Comical Psychosomatic Medicine is a series of 20 short 5-minute episodes that presents and discusses real mental issues in a uniquely fun and interesting way while keeping with the facts and explaining in a way that can be easily understood. It tackles a surprisingly wide array of them as well, with each episode touching on a different mental disorder or disability. The issues range from things like agoraphobia, social anxiety, and panic disorder to stuff like sleep apnea, pedophilia, and erectile dysfunction.
It doesn’t shy away from things you’d think would be fairly off limits for an anime, let alone for Japan, and yet manages to feel tasteful about everything it deals with even while showing it in such a silly way. As in none of it feels like it’s shitting on people who have these conditions (even ones which arguably should be shat on) which was really surprising given Japan’s pretty infamous treatment of the mentally and physically disabled, which actually makes me think this show existing is an even better thing than usual as it gets across to those dealing with some of these issues that they aren’t automatically shit for it and might make others stop thinking so poorly about them. Well, that’s only true for some, obviously the things like pedoshit, stalking, flashing, and so on don’t get some free “it’s okay” pass, but they do still – even for that stuff – try their best to make it sound objective and informative (though it does mention to call the police in certain cases).
What surprised me the most though is that this show is genuinely pretty funny almost every episode. It certainly helps that the main doctor is voiced by Gintama’s own AHA AHA AHAHAHA (Sakamoto) which ends up with a lot of great line delivery and reactions on his part. Aside just the seiyuu though the jokes have a real high chance of landing real well while still keeping totally relevant to the discussion at hand.
The only real “issue” I can think of is that they use DSM-IV which is pretty far out of date so some of the things they discuss aren’t totally accurate by modern psychiatric standards. While in actual real life it matters to have this information as up to date as possible, here I think it’s far from an actual problem on any level. Plus, from what admittedly little I know the differences are not immense from IV to V – well some are, but the majority is fairly similar even with the changes, a lot of it is just technical stuff for diagnosis and treatment and how to categorize it and such. So this really doesn’t matter too much and, besides, here’s a tip: don’t take medical advice from a fucking anime to begin with. I think the reason it uses the old stuff is probably because the mangaka wrote this when that was still up to date, rather than any laziness or lack of caring on their part.
While this doesn’t delve deeply into any of the issues it presents due to the lengths of the episodes, it tells you just enough to make you interested in learning more or at least being more aware of some things. That was actually one of the main points of this being made, it seems – to make people a bit more understanding or at least more informed (especially in Japan) about those around them who suffer from some of these issues, those who DO suffer from some, and those who think they may but have never seen someone about it and pushing you to do so. I’ve personally always found psychiatric stuff and mental disorders and all that incredibly interesting, and so while nothing new to me is being said here I still really found myself enjoying seeing a new way of explaining it let alone often in such silly original ways.
I think both people who know nothing about this subject and those who know a lot can enjoy this because it’s a silly fun little show while also being informative. It’s nothing amazing, but compared to other short-episode-length anime I’d say it’s one of the more entertaining ones, while also not reaching close to anything as outstanding as Seki-kun, and really have to say in terms of being something different it does a great job.
Anyway, I went into this expecting to get nothing at all positive out of it and only picked it up because I saw a cute short haired girl and saw it was another short-episode series, but it really is something I’d actually recommend – especially given episode length making it easy to just watch one every now and then or get through a lot of them very fast. It’s genuinely funny for a light chuckle, trivia-tier informative, and definitely deals with a diverse range of topics. For anyone worried that it might come off as offensive or anything like that, I can say that having both researched this stuff a lot in my life as well as having several diagnosed very severe mental disorders of my own (including some this covers), it doesn’t come off that way at all. If anything it was nice to be able to laugh at some of the issues instead of just seeing them as these terrible serious problems and letting that weight make them even harder to handle.
It’s nothing amazing or that will redefine your life, but it’s definitely a fun short trip that’s worth taking.