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Lovable Tora-san returns in episode 24 with his adorable family and friends for a whole new adventure with a new gentle lady friend and whole new exciting mishaps.
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10 years and 23 films later...
The "Otoko wa tsurai yo" -franchise started in 1969, and by 1979, Shochiku had stabilized the flow of these films to cinemas with 23 installations - and half more to come. In the beginning of this film, Sakura and Hiroshi attend a friend's wedding, which makes them think that it has already been 10 years since they themselves were married. In this time, Mitsuo has grown to be a schoolboy, but his drifting uncle has not developed that much. Tora returns home, and reads Mitsuo's school paper about his family, which makes him really angry, so he runs away to Hokkaido. There he stops a woman from being raped, and afterwords becomes a sort of life-coach for her.
Only three films after "Tora-san plays cupid" we get a film called "Tora-san, the Matchmaker". The names of these films are as hard to remember as those of the Zatoichi franchise. This installation is not one of the better ones. The opening dream sequence featured a mad scientist narrative where Tora was a doctor working to find a cure for constipation. What I found most interesting about the whole film was the casual way it treated sexual harassment. Tora is perfectly ok not reporting the guy to police, if this helps him get free stuff from him. Then again, how dark can you expect a Tora-san film to get?
A very good entry
I enjoyed this one a lot. I liked seeing Tora be a bit more closer to hero than anti-hero than usual. While he has his family squabbles and other expected flaws, I liked things like him bringing his family gifts (though he did mistakenly get them the wrong things),and then he even got to save a young woman from an attempted attack that was... surprisingly intense for Tora-san.
I mean, it was often jarring to see Zatoichi save a woman from a similar situation in one of his movies, and violence was a far more common presence in that series.
There was toilet humour it in this one, too? Tbh, I liked it. My sense of humour can be pretty immature at times, and it being unexpected made it funny. Absolutely nuts opening dream sequence, too.
Also quite liked the general story, and really loved the song near the end.
Still not sure about the priest as a character- he did particularly little in this one, and I'm guessing they just have to put him in all of them (he is also a legendary Japanese actor, so maybe they want to keep working with him regardless).