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Patron Pick Fall 2023: Atarashii Joushi wa Do Tennen – 08

I realize I’ve used the word a ridiculous number of times already in relation to Atarashii Joushi wa Do Tennen.  But how can I not keep repeating “shameless” with episodes like that one?  It’s a double-barrelled assault, because while the wholesomeness is the main weapon, the tail gunner is in there with the puns too.  And honestly, they’re just as shameless – “ju-en”, seriously?  This is not high art by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s hard not to smile – and I appreciate the total buy-in to the cause.

This week’s pretext is a business trip (by car this time) to Akita.  That of course is Shirosaki’s home prefecture, land of Akita dogs and Namahage and one of Japan’s most distinctive regional dialects.  Specifically this ep is set in the Oga area, which is the wellspring of the Namahage tradition.  If you recall Shirosaki-san was traumatized by them as a child (as I imagine many Akita kids were), so turning them into an ad campaign does offer its own set of challenges.

The trip includes a visit to Shirosaki’s grandma, the YouTube influencer, who immediately starts calling Momose “Ken-chan”, prompting Shirosaki to do the same.  Obviously the family album immediately comes out and just as obviously it’s full of Shirosaki being adorably goofy even as a child.  There are also a lot of photos of his big brother Seiyuu (in whose room Momose-san is sleeping).  He took most of them in fact, as he loved cameras almost as much as his little brother.  Yuusei misunderstood this and saved up his piggy bank funds to buy Seiyuu a turtle (“Kame”) instead of a camera “(“Kame-ra”).

Well, there’s the rare double-play of shamelessness, both guns firing at once.  As it turns out getting the boys talking about Seiyuu was Grandma’s plan all along, as she was planning on surprising Yuusei with his big brother’s presence.  Seiyuu (Ono Daisuke) is a photographer who’s been traveling the world (thus the empty room).  The three of them bond over making Akita delicacy kiritanpo-nabe (to be uploaded to the YT channel of course).  And as it turns out Aniki is just as much of a ditz as his brother – a “dogachika” in Akita dialect, which in true dogachika fashion Yuusei (Seiyuu and Yuusei, get it?) goes on to explain to Ken-chan in English (Yuusei later weighs in by translating Akita dialect into different Akita dialect).

There’s also a trip to the local onsen, with Momose eventually having to drive after both brothers get lost, and then a stop to look at the stars.  This is punctuated by a fall into the rice paddy (fortunately dry at this time of year), which has obviously happened many times.  And the next day a photo session with the Akita puppies.  By the way, Hakutou is bonding with Aoyama while this is going on (Aoyama finally got a houseguest), but Aoyama fears Kumatte is getting jealous.  I imagine you’d have to be bought in to have made it this far, because otherwise I think this episode would have just about been unwatchable.  As is, you just have to embrace the shamelessness and turn off the cynicism…

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