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Manga / Rumiko Takahashi Anthology

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Rumiko Takahashi Anthology is a 2003 thirteen episode anime based on Rumic Theater, itself a collection of short manga written and illustrated by famed manga-ka Rumiko Takahashi.

The manga has been published periodically by Rumiko Takahashi since 1987. New stories are published annually in Shogakukan's Big Comic Original. The majority of chapters/episodes are domestic stories, each with a unique twist. An English language edition of the first volume was released by Viz in 1996.

The anime was licensed by Discotek Media and ran from July 5, 2003 to September 27, 2003.


Rumiko Takahashi Anthology provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Pops from "The Merchant of Romance" has to be constantly dragged out of bars to even show up on a job.
  • Amicable Exes: Yukari is divorced, but she still gets along quite well with her ex-husband Keiichi even if they're not overly friendly. She mentions that they separated for practical reasons, so neither has any resentment towards the other. In fact, Keiichi expresses concern over her business, and Yukari quite welcomes the idea of getting back together with him.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Gorgeous the dog has a pair drawn on. It's permanent marker so they never wash off.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The mother-in-law from "Hidden in the Pottery". She effectively ruins poor Ruruko's life just because she wanted her son all to herself.
  • Chubby Chaser: Hazama's wife eats a lot and has a round figure. He proudly shows her picture to his neighbors and colleagues, and doesn't seem to understand their less than flattering remarks about her appearance.
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  • Driven to Suicide: Hazuki from "Aberrant Family F" is worried her parents plan to commit family suicide after her father loses their money. Turns out she was right, but not because of their debt. Rather because the father believed he was dying and couldn't bear to leave his family alone. They all survive and it turns out he wasn't dying after all.
  • Domestic Abuse: Shimoda from "Happiness List" is a drunk who beats his wife. Not that Mrs. Shimoda isn't capable of assaulting her husband in retaliation, though.
  • Easy Amnesia: Mr. Furuda gets beaned on the head and wakes up with a memory that only stretches to when he was thirteen.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: Pitto from "The Tragedy of P". Even Mrs. Kakei wanted to pet him when she found out.
  • Evil Is Petty: Ruruko's mother-in-law not only abused her and spread all sorts of terrible rumors about her to the neighbors, when Ruruko, in tears, called her out on it, her mother in law then proceeded to pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit and made everyone think Ruruko was abusing her. What's worse, it worked.
  • Gonk: The Baby-Ghost from "Extra-Large Size Happiness". He barely looks human.
  • Good All Along: The Baby Ghost. The wife believed that it was trying to sabotage her attempts to move her family out of their apartment and after they missed their appointment, they discover that a landslide happened in the neighborhood with the house they wanted to buy.It turns out, the baby ghost was trying to protect them.
  • Love Martyr: Poor, poor Ruruko. She had to put up with an abusive mother-in-law who hated her, belittled her and spread slanderous rumors about her to the neighbors, all because she didn't want to share her son with her. The only solace in her life was the love of her husband, only for him to die with his mother in a car accident and even worst, his final word was "Mother". Even after all of that and her still dealing with the effects of the rumors, she still loves her late husband and misses him. You just can't help but want to hug the poor girl.
  • May–December Romance: Subverted. Whenever the middle-aged (male) protagonist falls in love with a much younger girl and considers leaving his unhappy marriage to pursue a relationship with her, she would almost invariably end up being Happily Married with (or is at least seriously dating) someone else closer to her age.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Risa Hoshino in "One Hundred Years of Love" is a 90 year-old woman who is about the size of a doll. Flashbacks show that she is normal-sized in her youth, though.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: While several stories dabbles with the possibility of adultery, none of them ended happening.
    • In "Teen Papa", Furuda's wife and son finds a picture of him with a high school girl, whom they assume is someone he paid to date. In actuality, he just asked her to help operate the photo booth when getting home drunk and they talked quite a bit afterwards, but he fell off the bridge as he was leaving her, causing his memory loss.
    • Many people assume that Hazama from "Trouble With The Neighbors" is having an affair with Mrs. Ukita, or—even if they haven't—would eventually would go that route. The fact that their respective spouses aren't good-looking by normal standards clearly exacerbate the suspicion.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Zigzagged depending on the story. It's usually averted unless the relationship between the in-laws is the main focus of the story, but some does play it straight.
    • The Tonegawas are probably the worst example of the trope. The younger Mrs. Tonegawa (Ruruko) clearly wasn't aggrieved by her mother-in-law's death and is rumoured to have abused the older woman. It's actually the other way round. The elder Mrs. Tonegawa emotionally abused her daughter-in-law by spreading nasty rumours about her and pulling a Wounded Gazelle Gambit when Ruruko tries to call her out on it.
    • "Scene of the Crime" has a variation in which the wife gets along just fine with her mother-in-law, but couldn't stand her sister-in-law. The former readily gives the reins of the household to the wife, and never complains about the house rule she sets. The latter, on the other hand, complains whenever things are different from what she's used to from her mother.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The mother-in-law in "Extra-Later Size Happiness" turns out to be one, despite initially coming off as stern and exasperated by her daughter-in-laws strange behavior(which was due to a large baby ghost that only she could see at the time)and threatening to not invest in a house they want to buy. However, after overhearing her daughter-in-law breaking down in tears to her husband over the entire thing, she shows concern for her well being and reconciles with her.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism: Sits quite firmly on the idealistic side. Although a lot of the stories deal with adult issues like unhappy marriages, problematic children, difficult in-laws, and the like, all of them end on a positive note. Even the Shimodas, who is initially shown to have an abusive relationship, ends with the couple realising that Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other.
  • The Unsmile: Mr. Domoto's "smile" is enough to scare away customers!
  • Unfinished Business: Mrs. Todokoro's is that she wanted to give her husband his anniversary present.
  • You No Take Candle: The Thai part time worker in "As Long As You Are Here". She gets better towards the end of the episode when she's had time to learn more Japanese.