Content Warning: Child abuse and Emotional abuse.
What’s it about? Dr. Ramune is an eccentric who likes to joke about everything and annoys his straightlaced assistant named Kuro. He also happens to be the strange doctor who can treat “mysteries” illnesses that cause mischief in the human body which is caused by the emotional stress they are dealing with in their lives. Together this chaotic duo meet new clients and treat these strange illnesses using questionable methods.
The opening theme to Dr. Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist gave me School Rumble vibes, and if you pay attention to the visuals closely it foreshadows cases that will be covered throughout the series. Don’t skip out on the ending theme either, because it seems the show is strongly hinting the heart and soul of this show is Dr. Ramune and Kuro’s relationship and how they ended up working together. Despite all the foreshadowing, this premiere primarily focuses on a little girl named Kashiwagi Koto who cries condiment tears and how the “good” doctor applies his strange methods on his clients.
The episode balances the comedic banter between Dr. Ramune and Kuro and the underlying reasons why Koto cries condiment tears really well because it provides some levity to Koto’s awful relationship with her mother. Koto is a famous child actress who initially liked acting, but eventually grew to hate her profession because it changed her once loving mother to a greedy manager who solely sees her child as a money making machine.
There really isn’t any way I can overstate the immense psychological and emotional abuse Koto goes through in this episode and thankfully, despite being a goofball, Dr.Ramune treats Koto’s abuse with the seriousness it deserves. Granted, I wish Koto didn’t have to follow a stranger home to meet Dr. Ramune, but I digress.
Despite Dr. Ramune being shown as a funny dude, he isn’t someone that gently handles his clients’ illnesses either. He is the type of guy that forces everyone to confront the ugly truth about themselves, which can have good results, but if the clients and their loved ones aren’t ready to handle such raw emotions there can be negative consequences too. There is definitely an underlying darkness to Dr. Ramune methods and he openly offers Koto’s mother terrible alternatives if she wants to gain back her material possessions.
The show definitely plays around with the emotions of the viewers because one minute it’s funny then the next minute it’s dark and serious. If that wasn’t enough the after credit scene makes you think about chikuwa fish cakes and you end up feeling like a fool for taking this show seriously at all. The quirkiness of Dr. Ramune’s antics can be a hit or miss depending on the viewer’s preferences, but it’s definitely worth watching a few more episodes at least just to see how that whole chikuwa fish cake situation is resolved.