The Way of the Househusband

The Way of the Househusband Anime Can Barely Be Called Animation!

Dept. of Lazy Ass Adaptations


Having read the first two volumes of Kousuke Oono’s manga, and loving it, I was really looking forward to this Netflix adaptation. The Way of the Househusband has a great premise. A former Yakuza boss, the most dangerous and feared man in Japan, decides to give up his life of crime in order to support his kyariaūman wife. It’s a comedy of course. The joke being that Tatsu, a.k.a. the Immortal Dragon, applies the same deathly serious intensity he once did with his Yakuza duties (we assume killing, slaying, slaughtering, and other murder related synonyms) to everyday household chores, from cooking and cleaning, to picking out the perfect birthday present, to learning how to make a flawless croquette.


Kousuke Oono takes what could have been a one note concept and mines it with such insight and inventiveness that it functions as both a simple slice of life comedy as well as a cunning subversion of long-held ideas about manliness. It’s great stuff. It is riotously funny. Well, at least the manga is. This adaptation, however, is just downright lazy.

Read The Way of the Househusband Manga Instead!

The Way of the Househusband 2

Each of the five episodes in this season are made up of a series of short vignettes that feature Tatsu engaging in some humdrum household activity, where his fervent and fiery focus elevates everyday domesticity to something resembling art. Now, I have absolutely no objection to the content. It is, after all, directly lifted from the manga, with each scene replicated almost frame for frame. My problem is with the piss poor manner in which they’ve translated it for the screen.

It feels like all someone did was trace the comic and then “animate” the scene by moving the image around a bit, shaking it occasionally, and utilizing smash cuts and crash zooms to create a sense of movement and drama. It looks like they dug up an old copy of Adobe Flash and figured it would be a quick and dirty way to make lips move. The simplicity here does not equate to charm. Instead, it just comes across as being boring and uninspired. Which, admittedly, I had no idea were valid style choices.


This adaptation’s greatest sin, however, is in how spectacularly it fails to nail the pitch perfect comic timing of the manga. Despite being a mindless facsimile of the original, the series still manages to miss the mark with its comedic pacing. There are certain beats that Kousuke Oono takes in the manga that force a pause, that make you stop for just a second longer on a panel before moving on to the next, before getting to that punchline. Here, every scene feels like it’s been set to a metronome.

Did We Mention That You Should Just Read the Comic?

The Way of the Househusband

If this adaptation of The Way of the Househusband has one thing going for it, it would be its tremendous voice cast. Kenjiro Tsuda’s voice is the one I had in my head when I was reading the comics. The deadpan way in which he lovingly sings Happy Birthday to his wife is nothing short of perfection. Here’s an idea, maybe have the anime run in the background while you thumb through the comic book. That way, you can enjoy both the manga and its dramatization. You’re welcome.


If this series made me feel anything at all, it had to do with my affection for the source material. If it made laugh, it was because I already knew the joke and was eagerly anticipating the punchline.

Enlighten me. What is the point of an adaptation that brings absolutely nothing new to the table? Was anyone clamoring to watch a motion comic on their 75″ 4K Ultra HD SmartTV? Why spend all of that money and not take advantage of everything the medium has to offer. What a goddamned waste.

The Way of the Househusband is now streaming on Netflix. But you’re better off just reading the comic book.

Uma has been reviewing things for most of his life: movies, television shows, books, video games, his mum's cooking, Bahir's fashion sense. He is a firm believer that the answer to most questions can be found within the cinematic canon. In fact, most of what he knows about life he learned from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. He still hasn't forgiven Christopher Nolan for the travesties that are Interstellar and The Dark Knight Rises.

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