Review: Orenchi no Furo Jijō
Anime, amiright? But no seriously, some anime is so damn strange that it’s worth stepping back for a moment and saying “woah, hold on now, just what the flaming heck am I watching here?” This anime might have topped a weird scale for me, but not quite in the same way as an anime such as Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo would have. To think, I wrote that article on Bobobo over a year and a half ago. Now, it’s mentioned again as I always like to compare weird anime to that particular series, as it holds a place in my heart: A series that I truly connected with… Because much like Bobobo, I too dreamt of being a sandwich.
Okay not really, so what is Orenchi no Furi Jijō? Well, how can I put this without it seeming like it’s really perverted… Umm… It’s a harem anime. Damn it, I’ve already made it sound bad, but please hear me out here. It’s not what you think it is.
This series is about a teenage boy, Tatsumi, who lives in a house by himself (for some inexplicable and unexplained reason). This strictly isn’t true though, for you see his bathtub has been taken over by a mermaid. Actually, not a mermaid… A merman. This merman loves it in his bathtub so much and all the hilarity and hijinks revolve around the merman, Wakasa and his friend and bathtub lender, Tatsumi.
Now, remember how I explained that this is a harem anime? Yet, the bathtub captor is a merman and the lender of the bathtub is a teenage boy. Before you start getting concerned that bad things happen between the merman and the boy… No. Nothing. Nothing bad happens. Instead, it’s an all around adorable and sweet little story about a teenage boy who happened to bring a merman into his house when he saw the man dying by a river. Basically, Tatsumi lends out his bathtub so that Wakasa can have a comfortable life… But that doesn’t stop Wakasa occasionally inviting his sea-friends along.
From an octopus man who likes to give suction massages, to a jelly-fish man and even a sea-snail man… Yeah, you read all that correctly. The height of interaction between these characters and Tatsumi is simply… A back massage. Or sharing the bath tub. Through all of this, the series manages to remain innocent and actually somewhat adorable. Featuring some chibi-styled artwork and a lot of silly banter back and forth between the characters, you don’t get any explicit situations. You sense a lot of embarrassment on Tatsumis part, but other than that, nothing bad.
The fact the creators of this series, Yuniko Ayana along with studio Asahi Production, have made what is effectively the sweetest, safest to watch harem series is simply stunning. There are only 13 episodes of this little hidden gem of the anime world and I’d highly recommend checking them all out. Best of all, each episode is only 4 minutes long… And they’re all available on Crunchyroll for those of you who are subscribed to the service. Outside of the service, you can get the whole set on eBay, but as pointed out in the comments, chances are these aren’t exactly legit.
Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to Tatsumi’s bathroom and the silly comedy that takes place inside and outside of the bathtub. The cast are a really colourful bunch of sea-people who are all incredibly innocent about living up on land like the rest of us. Also, I haven’t mentioned an important part of the series that made it truly special… The theme tune. It was so… Unfitting! It felt like a serious series was about to be shown, with some deep, developed plot… But no! We didn’t get any of that… Just one of the coolest theme tunes in anime history! Damn it, why did you do this to us, Asahi Production!? Still, I’d have had the series no other way.
Okay, so this isn’t the best drawn series in the world. It relies heavily on the chibi-style to actually get its points across, which ultimately is a fair bit easier to draw than a complex anime style. Don’t take this as a slap to chibi, however – I realise some chibi characters take a lot of effort to draw and the biggest selling point with chibi is to be consistent. The series manages a high standard of consistency. With the unfitting theme tune, following into the adorable little sound of the episode starting, along with the fact you can watch all 13 episodes in less than an hour, I’d say this series accomplishes a lot in a short amount of time.
Ultimately, I’m giving Orenchi no Furi Jijō a respectful 4/5. If you like harem anime normally, you could potentially be disappointed, but if you’re really into comedy above all else, even though the premise is somewhat creepy at first, it’s a really sweet and all together funny show. Has this review made you interested in the series? What do you make of the curious situation that Tatsumi has ended up in? As always, comments below, over on Facebook or Twitter and let me know what you thought about this series!