Dad, The Bearded Gorilla, and I is a true example of a manga that does well at what it sets out to do - a very pleasant slice of life/ comedy that works to immerse the reader into the lives of the characters at hand. Yet at the same time this manga delves upon the fundamentals of human emotion with a soft touch that I have rarely seen in anything else I have read or watched - a manga that finds the light comedy hidden within the fairly uneventful lives of the characters as a way of showcasing human relationships and emotion.
The synopsis written on
this page doesn't really get into the depths of the story. This manga is about how the death of one beloved person can have a profound affect on the lives of many characters. Souichi, one of our three main characters, becomes a widower after his wife Miyuki tragically dies in a car crash. His brother Kouji, a bearded freelance web desginer and work at home man, is brought in to help Souichi take care of his young daughter Michiru. This triggers a jovial relationship between an uncle and niece that serves to be the driving force of the manga itself - an important piece to the relationships developed throughout the series, and also a key for Souichi to move on from the tragedy. What erupts from a tragic event is a multitude of heartwarming and fun stories. Hidden within these comedic sequences are small, but seemingly everlasting moments of sadness and turmoil. The moments where Souichi's happiness is shattered by memories of his late wife really throws a wrench int my throat, as the jovial atmosphere of the manga changes abruptly and I am reminded that Souichi is truly suffering on the inside.
And this is what the manga does to you. A likeable and realistic cast paired up with fairly relatable stories really makes it hard not to put ourselves in the situations at hand. While the emotions of frustration and sadness running through each character is never described outright for the sake of keeping the atmosphere peaceful, for me it was impossible not to have a clear view of the makeup of the character's emotions due to this forged connection.
The true key within this manga is the dynamic love-hate relationship that Kouji forges with Michiru. They act as a happy point (can't think of anything on the spot to describe this) in every chapter, a way of keeping the premise story in line. The dark mood of the premise is completely washed away the moment the two met, and their comedic conversations and interactions really keep the emotions (either dark or soapy) from getting too out of hand. Furthermore, the relationship really acts as a way for Souichi to keep his personality from changing due to the affects of the tragedy. Michiru's happiness and the active household (due to the presence of the bearded Gorilla Kouji) acts as a foothold for him to move on.
*/ Small Spoilers up ahead choose to skip if you want
A really important piece of the manga that truly makes it special is the complexity of the relationship between Souichi and Hiwa (a younger coworker under Souichi) that I honestly find hard to ignore when discussing this manga. What starts as an innocent connection between the two that mirrors Souichi and his wife's first meeting develops into a complicated relationship involving several characters and plotlines. While Michiru and Kouji act as the foothold to keep Souichi's emotions in check, Souichi's interactions with Hiwa truly act as encouragement for Souichi to move forward with his life. While the fact is that both are fully fledged adults, the innocence within this relationship isn't something to be scoffed at for being unrealistic. Instead, it brings out how broken and misplaced both characters are -- Hiwa being inexperienced, not with being in a relationship as she has experience in that regard, but the feeling of liking someone earnestly. Souichi being unable to accept the death of his wife as a reality he must face. Their interactions work to overwrite their bad experiences and memories that deter them at the start of the story.
At the same time, both characters know, but realistically can't acknowledge each other's feelings due to their circumstances. Hiwa recognizes that Souichi's wife is still prevalent in his life with the presence of Michiru, and in addition to this, she feels that it was unfair for her to like Souichi when her best friend Yurika tried so hard to win Souichi's affection. Her inability to act upon these feelings sends mixed signals to Souichi, who is conflicted by Miyuki and her death. Souichi realizes that if he accepts his own feelings, he is accepting that he is moving on, or 'overwriting' his memories of his late wife. Due to how much of an impact Miyuki had on his life, he does not want to let go of the cherished memories that he had built with Miyuki. These feelings act as a final hurdle, an unavoidable and half-impossible one for Souichi to jump over. This situation not only works as a subtle way of fleshing out both characters, it also brings out the best of others involved such as coworkers Hino and Yurika, who try in their own ways to help both move on while conflicted themselves with their own relationships with the characters.
*/ //end spoilers
Sadaji Koike's art remains simplistic and almost cartoony throughout the entire manga. Only in some occurrences do are the characters drawn in detail, usually to express some emotion or action. However, the art really works to create various themes used to drive the story. What I (and also some reddit users on r/manga) seemed to have noticed is the fact that snow, and winter itself, starts off as a symbol for grief and sadness (Miyuki's death in the winter), and gradually becomes a season of fun for every character. Scenes of sadness and isolation often have empty or a very basic environment drawn, with limited or no dialogue. These scenes are placed at the beginning of chapters so that rather than seeing most of the details of what led up to a scene the reader is shown the results. Koike does this to dedicate more screen-time for us to see how Souichi reacts and grows from sadness rather than how sadness is evoked within him.
Yet this manga keeps it simple. The complexity that I described really isn't the focus of the story. I went into depth because I had a lot to say. "Chichi no Hige-Gorilla to Watashi" sets out to entertain and not really to delve too deeply into the characters. The story is sincere with this direction, and its only voluntary for you to really go deep into thinking about the plotline and characters. Sometimes heartwarming, sometimes 'feels invoking', and almost often will make you chuckle, "Chichi no Hige-Gorilla to Watashi" is a very enjoyable and fast read for anyone searching for a lighthearted and comedic story.
Big thanks to Meraki scans for translating this manga!
(its still ongoing tho and updates r slow cause translations caught up with raws Q.Q)
Dec 25, 2017
What is true happiness? It seems like such a simple question yet no matter how hard I myself tried, I couldn’t answer it truthfully. I could say that it is the feeling I got a week ago when I completed all my finals, yet I would be lying as I barely felt anything. It could be the increase in dopamine in my body after quickly downing 8 shots of vodka, but the last time I did that it just made me want to puke my heart out. In the end, the happiness I experience seems fleeting - almost as if it comes in short bursts ... air hitting my face in obscure but fairly predictable times. Unfortunately because of this nature it causes me to be unable to answer the question, but alternatively the nature of this might’ve just made me forget such a question existed at all.
“Three days of Happiness” definitely does not belong in the tier of great manga here on myanimelist or any manga list. To do that you really need a deeply structured plotline and a masterfully crafted set of characters each with their own intricate details and its certainly hard do that with a 16+1 chapter manga (15 chapter novel). What it does well on is its emotional impact to the reader, and it does this well. The premise is as blatant as it comes: straight from the title - a man decides to sell his future, all except for 3 months, for 300000 yen. He is then granted an observer to negate the impact if the man becomes desperate and starts to cause trouble - this observer was same young receptionist that helped him make the transaction.
This of course, flows the reader to the question: how much is one’s life worth in cash? Through a short 16 chapters, the story explores themes of depression, happiness, and the value of life itself - how it truly is something hard to measure. The plotline is quite simplistic yet also important in its own way. Our main protagonist is depicted as having lighthearted and casual nature, and seems to almost care naught about his impending death. This type of characterization really gives a sense of how far the man has fallen down in life. These feelings ease up as the story progresses, as the man (followed by the observer) begins on a path , unbeknownst to him, to find his own answer to the question of happiness. Over time, our protagonist and the observer each begin to find out more about themselves, and each other, and a budding relationship grows out of this development.
Technical-wise, the art itself complements the storyline very nicely. It provides a casual and realistic atmosphere that tones down the supernatural aspects of the story for the reader so that they can focus more on the more important themes of the story explained previously. The underlying romance in the story was pivotal in expressing the theme of happiness but it was done in a very subtle and delicate way to stay realistic and easy to understand.
In the end, this manga did not answer the question of true happiness for me, but that was not its intention. “Three days of happiness” aimed at reminding me that such a question existed in the first place, and posed many other questions: What is my life worth currently? How does this value change, if it could change? Is there truly an accurate representation of worth in today’s society? How can we find our true happiness?
All in all, this 16 chapter manga might not be able to affect you as much as it affected me. In fact, you might find it to be a bundle of cheesy and simplistic plot lines, filled with plot-holes, mashed up in a jumble together depending on your own situation or presence of mind. Maybe if I read this a bit earlier or a bit later, I would have a different opinion as well, along with different answers to the questions the manga poses, if i had the motivation to answer them. But the thing is, if 16 chapters can cause me to write a bunch of stuff out of the blue that might not be seen, read entirely, or even visited at all, it might just be a worthwhile quick read for you as well.
tldr : read it for some bittersweet feels my dudes
It would be a great anime
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Apr 30, 2015
Anime is a way for many of us to escape from our boring realities, and immerse ourselves into the worlds quite unlike our own.
Why did I start with such a cliche and cheesy statement on a review? Is this starting to sound like an essay?
Well, to be fair, Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo (Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They) caters towards the type of individual described above. Individuals seeking to escape reality and adventure into a world of the unknown.
Too bad the world in this anime stays 'unknown'.
There are many anime that take on the storyboard of ... 'traveling to a different dimension'. Its a born and bred technique that, with minimal uncertainty, will definitely succeed to draw in the common anime watcher. Anime like Log Horizon, SAO, and No Game No Life first come into mind. However, with all my pride of an anime watcher at stake (if I have any), I will say that there is enjoyment in seeing this style of anime does entertain me to a certain extent. The creativity of the setting astounds us, and the ideas hidden within the protagonist's strengths evokes our imagination.
'Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?' follows three characters with the extraordinary powers. The Strongest human, the ability to interact with animals, and the voice of absolute command are all, 'coincidentally', powers that immediately pop into the mind when speaking of supernatural powers that everyone wants.
These three characters somehow are summoned into the dangerous world of 'Little Garden'
In fact, the anime was very fast in introducing the power of our superhuman Izayoi, who defeats a water 'god' in the span of 2 episodes. its a common event that we see in some anime like this. Antagonist underestimates protagonist at hand greatly, protagonist demolishes them with an unexplained skill, and the antagonist regretfully admits his/ her mistake. Of course, on paper it sounds cliche and cheesy, but fans love the moment when the antagonist is overwhelmed due to their sheer incompetence in fighting. Come on Water God, don't challenge our shounen protagonist with only your puny god fighting skills.
The anime is hardly to blame for this. We see it regularly. Sora and Shiro from No Game No Life easily dispatch their humanity hating enemies. Don't get me started on Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei. In fact, this anime does well to show that brute force doesn't always win battles compared to the others. Strategy actually appears, albeit occasionally, in the anime. When it does, its hard to watch, as the enemies are so remarkably stupid it makes the strategy in place look well thought out.
What the anime did well in though, was introducing the setting and story. The back-story is developed fairly well, and the majority of the plot-holes in the history that appear are subsequently covered with a brief explanation. Our protagonists discover the dilemma of the community of 'No Name'. This community was at the bottom of the food chain in the world of Little Garden.
What the story does not go in depth however, is the setting itself. Remember when I said the world stays unknown? The beautiful, imaginative idea of Little Garden is hardly developed. Its a flaw in the style of anime. Make the anime short and risk under developing the setting. Make the anime long to delve into the world and lose action and fast-paced storytelling along with it. Its a problem that is hard to correct.
For a anime that deeply involves its characters into the plot-line, Character development is a missing piece to the puzzle. A short 10 episodes may attribute to the lack of development, but the reality is, the characters have no where to go! The moment the land on Little Garden, our protagonists are as overpowered as Goku is by the end of Dragon Ball Z. There is a bit of marginal growth for our characters power wise, of course with the exception of Superhuman Izayoi, who is so perfect in the power category that its hard not to become worse.
Sometimes I go quite overboard with my little jabs at anime. The artwork in Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? is beautifully done. Characters have no glaring differences in artwork from one point of the anime to the next. The backgrounds are populated with significant detail. Every character looks unique in their own way, and are very distinguishable through artwork.
Through there is far little in character development, the personalities of our protagonists are actually very unique and fairly intriguing. Each character has a unique personality that quite often suits their abilities and appearance. Because of this, when these characters initiate their abilities, it actually feels as if the the abilities they possess are unique to them only.
When individuals rate an anime, they rate it either through their enjoyment or how well the anime is made. Of course, both these two factors influence one and another, but they are also distinctly separate. Someone can watch a plot-hole filled, disturbing, unimaginative anime and still receive enjoyment because it may fulfill with what that individual may want. Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? has some glaring mistakes that all anime of its type possesses, but I cannot say that it didn't have its good points, and that I didn't enjoy it. Many of its problems revolve around the shortness of the anime, along with the cliffhanger ending. However, there is more to come, and when that time comes, there will be individuals to either praise it, or judge it no matter what the outcome.
6/10 - Good
(Please don't think that 6 is bad, for those of you, because I base my ratings off of the word descriptions (ie good, very good, mediocre) rather than the number)
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Apr 16, 2015
Himouto Umaru-Chan does not use cliche harem scenes or exposed underwear shots to entice readers. Don't let the title and synopsis to deter you from reading this slice of life, as through the 92 chapters that Norway Scans (I miss you) has scanned, there has not been a single case of sibling romance. Its not a manga that focuses upon the idea of romance, but rather, it implements it in small doses, often with hilarious ways.
Himouto Umaru-Chan tells the everyday life of the lovable Umaru and her interactions with her brother and her friends. Umaru is renowned for her beauty and talent throughout her entire ... school, but the moment she puts her foot into her 'base', she turns into a internet-addicted, NEET-like individual, much to the dismay of her brother.
The manga has no real guiding plotline. Each 10-page chapter involves Umaru doing something remarkably stupid or funny, relative to her alter-ego. As the story progresses, each character is introduced in a way which exposes their bad-traits. Take for example, Ebina and Kirie, friends of Umaru. Ebina is expressed immediately by the manga as a self-conscious individual. Kirie is socially awkward. From what I've read, short slice of life mangas often leave the characteristics of side characters the way they are through the entire story without developing them at all, especially if the said character's traits caters initially to readers. The interactions between Umaru and the side characters, however, gradually change the way they act without directly stating their change to the audience. In fact, the audience notices subtle changes from chapter to chapter of the side characters. Kirie may finally talk to a classmate, and the manga doesn't make a huge deal out of it to display their wondrous character development
Himouto! Umaru-chan's lighthearted chapters brings a sense of peace to the reader, as it describes the idea happiness through a lighthearted comedic tone. The manga establishes a nice balance between comedy scenes and heart-warming scenes, often mixing them together. However, this does come with flaws that every 10 page-chapter mangas possess. Fairly often, some chapters cut of without an ending. Himouto Umaru-Chan is not plot driven, and because of this the manga cuts off sometimes, leaving the reader wondering what happens next, and the next chapter just starts a new event often without recapitulation. For some readers recap-ing may provoke annoyance as getting to the story is much more important, but fast paced, short story mangas like this, without recap readers sometimes truly do not have a single idea upon what is truly going on.
Overall, Himouto! Umaru-chan did have its flaws and probably wont stimulate emotions like other slice of life manga/anime, the light-heart nature of the story will evoke readers to come back to read a second chapter every time.
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