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Obres de Gaku Kuze


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Content warning: depression, child abuse (emotional for sure, but also possibly physical?)

Uramichi is back, limping his way through work yet not quite to the point of just giving up. A part of him still finds tiny things to cling to, like the knowledge that his show's young viewers look up to him. Of course, that just makes it more painful when he lets them down.

This volume introduces a few more station staff members: Kikaku Hanbei, who works in Marketing; Amon, the show's producer/writer; and Uebo Saito, who runs the show's website. We also get to see a little more of Daga Mabui, Iketeru's sister, meet Nekota Matahiko, and learn a little more about Uramichi's past.

After a rough start, Volume 1 eventually grew on me. Volume 2 was much better overall, but I have a feeling that those who enjoyed the blunt darkness of Uramichi's on-camera statements in Volume 1 may not like Volume 2 as much. Volume 2 scaled that kind of thing back a bit, made the children a little more childlike overall, and focused more on the "behind the scenes" workplace comedy aspects and exploring Uramichi's past and the nuances of his emotional life. There were still plenty of "Together with Maman" show moments, but they were presented somewhat differently - Uramichi's filter seemed to be a little more in place, even though he was still clearly close to cracking.

The Uramichi of this volume didn't feel quite like the one of the first volume. He seemed softer and more vulnerable, less scarily brittle, which I honestly didn't mind. He actually had a few things he seemed to care about - the way the kids viewed him, for example - and there were a couple moments when he found himself emotionally overwhelmed while on camera. Possibly it took the author a while to settle on what Uramichi should be like?

Of all the characters, Uramichi was the one who felt the most painfully real to me, and some of the revelations about his past and the way he functions were gut-wrenching. There was a part where several of the cast members were put on the spot and asked to draw their fathers, and Uramichi's drawing was unexpectedly upsetting. He didn't even seem to realize what he was revealing to everyone. Kumatani's thoughts about Uramichi were similarly sad, and it lined up with my suspicions about why Uramichi allowed Usahara to visit him so much when he didn't even seem to like him.

Which makes it sound like this volume was a drag, but I actually found it to be funnier than the first one. Kikaku was my favorite new addition to the cast, alternating between smiles and scary rage and intensity. The guy would make a perfect horror movie serial killer. His first scene, in which he explained the expectations and deadline he was working under, was fabulous.

My favorite on-camera moment was probably when poor Uramichi was forced to redo his Right-Left Man traffic safety footage while dealing with a hurt neck. As Uramichi said (with a great big smile plastered on his face), "When you get old, all kinds of body parts give out on you!" My right hip, shoulder, and arm could all relate.

For some, even this volume may turn out to be too dark and bleak. The closest Uramichi may ever be able to come to happiness is finding a way to accept his life as it currently is, keeping an eye out for little moments that move him in some way, but maybe the author will eventually get him to a better emotional place. I have a small amount of hope, after the surprisingly sensitive and empathetic flashback scene with Kumatani. For now, this series is going on my list of ones I'd like to keep and continue reading. Guess I need to find some shelf space for it.


This is an omnibus edition containing volumes 3 and 4 of the original series, so there's color artwork at the beginning of both volumes (3 pages total). There are also character profiles, the full lyrics of the songs they sing on the show, a few bonus comics, a one-page afterword comic, and 5 pages of translator's notes.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)
… (més)
Familiar_Diversions | May 11, 2021 |
Omota Uramichi is a 31-year-old kids' show host who used to be a professional gymnast. His filter is almost entirely off. Although he's able to keep a smile plastered on his face while the cameras are rolling, he can't stop himself from making depressing comments about adulthood when the kids on the show remind him that they still have their dreams and whole lives ahead of them, while he just has meaningless workouts, an empty apartment, and a job that's slowly killing him inside.

Uramichi's coworkers include: Daga Iketeru, a handsome 27-year-old singer/actor who can't tell time on an analog clock and has a weakness for juvenile jokes; Tadano Utano, a 32-year-old failed idol singer who's in a dead-end relationship with a failed comedian; Usahara Tobikichi, a 28-year-old who has an unfortunate habit of pissing Uramichi off; and Kumatani Mitsuo, a 28-year-old who seems to somewhat unwillingly be Usahara's friend by virtue of them having been college roommates.

This series did not pull its punches. Right from the start, Uramichi was on camera with the kids, smiling as he explained that his voice was raspy because he'd drunk too much the night before. To be honest, this portion of the volume was a little too direct for me. I expected Uramichi to have a little more of a filter than he did - in the real world, someone would have frantically turned off the cameras and pulled him off-stage before he'd gotten more than a few sentences out. In the world of this manga, however, apparently just about anything was fine as long as Uramichi and his coworkers could manage to keep smiles on their faces, follow at least the overall skeleton of the script, and wear whatever they were asked to wear.

For the most part, the kids on the show weren't kids, but rather kid-shaped constructs designed to rub the cast's faces in the fact that their lives weren't going the way they'd hoped. They were also possibly intended to be concerned reader stand-ins. I doubt real little kids would have responded to Uramichi overdoing his usual introductory routine by asking each other "Is it just me, or is he really on today?" I tended to prefer the moments when the kids did feel a bit more real and were clearly concerned and worried about Uramichi, who constantly seemed moments away from snapping.

I wasn't a fan of the first half of the volume, but the humor started to grow on me in the second half. I preferred the parts of the volume that were more focused on the characters as dysfunctional coworkers to the parts starring the adult cast plus their strange child-shaped audience members. For example, the beach shoot was both horrible and absolutely hilarious.

The character dynamics were occasionally a bit weird and almost certainly unhealthy, which I think was the point. Uramichi was functionally depressed and had literally no one but his coworkers. He hated Usahara but still put up with Usahara showing up at his apartment and annoying him, because what else could he do? A little interaction with adults you dislike is better than no interaction with anyone except at work, I guess.

This series is dark and won't work for everyone. I'm not even sure yet if it works for me - although I liked the second half better, I have no clue what my reaction to Volume 2 will be. And I'll be continuing on, by the way - I ordered both volumes together. On the plus side, the artwork is excellent, and there are definitely some good "adulthood sucks" pages and panels throughout. The page where Uramichi basically explained spoon theory to the kids made me wince in sympathy. This is definitely a series that will stick with me, whether it entirely works for me or not.


This is actually an omnibus edition containing the first two volumes of the series, so there's color artwork at the beginning of both volumes (3 pages total). There are also character profiles (you won't learn their likes and dislikes, but you will learn how much they smoke and drink), the full lyrics of the songs they sing on the show ("The Cat's Staring at Nothing Again" made me tear up a little), a few bonus comics, a one-page afterword comic, and 6 pages of translator's notes. As expected, some of the humor is the kind of stuff that'll go over the heads of readers who don't speak Japanese - I knew the character names seemed a bit odd (and recognized the "rabbit" and "bear" parts of Usahara and Kumatani's names), but hadn't realized that all or most of them were intended to be jokes or puns.

Rating Note:

Part of me feels like I should rate this higher, because I actually did get to the point of really wanting to read the next volume by the end. I settled on 3 stars because of how hard it was to get into this. Uramichi was an open and unrelenting cry for help, and wow was it a lot.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)
… (més)
Familiar_Diversions | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | May 10, 2021 |
Uramichi is a 31-year-old host on a kids' show who leads exercise routines and teaches life lessons colored by one main theme: 'Adulthood sucks'.

While Uramichi seems to be a fun happy guy, but in real he wades through the misery of working life, one sardonic comment at a time.

Unfortunately this book was just not for me. While the artwork and illustrations were good, I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. Also, I found the story kind of repetitive and I did not find it funny at all!

Thank You to NetGalley and Kodansha Comics for this ARC!
… (més)
Vanessa_Menezes | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Mar 17, 2021 |

Potser també t'agrada


½ 4.3

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