It’s Saturday Night and you want to watch some anime…
Ever been in a mood for a humorous slice of life anime but also wanted an edgy mafia feel? Way of the Househusband, 極主夫道, Gokushufudō, just might be for you.
Way of the Househusband is a new anime on Netflix based on the 2018 manga of the same name. It features former Yakuza (essentially Japenese mafia) member, Tutsu, who has left the life of crime behind to become a Househusband. Each episode follows Tutsu as he adjusts from being the feared “Immortal Dragon” to being a wholesome househusband. As I said in the opening line, this is a slice-of-life anime, but a better description is that this is a slicES of life anime. While you will see reoccurring characters, you’re not going to see a start-to-finish storyline. Each episode has several short moments and events in Tutsu’s life.
It’s fascinating watching Tutsu make his transition. He approaches each moment with the lens of his Yakuza life. Shopping deals at the local market isn’t just an afternoon; it’s a precision hit that requires planning. His house is not just his home; it’s his turf that a cockroach should not infiltrate. I have NEVER in my life seen someone so serious about making sure the Roomba did a good job cleaning their house. As he navigates the transition, his community must also navigate the transition alongside him. He was a well-known assassin that veteran gang members and police officers recognize on site. Interactions with these characters and the society around him lead to much of the comedy in the series.
Adapting a manga into an anime is always interesting. Filing in the space between the panels can be tricky. This series decided to fill in less space than others… literally. Much of the series consists of what I would call “active still frames,” where you see a mouth moving or small details. My description of it may leave you wondering if this is a good thing. Strangely enough, I loved it. The frames range from a relaxed art style to an almost chibby style to very detailed drawings making things ironically serious. The various types of art added to the fun of the series.
Being a former Yakuza member, Tutsu experiences a few moments where a former gang member attacks him. This does lend to him having a few cuts that bleed but not super graphic. As far as the language guide, my answer depends on the language you’re watching. The subtitles for the Japanese have a few F-bombs, S—t, and D—n. The English dubbing is more liberal with the language, so while not a ton, there are more F-bombs and other language occurrences.
Way of the Househusband is a slice-of-life comedy that took me by surprise. Following a reformed Yakuza hitman could go a couple of ways, but while this anime hits notes of humor well, it also hit great notes that leave Tutsu more of an endearing character. I would recommend this series to most adults and more mature teenagers who are looking for a comedy that will leave you with a smile.