Hey there, wonderful boys and girls! Gooood morning! It's 8:00 AM, and you know what that means!
That's right! Time for another fun filled episode of Together with Mom, with your favorite Singing Instructors Utano and Iketeru, and Exercise Instructor Uramichi! Get ready for learning the joys of fighting evil germs, funny sing-alongs, and Uramichi's famous existential crises!
...Don't worry, that last part won't make it in the final cut.
The truth is, like many good adults, our instructors and actors get stressed sometimes. They're not always ready to take on the day, much less to perform at their best in front of the kids. And no one knows that feeling better than Omota Uramichi, who at his 31 years of life is on the brink of snapping. He drinks, smokes, and takes his frustrations out on his ever suffering juniors along with balancing his stressful children's television job. But thankfully (for us, not for him) he's not the only one suffering through the motions.
Uramichi-Oniisan began life as a Pixiv comic by Kuze Gaku before being serialized in Ichijinsha's digital magazine Comic POOL. A few voice commercials were put out to promote volume releases, but the series was announced to receive an animated adaptation in 2020, with all of the promotion videos' voice cast reprising their roles. Kodansha Comics USA announced an English localization of the manga under the title Life Lessons with Uramichi Oniisan in 2019.
Tropes present in the series include:
- Armor-Piercing Question: Sometimes the kids take some good shots, unintentionally:Miki: Onii-san, how old are you?
Uramichi: I'm 31!
Miki: Well my dad is 29, so why aren't you married or have any kids?
Uramichi: Just...give me a second to breathe...
- Beach Episode: Like many things in Uramichi's life, this plot doesn't go well. Sure, they get to go to the beach and take part in typical summer activities under a blue sky, but they're freezing their butts off in the middle of the biggest cold front of the winter. It's also strictly for work.
- Children Are Innocent: Despite all the stuff Uramichi tells them, the kids remain regular, pure minded children to the end. They do spout off some unusual things sometimes, but ultimately they're alright. Uramichi himself values this in the kids, hoping they get to stay as kind and sweet as they are now before the world overtakes them.
- Cringe Comedy: Uramichi's baldfaced mental issues combined with the cheeriness of the rest of the supposed show can throw readers in for a loop. This aspect is lessened over the next few volumes in place of a more eccentric work comedy atmosphere.
- Depraved Kids' Show Host: Uramichi is a rather downplayed case of this. He's got the "bright persona but dead inside" personality down pat, exposes the kids to his depressing rants and private life, and regularly bullies Usahara on set, but deep down he actually cares about his coworkers and the kids.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: A special comic has Uramichi rant about people who pirate manga or rip them to host on their own unofficial websites. He also uses his puppet to be a strawman for the website hosts, painting them as greedy jerks who skirt around Japanese law to make money off of illegal sharing.
- Dramatic Unmask: Chapter 8 finally sees "Usao" and "Kumao" unmasked after spending most of their unmasked appearances faced away from the camera or obscured by panels.
- Dysfunction Junction: Nobody on Together with Mom, with the exception of Kumatani, is a functioning adult. Utano's a washed up singer who's rapidly approaching Christmas Cake mentality, Iketeru is unable to do most actions without prompting, Usahara keeps putting his own foot in his mouth, and Uramichi's an entirely different bag of stress.
- Everyone Went to School Together: Usahara, Kumatani, and Uramichi all used to be roommates in college, while Iketani was unrelated to them but still attended the same college. The only one of the main five who didn't know them was Utano, and that was because she was still doing idol work at the time.
- Exposed to the Elements: The director, at one point, wanted to shoot a summertime music video for a future segment... in the middle of January, during one of the coldest days of the year. He ends up doing the opposite just after the summer special aired, doing a winter video in the blazing heat, but Kumatani wouldn't let him.
- Fictional Counterpart: Together with Mom is one for the NHK children's program Okaasan to Issho. Its Japanese name even swaps out the words in Issho for their English equivalents (Maman to Together).
- Hot Springs Episode: Much to Uramichi's displeasure, his planned two day vacation ends up being a mandatory company retreat to an onsen. A good chunk of it is spent on a Mundane Made Awesome ping pong fight.
- Mr. Fanservice: Uramichi. Being a former gymnast and a current exercise freak, the manga and show give many opportunities to show off his physique. He's also the cast member who gets most of the skimpier (and dorkier) form fitting special costumes.
- Parental Bonus: In-universe. The songs Utano and Iketeru sing are rather somber and more oriented towards adult life if you really listen to it (i.e. "Why Does It Rain When I Don't Have an Umbrella" being clearly about anxiety/depression, or "I Raised My Hand and Called a Cab" talking about mixers). Not to mention all the junk the director makes Uramichi wear for special segments.
- Punny Name: Befitting their children's show roots, All the hosts have one. In Japanese order:
- Omota Uramichi = "Depressing + Back Alley/Shady Means", indicating his gloomy demeanor on and off the set as well as how off-putting he appears to others.
- Tadano Utano = "So-so Singer", reflecting her unsuccessful singing career.
- Daga Iketeru = "...But I'm hot", implying his looks are the only thing he can show off of himself unprompted.
- Usahara and Kumatani are the only two characters with surnames that reflect their characters, being Usao and Kumao respectively.
- The rest of the staff has more straightforwardly punny names, like Heame Ikuko (the stylist), Derekida (the director), and Edi (the Assistant Director).
- Right in Front of Me: The hilariously awful Spice Ninja segment eventually inspires a little girl to try out shiso, a bitter leaf. When the mother asks why she would want to do so, the girl replies that the bitterness would be nothing compared to the bitterness of the guy who had to wear the "God of Shiso's" costume. Uramichi, who played the "God" and is walking right behind them, is in equal parts shock and agreement.
- Rummage Sale Reject: A lot of the special costumes are like this. The God of Shiso outfit is a fishnet top with leaf pasties and booty shorts, for example.
- Running Gag:
- Iketeru has quite a few: cracking up at any words that stars with chi, being horrible with an activity only to show unnatural amounts of talent at it once he tries it, and being clueless.
- Usahara getting saddled with Uramichi.
- Subverted Kids Show: With all of the antics that happen on the set of Together with Mom, you'd think it's really this, but subverted. From all outward appearances it's a perfectly normal kids' program, and at least one chapter shows that they cut particularly ill-fitting shots out of filming.
- When He Smiles: Uramichi has one of two smiles for the public—his painted kids' show smile, and an exhausted smile when he's feeling up to the challenge. One day, however, he smiles for real; when one of the kids expressed excitement at going to one of their big stage shows, Uramichi uncharacteristically shoots him a genuine smile of happiness, much to the shock of Iketeru and Utano.
- Whole Episode Flashback: Volumes 3 and 4 feature chapters depicting Uramichi's college years and Kumatani's backstory, respectively.
- Work Com: Complete with the Director as the "clueless boss" stand-in.