March 17, 2015

I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying [Review]

There seems to be a trend of adapting 4koma manga into mini anime. It makes sense because more often than not, there is not enough material to stretch out one comic [or several] into a full 30 minute 12 episode anime series [Nozaki-kun aside]. Logic aside, this usually doesn't work with yon-koma regardless since they are more or less gag manga. Characterization and development is often episodic with no lasting impact on the actual story. That changes with I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying.


Exposition-tan is muh waifu

Continuing the recent tradition of overtly long titles, I Can't Understand What My Husband Is Saying [or Danna ga Nani o Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken in Japanese which is Danna-ga in this review for the sake of brevity] is a 13 episode short form adaptation of an ongoing seinin yon koma [4 panel] webcomic by Cool-kyō Shinja. The comic chronicles the married life of Kaoru and Hajime. Kaoru is an office worker while Hajime is an otaku, running a blog [much like this one] and lurking on 2chan [japanese 4chan]. The anime has announced a second season that will start April 5th, 2015. 


Cast n Crew


The cast is thankfully small with the main couple being of course Kaoru and Hajime. Hajime is the definition of awkward nerd while Kaoru is the most normal of normals. But there is just this cohesion between the two. She gets sick and he takes care of her. Kaoru occasionally caters to her husband's otaku hobbies like going to the movies to see an anime film with him and being 'moe' every so often. Hajime tries really hard to be a good husband even though he fails quite a bit even going as far as trying to get a job so Kaoru doesn't have to work so hard even though he doesn't have many marketable skills.

Next is Mayotama, Hajime's younger brother, who is an 'otonoko' or as we call it in the west, a trap. He flirts with Hajime and uses his brother as fodder for his BL [boy's love] manga. Converse to him is Miki who runs a data entry company and is friends with Hajime. Proving how good a friend Hajime is, he sets up Miki ands Mayotama on a date...without telling Miki that Hajime is a boy. Hilarity Ensues. 

There is more to the cast including Kaoru's father and Kaoru's two friends that comment on the goings on in the main couple's life but they are mostly forgettable. 


Fangirl break

Also I want to take this moment to fangirl over the voice actor for Hajime, Kenichi Suzumura, who also voices my favorite Uta No Prince Sama character Masato Hijirikawa and Hikaru Hitachiin from Ouran High School Host Club. Fans of Magical Girl Lyrical Nonoha will recognize the voice actress of Kaoru as Yukari Tamura, the voice actress for Nonoha and also Rika from the Higurashi series.


Story and Art


Plot wise, the story is a bit routine in a way. Otaku makes a joke, Normie wife doesn't get it, the audience laughs, rinse and repeat. It is like that for the first couple of episodes but there is a small difference: the couple really do love each other. I mean sure, I spent a vast amount of the series wondering why they hooked up in the first place. As you can tell above, in the end, the love is there and you can tell that odd though they are, the characters are better together than apart. By the send of the series, I am sure you will love the main couple as much as I do and will be anticipating the second season.

As for the art and music, the art is pretty really good. It's below my usual standards [and mine are like Kyoto Animation level] but compared to the manga which looks like a chicken walked over a napkin and the mangaka called it a masterpiece, it's really nice. The background music is pretty forgettable but the ending theme, sung by the voice actors for Kaoru and Hajime, is really cute. 


Alternatives and Rating


If you enjoyed this series and need more Otaku vs Normals, check out Genshiken. According to MyAnimeList, another good pair of similar anime would be Usagi Drop and Kantoku Fuyuki Todoki. With a little bit of adult humor, Danna-ga is best watched with friends over the age of 13, bare minimum. Watch it on Crunchyroll - Support the Industry!



I Totally Understand What This Anime Is Saying


So, humor and romance but with forgettable music and art, how should I rate this? For bucking the trend of actually having a discernible amount of character development [at least with the main couple], I rate Danna-Ga with a 9/10. Short form anime doesn't have to be just a flash in the pan. It can have substance as well.

I Don't Understand What My Husband Is Saying - 9/10

Agree with my thoughts? Completely disagree? Have a suggestion for similar anime? Wanna chat? Drop a comment below! If you want to read more of my opinions, subscribe via Email or RSS!

2 comments

  1. I agree with your review! I really did quite enjoyed it and the end of Season 1 is so cute! <3
    Btw, have you watched Season 2 yet? I want to hear a review from you about it :)

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    Replies
    1. I have actually seen season 2 and am keeping up with the manga which is past that. I have been reading all the works from this author and I do have a review lined up for the other work that was animated, Kotomori-san can't decide! :)

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