Episode 6 of Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan was the mandatory hot springs episode. Staying true to itself, the anime manages to portray the reality of mandatory work trips. It’s a refreshing sight in anime since most onsen episodes are usually a fan-service fest.
Uramichi spends whopping 2 days trying to remember a name of a food item he heard somewhere. His weird behavior even attracts Usahara and Kumagai’s attention. However, he soon manages to remember it and switches to being happy about the upcoming weekend off. But, little does he know, the company planned a mandatory work trip to an onsen.
After (barely) recovering from the initial despair, Uramichi and his coworkers set off to the hot springs. Upon arriving, Utano joins her female coworkers, while Uramichi, Iketeru, Usahara, and Kumagai share a room. It soon becomes clear that Iketeru never went on a school trip, and that he is trying to compensate for his strict childhood. But, he stays true to himself and doesn’t bother with overthinking things.
After a day of soaking the group arrives at the dining hall. Utano takes the stage and we get to hear her first (and last) song, from her short enka career. Spoiler alert: it’s somehow both expected and unexpected. Meanwhile, Kumagai is trying to protect Iketeru as the dinner party goes wild.
Soon it’s time for bed. As Utano is rooming with her female co-workers and avoiding her incompetent boyfriend, the guys decide to teach Iketeru how to play ping-pong. Surprisingly enough, he appears to be super talented. Thus, the weekend away slowly comes to an end.
Onsen Blues with Uramichi Oniisan
Uramichi Oniisan does a great job of relating to its viewers, which is something I’ve previously mentioned. An onsen episode is would usually mean copious amounts of fan service, steamy bath scenes, half-naked female characters but with this anime, we don’t get any of that. Instead, we get a raw portrayal of a group of people in their 20s, who didn’t think they would end up where they are today. All of them have different personality traits, but the viewer is bound to relate to at least one character.
And it’s not just Uramichi, all of his coworkers, except Iketeru, have something else they want and strive for. Utano is a good example. Her boyfriend weighs her down, and her only time off is interrupted with his constant messages. She allows herself to play silly games to escape the reality of what is waiting for her at home. On the other hand, Uramichi is the exact opposite – he wants to be alone and to enjoy his quiet time off, but his boss keeps stopping him from doing so. Usahara wants to be funny, but the only person who laughs at his jokes is Iketeru.
Uramichi Oniisan definitely managed to deliver a depressingly realistic hot springs episode, with just a dash of existential crisis. Obviously, most of us watch anime to escape real-life problems and to relax, but even though Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan tries to portray realistic problems most young people face today it’s still far from depressing. The dark comedy is well-timed and makes this show insanely entertaining while helping the audience cope with whatever issues they might be having.
You can watch episode 6 of Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan on Funimation (along with all the previous episodes).
All images via Funimation