- Genre : Slice of Life, Romance, Comedy
- Episodes: 26
- Studio: Seven
Kaoru has had some bumps in the road. Like most of us she’s had some growing pains. She didn’t know where she fit in, she rebelled without cause. She lashed out and acted out and pushed everyone away. She ended up lonely and convinced herself she was unworthy of love. Then she met Hajime, an introvert and irremediable otaku with a laundry list of problems of his own, who managed to convince her otherwise. Two fragile and a little broken people who together formed a flawed and wonderful whole.
I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying is another series I picked up based on title alone. So far, I’ve had a pretty decent success rate with that strategy (although I would also have missed out on some of some faves like Psycho Pass, Hunter x Hunter and Soul Eater…) In this instance, the title actually fits the show pretty well as both Kaoru and Hajime are more often than not in a state of loving bewilderment at their spouse’s behavior and it works extremely well for them.
On a technical level, there’s really not much to say on this one. It’s probably a little subpar in visuals and animation and all I can really say about the soundtrack is that it was unobstructive. The voice acting was quite good though and delivered just as bit of extra depth to the more emotional scenes, creating a surprisingly touching show. This is a short program, based on a 4 panel comic, and the simplistic art and minimalistic designs work quite well within that context. Although I would never point to this for someone that’s looking for eye candy, I can’t say it bothered me either.
When considering the fact that each episode is about 3.5 minutes, the story is really remarkably well developed. Kaoru and Hajime are both fully realized characters and the evolution of their relationship is organic and honestly very heart warming. I’m not particularly romantic by nature but I found their love story really delightful and would like to have a similar one someday. Part of the strength of this show, versus the slew of similar titles (i.e. super otaku with really hot “normal” partner – ha dorks are funny) is that the couple is balanced. The show isn’t about changing or “growing”, it’s about accepting. And not necessarily accepting others. The main theme is about accepting yourself as someone worthy of love and accepting that love when it comes. Both characters are flawed but also charming. They work as an item not because they love each other, which they do, but because they respect each other. An important point that can get lost in some supposed “romantic” epics.
It was also nice to see the story from a slightly more grown up viewpoint. They deal with real world problems and preoccupations such as, mortgage, starting a family, careers, that aren’t explored as often in anime. It was a pleasant change of pace. I’m making it sound like this is some down to earth, serious exploration of contemporary relationships. It is by moments but those are rare. For the most part, it’s silly vignettes and satire of otaku culture. Most supporting characters are personifications of some sort of tropes or walking punchlines. Considering the time crunch, they are understandably not developed but don’t feel like cardboard cutouts either. The pace is brisk and tender moments are quickly replaced by wacky ones.
Some elements work better than others. There is a lot of meta commentary on otaku culture going on (not only anime and manga references but the actual culture as a whole in Japanese society). All the puns and winks can be fun but they might also go over the some viewers’ heads, rendering some episodes confusing or a little boring if you’re not in on the joke. I was also uncomfortable with certain depictions of sexualized children and Mayotama’s character all together. I understand that lolicon is a part of otaku culture but it’s not for me and I found it jarring as such an accepted part of an otherwise super sweet show.
This said, I seem to have more of a hang-up about these things than the average viewer. I have similar complaints about a number of shows and have found that I’m the only one that feels that way. As a whole, I would consider this a generally sweet little show that would probably be enjoyable to someone looking for a light romantic slice of life.
Favorite character: Tanaka
What this anime taught me: Some things about loving oneself and some things about underage traps.
Who needs beer goggles, I got vodka binoculars!!!
Suggested drink: Happily Ever After
- Every time Kaoru smokes – take a sip
- Every time there is Imageboard-speak – take a sip
- Every time there’s a masturbation joke – blush
- Every time Kaoru drinks – join her
- Every time you catch a reference to another anime – have a sip
- Every time we hear a jackhammer – raise your glass
- Every time we see Kaoru before meeting Hajime – take a sip
- Every time we see an eyecatch – have a sip
- Every time Kaoru and Hajime shae a genuinely loving moment – awww
- Every time someone reminds Kaoru that she said she would never get married – have a sip