Welcome back everyone, to another week of Isekai Ojisan! This week we have more subversive isekai humor, vtubers and… wait a second. Is that a joke about the 2018 Youtube ad revenue change? And… and wholesome interactions? Oh no… I think this episode might be good. How about we dive in and talk about that?
So like I said, this episode was actually really funny for me. This is, without question, the most an anime has made me laugh in a long time. Not ironically, not because the contents were so bad it was good. The jokes were just legitimately well crafted. You know last week when I said that Ojisan’s humor was going to get old fast if it didn’t do something? That subverting modern Isekai expectations and making the same gag about the lead having magic in the real world would get old? Well it seems that the author of Ojisan had always figured that out. Because not only did it make some new jokes, though many of the old staples were present as well, but it went deeper with them than I could have ever imagined it would. Like seriously, who makes half an episode about the 2018 Youtube Ad Revenue change?
That’s right, the comedic thrust for a good half of the episode revolves around Youtube. And not some piddly surface level joke like trolls but a full on corporate policy change. One that happened in real life to boot! When I asked for new material, I wasn’t expecting a real life event from 4 years ago to pop up. Especially not one so minor yet so impactful for so many people. And we can’t forget all of the follow-on jokes that came out of this either! Of course we have the classic comments section, but rather than trolls its the Uncle pushing his own subscribers away. Yet even that comes back in the 2nd half when he has to ask them to sub to keep a living, which itself became a joke about their mutual skepticism and how unknowingly similar the two are. Basically: Layers, like an onion.
It doesn’t stop there though! Ojisan even manages to close out the episode with this thread. Taking the whole joke about transforming his body, which we will get to, and turning it into one about vtubers and the power of horny on the internet. How, for all of the Uncle’s earnestness, his magic and joke videos simply can’t compete with a hot elf girl in an oversized hoodie. Resulting his wounded pride, Takafumi’s victory and Fujimiya’s complete exhaustion at everything that’s going on. Not to mention all of the little Attack on Titan and other anime references sprinkled throughout. Steam rising off his body, the Cyclops, etc. Some might call this joke overload, and I wouldn’t blame you for being turned off in that case. But for me, at least half of this episode was legitimately well crafted comedy.
This brings me to the previously mentioned Isekai part. And this continues to be the weakest part of Ojisan as a show. A lot of the jokes are the same ones we’ve saw back in episode one. Uncle is hated by the populace, does something stupid, saves the day, gets asked out by a tsundere and then runs away or abandons her. It’s the the typical subversion of Isekai tropes that, after barely 3 episodes, I’ve come to expect from these sections. So in that sense, I would say Ojisan screwed up. But luckily there were some jokes here I found funny. Like the bait-and-switch of making us think Elf girl had come to our world only to be the Uncle. Or her faceplanting into the barrier after he recreated it rather than a big action set piece. It’s still just subversive comedy, yes. But it’s a slightly different joke.
The real meat of this half of the episode though isn’t in the comedy. Instead, for me, it’s in the wholesomeness between the comedy. Stuff like Uncle trying to get Takafumi and Fujimiya together, encouraging them and trying to help out in his own awkward way. Or his silent reminiscing about the past and seeing himself and the Elf girl in the two of them, perhaps realizing that his own anti-social tendencies has screwed him out of something special. These don’t last long before the next joke, sure. But it’s more heart, more emotion, than most comedic series find the time to include. They are the heartwarming moments that cleanse the palette between Isekai romps and ugly children, relaxing you before you laugh once again. And for me? That’s something all of the best comedies have. Heart. Hopefully Ojisan doesn’t lose it before the end.
So yeah, all in all I would say this was the best episode of Isekai Ojisan yet. Trust me, I’m just as surprised as you are to find myself saying this, but I actually enjoyed this episode. I can’t not praise something that did it’s job well. The comedy was on point, the character interactions wholesome and the designs continue to be cute. There’s still the chance it falls apart in the 2nd half, comedy is very difficult to keep up for that long of a time. But if it can maintain the wholesome heart between the topical and layered jokes than it just might manage it. I just hope it finds something new for the isekai sections, because those are getting old and we are only 3 episodes in.
P.S. Takafumi immediately figuring out the transformation was bullshit and outing him with the Sonic joke was great. Lots of small things like that are why I think this episode was so good,