The Way of the Househusband is a bizarre, outrageously funny and an aesthetically pleasing treat, and easily one of the best anime of the year so far. With five episodes clocking in at around 15 minutes a piece, Househusband takes a simple concept and absolutely runs with it to excellent effect.
The story here revolves around Tatsu, an infamous man known as the Immortal Dragon. In the past, he single-handedly defeated a rival gang with nothing more than a lead pipe. This caused ripples across the criminal underworld, with many bowing in fear to this warrior.
After his sudden disappearance, Tatsu resurfaces and reveals that he’s hung up the lead pipe and gangster ways. Instead, he’s now taken to the laborious work of a househusband instead.
Across the episodes, Tatsu finds himself facing the day to day grind of shopping, cleaning and cooking whilst trying his best to shake off the reputation that precedes him. Tatsu is not alone in this journey though, and between wife Miku and former employee Masa, Tatsu is joined by a colourful and diverse group along for the ride.
The whole idea here plays heavily on absurdist comedy, and The Way Of The Househusband is certainly not shy about showcasing that either. From Tatsu wearing a pink apron and baking cookies through to confronting a fellow gangster out shopping, there’s a lot of different scenarios thrown in across the five episodes.
In fact, the show itself is really split into bitesize chapters and despite the way this has been presented on Netflix, actually plays much closer to 5 or 10 minute skits. There’s nothing wrong with that of course, and some chapters devoted solely to Tatsu’s cat help to break up any potential monotony that may have set in.
While the humour fires on all cylinders, so too do the visuals. This anime really does feel like it’s been ripped right from the pages of a comic book. Minimalist animation in freeze-frame shots combine with the usual hand-drawn efforts you’d expect, with lots of cutaways and close-ups of faces too.
The Way of the Househusband is unlike many other anime out there and this absurdist comedy delight sells itself on premise alone. This is a light, breezy series that doesn’t take itself too seriously and is packed with bags of fun. Given the short episode run-time and the consistent tone, The Way Of The Househusband is well worth a watch.