Rumiko Takahashi Anthology–Anime Review

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4 Stars
Rumiko Takahashi is best known for sprawling epics that go on and on seemingly forever, but this series suggests that her greatest talent is writing short stories. Each of the 13 episodes is an independent short story. The stories are clever and whimsical, though sometimes with dark elements. All are set in modern Japan. The only connection between them is that sometimes you can catch glimpses of characters from other stories.

Many manga artists and anime writers prefer to work with fantastic characters or exotic foreign locations. Here however the characters are fairly realistic, even though some of the stories have fantasy elements. The milieu seems very Japanese; an American could probably learn a lot about Japanese society just from watching this series.

  • Original Title
    Takahashi Rumiko Gekijou
  • Demographic
  • Genres
    Comedy, Short Stories
  • Contents
    13 episodes on 4 DVDs
  • Languages
    Japanese with subtitles, English
  • Based on
    A manga by Rumiko Takahashi
  • Director
    Akira Nishimori
  • Character Design
    Ichiro Ogawa, Mari Tominaga
  • Art Director
    Toshiyuki Tokuda
  • Animation Directors
    Ichiro Ogawa, Mari Tominaga
  • Animation Studio
    TMS Entertainment
  • Broadcast
    TV Tokyo, 2003-2004
  • Region 1 Publisher


This is yet another series that was orphaned when Geneon abandoned the American market. However it is still in stock at most of the usual online anime dealers and can be rented from Netflix.

Parental Advisory

These stories are not really aimed at children and include adult themes. Some contain elements likely to frighten or upset young children. Age 10 might be a reasonable minimum.

The Stories

Penguin1. The Tragedy of P. A housewife is forced to take care of a pet penguin belonging to her husband’s most important client. Unfortunately they live in an apartment with a strict “no pets” rule.
Wedding Hall Staff2. Merchant of Romance. The staff members of a run-down wedding hall struggle to keep the place in business.
Salaryman Boy3. Middle-Aged Teen. A frustrated salaryman suffers a head injury that causes him to believe that he is 13 years old. His family is annoyed.
Rumors4. In a Pot. A woman start to wonder whether her neighbor is a murderer.
Girl in Car5. Aberrant Family F. A 13-year-old girl convinces herself that her parents are bankrupt and are plotting a family suicide.
Deli Clerk6. As Long As You Are Here. A man with a rigid Type “A” personality is forced to work at a delicatessen.
Old Lady on the Ceiling7. Hundred Years Love. An old woman seemingly dies, but then comes back to life with supernatural powers. Has she been brought back for a purpose?
Confronting the Queen8. In Lieu of Thanks. A new resident clashes with the “queen” of her apartment building. Can she get help from an old woman referred to as “the witch”?
Ghost of Wife9. Living Room Love Song. A middle-aged widower feels attracted to a pretty, young co-worker. Inconveniently he is still being haunted by the spirit of his late wife.
Trash10. House of Tossing. People start leaving their garbage in front of a young couple’s house.
Dream Girl11. One-Day Dream. A depressed salaryman gets an invitation to his class reunion, and starts to fantasize about the girl he once had a crush on.
Giant Baby12. Large-Sized Happiness. A woman is haunted by an apparition of a giant baby, which seems determined to cause trouble for her.
Dog and Mistress13. The Executive’s Dog. A timid man is forced to pet-sit an expensive dog that belongs to his boss’s mistress.


Wikipedia entry.

ANN Encyclopedia entry.

Rumic World, a Rumiko Takahashi fan site.