Junichi SuwabeNobuhiko OkamotoYuma UchidaKana Ueda
Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist
Also known as: Kai Byoui Ramune
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2021
Director: Hideaki Oba
Writer: Ayumu Hisao
Original creator: Toro Aho
Actor: Junichi Suwabe, Kana Ueda, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Takuma Nagatsuka, Yuma Uchida
Keywords: anime, fantasy
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 12 episodes
Url: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=23788
Website category: Anime 2021
Review date: 28 February 2023
Doctor Ramune
Theoretically, I like this show. In practice, I tend to find its episodes a bit underwhelming. It's just not as good as the version of itself in my imagination. It's okay, but I wouldn't rank it higher than that.
It's about a goofy bloke called Ramune who cures supernatural diseases. These generally involve food in some unnatural way, e.g. a little girl whose tears are condiments like mayonnaise (which hurts), or a man whose penis has turned into a fish cake. These generally have a psychological cause, with the patient having issues that Ramune will help to resolve. That's a promising premise. You could run for years on that. Also, Ramune has lots of magic items that can help cover up or temporarily fix someone's symptoms... but these magic items always have a price. They'll inflict scary physical damage on the user, which if you're lucky will heal. (Sometimes the damage is permanent.)
Ramune also has a schoolboy assistant called Kuro, who doesn't like him but respects his skills and helps with his cases.
I liked the first few episodes. The little girl in ep.1 is likeable, while the show's ideas and imagery are attention-grabbing. Chilli pepper fingertips look creepy. Unfortunately, the show's storylines aren't all equally strong and it tends to put its best ones first. More than one storyline involves a patient who's suppressing their true self, which is a reasonable story seed but a bit predictable. Look, that boy's pretending that he isn't talented! How will that resolve itself? Hmmm, let me guess. There's quite a lot of questionable parenting, but unusually those parents don't tend to be evil bastards. They love their children really. They just need prodding. This is practically a subversion, compared with how such stories usually play out, but it's still liable to be a slight anticlimax.
The show's conclusion is flat-out bad. We meet Ramune's teacher in ep.9, which is okay, then in eps.10-11 we see how Kuro became Ramune's assistant. This story arc made me dislike Kuro a lot. He keeps making insulting, unjustified assumptions about Ramune (who's consistently right) and puts all his trust in an obviously suspicious bloke who runs his own religious cult and will have Kuro mildly tortured and locked up in a basement. Kuro is a twat. It runs in his family, admittedly, and the second half of ep.11 improves as Kuro takes Ramune's side at last, but bloody hell.
After that, ep.12 has Ramune being cold and standoffish because his teacher ordered him to keep his distance from his patients. Again, how will that resolve itself? Do I care? Nope. Sod off. If Koto-chan says she wants to hang out with you and Kuro, let her.
For me, this series splits neatly into two halves. Eps.1-6 are reasonably good, except for ep.4. Eps.7-12 you can safely fast-forward through. Or perhaps just not watch them at all, since the show's pretty much an anthology and there's nothing in that second half you need to see. (The regulars get some background filled in, but it's still not worth watching.) There are definitely interesting things in this show, though, and it wouldn't be absurd to try an episode or two to see what you thought of it.