The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan Volume 1

Helen: Omota Uramichi, age 31 and a former gymnast, never intended to get stuck in a job doing children’s entertainment with no chances for advancement. But, well, that’s where he is now! Along with the rest of his coworkers, Uramichi is just trying to get through the day without completely succumbing to ennui. Children’s television […] The post The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan Volume 1 appeared first on TheOASG.

The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan Volume 1
Helen: Omota Uramichi, age 31 and a former gymnast, never intended to get stuck in a job doing children’s entertainment with no chances for advancement. But, well, that’s where he is now! Along with the rest of his coworkers, Uramichi is just trying to get through the day without completely succumbing to ennui. Children’s television certainly looks different from how I remember it — I don’t remember as much pointed, not-even-concealed complaining from the cast on shows like Barney or The Big Comfy Couch! Part of the schtick for Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan is that it’s not just Uramichi who is unhappy with his position in life, it’s also true for his four co-hosts and you have to wonder if it’s also true for the production staff on “Together With Maman;” the cast isn’t subtle in their constant disparaging and yet seem to do very few retakes because of their complaining! Even the young audience can tell that something is up with the adult stars, although as this first omnibus volume goes on the children go from being more realistically child-like to becoming something more akin to a Greek chorus, echoing both the tragedy and comedy that plays out during a typical recording of “Together With Maman.” Like many children’s shows, “Together With Maman” follows a predictable format and so do these chapters. There is exactly one joke, that Uramichi and company hate their lives (yet don’t do anything to change them) and there’s not much variation on the joke as well. I’m not sure how I feel about this manga being released in two volume omnibuses in English; on the one hand I can’t see this series becoming a giant hit and this kind of release is a classic way to help counteract falling sales, but on the other hand, it’s a bit too much despair at once! Especially given the lack of variety in the story: the characters don’t have unexpectedly good things happen to them, peaceful days off, or segments of the show that they end up truly enjoying, it’s just a low level of despair the entire time. The biggest change I noticed in this omnibus is that the two characters who play the costumed mascots on “Together With Maman” actually show their faces around the start of the second volume (after the manga goes to great lengths to hide their faces earlier) and at that point they become more active members of the cast but, like everyone else, they aren’t exactly fleshed out. Your enjoyment of this series will ultimately depend on just how funny you find the initial gag of “adults doing a job they hate;” I ended up getting bored of it by about halfway through after it became clear that there wasn’t going to be any real variation on that single joke. With an anime scheduled to come out this year, I’m sure the first episode will be a hit on social media and that plenty of people will take screen caps of Uramichi’s complete despair of his life but again, I don’t see this series achieving a huge amount of popularity because being a one-trick pony is so limited. Uramichi Oniisan is tired and after reading this manga, so am I. Helen’s rating: 2.5 out of 5 Justin: You know, you have many dreams as a child growing up. You want to be X or want to be Y, etc., but as you get older and older, that desire begins to change. Instead, what happens is throughout your youth you’ll come to like a few things, and some you’ll want to do for a living. Once that happens, the following two paths will be present to you: With some struggle but enough hard work, you’ll doggedly succeed well enough in said field to make a living, being one of the few adults to actually enjoy what they’re doing.Despite all the hard work and struggles, you fail. But in order to make a living, you find something to do to pay the bills, eat, etc. And somehow, all of this is in this comedy manga, Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan, where a game show host teaches lots of young kids the realities of life with a smile! Meanwhile said game show host has been beaten down by life. Omoto Uramichi is a single 31-year-old who was a gymnast at his school, but life has led him to instead entertain kids on a (maybe popular) children’s show. What happened in his life to have led to this? It’s not completely clear except we know that his role generally brings him down, but like every other adult, he sucks it up and does his job. This means he also accepts doing some weird odd tasks (like dressing up as a Blight Mate) but also continues teaching the kids in the show all about life. Like making timely cracks at certain corporations for their wretchedness but in a way that’s appropriate for the kids!…Or is it? Actually, after reading the first volume I have questions about those kids. I can presume children’s shows exist with kids being taught, but how they act each time this man seems to break down makes me wonder are they part of the cast? Like actually actors? They definitely seem to follow the script well enough — well, assuming the script goes perfectly — and follow instructions. And yet whenever Uramichi lets his cynicism fly they generally seem terrified or concerned for this man. It also seems hard to believe their parents would allow them to be with this eccentric Uramichi and the rest of the cast. The rest of the cast is what makes this manga stick out. While Uramichi has his troubles, you have a failed idol singer (Tadano Utano) who wants to get married, an actual he’s hot guy (Daga Iketeru) who’s weak to sex jokes, two dudes rocking a bear and rabbit suit, and a half-assed director (Derekida Tekito). Apparently those constitute normal names in this manga, but the translation notes tell another story! Their actions throughout this first volume range from “why are they doing this” to “why wouldn’t they do this” to “they probably aren’t getting paid enough to embarrass themselves like this!” Like they basically follow what the higher ups want (while complaining internally) and do some bizarre segments, such as dressing up as germs to promote proper hygiene or Uramichi doing backflips, or take part in company events. Like a concert! Or a company trip instead of having those days off! And all the while we see how miserable they turn out to be…except the higher ups, who think everything’s great. This is a fairly lengthy first volume — believe it’s set up like Wotakoi where it’s combining two volumes into one — so be advised that the chapters are maybe 15-20 pages, but it’ll still feel long. The art is a pretty big stand out, as we can see each character looking horrified (or laughing at someone about to do something embarrassing) about doing segments or events with the kids while also seeing them dish out very helpful advice along the way (or not advice, actually!). The timing for the jokes are spot on for the most part, and overall, there are moments where I couldn’t help but think back to Gintama while reading this. If that series is popping up unprompted, that’s likely a good thing, and that definitely makes Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan worth checking out. Justin’s rating: 4 out of 5 The post The Anti-Social Geniuses Review: Life Lessons With Uramichi Oniisan Volume 1 appeared first on TheOASG.