Uramichi Oniisan is an anime that came out in Summer 2021, tells the story of people working on a morning children’s show in Japan. On screen, we always see them cheerful, and kind but behind the scenes it’s like a post-apocalyptic world where they return after a life-or-death battle. The events shown in this anime are pretty sugar-coated for the sake of comedy, but it tackles the harshness of the real world, giving an exaggerated idea of what work is like.
The anime is made by Studio Blanc and have aired 13 episodes.
So what’s the comedy?
A workplace is never a fun place. Nobody can say they enjoy their job as much as a hobby. The workers have to put up with a lot of nonsense just to keep a roof over their heads and food on the plate. The characters in this anime are hinted at as rejects who failed to get a real job and now just going with whatever, even if the job makes them cringy and embarrassed. Omota Uramichi, age 31, working in a show called “Together with Maman” for NHK, just complains a lot… to the kids. He never says no to anyone or states his issues e.g., his neck pain or back pain. But people around him notice, including some of the kids and they go, “Poor guy”. He thinks of himself as a failure. He was a former gymnast and that’s where his passion lies. He loves to work out and never misses a gym day. Also, he smokes a lot. But his over-depressiveness bursts out in a gloomy way when the camera rolls and the kids go WTF. He talks a lot with the kids about cruel the adult life, the expectations & responsibilities, and how to dumb down yourself to put up with the higher-ups. At that point, the kids become mature a bit and often gossip about how harsh Uramichi-oniisan has it for real. The best part of it is how blatant it is. Uramichi doesn’t hold back when it comes to his gloominess. But he silently endures the pain of his work. Such is the tragic tale of Uramichi-oniisan. But yet it shows a shimmer of happiness when the kids say thank you and goodbye at the end of the day which dulls Uramichi and the others’ pain.
The Characters & the Drama
Uramichi has four other coworkers working on the stage, the singers: Tadano Utano and Daga Iketeru; the bunny and bear mascots respectively: Usahara Tobikichi and Kumatani Mitsuo. Funny enough, usa & kuma mean bunny & bear. Their characters are entertaining to watch as well.
Iketeru learned to tune out everything around him & lives in his mind where he thinks of what ingredient is put inside the riceball. He also has a goofy sense of humor and tends to laugh when he hears some wordplay. He is tall, handsome, good at his job, and he is a softy.
Utano on the other hand has a washed-up personality. She graduated from a music school and had a bad career. She’s been living with her overbearing comedic boyfriend for 6 years and often brings up marriage. She even gets riled up about it. You’ll never hear the end of her complaining.
Usahara and Kumatani have known Uramichi since their university days. They were roommates. Usahara basically talks without filters and gets in trouble with Uramichi for speaking the harsh truth. He’s carefree, has a gambling addiction and is kind of a loser. Kumatani is calm, stoic, and reasonable. He thinks before opening his mouth. They both look out for their colleagues.
Now comes the managerial department. The director is a real schmuck. He is the most brain-dead boss you’ll ever see in the real world. He just sits there and says ok to whatever Uramichi does without considering if that was even kid-friendly. He puts up heavy demands on the workers and expects good results, even after they had enough of the day. Like making them wear summer clothes in winter and winter clothes in summer to make a music video. The moral of the story is not literal but subcontext. In real life, the bosses of various companies make unfair demands despite the workers’ mental & physical health. Some never give any vacations or an off day or even time to sleep. Very much like some anime studios. It all comes down to capitalism. This schmuck calls for a company retreat or picnic in layman’s terms on an off day when the workers are supposed to rest after a whole week of hard work. At that time, I go like, “This guy just can’t get a break. I’m glad I don’t have a real job”.
Then there’re others like the choreographer whose personal identity is questionable and who can’t stop forcing into Usahara. (It’s tough being a man these days). The custom design is a bonafide idiot that can’t come up with anything and keeps bugging Uramichi to design for him. In the end, the custom becomes so ridiculous that even the kids feel sorry for Uramichi. Then comes the newly joined merch manager who was a death metal band member. He seemed the most relatable to Uramichi since they are both overly depressed individuals but that guy is unreasonable and persuasive. He ties up Uramichi to make toys all night so that he could bail. Uramichi just gets stomped by everyone since he never says no to anyone. It’s infuriating to watch a man suffer like this. And there’s also the sales manager who is the forgettable one. He is a reasonable fellow but likes to be alone.
The best part of this show is the chemistry among the characters. Their interactions and dramas make up the entertaining part of this show. When one of them gets sick, others get concerned and feel responsible as well… for causing the sickness. Iketeru finally listens to others’ conversations in the end and shows concern when others say they will leave this job. Kumatani is the most tolerant one since he lost his job once for standing up to what’s right. But the moment he unleashed justice on the director for making the crew shoot outside in winter clothes on a boiling hot day, it made me go, “THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT! WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG!!” It taught that schmuck some manners too as his demands started to be reasonable. He tortured Uramichi for the whole show when he had neck pain, back pain, tiredness, and put him through cringe-filthed moments. I was waiting when Uramichi is gonna pop this bloke’s head off. It was mostly and utterly satisfying.
Life Lessons with Uramichi-Oniisan is a unique type of comedy that most people would have a hard understanding of as the comedy is layered with the suffering of one man and the reality of a workplace. In the end, the moral of the story is to make the best of everything. When you have to take action, don’t just sit around and suffer through it. Real life is harsh, yes, but you don’t sell your soul just for a dime in your pocket. Things will get better if you handle things reasonably. Watch this anime, have some laughs, and learn a few life lessons.
Thank you for reading ♡.