Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken S2 - 01 -00020

「Visual Collection/Series Premiere」Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me #01. 「思い出うごうご」

旦那が何を言っているかわからない件 2スレ目 第1話 「思い出うごうご」
Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 2 Sure-me #01. 「Wriggling Memories」

Source Material: Manga series by Cool-kyou Shinja (クール教信者)
Studio(s): DAX Production, Dream Creation, Seven
Director(s): Nagai Shinpei (ナガイ シンペイ)
Character Design: Baba Ryuuichi (馬場 竜一)
Animation Director(s): Baba Ryuuichi (馬場 竜一)
Sound Director(s): Oomuro Masakatsu (大室 正勝)

Synopsis:

Hajime starts making more money as a web designer and decides to treat Kaoru out at the place of her choice; she decides to re-visit a certain ramen shop that she once went to with her upperclassmen from her high school days, but doesn’t remember the shop’s exact location. The two search around the region of Shounan where Kaoru attended high school, Hajime tries to snap photos of high school girls on his phone, Kaoru punches him in the groin, the two resort to using a smartphone application to search for nearby ramen shops, and they eventually find the place after seven tries. Kaoru indulges in her bowl of ramen with delight and Hajime is content with simply witnessing her happiness. On the way home, the two stop at a bridge to briefly watch the sunset and Kaoru thanks her husband for accompanying her whilst admitting that she might have wanted him to come along so that he could know more about her past. “Afterwards, they had a lot of sex.”

Review:

Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken is back with its second season and continues to do what it does perfectly well: keenly portraying a relationship that balances the candor of newly-wed life and the oddness, at most times offputtingly so, of otaku subculture. A thought that occured to me back in 2014 upon the first season’s conclusion was just why the heck the series title I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying seemed to place more precedence on Hajime, the eponymous husband, as the focus of the series when Kaoru, the wife, has the much more attracting character presence. Of course, the answer was right in front of my eyes, seeing as how the title itself is none other than an utterance from Kaoru’s mindset, and this re-introduction to the series has made realize that dynamic at play finally; on a relatively deep level, both partners being represented as so reflects the very droll format of the show’s episode content itself (something almost like a more narrative-based manzai performance wherein both partners are key components). Without a doubt, Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken‘s main strength belies in this ability to so openly and sincerely present these wholly understandable experiences and intimacies of a marriage, especially a fresh one, that even bachelor and bachelorettes such as myself can derive some kind of poignant impression from; in fact, last season’s arguably best episode (#11. 「人が一人で生きてきて」/”One Person Had Survived On Her Own”) featuring the couple’s first encounter, and more importantly, Kaoru’s superbly relatable anxieties about a never-ending cycle of living in a dreary, without-a-doubt-overpriced apartment complex alone and spending the entirety of her days at work in a labor-centric society, forthrightly featured only Kaoru’s funereal consciousness and not a lick of Hajime’s usual slew of offhand pop culture references (as is proimnent in this episode with mentions of Kakumeiki Valvrave, Terminator, “Hajime” no Ippo, even things like the face-correction software on photography applications, and more). Though it’s not quite fair to expect that level of penetrating story-telling every single week from a short-format show such as Danna; for the rest of its episodes, the comedic elements are more than necessary to establish another kind of atmospheric story-telling that bolsters its own qualities, as we, again, see in this here episode, with instances such as the episode-concluding voice-over “afterwards, they had a lot of sex”, a line that truly shows how much of a rarity of a show Danna is, that its oh-so-anime-esque elements of perversion can be oh-so-casually subverted because of how simultaneously curt and mature the whole show is about typical adult married life. With twelve more episodes ahead of us for this spring season, if Danna keeps up the good-natured narrative and manages to deliver an episode that even somewhat matches last season’s eleventh, that would more than merit a third season in my opinion.

Rating: 8.3/10

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