Laughing Salesman New (Anime Review)
Morality tales are often difficult stories to write in a modern age; moreover, one that allows the viewer to interpret the intended morals. While the morality play was itself a genre of entertainment, during the European Medieval and early Tudor periods, it rarely finds a place in modern media as a narrative focal point. Instead the concept of morals may be used to build a story which is more about the characters, actions, dialogue, situations, and spectacles. Morals may also be used, wrongly, as a mechanism for propaganda by dictating to an audience how to behave or what to believe. With the concept of how morality has been used in media, it becomes even more impressive that a modern representation would appear in anime.
Moguro, a short and squat man, who is normally dressed in business attire with a black hat always has one of the biggest smiles. His smile often catches people off guard, however, Moguro himself, can remain inconspicuous when so desired. Moguro is a special kind of salesman, who looks to fill the hole in the hearts of his clients. However, his service comes with a price. Often the price for his service seems simple enough to the outsider. Sometimes the price is agreeing to never ride a specific train again, always go to sleep early, or to never eat a certain thing again. Moguro can give people what they say they desire, on the condition that it is the only time they will be able to experience the desire. The consequences for going back on their word, is often dire. When Moguro finds out, which he always does, the person has gone back on their promise to him, he simply catches them in their lie, point his finger, and with a loud “Boom!” turns their life into something they never desired.
Every episode focuses on a different individua’s dealings with the Salesman, with great socioeconomic diversity shown among these individuals, it is easy for everyone to relate to at least one individual’s situation. A story that young people in their twenties will relate to is about a college student, who is a night-owl, that wants to spend more time with his girlfriend during the day. Unfortunately, because of his late-night habits, he is unable to stay awake during their time together and he misses anything they schedule in the morning. At one time, she too was a night-owl, but because her job requires her to arrive in the mornings, her schedule has changed. The man tells Moguro that his life would be perfect, if he could just go to sleep early.
Moguro agrees to help the college student by giving him a device that emits a smoke-like substance to force him to sleep. However, in return, the young man must never stay up late again. Hastily agreeing, he takes the drink and begins, what feels like, a new life. Unfortunately, one night he gives in to peer pressure, and stays up all night with his friends. Moguro meets him at his apartment and turns him into a day person permanently. Moments later, the girlfriend arrives to inform the man that she has taken a new job that requires her to work at night, so now they can be night-owls together again.
Each episode contains two stories that can vary greatly, with the common themes in self-reliance, finding peace with one’s place in life, working hard to change things that are truly wrong, never be greedy, and staying true to your promises. Most of the Laughing Salesman’s clients could easily have found their own solutions by simply working towards what they wanted. Instead, they decided to rely on Moguro’s solution, which always has a high cost. Some seem to think that the short stout man with the big smile and hearty laugh seems so kind that he would allow a few mistakes, or they take the deal out of a feeling of desperation without thinking about the consequences.
While the story is intriguing alone, this series boasts a fantastic score that accurately emphasizes each moment. The jazz and funk influence of the opening song makes you aware that this will be a series of unique stories. Additionally, the way that the modern anime art style is adapted to fit Moguro’s classic look from his original late 80’s anime, is impressive and allows the show to stand out from other modern anime offerings.
All around this show is an excellent watch for those looking for an anime that will explore ideologies of the human psyche, and how an individual views their life and goals within the context of the life they have built. However, it may be a too difficult, or require too much effort, for some people to enjoy the series. Those willing to view this story with an open mind will be rewarded with a fulfilling and entertaining morality tale.
Looking for anime items or popular figure preorders? Check out our pre-orders page. Right now you can reserve the figma of Moguro! Just click the picture below and if you pre-order before the due date use promo code BLOG to get 15% off this figure. Thanks for reading and hope you will come back for the next one!