What would you do if, one day, you started crying mayonnaise? Seriously. If that were to happen, what would you do? Would you go to a doctor? Run to your priest? Or maybe call a certain “mysterious disease specialist”? The adaptation of Aho Toro’s fantasy manga wants you to join them on an adventure of the medically bizarre!
Minor spoilers ahead!
"Minds afflicted by stress or obsession are sometimes afflicted by something ‘mysterious’.”
The first episode of Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist (Kaibyōi Ramune) begins with a mysterious intro monologue to the world of “mysterious diseases”. Then it goes to the perspective of a young girl who is begging for an ophthalmologist to help her with her condition. But who would believe a girl claiming to have tears of mayonnaise?
Her hope comes from a boy named Kuro, Dr. Ramune's assistant, who approaches her with a suggestion.
“Would you like me to introduce you to a doctor?”
That’s where Dr. Ramune comes in. Covered in shaman robes and ritual bells, he appears less like a medical professional and more like someone who’d scam a tourist to experience a “genuine Japanese exorcism”. And his attitude doesn’t really help matters, with how he laughs crudely and acts like everything is a joke. But don’t be fooled, he’s more than he seems. And through the first episode, we get to see why.
When Dr. Ramune starts on the case, he approaches it with all the professionalism as any other medical doctor would with a patient, except for the moments of man-child behavior (also the biggest source of the episode’s comedy). He listens to her, treats her problem as something serious. Makes her problems feel known. And this becomes an important factor in how the story progresses.
This is the entire vibe of the episode and what could be of the entire series. Someone has a problem modern medicine can’t fix, and science can’t explain. Then comes Dr. Ramune, in his white robes and childish attitude, and a heart willing to listen. Like a combination of Sherlock Holmes, Mob Psycho 100, and acid, Dr. Ramune Mysterious Disease Specialist is a weird fantasy anime that tackles the strangest “what if’s” one can have, and puts in the effort in explaining the why. It focuses on fixing problems of the heart and soul, with a twist of the supernatural.
“There will be those who suffer from bizarre diseases. And when there are mysterious diseases, there also those who cure them”.
The first episode is a fun introduction to the infinite possibilities of the world that it’s set up in. Tears of mayonnaise? Occult sigils? Eccentric doctors with magic? What else could be possible? It’s like a medical doctor decided to let loose. There’s a world ripe for exploration, which more than makes up for some of the narrative flaws. It’s easy to forget the by-the-numbers approach to the story. The idea of an “eccentric genius who fixes the unfixable” isn’t new, so the episode heavily relies on its premise to push it along. It isn’t the pure comedic madness of other weird anime (like Mob Psycho 100), and it isn’t as subtle with dealing with the themes it wants. It’s incredibly light-hearted, despite the dramatic climax. It’s not like the other high strung anime coming out, and only demands that you enjoy the ride.
It’s like a carnival ride, asking you to enjoy the sights and the thrills. There’s the colorful animation of the studio Platinum Vision, mixed with the cute character designs of Aho Toro that’s easy on the eyes. There’s an atmosphere of fun prevalent. It’s even heard in the opening song by Yuma Uchida entitled SHAKE! SHAKE! SHAKE!, mixing jazz and pop-rock for an infectious theme that could easily get stuck in the head.
If you’re looking for the next fun anime to watch in your free time but won’t ask you to take a big chunk of your mental space, give Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist a try.
Dr. Ramune Mysterious Disease Specialist Episode 2 will be released on Sunday, 17 of January at 1:30 am JST.
Tell us what you think about the Dr. Ramune Mysterious Disease Specialist below in the comments!