Uramichi-Oniisan Reveals Uramichi’s Surprisingly Positive Motivation

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Uramichi-Oniisan Episode 8, “Servility and Conscience,” now streaming on Funimation.

It’s clear that even though Uramichi-Oniisan's titular protagonist says incredibly bleak things to kids, sometimes scarring them for life, he really doesn’t hate them. In fact, he often goes out of his way to accommodate the show’s unreasonable requests to please the kids. Uramichi may be driven by professionalism and pressure from his boss, but Episode 8 reveals another surprising motivation: the kids themselves.

At the start of Episode 8, one of the kids on the show, Kazuki, is throwing a tantrum and wants to be left alone. Uramichi-Oniisan gives a subtle clue as to a possible reason: Kazuki’s pants are patched at the knees, a sign that his family is poor. Other kids could be making fun of him for this, leaving him feeling angry and embarrassed.

Instead of just ignoring him for the sake of the show -- or trying to cheer him up -- Uramichi comforts Kazuki in the most Uramichi way possible: by showing him how annoying it is when people won’t leave you alone. Seeing how depressed Uramichi gets makes Kazuki want to cheer him up instead, and he agrees to play with the other kids.

This scene is a prime example of how Uramichi deals with kids -- he actually treats them more like equals rather than talking down to them. Uramichi knows kids understand more than adults often give them credit for, and are very capable of caring for others. Kazuki also shows he can be very generous, offering his dog house to Usahara after finding out the latter is about to go homeless due to owing rent.

Uramichi even tears up while witnessing the kids' generosity. Though he attributes the tears to not wanting to see these kids become useless adults, he probably feels deeply moved. In a later scene, he admits to Kumatani that he's only doing this job for the kids who love the show, saying their smiles can make him forget about the pain in his own body.

It’s a confession Kumatani doesn’t expect to hear, and he ponders why Uramichi really loves kids. He believes Uramichi already feels corrupted by his job and does things he hates all the time; for example, he had to cater to the General Manager’s family even though he'd hurt his back the day before. The kids are the only innocent part of Uramichi's life, and they allow him to maintain his conscience in a corrupted world.

However, there's another reason behind Uramichi’s conflicted attitude. During a father’s event at a department store -- where a boy thanks Uramichi for hosting the event so he and his dad could hang out together -- Uramichi once again tears up. Uramichi recounts his impression of his own father, who trained him in gymnastics. He was an extremely strict parent, bordering on abusive, and caused Uramichi’s little sister to run away from home at the age of 16. This is probably why Uramichi enjoys the kids' smiles, because their childhoods appear to be much happier than his.

Despite these difficult experiences, Uramichi says he doesn’t hate his father because he made Uramichi into the person he is today. He believes that even though there's so much wrong in life if it's still possible find some shred of happiness in the end, then something must have gone right.

Uramichi-Oniisan Episode 8 provides a touching life lesson that distills its protagonist's view on life. While Uramichi doesn’t blame others for his situation (as the lyrics in Episode 5’s song made clear), he still needs to believe that everything happens for a reason. He hopes the kids can still take on a positive outlook on life and try to see the good in everything -- even though it might already be too late for him.

ouran high school club, yona of the dawn, and fruits basket
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