The Ingenuity of the Househusband is a TV series starring Kenjirô Tsuda in the lead role of Tatsu.
The Netflix description reads:
A tough guy with a knack for housework tackles household tasks with meticulous care in these comedic live-action vignettes.
– The Ingenuity of the Househusband review does not contain spoilers –
For those of you who have not witnessed The Way of the Househusband, y’all are really missing out. I am not saying that it is on the leagues of anime big-shots, however, there’s something just so hilarious about a retired Yakuza member doing everyday mundane tasks that just gets to me. The way Tatsu loses his mind about a sale is absolutely relatable for anyone who does an ounce of housework and equally hilarious.
The Way of the Househusband was released in April 2021. And, since then, I have rewatched the anime multiple times and have laughed as much every time. It is based on the manga series of the same name written and illustrated by Kousuke Oono. The original anime has five episodes, each having multiple short stories.
The live-action series stars Kenjirô Tsuda who voiced Tatsu in the anime. I loved his voice acting in the anime, he was hilarious while sounding very menacing. I don’t know how people do it, but mad props to voice actors – you guys are awesome.
The Netflix Special, thus, was long-awaited for me. That being said, The Ingenuity of the Househusband is a bit confusing. Kenjirô Tsuda is absolutely delightful to watch, and although the anime Tatsu looked more horrifying and scarier, the live-action version of him seems more relatable and weirdly sweet!
The Ingenuity of the Househusband has five episodes, each around 5 minutes long, and follows Tsuda doing household work with utmost sincerity, dedication and seriousness. His tone might make you think he’s thinking of slicing a person open, however, he’s just talking about brewing the perfect coffee.
I like how The Ingenuity of the Househusband starts without even as much as telling us who this person is. We’re expected to know who this is, however, after a while, I did start to miss Miku a bit.
I have one problem though, The Ingenuity of the Househusband feels more like a PSA on how to make coffee or sharpen a knife (and other household stuff) than anything else. We don’t see Tatsu’s quirks here, just Tsuda making or cleaning a bunch of stuff. Thus, it did not have the same effect on me since we don’t see the other parts of his personality.
The background music as he’s rubbing wax on a jammed door might give us a hint that there’s more than meets the eye about Tatsu, but that’s about it. It’s only funny, however, if we keep in mind the manga or the anime and Tatsu’s background. It also creates a bridge between this one and the anime since the latter, too, had a similar background score.
The production quality is sublime though, and it’s almost calming to watch Tsuda do these mundane house tasks and giving tips.
After a while, I started to wonder whether we’re seeing Tsuda getting ready to become the voice actor for Tatsu. It’s a little confusing as to what the creators were thinking here, and it’s probably Tsuda being a househusband and getting ready for his role. But then… that just makes it a bit more confusing somehow.
Summing up: The Ingenuity of the Househusband
I am going to keep this review short since the series itself is tiny. However, I am a little disappointed that we don’t explore Tatsu more in live-action. Kenjirô Tsuda’s voiceover is as amazing as ever and his reactions are funny, however, I disliked how they didn’t dive deeper into how much of an enigma Tatsu is – with his yakuza side meeting and his househusband side to give birth to something hilarious.
That being said, Tsuda being very tough and cleaning the bathroom mirror is very funny.
The Ingenuity of the Househusband is streaming on Netflix.