Matsuno household has six naughty and mischievous sons (who are sextuplets), led by the eldest Osomatsu. They were grade schoolers back in the Shouwa period, but despite of still living in the same old household, the street view as well as the life style of modern day society have changed drastically.
Okay! So this review might be a little too much of me geeking out over this silly gag anime I've somehow become enamored with, but I'm going to go for it anyway. I'm only posting this as of the end of the first cour, so I'll only be referring to episodes 1-12. I'm trying not to give away any spoilers, but I am going to mention a few gags and quotes. Background information isn't really necessary to understand Osomatsu-san, but I feel I should talk about Osomatsu-kun first anyway. The original Osomatsu-kun of 1966 featured the ten-year-old sextuplets. From what I've read, the original reels of the anime were lost to time until the 90s, but considering I read that on Wikipedia it may be made up. Regardless, it is difficult to find subbed versions of the original Osomatsu-kun. The 1988 version of Osomatsu-kun placed more focus on fan-favorite characters Iyami and Chibita, sort of putting the Matsuno sextuplets on the sidelines. Osomatsu-san is a lot different from the 1988 series, but it carries on the general vibe very well. The humor is more adult and story more developed because in the new series the sextuplets are in their 20s rather than being children. The other major difference is that in the new series the sextuplets are distinctly different from one another, rather than the six-person hivemind they were in previous incarnations, likely to appeal more to a modern audience. While this does feel a little unnatural, it's easy to explain away by saying they likely grew apart after seeing too much of one another for 20 years and developed more unique interests to cope. The series itself doesn't care much for personal exposition, so I can't exactly say that's what the staff had in mind, but it's my theory. There's really not much to say about story, considering Osomatsu-san is a slice of life gag comedy. The cute, mischievous sextuplets of the former series have grown into pathetic adults with no money, no girlfriends, and no ambitions. They face meager problems like being unable to find jobs or their brothers being embarrassed of them, as well as more emotional issues like loneliness and loss. One thing I love in the series is the way the mood never seems overdramatic. For the most part the happier scenes are lighthearted and carefree, and the sad parts are solemn and calm. The way the story progresses seems largely more realistic than anime that tend to specialize in drama, which makes it easier to become invested in. That being said, the comedy is great too. I usually can't sit through comedy anime because the comedic parts tend to be very bland. The usual brand of comedy you get from slice of life anime is like, "Ha ha, she's such a ditz, she fell down and broke all the plates!" whereas Osomatsu-san's comedy is more over the top (in contrast to more emotional scenes) with things like Totoko wearing a dead fish's head with her face sticking out of the mouth and stinking up her dressing room, or everyone thanking Osomatsu for defacing a crime scene and throwing them off the trail of a murder because they were so stressed. Because of these factors, I feel Osomatsu-san has one of the better narration styles of the anime I've seen. The animation, while it may not appeal to the general anime audience, is very fluid and charming. The style is meant to emulate the older styles without straying too far from what will appeal to modern viewers. The entire first episode, which is now unavailable outside of anime bootleg sites due to copyright issues, even made fun of the current status of anime and features the sextuplets in an Uta no Prince-sama kind of scenario.While these designs are appealing in their own way, they illustrate what would have been a betrayal of Akatsuka's work if it had been taken seriously. In every episode aside from this one (with the exception of the Christmas special, in which these designs were featured without all the parodical problems) the sextuplets look like a slightly more cleaned-up and individualized version of their original designs. While new viewers tend to have difficulty telling the six of them apart, after a few episodes the differences become easy to recognize without making people wonder how they're supposed to be identical. I feel that it's a nice touch, because if you actually knew identical sextuplets you likely wouldn't be able to tell which was which at first, but once you got to know them you would be familiar with their differences. The sextuplets' differences aren't even really in their designs - it's in their expressions. They all have the same facial structure, hairstyle, and most of their clothes are identical aside from being color-coded. The differences are subtle - the sizes of their pupils, the shapes of their mouths, and the slant of their eyebrows are the most obvious way to tell which is which. Aside from the way the sextuplets look, the animation usually very fluid and the characters are extremely expressive. Behold.Every frame of this anime is interesting. I mean, I know a lot of people who have seen this show around either think the sextuplets look like Garfield characters or Muppets, but they're really very cute and charming. I get a little teary over how much I love them sometimes. I have a hard time critiquing the sextuplets as characters because, as I mentioned, the show really doesn't allow us much insight into their feelings. However, I can appreciate their behavior in that they don't have standard bishonen personality types. (see: Why I hate Free!) They're honestly all terrible. Osomatsu is immature and selfish despite being the firstborn, Karamatsu is constantly trying to pretend he's cool when he's not at all, Choromatsu acts like he's superior to his brothers despite being just as useless as the rest of them, Ichimatsu acts like he's still in his middle-school emo phase, Jushimatsu still acts like he's 5 when he's actually in his twenties, and Todomatsu seems to have no love for his siblings and even says that having them come to his work is like having your principal wave around your stained underwear in front of the entire school. I love that their characters are based around their flaws rather than their strengths, and when they do something right it's actually a surprise. You can tell that they genuinely care about one another, but they also have an intense sibling rivalry which is exacerbated by the fact that there are six of them that all look the same. Aside from the sextuplets, the side characters are also fantastic. Iyami is great because he's such a trashbag, whereas Chibita is great because he's so sweet and genuine toward the sextuplets despite the fact that they continue to eat at his oden stand regularly and have probably never paid off the bill in their lives. The girl the sextuplets are all "in love" with (I use that term loosely because they aren't actually very devoted to her. I think she's just the only cute girl they know and they flock to her rather than going out and mingling.) is manipulative and self-centered, but you can't help feeling sorry for her because she has these six suitors who she has no interest in whatsoever and can't escape them because they're childhood friends and her parents just let them in the house. Everyone is just so lovable, it's hard to dislike anyone, even if Iyami is beating on Hatabo for no reason or Ichimatsu is treating Karamatsu cruelly just for being Karamatsu. So, as you can tell, I am 100% biased, but you should watch Osomatsu-san anyway. Please. Please watch Osomatsu-san. Love yourself.
Okay, let's talk about reboots. Reboots usually end up dissapointing old fans BUT when it comes to Osomatsu-san, so far, it seems as if its been done right! -THIS REVIEW WAS WRITTEN WHEN ONLY 2 EPISODES WERE AIRED- The original Osomatsu anime was aired in the 1980's so naturally a simple remake sort of reboot of an anime made such a long time ago wouldn't be a wise choice. Luckily the team behind Osomatsu-san have thought of that. the first episode opens with the Matsuno brothers discussing what to do about the anime reboot and then goes on to parody and poke fun at all the bigger anime titles from the past decade! I'll try not to spoil it for you but tons of shoujo and mainstream anime and manga titles get referenced in every little thing they do! the original Osomatsu was centered around the brother's love story with a neighborhood girl called Totoko. Of course she'd become the very center of all their actions in the anime however in this reboot the characters have grown up and are no longer 10 years old. Over the course of a few episodes we get to see them struggle with everyday "adult" problems like finding a job or a girlfriend and even helping random strangers overcome problems in their lives. Osomatsu-san addresses some of these issues that aren't easy to talk about, all whilst still keeping it mostly light hearted and entertaining. there is no underlying plot so far (only 9 episodes have aired when I write this) as its very episodic with each episode dealing with something different. We also get parodies from this decade thrown at us a lot XD The sound and animation are excellent! Although mostly keeping to the old character designs, the colour palette's been updated and uses lots of pastel colours. The characters are even given hoodies now instead of their original "school uniform"-esque suits. While the sound and music choices are reminiscent of 80's they are too, updated and more 'modern'. The music choices made are perfect for each situation. The characters are excellent. they're quirky and although the brothers look the same, they each have their own personality and quirks. The same goes for side characters like Chibita, Iyami etc. Each one of them has grown up but are still the same old characters with their gags and quirks from the old Osomatsu anime. And yet even though the characters may seem odd, you can still identify with and connect with them. All in all I feel that if you're a fan of parodic, comedic and just want to laugh and have a good time. Osomatsu-san is the anime for you!
I seriously love this anime. Most of the animes I've seen have predictable moments, but this one? I can never guess what's going to happen next. And I LOVE that. The jokes are witty, the characters are all flawed, but extremely lovable. In fact, those flaws only add to their charm. The voice acting is amazing, background music is catchy and will get stuck in your head. (Ex: Karamatsu's theme and Todomatsu's song) Not only that, but all the openings are bangers. There's not a single one I don't like.
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