Impression: The power of Osomatsu-san

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During the fall of this year, the second season of Osomatsu-san is there for you to watch. There’s not much known about what to expect in this upcoming season, except that it will be in hands of Studio Pierrot and Viz Media being the ones to license the series and that you can watch it on Crunchyroll.

Osomatsu-who?

Osomatsu-san is an adaptation of Osomatsu-kun, a manga series made by Fujio Akatsuka, which ran from 1962 to 1969. Eventually, an anime with the same title was made, in 1966 by Studio Zero and 1988 by Studio Pierrot. Especially for the 80th birthday of Akatsuka, he passed away at 72-years of age in 2008, the anime was produced in 2015. The anime tells the stories of the Matsuno family, existing out of 6 mischievous and perhaps naughty sons (sextuplets), lead by the oldest Osomatsu. Sometimes he is distinguishable from the rest through his red sweater. Furthermore, the brother’s names are Karamatsu (blue), Choromatsu (green), Ichimatsu (purple), Jyushimatsu (yellow), and Todomatsu (pink).

In the Showa period they were in elementary school, but right now they are still in the same household, while everything around them has changed significantly. The brothers are now in their 20’s, lazy, little to no motivation to find work, and made a decision for the so-called NEET-life (Not in Education, Employment or Training).

Adjustments

The inlet of the first season of Osomatsu-san was the first episode in which many parodies were shown one after another. Among which idol anime, comparable to Uta no☆Prince-sama♪, and sports anime like Haikyuu were shown in a funny way, or rather put in a dark light, as you can expect from a gag-anime. The episode had to be adjusted because there is no exception to copyright (without permission) for a parody. Episode 3 was also adjusted because complaints came in regarding a parody of Anpanman, a popular anime for children.

Despite these setbacks, Osomatsu-san became really popular, which might have to do with the casting of the voice actors (seiyuu), think about Daisuke Ono, Takahiro Sakurai and Hiroshi Kamiya. The first season had 25 episodes, and after the last episode the text “See You Again Someday” was shown. This caused quite some speculation, which even made fans believe that staff members behind the anime had ensured some hidden messages were put in the final episode. These hidden messages would have confirmed that a second season was in the works. But the official statement took a really long time to be released.

Even after the anime had finished, Osomatsu-san remained pretty popular with its diverse selection of merchandise, gadgets, special Osomatsu cafés, stage play, but also games and manga series. It’s still very popular in Japan even today. In September of 2016 word came out that there was definitely an interest in working on a second season. The Japanese fans were kept occupied with a special in December of 2016, and eventually, fans were overjoyed with news about a definite second season on April 6, 2017.

The power of Osomatsu-san

What makes Osomatsu-san this popular? It definitely won’t be because of the ‘beautiful’ art style, but more because of the numerous episodes that are filled with weird stories and humour. It’s not humour that’s suitable for everyone, but the jokes and adventures of the brothers still manage to make a lot of people laugh. Sometimes you might recognize something about daily life, but everyone suspects that the popularity is mostly caused by the stupid moments of the six brothers combined with the voice actors.

Osomatsu-san is an anime which doesn’t require you to think much. Watch the episode and let it come to you naturally. Sometimes they’ll put you on a wrong leg by making you think you landed in a completely different series, or that something you definitely wouldn’t expect from the Matsuno brothers or any other character in the series will happen. Each of the brothers has different characteristics and a catchphrase, which makes it nearly impossible for fans to not pick a favourite. Even though that also has to do with the voice actors. If you’re not known with the six brothers yet, you’ll have to do some effort trying to keep them apart at first, but eventually, you’ll see their characteristics and the colour of the sweaters they wear.

All in all, it’s a series that has to generate quite some laughter, even it has been proven that some jokes are impossible to tolerate -for example, episode 3 of the first season, but it seems that viewers forget about this quickly and continue to watch the adventures of the mischievous boys. In many cases, you can conclude that the events make no sense, but that you can’t prevent yourself rolling over the floor with laughter. Additionally, the series has released a lot of merchandise, including soundtracks that have been linked to various characters, has guaranteed a large fanbase, and it’s still counting!

If you haven’t seen the first season of Osomatsu-san yet, you definitely should watch it on Crunchyroll.

Francisca Hagen

Started with AVO in 2003. Now active as writer, reporter, reviewer, promotor, photographer and tries to rule the world with a forum. Can be found regurarly at conventions and concerts in the Netherlands and sometimes Belgium. Big passion for Japan and music. You can follow me on Twitter: @Seraphinne

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