- Titles: Kai Byoui Ramune
- Genre: Comedy, Slice of Fantasy, Yokai
- Episodes: 12
- Studio: Platinum Vision
Dr. Ramune is a very unusual doctor. His specialty is treating the mysterious. More specifically, our mood, stress and energy can affect our bodies in so many ways. That’s been clear for years. But how and why exactly that happens is something of a medical mystery. But not to Dr. Ramune. He knows that the world is full of entities that most people will never see. remnants of gods that have lost their powers. And when a person is mentally weakened, those mysterious little entities, can enter their bodies and make them sick, just like any other germs and viruses. But illnesses born of the mysterious are mysterious as well, and very few people know how to treat them. Thankfully Dr. Ramune is here, to cure everyone he can, using whatever methods he can!
Dr. Ramune -Mysterious Disease Specialist- actually grabbed my attention the second it was announced. I liked the idea of a medical-based procedural, from the title I assumed this would be a Dr. House type of show, I only found out later that there was a supernatural element, which only made me more interestedé I also really liked the character designs. I tend to like bold shapes in character designs and as much as I enjoy a classic pretty boy/girl, I have a soft spot for the more cartoonish-looking characters.
I only found out through this post that Dr. Ramune -Mysterious Disease Specialist- is a Crunchyroll-produced anime. And honestly, I would not have known. As I mentioned before I liked the character designs which made the visuals above average for me but otherwise, it’s a pretty standard production.
And by that I mean, it’s not amazing and it’s not bad. If you like the designs like me, you’re likely to enjoy it. There were some interesting colours throughout. Contrasting gradients are often used which is another element I like a lot. The art is consistent and the animation is fluid. But at the same time, it’s not the most intricate or detailed art and the action isn’t super dynamic.
It’s a decently produced show. I have no complaints.
Story & Characters
I have to admit, it took me a few episodes to get into Dr. Ramune -Mysterious Disease Specialist-. It’s set up as a series of more or less unrelated cases, where Dr. Ramune and his assistant Kuro try to cure a different patient every time. There are a few two-part arcs and the final episode does bring back a lot of characters but for the most part, it’s an episodic show. And I didn’t really care for the first episode. The second was a bit better but also had some hiccups.
At the beginning of the series, random characters will fly into these melodramatic speeches at the drop of a hat and I really didn’t know what to make of it. But that aspect faded (or maybe I got used to it…probably both) and the show started really growing on me. The last arc is a flashback showing how Kuro and Ramune met, and I was all in. I stayed up to finish it because I thought those episodes were great.
It really should be said that I am the target audience for this. The entities wreaking havoc on the world in this show are called the mysterious but for all intents and purposes, they’re Yokai. Or more accurately, Yokai microbes. They do adhere to a lot of the tropes of Yokai stories though. A young man who can see things no one else can and is isolated and ostracized for it slowly growing to appreciate that his world is just so much bigger than everyone else.
There are also more than a few traditional Japanese folklore…things. Cattails to make you invisible, a little cutout called a fox lattice you can hold to your eye to see the unseen. You know…stuff. Some of it I manage to find mention of in legends and folktales, others might be an invention of the anime. In any case, they were interesting to explore and really spoke to my love of folklore.
Moreover, the stories, although occasionally dealing with sad or rather scary elements, were presented in a more lighthearted way with a lot of jokes to keep the tone more comedic. Once again, that’s something I like. When you put it all together, it’s little wonder that the series ended up growing on me.
But I can’t pretend it didn’t have its faults or even recommend it wholeheartedly. The thing is, Dr. Ramune -Mysterious Disease Specialist- is kind of a forgettable show with occasionally annoying characters. If you don’t happen to have the particular preferences that I do, you’ll likely go from bored to annoyed and back again.
And the AniList genres aren’t doing it any favours either. This show is listed as Drama, Psychological, Supernatural. And although arguably correct, those genres paint a somewhat different picture from the show I watched. Like I said, there is some melodrama in some characters, and certain episodes deal with pretty heavy subject matter, like the loss of a child. But others deal with a guy’s penis turning into a chikuwa (fish sausage) because of his serial cheating. And even the ones that deal with more serious themes have tons of jokes in them. The main characters are also goofballs. It honestly didn’t occur to me that this was supposed to be a drama at all.
Psychological is also right in the sense that the patients are usually dealing with some psychological element (such as stress) but it’s not like the series goes into any type of existential musings. On the contrary, it brings the psychological to a very tangible level and treats it like someone would a straightforward physical ailment.
So really, only the supernatural aspects are presented in a way one would expect and consistently used in the series.
There’s nothing wrong with reinterpreting genres or mixing them together. In my opinion, though, a viewer hoping for a tense psychological drama with supernatural elements will be rather disappointed by Dr. Ramune -Mysterious Disease Specialist-. On the other hand, a dork like me who wants to watch a silly show with yokai germs will find exactly what they are looking for.
You might like this anime if:
You make it through the first few episodes and you enjoy aimless humour with traditional japanese spiritualism mixed in.
My favourite character:
Nico-nii! He was just so soothing…
- Every time Ramune explains a new mysterious disease – take notes
- Every time we see the eye talisman – take a sip
- Every time Kuro lectures Ramune – sulk
- Every time Ramune and Kuro share a meal – get a snack
- Every time a random characetr has an outburst – take a sip
- Every time Kuro questions Ramune’s motivations – take a sip
- Every time anyone has shiny eyes – uh oh
- Every time they visit grandma’s shop – take a sip
- Every time Ramune gets injured– take a sip
- Every time deep down Kuro really cares – awwwww
- Every time we see Moke-chan – yay!
- Every time Nico echo-locates – take a sip
- Every time anyone other than Ramune gets kicked – worry
I save all my screencaps on my Pinterest and you can find more there if you are interested. But I still like to show you a few in the post. If you’re like me, screencaps are something that really helps you decide to watch an anime or not.