Dr Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist (怪病医ラムネ) is a seinen, fantasy about a highly energetic doctor living in the city who takes on patients with unique and mysterious illnesses that normal doctors cannot diagnose or even see the existence of. I’m a sucker for anything to do with medical-type elements, so I became curious about this title. What I wasn’t expecting was to laugh so much. The anime is being produced by Platinum Vision and it’s directed by Hideaki Ōba.
The start of the segment shows us a young girl who can’t stop crying mayonnaise. Sounds strange, right? Well, it gets strange-er. As the episode moves along, we find out that she’s a child actor who is known for being able to cry on demand quite effortlessly, however, recently she’s developed this condition that whenever she cries, her tears are made up of various condiments. Enter the strange doctor dude to help her resolve the problem.
My very first impression of this episode was that the doctor is a complete and total buffoon. He has way too much energy, a somewhat distorted and eccentric sense-of-humour, and a mouth with little tact, or what normal people would view as being tactful. Characters like this are either immediately off-putting for me, or extremely endearing. For some reason, I found Dr Ramune to be of the latter group. He’s very passionate about what he does in spite of being a total moron. He’s also emotional and a tad bit sadistic. All of these create a bizarre concoction of his personality that I find quite pleasant.
The doctor also has an assistant that is decidedly much more aloof, someone who seems to be a student of sorts that also helps to keep him grounded from his more theatrical shenanigans and bouts of stupidity. I love this guy too because his incredible lack of emotional exhibition is a supreme balance to Dr Ramune’s outrageous behavior. They have great chemistry together and really create a charming equilibrium as they diagnose and treat these funky illnesses and conditions.
Last thing I noticed is that even though the segment was wrapped in quirky humour that could be a teeny bit insensitive at times, it also likes to tackle the serious underlying issues behind a person’s mysterious illness. For example, the reason the girl was crying condiments is because the different condiments represented the different emotions she was feeling. But due to certain plot things, she felt she couldn’t outright express these emotions in the open. As we get to understand her personal life, the tone of the anime became darker and more serious. Yes, the humour never let up entirely, but it still wasn’t afraid to shift gears to make the theme of the particular illness or segment prominent in that moment.
Normally stuff like this can be jarring as the rhythm from humour to serious and then back again can be quite divided. Yet in Dr Ramune I never got that vibe or feeling. Everything felt pretty natural as it unfolded and resolved. It was excellent entertainment.
All in all, Dr Ramune is turning out to be a treat, which I expected just not in the exact manner of which I anticipated. Either way, I’m not complaining. I will say that the humour may trek into some fanservicey or adult-oriented fashion in the future episodes (the second episode is about a dude who’s having problems with his penis, for example), so if this isn’t your cup of chai, you may want to pass. Even so, if everything else sounds good and you don’t mind wacky, crude humour then you should definitely try out the first segment of this series. It can be found over on CrunchyRoll (link below).
Source: Manga by Toro Ano
Genre: Medical, Fantasy
Season: Winter 2021
Studio: Platinum Vision
Director: Hideaki Ōba
Content Warnings: Child neglect. Child abuse, emotional and physical (brief). Preparation & consumption of food.
AniList: Dr Ramune: Mysterious Disease Specialist