It’s funny and sometimes amazing how Japan manages to come up with all sorts of spins on life to use in their manga and anime, and one of the latest to take this to all kinds of extremes is the Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues Complete Collection. If you ever worked in business management or had a job in general, then you’ll have fun with this series and be thankful you don’t have Tonegawa’s job.
Being a spin-off of the popular Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji series, this one follows Yukio Tonegawa, who is the right-hand man of Hyodo Kazutaka, the head of the Teiai group that runs a lot of the gambling and collections that takes place in Japan. Even with all his wealth and power, Kazutaka always needs something to keep him entertained, from setting up games of life and death, to other insane requests. This is where Tonegawa comes in, as it falls on him and his black suit-wearing subordinates to keep Hyodo happy at all costs, unless they want pink slips or worse.
So being in the realm of anime, you can already imagine some of the insanity Tonegawa will have to go through to please his boss while making sure morale and sanity is kept for him and his minions. All sorts of fun misadventures happen along the way, from Tonegawa trying to remember all of his subordinates names to no avail, to keeping up with meetings and making sure everything goes perfect for the boss, rest assured there’s never a dull or unfunny moment in this series.
It took some getting used to the oddball comedy and very angle-filled manga artwork, but once you find the groove to this show, you’ll be hard pressed to stop watching. Even though I hadn’t seen the original series this is spun off from (thankfully there’s a small recap at the beginning), I was still able to follow the zany episodes with ease. They look and sound great being on Blu-ray, and the clean opening and closing animations for the show are the only special features to check out.
If you’re looking for something different in anime comedies, you’ll want to put on your business suit and get to work on the Mr. Tonegawa: Middle Management Blues Complete Collection. It’s a wacky looking, crazy show dealing with what it takes to keep everyone happy at your job, while having a classic anime feel to it as well. Just don’t gamble and owe these guys and you’ll be just fine…maybe.