When Netflix released the anime The Way of the Househusband (TWotH) on 8th April 2021, a slew of disappointed reviews soon followed. Some of them made valid points as to why the anime series did not live up to expectations.

I, however, have a differing opinion.

TWotH follows the adventures of the heavily tattooed and intimidating-looking Tatsu, a former-yakuza (Japanese mafia)-turned-househusband. A yakuza once known and feared as “the Immortal Dragon” left his unsavoury past behind him, and TWotH shows Tatsu’s attempts to turn over into a new leaf as a loving househusband. 

They keyword here is “attempts”, of course, as his old life is not quite ready to leave him yet.

In TWotH, the animation looks lazy, there are only 5 episodes for now, and each episode is short. If you are to judge it with normal animation standards, TWotH falls short by a lot.

 

However, despite this, I believe there is still a lot of good going for the anime, the most noticeable of which is the voice acting. Voicing the hero of the anime, Tatsu, is veteran voice actor Kenjirou Tsuda. His deep, rough voice is perfect for the main character who just cannot shake off his yakuza behaviour despite his law-abiding new life.

Apart from the voice-acting that is on point, these four other points also make TWotH a worthy watch at least once in your Netflix binging:

  1. The love story

So far, the anime has not delved into how Tatsu met and became a devoted househusband to his beloved wife Miku. The story only hints that he was a well-known and terrifying yakuza member in flashbacks.

However as a househusband, he appears to be devoted to his office lady wife. He goes to lengths to do things like making a cute Japanese bento (lunchbox) for his wife and chasing after her when she forgets to take it along with her to work.

Additionally, he also makes sure to pay attention to her interests – like how she likes a certain anime – and goes out of his way to buy a figurine for her birthday. This is despite having completely no clue what it is about. He is only sure that his wife loves it.

If anything, really, this anime shows that if you love someone, you will want to be a better version of yourself, to look after your partner, and also be observant of your partner’s likes and dislikes. That is a good message to impart.

  1. The housekeeping “tips”

Have you ever heard of a moist potpourri? It is made using half-dried flower petals (usually roses), fermented with salt in layers in a jar. Other ingredients and essential oils are added to it over weeks until it is ready.

I, personally, have never heard of a moist potpourri until TWotH. Additionally, his housekeeping skills put mine to shame, though I consider myself decent at the matter. This show has also reminded me that I should not mix whites and coloured clothing when washing them, too. While mild, the housekeeping tips in this show can be a good reminder that if a yakuza can become a domestic god, so can anyone else.

  1. The humour and comedic elements

Applying yakuza-like mannerisms to everyday life is a surefire way to generate some minor laughs. There are scenes where Tatsu treats a cockroach as the enemy taking over his turf or prostrating oneself and asking for punishment for a minor mistake.

 

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The show is also a look at how our subconscious biases come into play when we see someone tattooed and who looks intimidating. Throughout the show, people often think Tatsu is doing something shady, even if he is just cycling along the road. While it is humorous, it is also a good reminder to not judge a book by its cover.

  1. The portrayal of a househusband as a natural way of life

My favourite part about the anime is that the concept of a “househusband” is accepted naturally in this anime setting. 

Rather than being shocked that Tatsu is a househusband, people have bigger reactions about the fact that he is a former yakuza. The neighbourhood alliance of housewives easily accepts Tatsu as one of them without questioning gender roles.

In the real world, househusbands are not generally well-accepted, especially in a conservative society. Seeing one portrayed in anime (and the live-action version of the same story) is a pleasing step in the right direction that shows women can be the breadwinners of the family. It also shows that men can handle household chores easily if they tried. Gender norms should be a thing of the long-distant past.

Safe to say, I am definitely looking forward to season 2 of TWotH