The Circumstances of...

Orenchi no Furo Jijo

I’ve watched a lot of anime shorts in my time, including Thermae Romae, Ponyoponyo Kansatsu Nikki, Recorder and Ransel, High Score, Wooser’s Hand to Mouth Life and a few others that I’ve since forgotten the name of, but Orenchi no Furo Jijo (The Circumstances in My Home’s Bathtub) is probably one of the few I’ve watched with such true enjoyment and high animation quality.

When I say anime shorts in this case, I refer to the length of an episode where they range between 3-5 minutes, rather than the length of the series though a 12-episode series is considered short these days I hear. Orenchi no Furo Jijo is unique in that I was genuinely very surprised when I first realised it was a short anime due to the sudden ending of the first episode, whereas I do not recall feeling nearly as surprised while watching Thermae Romae or Recorder to Randsel for example. The opening theme and initial quality had tricked me into thinking it was a full-fledged anime.

Orenchi no Furo Jijo

The storyline as a whole is predictably short, given the length of the series, but the length is adequate to tell the short, sweet and humourous stories of Wakasa, the merman whom Tatsumi found on the shore one day, and the rest of his aquatic friends who visit. Used to the clean water and comfortable life of Tatsumi’s bathtub, he now doesn’t want to leave and often brings various troubles to Tatsumi who accepts this with good grace.

There are a few yaoi undertones, which is a plus in my book, but although there is suggestion the story is kept strictly innocent - all that is obvious is a strong bond between these two characters.

I’d love to see more of the series, but alas the series ends at 12 episodes, and it doesn’t seem like an English version of the 4koma manga strip volumes will be released any time soon. I’ve found the Japanese versions on used-book websites (Mandarake specifically) and am sorely tempted to buy them to read more, even if I struggle with the language.

Good art, cute and funny themes and likable characters, Orenchi no Furo Jijo is right up my alley.