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Patron Pick Fall 2023: Atarashii Joushi wa Do Tennen – 07

As someone who’s experienced the trauma of an abusive boss, I can fully relate to what Momose-san is going through.  That trauma doesn’t easily leave you. if it ever does – there’s always a lurking fear that circumstances will conspire to put you right back in that Hell.  The psychology behind that is complicated, and not really the point where discussion of Atarashii Joushi wa Do Tennen is concerned.  But even if the series doesn’t dig deep into that territory, it is the serious subtext lurking underneath the comic and cuddly surface.

As such, as long as we’re talking about it anyway I think it’s worth reiterating my view that the current plot twist is kind of messed up.  Momose-kun has been running away from Kurono-san since the moment he left his company (and kudos to him for having the guts to do that).  Until he faces his past head-on, he’ll never be “over” it.  And allowing that fear to force him out of his home is exactly the wrong thing to do.  Allowing Kurono to threaten and intimidate someone who isn’t even his employee is exactly the wrong thing to do.  Momose is following the path of least resistance, and with all due respect to Taoism that isn’t always the right path to follow.

But this is a comedy, and I do get that.  Momose and Shirosaki shacking up is good comedy.  Stuff like that bit with the salt shaker is gold, and the interactions with Hakutou are always rewarding.  Clearly Momose doesn’t have much cat experience, or he’d realize that cats bringing you gifts is a seal of approval (and that their definition of value is different from yours).  In addition to humor this development has the added benefit of allowing the series to wink knowingly at the audience, which is certainly not of incidental importance.

Seeing Momose’s terror at going back to his apartment for supplies hits pretty hard.  The best part of this sequence was Shirosaki mistakenly messaging Aoyama at dinner saying he was coming too, and the latter’s reaction (“Nooo!”) when he finds out it was a mistake.  It’s not like Momose’s place is anything special  – just a standard Japanese 1K dive – so if he wants to move, no harm in that.  But I do think he needs to confront Kurono sooner or later and expose the guy for what he is (which his bosses surely know already).

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