Former gangster Tatsu applies his hardboiled ways to domestic duties for his wife and neighborhood.
“This is only fifteen minutes long!” was my first thought when I started watching the first episode of The Way of the Househusband. Then I saw there were only five episodes. That made the show easy to binge-watch. I recommend doing that, since you can skip through the opening and closing credits on the next four episodes, making the whole endeavor last a little over an hour.
I had seen the previews of The Way of the Househusband, so I expected the anime to track closely to the look and feel of the manga. I did not expect the production style to match the manga exactly. Each episode contains mini-episodes, much like the manga has separate chapters for its short vignettes. We’re looking at a true slice of life anime where there isn’t an overarching plot connecting the small scenes of daily domestic bliss together.
Judging from the comment threads on Crunchyroll, Anime News Network, and various social media, The Way of the Househusband did not meet the expectations of anime fans. Namely, they expected animation! J.C. Staff, the studio behind Netflix’s production, are masters of the sliding picture scroll anime. Just look at the last three seasons of Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma and the sequel seasons of A Certain Magical Index to see what I mean. They produced what critics call a motion comic, a slideshow, or a PowerPoint presentation. I quickly became accustomed to the style thanks to the amazing voice acting and sound production values.
The writing and gag comedy timing for The Way of the Househusband hit all the right beats, so there were no worries there. The short anime format fit the unconnected scenes well, keeping the viewer’s attention. A full half-hour of three-minute sketches would have been a drag, so The Way of the Househusband broke up the comedy into manageable chunks.
If five episodes were way too short of a time spent in Tatsu’s new world of supermarkets, shopping districts, and neighborhood associations, don’t worry. Netflix and the animation staff for The Way of the Househusband announced the approval of “Part 2,” so expect more of Tatsu’s adventures as a domestic god in the future.
Tatsu, The Immortal Dragon, gave up the yakuza, but not his weapons, clothes, and other gear, to join his wife Miku in regular life. That’s his Way of the Househusband. Tatsu’s new life includes making bento lunches, negotiating with door-to-door salesmen, and associating with his housewife neighbors. Yes, that means cooking classes, mama volleyball club, and fighting over sales items with his new friends. Tatsu also makes sure to ask for that all-important loyalty points card everywhere he shops.
The New Boss.
Miku, a busy graphic designer, works at the office early and stays late. Tatsu makes her days easier by making a welcoming atmosphere in their cozy apartment.
The New Protégé.
Gin, the cat, goes on her own adventures when she’s not getting in the way of Tatsu’s chores. Tatsu has put the Roomba on notice that it’s up for a promotion if its sweeping abilities continue to impress him.
The Way of the Househusband streams in multiple languages and subtitles on Netflix.