It wasn’t an especially funny week on Osomatsu-san, which kind of kills the buzz of a very good Episode 3. To be fair, one of these chapters (the longest) wasn’t really trying to be funny. But the others were, and at best could raise only an occasional chuckle from me. That’s the hazard with series like this which rely on outlandish episodic humor – they’re necessarily going to be hit and miss, and as an original the anime doesn’t have the luxury of cherry-picking at least one high-end manga chapter for every episode.The cold open, Ichimatsu’s radio show, had some good face-pulls by Ichimatsu and Todomatsu but that pretty much seemed to be the extent of the joke. That, and how frighteningly delusional Ichimatsu is. The extended sketch featuring Totoko and Hashimoto Nyaa was certainly a change of pace. Nyaa has been dumped by her husband and is now a single mom, who passes out from exhaustion, forcing Totoko to take her home. You don’t get a lot of single mother material in screwball comedies, not to mention breast feeding, so points for that. But this chapter wasn’t especially gripping in the same way the show’s episode-length serious bits (Jyuushimatsu’s girlfriend and the Iyami Chaplin tribute) were. It’s apparently going to be a running storyline, which makes me feel pretty indifferent. Finally there’s the extended story of Matsuyo setting death traps to keep the boys from filching instant noodles in the middle of the night. A couple of laughs here but it’s pretty one-note as Osomatsu-san humor goes. It was nice to see Matsuyo in action (this was the first time we’ve seen either of the parents in extended screen time this season) but the chapter itself was pretty forgettable.
It’s probably not a coincidence that this episode was a bit of a whiff, since some of the supporting cast (especially Iyami and Dayon, for me) are a real strength of Osomatsu-san and the A.I. have been a nice textural wrinkle this season, and none of them had any meaningful role this week. But this show is in the Chicago weather vein – if you don’t like what you’re getting you usually don’t have to wait long for something radically different to come along.