Well, the seventh wave of the pandemic in Japan is officially the biggest so far, and Japan leads the world in new COVID cases. You’d never know it from the total inaction on the part of the government – even by their lofty standards – but the truth can’t hide from anime production. We’re starting to see delays in some series, and unfortunately Isekai Ojisan is one of them, as Atelier Pontdarc has been hit hard. Episode 5 is delayed (as of now, anyway) for two weeks, and is scheduled to air on August 17. I suppose that gives me two weeks to defer a decision on covering it, though I was already leaning strongly in favor.
All I know is that with comedies, the most important factor is whether it makes me laugh. And so far Isekai Ojisan does, and the conceit is not wearing thin. I could see where the gender politics elements could get a little edgy (as Panino warned in the comments last week). Between the fanservice and the depiction of the female leads this might cross a line into objectification at times, but when one considers what this series is satirizing, I’m not sure how to take that. That can be a cop-out, but I’m not ready to make a call one way or the other on that side of things just yet.
I can say this – I really enjoy both Fujimiya (who’s fully in on the secret now) and Tsundere-san, and they’re given plenty of comedic run. Takafumi’s flashbacks are as entertaining as Uncle’s in a totally distinct way, with one key difference being that the female lead is actually present for these. The Zero no Tsukaima gag was very funny, but I was even most impressed by the coffee bit afterwards – as you may remember I noted my amusement that the boys were drinking instant when Takafumi had expensive coffee gear on the counter. Nice attention to detail on that callback.
Again, possibly the central gag here is how Ojisan and Takafumi’s blind spots with women fit together like Yin and Yang. Even sending Takafumi a bikini pic (underage) as a birthday gift is not enough to break through his Wall Maria of denseness. In fact he’s more impressed by the alert for a sale on Ethiopian coffee (well, it is the best in the world), and promptly flies the coop, leaving Fujimiya and Ojisan alone again. When she spills his coffee he uses a freeze spell on her, with unintended results. It’s pretty clear where this is headed once she heads for the showers and he buggers off to give her some privacy.
I admit my first thought when Takafumi mentioned the flag was something rather different (the necktie on the door trick), but no – this is far more in character. Never has Fujimiya needed a drink more, so it’s a good thing she’s just turned 20 (all three characters’ birthdays were plot points this week). Uncle’s flashback to his first time drinking – in addition to revealing that he’s always looked exactly the same – gave tsundere Elf-san her biggest showcase yet. Sadly Takafumi isn’t wrong when he calls her Ojisan’s stalker, and like uncle like nephew when it comes to seeing the forest for the trees.
There are times in watching Ojisan’s flashbacks that I actually think he’s fully aware of what’s happening with Tsundere-san and just having a laugh – I mean, that “room at the inn” bit was beyond the pale. But I guess the “poison” incident the next day proves conclusively that no, he really is that clueless. I don’t know who has less of a chance, Tsundere-san or Fujimiya – at least Fujimiya is in the same world as Takafumi, so I guess you’d take her odds…