Short Pull Series VIII – Bad “Medicine”

short pull series VIII bad medicine blog 147
This is what we would call “E/I” entertainment, (Educational/Informational), where you learn something through animation. Too bad it fouls its own nest. “Comical Psychosomatic Medicine” (“Anime de Wakaru Shinryōnaika”) tries to take on serious health subjects, but does it in such a way that it’s neither helpful as medicine nor humorous as anime. It also might help to define ‘psychosomatic’, as it means ‘a physical illness or condition caused or aggravated by a mental factor, such as stress or internal conflict’. Certainly what they address could be seen as psychosomatic, but not all of it.

Our two main physicians are Dr. Ryō Shinnai and nurse Asuna Kangoshi (although her sisters show up as well). They take on such situations as Erectile Dysfunction, fetishes, voyeurism, sleep disorders, panic attacks and the like. However, the approach is less than effective. It comes with the disclaimer at the end, “This program is a work of fiction. There is no guarantee that the treatment mentioned herein will work. Before having a medical exam, make sure the doctor deals in these treatments first.” And if you followed what they were talking about as if it was proper treatments, it almost comes across that medicine is like the cops: it’s not a real problem until something happens after a long time and we take care of it by bringing you in and throwing away the key.

Adding to the distress is that the opening credits have rather ‘healthy’ ladies thrusting their ‘healthy’ selves right at you and we fall into the very old trope of the sexy nurse. I realize that it is hard to tackle something as large as depression in a mere five minutes, but it hurts your case to turn it into set-up, gag, set-up, gag, as though the Lolita Complex is merely a misunderstanding of things or that flashing doesn’t hurt anyone. Yes, I would agree that there needs to be a way to demystify medicine and make it more accessible, but this was not the way to do it. It doesn’t have to be someone in a monotone explaining the difficulties revolving around performance anxiety, but I also don’t need the anime equivalent of sock puppets to make a huge joke of it. Maybe next time.

On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork 8 (Well, the ladies are very cute)
Plot 6 (Good idea sabotaged)
Pacing 7 (Almost too brief for five minutes)
Effectiveness 2 (Medically speaking, no)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but it could go forever)
Fan Service 5 (A similar show would be “Maburaho”)

Overall 6 (Not serious enough)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.