This is definitely the season of ignored shows for me, pretty much. Never mind the ones I’m just watching (like Bokura ga Amiero Protocol and Good Night World), the LiA schedule is packed with series no one seems to be talking about. Including most of my mid-tier – this show, Yuzuki-san Chi… Migi to Dari and Overtake! aren’t quite as bereft of attention but they’re hardly splashing big-time. As big a schedule as this fall has, it seems to be dominated by a few big-ticket blockbusters which are sucking the air out of the room for the bulk of the rest.
As for Atarashii Joushi wa Do Tennen, it’s getting more shameless every week. This week was probably the most, and the weirdest too. That combo worked for me, and the contrast in tone between the two business trips was highly amusing. For the A-couple, it’s an onsen ryokan who wants an ad (seriously, why can’t I work for this company?). For the B pairing, it’s a day trip (planned, anyway) to Kumotte Land. Even factoring in how much better the one sounds than the other on paper, the gap between these two propositions is wider than you can imagine.
Momose and Shirosaki manage to get on the Shinkansen despite the latter sending the former the route to Omiya station in Kyoto instead of Saitama. There are the usual hijinks here – like Shirosaki thinking Momose applied to the idol group in an ad on the monitor rather than the company being advertised, and Shirosaki bringing soup base instead of oolong tea (theoretically because he was up too late playing with Hakutou, but truthfully just because he’s a ditz). But they arrive at the inn without too much trouble, unlike Aoyama and Kinjou.
Their whole thread is bizarre to the point of being a little disturbing. And that’s not even factoring in Aoyama’s unhealthy obsession with Kumotte. This strange Lynchian nightmare has been built in the middle of nowhere (which at least lets them justify why no one is coming), and the mascot character (which Shouta Aoi is having way too much fun playing) is a total freakshow. Seriously, everything about this whole sequence is just so wrong, in a wonderfully bizarre way that acts as a nice counterweight to the sweetness and light in the other thread.
Some highlights for me are Kinjou and Aoyama ending up in matching Kumotte T-shirts, and Shirosaki’s statement that he “thought Momose was someone who looked just like Momose”. And why exactly are the two of them sharing a room? Wouldn’t the client put them up in separate rooms? Then we have Kinjou protecting his precious little red book full of Aoyama’s wisdom from the rain, and Shirosaki calling his petcam to check up on Hakutou and Kumotte-chan.
Underlying all that is the series’ usual deeper message. When Momose gets overexcited at the onsen and is terrified he’ll be scolded, Shirosaki instead praises his excitement and says he wants to try and incorporate it into the ad. I was genuinely touched by that, because once you come to understand just how antithetical that is to the way Japan normally does business (and other places too, but it’s worse here), you realize how subversive this message is. And how desperately needed. Bad bosses and black companies are one of the true scourges of modern existence, and any series that celebrates decency, kindness, and enjoying your work is doing the world a service.
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