Orenchi no Furo Jijō

Orenchi no Furo Jijō

IMG_1367.PNGTatsumi is a high school boy who lives by himself. Then one day, a devastatingly handsome merman by the name of Wakasa shows up in Tatsumi’s bathtub. Self-centred but disarmingly adorable, Wakasa is the polar opposite of the cool and distant Tasumi. Every short anime episode is a quick peek into their lives together.

Based on a four-panel manga, Orenchi no Furo Jijō has been transformed into 13 anime shorts documenting the hijinks of Wakasa and Tatsumi as they both adjust to living with one another.

When I first began to watch these episodes, I couldn’t help but notice just how contrasting the opening theme was to the actual anime. The music and animation is very intense and serious, with the actual anime being very clean and colourful, with a generally light-hearted air. It’s the most misleading opening theme I’ve ever seen – and I’m still not sure of the reasoning behind it.

IMG_1380.JPGIn-keeping with just how bizarre this story actually is, it begins rather oddly. Tatsumi rushes over to a man that has collapsed by the side of a stream and immediately takes him home (seemingly unaware that this beautiful man is, in actual fact, a fish from the waist down). Once there, he quickly comes to his senses and realises just what a strange guest he has invited into his bathroom. After being bossed around and acquiescing to all of the recuperating Wakasa’s demands, (and being forced to take a bath with a merman in his tub more than once), it is clear to the viewer that Tatsumi, amusingly, is beginning to hate his life.

IMG_1373.PNGTo top it all off, having a merman as a house guest isn’t exactly cheap. Tatsumi’s water bill quickly shoots through the roof as Wakasa constantly adding hot water to keep the bath at an optimum temperature for habitation. Tatsumi quickly explains to the merman that, if he can’t afford the bills, then neither of them can continue to live here. The unlikely duo then have to find a way of adjusting their lifestyles to conserve heat and water – it focuses on real problems but keeps them light and amusing. After all, they only have four minutes to tell a story.

As the episodes draw on, it turns out that Wakasa has lots of half-human aquatic friends. This includes Takasu the octopus, Mikuni the jellyfish and Maki the self-deprecating sea snail. Tatsumi’s younger sister, Kasumi, also makes an appearance. She loves her older brother dearly, and considers Wakasa a rival for Tatsumi’s affections.

IMG_1376.PNGThe artwork is very charming. In particular, I love how Wakasa and Tatsumi are drawn. They are beautiful in design, and have flushes to their cheeks and distinct angles to their shoulders. Wakasa’s blue eyes match his tail perfectly, and his silliness and lazy demeanour just further endears him to viewers (who can say ‘no’ to such a beautiful, helpless merman?). Tatsumi, by contrast, is coloured in darker hues. He is rather apathetic and serious, and his concern with how he’s going to support himself as well as his new merman man-child companion is always very amusing. It’s a typical comic double-act, but with a fantasy twist.

IMG_1365.PNGWhilst short and nonsensical, Orenchi no Furo Jijō is fun and light-hearted, and serves as a nice break amidst the heavy-hitters of this seasons anime line-up.