Japanese Girls Are Crazy About The Sextuplets! What Makes The Anime “Osomatsu-san” So Irresistible?
There are always the craze of Anime-fans whenever there’s a series on-air each season. “K-ON!,” “Magical Girl Madoka Magica,” “School Idol Love Live!” are some of the titles in the post-2010 that were said to be as “Social Phenomenon (社会現象, Shakai Gensho)” because their market hugely affected Japan’s economy by their merchandise, fanzines, and box-office revenues.
Recently, the anime series of “Osomatsu-san,” the comeback series to celebrate the father of Japanese “gag” comics, Fujio Akatsuka, are surfing the wave of success ever since the series started in the autumn of 2015 (still on its second season). But, it still hasn’t been described as “social phenomenon” yet. (Check out the previous article written by TGU’s ani-ota writer about the start of the Osomatsu-san:http://tokyogirlsupdate.com/osomatsu-san-analysis-20151268990.html )
Currently, there are many products sold and the crazed up female fans are always ready to collect them all. Not just figurines or fanzines that ordinary otaku will collect, but also, stylishly designed fashion goods like tote-bags, iPhone cases, and phone straps are also sold.
The majority of the fans of the 2015-2016 “Osomatsu-san” are said to be the younger, heisei generation (under 25 years old), than of the fans who are older to remember the previous, original “Osomatsu-kun” series which was on-air 27 years ago. Then, what makes these, simple, Showa-retro anime attracts the younger generations living in the 21st century?
I have heard about “Osomatsu-san” series from my otaku and fujoshi friends just as a rumor, and wasn’t able to catch up. I have took this time to catch up the series and to observe why “Osomatsu-san,” the revival of the Showa manga and animation so much speaking to the larger and younger viewers.
1. Fujio Akatsuka’s black comedy is what modern people craved for?
Fujio Akatsuka (1935 – 2008), one of the fathers of Japanese manga culture, was the mastermind of the black humor and comedy in Japan. One of his most famous work, “Tensai Bakabon (Genius Bakabon)” which was serialized Weekly Boys Magazine from 1967. The characters appearing in “Tensai Bakabon” are very iconic, especially the father of the protagonist, “Bakabon no papa (Bakabon’s dad),” stupid and unemployed father who lives with positively nonchalant attitude, is one of iconic characters when it comes to Fujio Akatsuka’s works.
“Osomatsu-kun” series is Akatsuka-sensei’s earlier works than of “Tensai Bakabon,” which has made Akatsuka-sensei up to the stardom of manga artist. The “Osomatsu-kun” series really reflecting the unexpectedness within the daily lives of the ordinary, teenage sextuplets. “Osomatsu-kun,” was soon aired as a anime television series in 1966, and the second season from 1988.
The currently aired “Osomatsu-san” is the revival series originally intended to air as a celebration of Akatsuka-sensei’s 80th Birthday, for the respect for his achievements as manga artist. The sextuplets came back as a lazy, young adult in the 20’s who don’t seek for hardworking jobs. In some ways, that main aspect of the sextuplets reflects the current Japanese young people, who seek for less effort in order to live with enough happiness. The “Osomatsu-san” succeeds and revives Akatsuka-senesi’s satirical spirit, and if the viewers enjoys this much, then it seems that people accepts that they like that un-expecting “gag” of the minimal, daily lives in the 2015.
Also, “Osomatsu-san” series are filled with parodies of other Japanese cultures, especially regarding the otaku culture. In order to understand the situation that the sextuplets in, the viewers need to know certain background knowledge of what is actually happening within that modern culture. For example, the first episode of when the sextuplets were trying to figure out how to make an extraordinary comeback to the modern anime, they have crammed in all the aspects of the popular animes from last five years. Have you noticed all? This draws in the people who knows of that parody or satire, but the people who don’t know it will be left out. It doesn’t mean that every viewer have to know every detail, but you do need to understand at least what is going on. The viewers seem to enjoy the modern parodies than of just having a “gag,” like the “Osomatsu-kun” used to have.
2. The Matsuno brothers’ laziness reflects the people’s desire?
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