Ojisan and Marshmallow – Review
Ojisan and Marshmallow:
Original Air Dates: Jan 7th, 2016 – March 24th, 2016
Synopsis: Hige is a lovable large man who just cannot resist the fluffy allure of marshmallows. Wakabayashi is one of his, younger, co-workers who simply cannot resist the fluffy allure of Hige himself! Ojisan and Marshmallows follows the budding relationship between Hige and Wakabayashi as she attempts to seduce him at every turn, but Hige just can’t seem to get marshmallows off the mind.
Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Ojisan is a lot like its visual presentation: Competent, but never impressive. The character designs are simplistic, but lack the visual pop necessary to make any of them memorable, perhaps outside of Hige-san himself. There’s a few good jokes peppered throughout Ojisan’s twelve episode run, but all too often the humor falls flat, suffering from an over reliance on Wakabayashi’s fascination with Hige-san and Hige-san’s own obsession with Marshmallows. While that concept is initially humorous, it becomes less and less compelling when the series fails to expand on that idea.
Linny: Ojisan is basically standard fare for a short runtime show, in that it’s never outstanding but it doesn’t dip into repulsive territory. It tells its story in an episodic capsule for the most part which further propagates the casual and breezy vibe that we get from its visuals. The over reliance that Tom mentioned makes the characters come off as one dimensional and bland, limited by their one schtick that the show keeps hammering into us. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for a short show but it does mean that the show has limited appeal.
Tom: To make it straightforward: Hige and Wakabayashi’s relationship is underdeveloped. There’s never any explanation for why Wakabayashi is so interested in Hige-san, outside of a brief exchange between Wakabayashi and her co-workers, though nothing concrete ever comes of it. For a two minute show it might seems like a lot to ask, but, because there’s no foundation for her interest in Hige, it makes Ojisan and Marshmallow feel hollow. Wakabayashi and her efforts to seduce Hige come off as try hard and forced. Why does she want him so bad? This is a question that, if answered in the first episode, might make Wakabayashi’s comical efforts more understandable. There’s no real escalation in her efforts, as they start at the max end of absurd right from episode one. There’s few breaks from the Wakabayashi pursues Hige centric comedy, and while not always memorable, they help to keep the show from feeling completely stale. Ojisan manages to keep itself going by relying on supplemental characters to provide additional laughs beyond its core concept.
Linny: For those lamenting the limited appeal of the leads, they might find reprieve in the supporting cast, who inject new life into the show. The self referential humour really does limit the potential and comedy. Having to stick to marshmallow jokes can only take a show so far. It DOES have a solid chuckle and guffaw inducing moment every now and then but if you tire easily of the marshmallow angle, you may not feel like sticking around for those moments.
Tom: To further try and keep things fresh there’s a few late series twists. A new love rival that becomes the focus for several episodes, followed by a shocking reveal about Hige-san himself that leads into the series two part conclusion. But these developments never hold much water, and the conclusions to their reveals are often subdued enough that we just return to the status quo by the end.
Linny: What further seals in the episodic and light nature of the show is how it handles a really big reveal. This shocking reveal is my favourite part and is the high point of the series as it manages to deliver a surprising impact that most anime shorts lack, but it’s then completely ignored by the next episode as if it never happened. We do eventually get a followup, so interested viewers need not fret but once again, this show is clearly meant for a casual viewing.
Tom: Ojisan is a niche show, hammered home by Crunchyroll’s reluctance to translate the title fully into English (As translating Uncle would imply a much more ‘interesting’ relationship between Wakabayshi and Hige-san.) Ojisan was never going to have the appeal of the masses like Erased did this season. Ojisan is rather harmless, with comedy that never hits the heights of Konosuba’s best episodes, but never offends or straddles the line between creepy and comfortable like Ooya-san. Ojisan can be marathoned in half an hour, so if you’re struggling for entertainment it’s not a bad choice, and with the lack of truly impressive anime shorts, there’s worse ways to kill time.
Linny: If you want a cutesy and a little odd show to kill 30 minutes of your time, Ojisan does just enough to be a consideration. It’s light, it’s got some laughs and it doesn’t require your undivided attention or investment.
Ojisan and Marshmallow is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com