Simple & Short
I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying, or Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakarani Ken as it’s known in Japanese, is a short anime that spans across two thirteen episode seasons. Each episode is about three minutes long so you can easily blow through this show in one or two sittings. They say good things come in small packages, so the same must apply to short-form anime… right?
The title is really long so I’m going to just call it “I Can’t Understand…” from here on out so you know. Remember when that was the trend with anime for a good while, usually for light novel adaptations? Glad we moved away from that trend as it’s a real pain :p This review combines both season one and two because of the short runtime and the fact that it is finished since it ended in 2015.
I think if you were to sit down and try to watch this right now, without any real knowledge of the show, you would turn it off and never come back to it again. The first episode is frantic, and quite frankly, terrible. It has a nice start, but can’t stick with it over its whole three minute runtime.
It does, however, setup the premise of the show rather well. I Can’t Understand… establishes its main cast well. Meet husband and wife pair Hajime and Kaoru. The husband, Hajime, is your typical otaku while Kaoru is a beautiful, but normal, person. As a result, she often doesn’t know what her husband is talking about. Wow, wonder how they came up with that title?
Things fortunately pick up as the show goes but not right away. The first couple of episodes were fairly off-putting. There were moments of comedy, ranging from physical to otaku-based referential humor, which occasionally landed but that’s about it. Really, I wasn’t all that interested until episode seven rolled around.
Episode seven is where the show actually did something for me. It was like watching one of the shows I mention in my Barakaman and others article. At this point in time, the conclusion of the show and general arc is fairly obvious but I’ll avoid going into it since it is so short.
I will say that I liked the way season one ended, and if that’s all there was to I Can’t Understand… then I would have been satisfied but not overly enthused about the show. It would have been a pleasant, albeit short, experience that I wouldn’t have much to say about.
That being said, there is a second season that picks up and keeps it going. I found this season to be overall better but didn’t enjoy it as much. It was at its best when exploring the pasts and backgrounds of the various cast members. The ending of season two just didn’t do much for me and lacked the impact that season one’s ending had. Took away from the experience somewhat.
Now I need to address some things that bugged me. The episodes are just too short. I think they needed to be at least five minutes long because sometimes things happened so fast I got confused about what was going on. That’s a bad thing in a short show like I Can’t Understand… since I should be able to easily follow what’s going on.
Part of the issue here was that I couldn’t tell who was male or female half the time. Don’t get the wrong idea, this isn’t something that really matters normally, but the characters would often say, “he” and “she” when referring to characters but not always use the correct pronoun which lead to some confusion when it came to the story. At one point I thought there was a lesbian couple, a gay couple, and then a trans couple. However, this isn’t the case.
Otherwise, when I Can’t Understand… is doing well, it feels good. When it’s not, it can be confusing and pretty uninteresting. It’s inoffensive and a short enough watch that there really is no risk in watching it all if it even remotely interests you. I say, give it a shot when you are looking to fill a bit of time on a rainy day but don’t go rush out and watch it as it isn’t a must-see.
That’s it for this one folks, nice and short. Let me know what you thought about I Can’t Understand… and tell me what your favorite short-form show is while you’re there. Don’t be afraid to let me know if you enjoyed the article and consider giving me your support by becoming a Patron. Just click the button below for more details. As always, thanks for reading and hope to see you back here at Jon Spencer Reviews again soon!