“The Way of the Househusband” review

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Submitted by Kate Denning

“The Way of the Househusband” aired last Friday on Netflix.

Kate Denning, Staff Reporter

A much anticipated Netflix original anime aired last Friday with a strong fan base already built and waiting to see what an animated version of their favorite manga (book versions of animes that are usually released and then adapted into their own shows) would look like. Although I have never read the manga itself, I decided to give this short, five episode show a watch.

“The Way of the Househusband” has a very unique and comedic plot: a former Japanese-mafia leader named Tatsu leaves his life of violence behind to be a doting husband to his dedicated-to-her-job wife. Throughout the show, we see him take on many “housewife” tasks with the same force and determination that a yakuza (the name for the Japanese mafia) member would. From overloading his wife with gifts for her birthday to disposing of a broken toy, Tatsu demonstrates that looks–and even voices–are incredibly deceiving.

While the show is incredibly comedic, many critics have one major complaint: the animation. Watchers have dissed the choppy and non-fluid animation as the show’s biggest setback, and in an industry where the animation style can make or break a show, this seemed to be a dangerous criticism. Personally, however, I enjoyed the different style. While it’s not my favorite, it added to the uniqueness of the show. Watching the show was like watching snippets or still-scenes of a colored manga. At first, I was opposed to the style and was hoping that it would “loosen” as the show went on, but my opinion changed the more I watched. It was different, yes. But a good different.

While animation can make or break an anime, it would be hard to break this one over the choppy styling. Why? Because it was so funny! Everyday tasks turned into intense missions that could not risk failure, and it made for a very interesting take on the traditional view of a housewife. Additionally, because Tatsu was such a prolific figure in the yakuza, his former gang members spotted him almost everywhere, which made for some very funny conversations–and conversions. His fame just added to the seriousness (and therefore humor) of his runs to the grocery store, cooking class, bookstore, etc. Even when he was just sitting at home, Tatsu’s househusband life was never dull.

In one scene, Tatsu has to watch over the neighbor’s son who, in his youthful childishness, knocks over and breaks one of Tatsu’s wife’s favorite figurines. To hide the “evidence” of the crime, Tatsu puts gloves on his hands, digs a hole in the backyard, and buries the toy in mafia fashion. It was a humorous take on a minuscule event, which seems to be a recurring theme throughout the show.

My one complaint was how short the show was. But maybe that appeals to more people like high school students who are so busy that they barely have time to sit down and watch a five season show with forty minute episodes. When the show came out last Friday, I sat down and watched it all within an hour and fifteen minutes. The entire show is only five episodes, each lasting around 15minutes. So if you’re looking for a quick, funny, noncommittal show, this one is for you.

With the recent rise of anime as a genre and darker shows like “Attack on Titan,” “The Promised Neverland,” and “Erased” coming to the forefront of watchers’ lists, “The Way of the Househusband” was a wonderfully funny show that lightened my mood. My petty rating is 4 out of 5 stars, just because it was so short. I’d have loved to watch more of it.