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Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san (Mr. Villain’s Day Off) – 09

Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san is sofa king good, honestly.  It couldn’t surprise me less that it seems to be almost ignored – most of the series in this category are.  I’m used to my “that niche” shows (and this is one of the better ones in the last couple of years) being largely anonymous.  It’s still a shame, though.  I mean, you want anime this smart and funny to be successful.  But these kind are almost always one-and-done commercials for the manga, and knowing that at least spares you from the disappointment of having unmet expectations.

This was a wire-to-wire solid episode.  It was more tonally consistent than Mr. Villain’s Day Off tends to be, but everything was substantial enough to click.  We start off with another cat chapter.  And let’s face it, a guy wired the way the General is couldn’t possibly not love cats.  The one in question here is a stray living behind the beloved Hope Mart that Warumono-san has been trying to seduce into the pats zone, but one night he arrives to see someone has leapfrogged him.  This is Ranger Black, who we met last week.  And he has the advantage of Warumono-san, though he doesn’t press it here.  Our poor alien didn’t even consider winning Neko-chan over with food – cheating or not, I believe he just didn’t think of it.

Black is a bit puzzled by the General.  Yes, Black, he is “an odd one”, and he certainly does like cats.  We’re apparently going to get a full Ranger origin story next week, but it’s already clear that Black is as much of a mensch as Warumono-san.  I don’t suppose he literally is a father, but he’s certainly a father figure to his young comrades – most obviously the twins, but in a way to all of them.  If you judge Warumono by how children and animals (and fairy creatures) regard him it’s only fair to do the same for Black, and find he comes out shining.  It seems impossible that these two teddy bears of men will wind up as mortal enemies when all is said and done, but given what I’ve seen from this show so far I wouldn’t totally rule it out.

Next up the holiday whistle-stop tour of Japanese holidays stops at Setsubun.  Red is dreaming about “Oia ga Soto!”-ing Warumono-san (I love that he calls him the “nice guy from the Evil League”), and he fells him with his soybean barrage.  In return the General gifts him something that will help his sense of direction, though we never see what – what kind of alien tech does Ranger Red dream of?  For his part the General is spending the holiday in the shopping district musing on why beans have such powers, when the local obaa-sans accost him and start gifting him mochi samples.

First of all, I love the fact that the old ladies in the shoutengai have adopted this weird but nice guy the way they have.  And second, mochi is no joke in that over a thousand people (typically the elderly) die from choking on it every year in Japan, almost all during the festive period between New Year’s and Setsubun when it’s a part of so many ritual events.  It’s almost unbelievably chewy and stretchy when it’s prepared that way – you can’t imagine it until you’ve experienced it.  If he were a crueler alien the General might even include it in his arsenal.

Food is a major theme this week, and next is ice cream.  And coffee – ice cream and coffee is a fantastic combo too few people know about (though strawberry ice cream is not my jam).  Warumono-san is working hard from home (nice 3-D interface setup), and finally ready for a break.  There’s an ice cream with his name on it, but just as he’s ready to dive in the emergencies start coming over the wire.  One after the other, and the General is truly distraught when he realizes he should have put his treat back in the freezer.  But he learns something very valuable here – the best time to eat it is when it just starts to get melty around the edges.

It’s a huge education for the General generally this week, in fact.  He learns how to seduce stray cats, the joys and dangers of mochi, the best time to eat ice cream.  As well, why the lights sometimes go out and how to reset a breaker (Guugle-sensei is there even for alien invaders), and how to avoid it happening again.  Before that last one the mascots on his cup ramen turn into panda devil and angel on his shoulder as Warumono-san considers whether to indulge in an unhealthy late night treat.   The allure of illicit cup ramen is too powerful, and the General bemoans that “My will is still too weak to wipe out humanity”.  This guy us just so human, even though he isn’t.

And then, we close with his panda plushie shaming him into not skipping his shower or brushing his teeth.  It’s truly hilarious in its simplicity, this bit – it has a very 1930’s Hollywood comedy vibe to it.  It occurred to me here that Warumono-san is kind of an antisocial Winnie the Pooh, which I know sounds odd but when you think about it – it really fits.  And the real kicker is, you just know the General would love Winnie the Pooh if he ever found out about it.  A series with this premise reminding me of A.A. Milne –  that’s why I love anime and manga so much.  You just wouldn’t get that anywhere else.

The post Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san (Mr. Villain’s Day Off) – 09 appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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