Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 09

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I Don’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying just sort of fizzled this week and, while that’s not exactly why I’m dropping it from my review platter, I’m dropping it from my review platter.

How to explain? Have you ever watched a 3 minute show that started out as a tepid comedy that tried to make fun of a sub-genre or social group, only to have that show drop all pretext of being a comedy at all, barely even comment on it’s original topic, and turn into a dramaless drama about half way through?

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No?

Yeah, I can’t think of an exact comparison to this either. The closest I can think of is “Invaders,” which started out as a dumb harem comedy about a collection of freaks going to school with a guy they needed to win over for one reason or another… until half way through when it just turned into an unexplained action show, where the action was badly drawn and none of the characters were interesting enough to care about.

I dropped that show too.

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So this week Brother/Sister asks how Husband and Wife first met. The meeting isn’t very interesting, and not even as awkward as you would imagine. Sure, Husband forgets to ask Wife if she wants to go out with him until the end of the date and they both have a good time (it’s the first time she’d seen him smile for real) but… so what?

Episode 9 was pleasant but empty. We know Husband likes wife because…er… reasons… already. We know wife likes being liked and that her Dad doesn’t like anyone. If that’s as far as we’ve come in 9 episodes, it’s time to move on.

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 08

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I Don’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying continues to build up the pre-child positions for Husband and Wife this week. This time around, they are watching Ai-chan, the daughter of an unspecified relative to Wife.

Ai-chan is cute and loves golf, which makes sense, since her mom is a pro golfer and her dad is a caddy. So Husband and Wife go to a driving range and have fun all day.

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This week’s weirdest moment came early, with Ai wanting to talk all her clothes off because they were too stiff and Wife saying she couldn’t because there was a beast in the house.

However, as with previous weeks, there wasn’t much effort put into humor here. It was cute, pleasant and clearly sets up Husband and Wife’s emotional readiness for a child. Well, at least as much as any parent is ready for it.

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I don’t have much to say about DannaNani at this point. Compared to Ai Tenchi Muyo!, almost nothing happens per-episode and what does happen is fairly straightforward. That’s not a claim that ATM! is better. Far from it!

DannaNani’s shortcomings largely come from being generally pleasant but forgettable. But also not generic, even though it doesn’t stand out. “Comfortable” is probably the word I’m looking for and if you need that at the end of a long day, DannaNani has 180 seconds just for you.

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 07

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I Don’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying continues down the more serious drama lines it established a few weeks ago. As with the drinking-problem issue, this time is dedicated to another one or Wife’s quirks: she’s a terrible cook!

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So, obviously, Husband is a pretty easy cook to compensate their combined level of functionality, which seems to be the general message we’ve gotten over the past few weeks.

Neither Wife nor Husband is especially function on their own but, together, they work well together — work like a complete person.

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Oh! and we finally learned who this guy was! It’s Wife’s dad and he’s a great chef. Also, Wife’s mom was a terrible cook, but matured after giving birth. Also Husband’s sister/brother is bringing bentos to Husband’s boss.

It was a cute episode. Charming, even. The initial idea that he’s no good for her is obviously long behind us but, more interestingly, we’re finally seeing why Wife wasn’t talking down about him to her friends. Between the drinking, smoking, lack of cooking and general haze of her brain, she really doesn’t have reason to feel especially superior to him.

After all, Husband loves that she can’t cook. It raises her genre-stats tremendously.

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 06

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I Don’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying takes us on a ‘one of the characters gets sick’ episode. Except it really doesn’t, because Kaoruta-chan’s sudden illness/falling to the floor doesn’t get played up in the regular way, nor is it used as a ‘sign of deeper issues’; not medical ones anyway…

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So Kaoruta-chan is, apparently, a heavy smoker. Or she’s started recently. Or who knows? We’ve never seen her smoke and we don’t see her smoke during this episode so I don’t know what to make of this sudden new ‘fact.’

In any event, her friend doctor tells her to stop smoking and then, later, tells her she’ll have to stay not smoking until after the baby is born. Language wise, I don’t have the nuance to know if this was ‘in general’ or if Kaoruta is actually pregnant now?

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Basically, I have no idea what is going on this week. We meet several of Kaoruta’s friends that, if we’ve seen before, it was only for 7 seconds in the second episode. We also meet a guy who I have to assume is Kaoruta’s brother but we’ve never seen him before either and none of the scenes make any sense without knowing that…

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So… yeah. IDUWmHiS was cute, this week — even a little coherent in it’s relationships — but narratively? I have no idea what is going on and there weren’t any jokes again.

A lack of humor and a lack of ‘weirdness’ doesn’t bode well for this show. I can’t imagine watching a 180-second long ‘drama’ each week. I just can’t.

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 05

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I Don’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying stripped away the side characters this week and slugged us with all the lovey-dovey married couple antics we could handle in three minutes or less!

It also stripped off their clothes…more than once!

Kaoruta-chan has a bit of a drinking problem you see. She doesn’t get drunk very quickly, but when she does, she’s totally nuts. Nuts for her husbands nuts DOINK!

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“I’ll rape you in under ten seconds” – a new romantic standard is achieved!

Unfortunately, Kaoruta doesn’t remember any of this at all so she challenges her husband to prove it with video and takes him out to a nice place to eat and drink. Secretly she also wants to see him drunk but secretly he wants to avoid drinking and, as you would expect, four beers in, the bra hits the fan and all mania cuts loose.

I love how not sexy they are drawn. Even Kaoruta’s boobs, which are enormous, have  a worn down look. She’s unpleasantly short and disheveled. It’s all very ‘real person,’ which I find delightful.

Picture 2In the morning, she still doesn’t remember anything…

Calling IDUWmHiS delightful isn’t quite on the nose. It’s quick, punchy, barely-animated and horrifyingly like my marriage during the holidays some times.

This week was the first time I actually felt a connection to the characters and, building on the previous four episodes of their cute happy relationship, it was a charmer.

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Structurally, the gender reversal works in that playing it up for laughs — making fun of how silly Husband and Wife are — make the rape scene possible. Yes! There was a rape scene in which the husband cried and it was so mind-blowingly absurd I was dying laughing!

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Otherwise, I have no idea where the show is going at all or if the drinking issue will even come up again. We’re just watching two people who like each other goof off and it’s not even framed as a joke half the time.

But I’m loving it and I hope you are too!

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 04

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I Don’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying stepped up the pace this week, easily forcing me to rewind and re-read my sub twice to make sure I had everything. Strangely, this week was also pretty lite on humor…

Seriously? Did I actually replay a 3-minute slice of life piece that had no real jokes and enjoyed myself? What, have I been taken over by an alien head-eating Parasyte? Help me Tamiya-sensei! You’re my only hope!

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Okay so what actually happened? Husband put his blog on hiatus to look for real work and wife became very happy. The day had finally come when she could tell the neighborhood house wives what her husband actually does for a living.

But he can’t find a job. Or isn’t really trying. Or he’s insane. (he uses a horse head on his resume after all) Why not all three?

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Wife suggests he ask Miki for work. Miki is super still royally upset that Husband’s sister/brother has a penis though…but does give him a data entry job because he knows it will make Wife happy and I guess it’s not much trouble for him.

Also he has a family member already doing other data entry. So he can’t have that much over head…

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Finally it’s agreed that Husband should work from home and can do web design. He has the skills so this should go fine as long as he doesn’t do anything crazy on purpose.

And Wife is happy. Even though she can’t explain what he does to the local house wives (really? web design is too complicated for them to understand as a profession that exists? are these house wives sub-human?) she’s just happy to understand what husband is doing herself.

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Week 4 was nice. Husband seems to care about Wife and want to make her happy. Wife, for her part is happy that he’s trying, even if he’s doing it poorly. All around, DannaNani is a warm and fuzzy show and I enjoyed it for that, even without much attempt at humor.

Still… it’s weird to me that this show is called I Don’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying but the wife, generally, understands what her husband is saying? Hrm…

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 03

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken Episode 3 is the most slice-like slice of life this short-format has produced so far. What do I mean?

This week’s scene was so truncated, it’s difficult to even call it a scene. It was, essentially, just three jokes strung together.

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(I’m not counting his screenname as one of the jokes)

Joke 1: Husband and his little brother/sister have no friends (except the internet)

Joke 2: Husband’s little brother/sister is oddly pervy and implies they should have a circle jerk. Then he’s sent home on the train. (like last week)

Joke 3: No one knows Husband’s little brother/sister is male and, at a physical otaku meetup, one of Husband’s online acquaintances decided to make a move on brother/sister. Husband approves, if only to do away with both of them for now.

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Wife’s role in this was to make the first two jokes. That’s about it.

There isn’t anything to say about this week’s offering. It is visually acceptable, uneventful and toes the line of being funny but it was devoid of content to an absurd extreme. Again, it functions because it is short but it would probably function as well if all the micro-parts were strung together into a single normal format episode.

Maybe.

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 02

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken (I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying) continues to be a puzzling experience.

This week we learn that the wife’s name is Kaoru, and we watch her introduce two of her female friends to her husband. This goes reasonably well, except that he begins the introduction wearing a horse mask…

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Despite this, the friends like him…though they also presume that he was acting ‘normal’ for them. Regardless, the interaction does go well and we also learn that Kaoru had planned to stay single for life but, for reasons still unknown, married her crazy otaku husband.

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We also meet Kaoru’s husband’s little brother, who may be his sister, who is also obsessed with the internet and fandom. The segment was very fast and I really have no idea what was going on. (And I’m too lazy to google what ‘uke’ means)

Well played, anime about not understanding. Well played.

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On the up side, we see the couple getting along much more naturally—even tenderly—than last week’s husband dominated sleazy jerk-fest. I still have no idea what to make of this show but there isn’t much to complain about something that only lasts 3 minutes.

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 01

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I bounce randomly from show-to-show at the beginning of each season, stopping to view anything new, as long as its stream synopsis sounds remotely interesting. While this lets me catch a few gems my colleagues will miss, it nets me a whole lot of bewilderingly “why-was-this-made?” filler.

Unfortunately, Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken (I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying) falls into this later category.

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This is a micro-format show about an Otaku-blogger’s blond wife who doesn’t get why anime is so special, nor how he can make a living blogging about it.

Since the wife has so little personality or agency in the plot, I’m not sure she counts as  a character, even though she is the narrator. So I suppose the show is as much about her Otaku husband, even though he’s just a compulsive, anime obsessed, self centered jerk.

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Plot Summery: a young couple get married and the bride wonders why she chose this man, who says he will not bring her happiness. Then we cut away and reveal the Otaku husband fawning over ‘the bride'(‘s) show on TV, and ignoring his smaller boobed wife.

Later, his wife asks if they can go out on his day off, but he refuses until she does a Moe cat dance. Then they go to a movie, which he chooses because he wants to blog about it even though the wife seems uninterested. Ultimately she enjoys the film in spite of her reservations but he hates it and tirades about it just like I do about everything Hannah and Zane ever seem to enjoy, which kinda ruins the mood.

Then he says he wants to go to a love hotel and drools a bit.

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As short format shows go, it competently packed its concept in 4:00 without feeling like it was missing anything or just a slice from a single episode. That said, I don’t get the point of this show at all?

The husband is not an empathetic character but neither is the wife because she seems to have put herself in this situation and takes no agency to get out of it. The plot will certainly unfold over time and, maybe, explain why they are together in the first place but that is a high bar to set for viewers out of the gate.

Nothing really happens and the concept is neither wacky nor thought provoking nor funny nor action based. Without …a purpose… I can’t see myself keeping up with it, short format or not.

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