Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan

Alt title: Uramichi Oniisan

TV (13 eps)
3.994 out of 5 from 4,133 votes
Rank #1,021

Uramichi is 31. Uramichi appears on children’s TV alongside two grown men dressed as forest creatures and a singing woman with a very short fuse. Uramichi leads little kids in exercises and answers their questions about life. But Uramichi’s life is pain. Uramichi just wants to be miserable in peace. But, in his words, “There are games that don’t end even after you forfeit. Like life, for example… ”

Source: Kodansha

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Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan is actually a very relatable show. We follow 31-year-old Uramichi Omota, a former professional gymnast who works on a kids' show called Together with Maman and the host of the exercise segment. However, despite his upbeat personality and smile, off-camera, he is a deeply depressed, mentally unstable man going through the harshness of adult life. I am sure that as we all get older, we have had some big aspirations and goals in life that we hoped to accomplish out of a childish belief only to be confronted by the realization that adult life is not that cracked up to be where you get the urge of being a child again due to you having more freedom and not having to do things like paying the bills; work excruciating hours oftentimes being underappreciated. The animation reflects that. While Together with Maman paints a world that is bright and idealistic, it is contrasted with the actors' actual mental states being dark and somber. The humor's pretty unique largely from the characters having existential crises once per episode. However, the way that the anime was adapted from the manga tends to ruin the setup of some jokes. One instance of this is when Usahara was saying that Uramichi's apartment would have dumbbells littering the floor...but that was after the punchline of Usahara hurting himself by accidentally hitting his foot on a dumbbell. That being said, the humor is very much subjective because it can come off as cringe-inducing. Really, the show is actually hard to watch sometimes because of how hard it hits with the bitterness. Uramichi is a pretty complex character. While he is depressed constantly with his mental state being concerning, it is shown that he does actually love his job and genuinely wants to be a role model that children can look up to. Really, it's his care for the child audience that gives him some motivation to keep going even when it means having to fake it till he makes it. The other characters are more one-note: you have Usahara one of Uramichi's former upperclassmen from college. Usahara is best described as the one friend that the group does not like. His fatal flaw is his brutal honesty: he would recklessly say whatever was on his mind not understanding that it would be something that others would not want to hear. He is someone who wants a girlfriend and constantly blows his money on useless stuff. The main gag is that he is often on the receiving end of Uramichi's abuse, or he is assaulted by the show's choreographer...though that one is more problematic because I don't know if they are meant to be a camp man or transgender because if it's the comes off as perpetuating stereotypes. Kumatani is a stoic man who makes snarky remarks to other cast members, but for the most part, he lacks any noteworthy quirks. But I will give him credit where it is due: what he does to the director in episode 10 is cathartic. Much like Usahara, Kumtani also wears an animal costume. He is the bear whereas Usahara is the rabbit. Iketuru and Utano are the "singing senpai" pair: Iketuru is probably the most naive and simple-minded of the cast and the most childish. But he is also well-meaning that you cannot help but want to protecc. Utano's main quirks are her obsession with wanting to get married and her constant mood swings. She also had a failed comedian as a boyfriend who she'd rant about sometimes. But unlike maybe Kumatani, she receives the least amount of character development aside from her wish for her boyfriend to propose already. The opening and ending themes are also great with the first film setting up the energetic facade that is Together with Maman while the ending is more direct about the cast's actual feelings. Overall, if you are a fan of cringe comedy or characters having existential crises, then I'd recommend it.


Studio Blanc’s 2021 dark comedy disappoints for its ability to be so desperately unfunny despite clever and occasionally sophisticated writing. The setup is unique with the premise being the very adult concerns of a bunch of children’s TV show presenters.  Cynical Uramichi is a former college roommate of colleagues Tobikichi Usahara (who plays a rabbit) and Mitsuo Kumatani (who plays a bear). They are joined for the kiddie fun and games on screen by singers Iketeru Daga and former idol Utano Tadano. What they all have in common is an endless introspection for their sad, pointless little lives some of which spills over, on-screen, in front of the children. The kids themselves seem genuinely quite clued-up on the adult angst with typical refrain amongst them going along the lines of (adult presenter) “What do children have that adults do not?” (Child A) “A future!”, (Child B) “Hope!” and so on. Utano obsesses over not being married, yet being over thirty, whilst the main character is a former college athlete with a jaded outlook on life. Their show “Together with Maman” is directed by an unsympathetic sadist who makes the inappropriately-dressed team shoot summer shows in winter and vice versa. They all hate their lives and, what counts as a story results in them drowning their sorrows in alcohol. That’s it really. Despite the very occasionally laugh-out-loud funny moment the show is unremarkable and tedious. It is not like it is even trying to be funny. The main thrust of the show is its display of unhappy people in an environment where people are meant to be happy. They are a bunch of melancholy clowns. It really doesn’t go any deeper than this and is largely forgettable. Quite why it seems so popular is a mystery. We really wanted to like this show and on paper it looked original and promising. However, the timing is off and the scenario is nowhere near relatable to those outside show business (i.e., most of the audience) as the makers may have thought. A hate it or love kind of show. Our reaction: indifference.

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