the first Hell Girl series back in the 00's, which showed our poor hero of the week being tormented by some Problem of the Week bully, and calling the demon-for-hire to torment them and drag them to Hell, even though they'd be going too as part of the bargain...Where do we place our sympathy in the end? Who wins? Who cares?
Again, in Japan, that doesn't seem to be quite as big an issue: We see Tragedy in the sense of Macbeth or Oedipus, that good people suffer when they didn't heed warnings about their own failing that they could have and realized too late; in Japan, tragedy is bad stuff happening to good people, but someone should have told them it was going to happen, for their own good...Otherwise, they wouldn't have been doing it in the first place, would they?


Basically, you're over-thinking this. This is, at its core, a horror story.
Do you contemplate whether or not party-going kids camping at a lake "deserves" to be brutally murdered by magical serial killing monster?

Yes, the issues are more complex and reflection of the society, which makes the show have more depth than a teen horror flick, but the fundamental principal is the same - people getting screwed.
Ejanss 
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Posted 4/22/17 , edited 4/22/17

aohige_cr wrote:


Ejanss wrote:
But if the show is set up to "punish" various Problems In Our Society, not sure why it goes so far out of its way to make the customers so sweetly sympathetic and then clearly show them messing up and getting their cruel comeuppance since it's "their fault".
It starts to bring up the image of hypocritical Japanese society, so determined to Mind Its Own Business for the Greater Good, that you can be friends with your co-workers, but should they even hint that they belong to a Current Problem, like they have a drinking problem, or going through a divorce, or secretly turn out to be anime otaku (and therefore clearly "perverts"), they're instantly a Cancer Of Our Society.
The show tries to walk the tightrope between both, and poor Irony loses in favor of Social Finger-Pointing.


Basically, you're over-thinking this. This is, at its core, a horror story.
Do you contemplate whether or not party-going kids camping at a lake "deserves" to be brutally murdered by magical serial killing monster?


No, because they're usually shown to be complete self-indulgent jerks who'll "get it" the minute they have Smoke Drugs and have Pre-Marital Teen Sex.
As opposed to our poor nice Shopaholic, who's a decent sort, and only shops because her mean co-workers pick on her, but once she's in the shop, makes a spectacle of herself working out her issues....Who's the baddie? Her? Her mean co-workers?

Going back to the "horror" example, consider Janet Leigh in "Psycho"--Yes, she robs a bank, gets away with it, meets a nice fellow at the motel, and starts to reconsider whether she did the right thing and should probably return the money...But first, a nice refreshing shower before bed.
Hitchcock knew there'd be an extra shock in seeing a "good" character killed off, instead of the repellent jerks we're meant to be cheering to be offed in modern 00's-10's horror films, but where does that put our shopaholic, wayward hot-springs guest, and black-company escapee, who started to realize their problems, but weakened?

Or if everyone's comparing the "anthology" format to Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, consider one episode that infamously drives TZ fans to beat their heads against the wall, "What's In The Box":
A blue-collar cab driver gripes at the TV repairman to finish his job, and the repairman, with a sinister Moguru-like wink, says he's given it his special fix--Soon, our hero sees all his wandering affairs magically played out on the screen, and finally a future-flash where he's killing his wife. Overcome with guilt, he confesses to her and wants to make up, she taunts him into a rage, and he snaps and kills her...And the smug repairman is there as the police lead him out. (O-ho-ho-ho-ho!) What, if anything, did anyone LEARN from this?? Not to mess with TV repairmen?

In the end, we're told that our lonely-hearts customers might be able solve their problems, but they're probably not going to, because they wouldn't have problems if they weren't weak to begin with....Welcome to Japan, where all problems are Your Fault.
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Posted 4/22/17 , edited 4/22/17
I'm actually rather insulted at your... biased and possibly bigoted opinion.

No, you're over thinking it, and I suspect an agenda here to justify your biased view and using this opportunity to diss on the Japanese culture.
Moguro is nearly literally THE DEVIL. He is an embodiment of horror, and the point is that there are traps at every corner of life.

If you knew ANYTHING about Fujiko Fujio (both A and F) you wouldn't be saying this, but alas.
Out of their hundreds of works, there's never such toxic message as the one you mocked up here. Jesus Christ.
I doubt I can convince you otherwise, so I'll just dismiss your opinion. Not worth it.
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23 / M / Finland
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Posted 5/2/17
Oh, she snapped. As a result, things didn't end well to her family.

I have to wonder, how is this (series) going to end? Is there anyway to stop Moguro doing what he does at his best? Just have to ask.
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