The Way of the Househusband, or Gokushufudou, is something special. It gives you a good look into the restless, difficult, and sometimes dangerous life of a househusband. Specifically, a househusband whose previous job was being the most infamous among the Yakuza. It is a collection of short manga skits that last 2-3 minutes, each episode having about 6 of them, making it shorter than your usual anime. This very time-efficient and easily digestible show will really open your eyes to some dirty business, as well as the laundry needed to take care of it.
The story follows the daily life endeavors of Tatsu, who left the thug life behind to become the best husband he could be. He abandoned his old friends and enemies after having found love and a new life. Tatsu did, however, take some of his old practices along with him. While what he does is different, his skills, dedication, and way of operating remain the same.
The very first scene on the first episode of the show opens up with our infamous protagonist standing by the sink, his body covered in tattoos and scars and his face radiating a ruthless ambition. He pulls out his weapon (a kitchen knife) and puts on his uniform (his Yakuza outfit, an apron, and sunglasses because why not?) and starts cutting up ingredients to make breakfast for his wife, who is about to go to work. Of course, it goes without mentioning that he also took pictures of the meal from several different poses. That’s just what professionals do. Although she leaves early because she’s late, this man puts his hat on, gets on a bicycle and speeds toward her to finish his delivery. Simp? No, just a man who’s extremely committed to the code and any mission he undertakes. As well as a simp.
This isn’t the only time Tatsu shows his skills, however. It’s not just his wife that he cooks for. Everyone who’s tried his food, from neighbors to chefs, to random door salesmen he decided to show hospitality to, can agree that his cooking is absolutely heavenly. With his intimidating aura and literal thug outfit and personality, it is true that his guests fear that they might end up being the meal instead of enjoying it, but Tatsu just wants to cook, fill people’s stomachs and make them comfortable.
He is, however a man of many talents. He can clean better than any machine, babysit like a parent(specifically… a dad), sell household items he hoards, coffee art, grow plants(oh yeah, you know what kind…basil). He can even do DIY, he made a small chair out of wood one episode. And an entire bookshelf station a few later. He has an insane talent and eye when it comes to spotting good deals in supermarkets, making him a godly economy shopper. Tatsu also has a special talent for scaring the life out of everyone he interacts with, whether he tries to or not. The cops are always on him, trying to catch him making a wrong move so they can bust him, but they’re unable to, because he’s completely flawless in the way he grows and delivers his basil. One of them personally told him “You know too much about housekeeping, man…”, showing clearly that the police are no match for him. There are also enemy gang members from his old life, with whom one of two things happens: either they get even more scared of him than they previously were, or they learn to respect how good of a husband he is and follows in his footsteps. Strangers in public constantly think he’s a Yakuza assaulting a civilian when they see him with his wife, although his wife is definitely stricter on him than he is on her. On the plus side, his neighbors think he’s funny. That’s a plus. He spends a lot of his time with the middle-aged ladies around him, whom he calls “boss lady” for obvious reasons.
Despite his cold, relentless approach to all his daily missions, Tatsu is genuinely an extremely sweet guy. And that’s what makes this anime good. It’s funny, but it also knows when to make your heart melt. There are times in which his scary but wholesome personality is funny, but there’s also scenes that are just sweet and heartwarming. For example, there was a skit in which Tatsu and his wife went to the lottery and Tatsu inserted 10 entries. The amount of effort he put into it to only win a plushie was funny, even to the store owner, but Tatsu laughed maniacally as everything went according to his plan. He yelled with utmost confidence “You think I lost? The biggest prize is my wife’s smile”.
Another scene that really played at your heartstrings was the theme park episode. After Miku kept nagging him to go to a theme park and he kept refusing, they went and of course, he ended up enjoying it more than she did. Miku pokes at him for it, and he replies
“Living underground and all, I never had the chance to go to theme parks as a kid. I’ve always longed to come.”
Despite being funny and sometimes creepy, he’s human, and he tries to show that even through his thug look and that’s what makes this show so good. Meeting Miku clearly tamed him, he grew up in the wrong environment but he spends every second of his life trying to be a good man after being shown the good in the world. He’s always ready to distribute some of that white powder, that white powder being flour and baking soda. He’s always ready to take on enemies, those enemies being germs. He’s always ready to take responsibility for his boss, that boss being his wife, or the middle-aged ladies in his neighborhood.
The side characters are also very entertaining. Masa, Tatsu’s apprentice, ends up following him into his new life and he’s as much of a noob at cleaning as he is at mobbing. He’s got energy and 2 brain cells, a perfect sidekick to the professional Immortal Dragon. Torajirou, Tatsu’s rival back in the day, is out of prison and grinding for success at a crepe shop because Tatsu wiped out his gang before becoming a househusband. Miku’s socially awkward dad who always tries to have father-son moments with his son-in-law is also an enjoyable character. Another personal favorite of mine are the volleyball guys, and they were Tatsu’s greatest fear and his hubris. They really humbled him and gave a heavy amount of suspense to the show.
Obviously, though, the best of all is still the legendary Immortal Dragon, his teachings and discipline are unmatched in both the streets and the kitchen and he always has something or two to teach, whether it be about life or DIY. Dude can even speak English. As we’re speaking, he’s probably terrorizing every germ in his turf. If there’s anything to take away from this, it’s that you always gotta pay respect to Tatsu’s style and the Way of the Househusband.