Matsutarou Sakaguchi is a giant roughneck man with strength far beyond ordinary people. He never uttered words like "work hard," "strive," and "dream" like the typical shounen manga protagonist. However, he is stronger than anyone and peerless in sumo wrestling. His greatest weakness is his own carefree personality. He grows into a full-fledged sumo wrestler.
This anime is a very late adaptation of the manga "Notari Matsutarō" which received 1978's Seinen Shogakukan Manga Award. The author Tetsuya Chiba worked on Ashita no Joe with Ikki Kajiwara. Both Matsutaro and Joe are against conformism and started as real jerk, but their paths are different.
Art : 5/10
Nothing special, it is kind of retro-type.
Sound : 5/10
Story&Character 9/10 (they are meant to be together):
It's an adaptation, and the original story started in 1973. It was very rare back then in Japan to have anti-hero as main character. The story is only about Matsutaro, a man that represent every "failures" in japanese society. The
sumo universe is respected, nothing more to say about it, the sport side isn't very deepened. In order to really appreciate, I had to keep in mind that everything in this story is symbolic. Getting into the action would cause most people to hate the main character, and find it boring as it lacks of charismatic foes, serious competition and structured plot. Talking about plot, in my opinion it is this simple :
Matsutaro, against all others characters who represent society. Every other characters are just here to tell his story. If he acts like a rebel, it's because he never felt the need of being part of society, only Reiko made him want to get in it. Let's make it simple, He wants one thing from society, but isn't willing to do something for it, and the sumo is the only thing that can make the deal.
In order to understand Matsutaro, put aside all the "good/bad" notions, and everything that society taught us. Like every human, what he want the most is living a happy life as he sees it : sleeping, eating, and being free with Reiko, in his case it's everything that matters to him.
What I tought was awesome with him is that everything that you can hate in this guy is something that society taught you to hate. In fact, he is even with others human, just too different to be understood by some people. This man doesn't have any knowledge nor morality, but he's logic in his acts and honest with himself and others. I'd even say he's more clever than most people, optimizing everything in his life in order to make it better, he'd rather live happy than looking nice for others.
Some people would say that the story is about conformism and the evolution of a rebel, but I don't totally agree with them. I think it's more than just that, there is something simpler and better : Road to happiness.
Enjoyment : 8/10
It remind me of when I tried to figure out which was better between FMA and FMAB, one more mature, the other more into action.
I had to look at it three times to finally get it :
1st time : this is pretty bad, oh wait it's not a shounen !;
2nd : It's not that bad, but I feel strange, as if I missed something;
3rd : How could I be so stupid to not understand how good it was;
I then bought the manga version in order to be sure I wasn't wrong.
It may looks like an ordinary sports anime, but if you turn on your brain while watching and try really hard to understand, this is GOLD. I don't think much people could really appreciate it since it looks really simple and childish yet so subtile and clever that it gave me headaches.
The few things I didn't like were all those scripting arrangements to make you hate the character that were not into the manga. Even the studio didn't really understood it all, he's not supposed to be hot-tempered and bad just for being like that. It was very counter productive because most people will not understand that Matsutaro is more than a evolving-jerk.
Overall : 8/10
This anime is very similar to Joe wich I enjoyed, but so much more clever. I admit that it is due to the fact that Joe was the pioneer, but Matsutaro could almost be another version of Joe, more mature and realistic. It's really too bad that art and sound were too classic, and with the few errors in Matsutaro's behaviour, it can get really confusing for the one that expected something more "seinen-ish".
If you want a good plot, action, rivalry & shonen stuff, no manga culture : not for you;
If you are able to enjoy a smart show without getting every references : it's worth a try;
If you love having headaches after thinking to much : then it is for you.
Ok, so far nobody hasn't made a review of this retro type of anime, well, we all know that its manga version "Notari Matsutarou" was started in the 70's and ended in the late 90's and I can't blame anybody for probably having some lack of interest of anime since it has a rather slow progression and underrated, so I'm gonna give my ratings as to this anime's category, but take note that I'm gonna subject this review for updating on its last episode which right now (9/29/14), so here are my ratings, DOSUKOI!!!!:
Take note that this is an updated review, co'z when I
made this review it was after watching episode 20.
Story: Fair 6. DOSUKOI!!!
Well, I give it a "Fair" score since the anime itself has a slow progression and pretty much random, but it still provides some aspect of entertainment where at one point I would like to see an ending where I would like to see Matsutarou getting owned big time and on the second is where I see his entertaining side where ,pretty much this anime's story plot rides on his journey and misadventure of being a Sumo wrestler which is why this part gets a 6 in my opinion, so as for my update of this anime for its last episode I will retain the score of 6.
Art: Decent 4. DOSUKOI!!!
Obvious enough, that this anime's art was pretty much retro in today's standard but it is still artistic in such a way. So I'm keeping the score the way it is.
Sound and Character: Good 7. DOSUKOI, DOSUKOI!!!
For the sound, the score is for the opening theme and for the VAs who did Matsutarou, Tanaka and Reiko's voice, since the anime has a seinen genre, so typically this anime is for the more older audience, so in such aspect the mature voices really does match this anime as a whole. The opening theme "Dosukoi Jinse" really does depict the life of a rowdy wrestler like Matsutarou , which was another reason why this anime's sound deserves a 7.The characters, ok so this is all about Matsutarou and Matsutarou alone, but let's not forget about Tanaka who is the one who keeps the main character in somewhat "in check," frankly as odd as it is the score is more for Tanaka than for Matsutarou, since he has to take up the burden of putting Matsutarou back on his track. Matsutarou, on the other hand really is one character that I like to hate, though, I did said that he is entertaining, I did said that he's is a character that I wanna see get owned and after watching the last episode I'm happy as to how things went for him (I'm not gonna put the spoilers, co'z I don't want them mods on my back) , now on Reiko, I would have wish that she has more aired time but alas she only limited to just a few moments with the main character, Matsutarou, also, she one character where I don't like to end up with Matsutarou and I'm glade she didn't. Let's face it, a nice girl like Reiko being with Matsutarou is like a girl marrying a guy who is a wife beater. I also like the scene where she walks away from Matsutarou, since it kinda made him a more matured person in a rude awakening way.
Enjoyment: Good 7. DOSUKOI!!!
What makes me enjoy this anime was the simple wish that I get to see Matsutarou getting owned, that is if he does get owned in any of the upcoming episodes and I'm glade he did, so I hereby change my score from 6 to 7 since I like the way how it ended.
Overall: From Decent 4 to very good 8. DOSUKOI!!!
All I can say is that when watching this anime one would hate the main character, Matsutarou at one point and on the next one would find him entertaining, also, I've change my score from a 4 to a 8, since in the end getting see him growing up.......late in his life, has made me change my score for this anime's overall