My New Boss is Goofy is Sweet and Heartwarming
6 mins read

My New Boss is Goofy is Sweet and Heartwarming


Season aired: Fall 2023

Number of episodes: 12

Watched on: Crunchyroll

Translated by: ?

Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy

Thoughts: My New Boss is Goofy is a sweet, by-the-number office comedy anime with oftentimes thinly veiled romantic undertones. It’s a story about a corporation with the best work culture anyone could ask for, and it focuses mostly on Momose, who transitions from an incredibly abusive workplace to one completely opposite. As he gets close to his manager, Shirosaki, Momose starts to heal from his past trauma and meets a colorful cast of coworkers who are supportive, creative, and very goofy.

As someone who works full time, I’ve now witnessed firsthand the importance of bosses and how much they affect the work environment. My New Boss is Goofy showcases that exact fact: while Momose didn’t change industries in his job switch, his bosses drastically changed, and that is what ultimately led him to a healthier place emotionally. When the people in charge are like Shirosaki – kind, patient, and creative – the very culture of the company changes with them. Shirosaki isn’t alone, as the Chief of the entire department, Aoyama, is just as supportive and empathetic. Through their combined leadership, they’ve created a work culture filled with warmth that fosters growth and becomes the perfect safe space for Momose and later, Kinjo, to heal from their past trauma.

I especially appreciate how much the anime committed to this narrative. Momose’s abuse was so bad that it landed him in the hospital, and even though he is surrounded by good people who care about his well-being, he is constantly triggered by things around him. A phone call reminds him of his ex-boss yelling at him. A restaurant sends flashbacks of his ex-boss throwing water at him. The sound of someone else yelling can all too easily make Momose have a panic attack on the street. These trauma responses don’t go away the second he leaves his abusive workplace but instead linger less potently as his body and mind slowly accept that he truly has arrived somewhere safer. It’s an element I never expected from a comedy show, and best of all, it works with the comedy.

Good bosses make a difference

Shirosaki is largely responsible for the comedic moments. Shirosaki is one of the most empathetic characters ever written, but his pure-hearted ways often lead to hilarious misunderstandings. He takes casual jokes too seriously, commits too hard to an idea, and comes up with downright hilarious solutions to problems that don’t exist because he wants Momose to feel welcomed and comfortable. The theme of trauma works with the constant comedy because it’s the humor that ultimately helps Momose work through his PTSD. Jokes are made, but kind gestures are not thrown away as a gag.

It does need to be said that the series feels extremely queer-coded, but this is an instance where I would’ve liked it if it went explicitly queer. The metaphor of abusive bosses to abusive romantic partners is constant and direct. Kinjo, another coworker who escaped an abusive workplace, details how his originally positive relationship with his ex-boss deteriorated in such a way that it brings to mind how romantic relationships can derail into abuse. Momose’s ex-boss isolated him by taking his phone and deleting all his contacts, which is reminiscent of actions abusive romantic partners usually take.

Should’ve just made them explicitly queer

Parallels to romantic relationships are not just implied in the negative moments either. In positive moments, the teasing of Shirosaki and Momose’s relationship is very romantic. Shirosaki makes a copy of a key to his place and offers it to Momose in broad daylight, leading to misunderstandings from bystanders that a brazen exclamation of a romantic relationship was made. Shirosaki even names his cat Hakutou, an amalgamation of his and Momose’s names, which is something Japanese couples often do when naming their children. When the story portrays their relationship this bluntly, I think it’s worth taking it all the way by making them explicitly queer.

The romantic undertones could also be blamed on the chemistry the cast shares. Koutarou Nishiyama and Yuuichirou Umehara are famous in the seiyuu sphere for being close friends, so their casting as Momose and Shirosaki feels particularly apt. They’re joined by two all-star voice actors, Tomokazu Sugita as Chief Aoyama and Jun Fukuyama as Kinjo. Hakutou, the delightful kitten, is voiced by Hiro Shimono. This small cast for the full series works in its favor because the world is entirely centered on their relationships, making the rapport feel genuine. Even the episode previews sound in character, and without them, the series wouldn’t have been successful.

Good chemistry between voice cast

Because it is slice-of-life, the series didn’t need incredible animation to succeed. Coupled with stylized character designs and an overall simpler art style, the production successfully capitalizes on it to create a raw feel to the characters’ feelings, whether joy or sorrow. This simplicity also extends to the soundtrack, where no score stands out over the scene but hums beneath it.

I personally love the use of simpler narrative devices to elevate the heartfelt story of finding love and support after escaping abuse in this calm, comedic anime. I’m sure it’s appealing to many who work full-time jobs and have had their fair share of bad bosses. For a genre usually dominated by an all-female cast, My New Boss is Goofy brings an element of surprise by sporting an all-male cast and is a reminder that not just women but men, too, deserve comfy stories beyond dreams of adventure and grandeur.

Rating

Plot: 8 (Multiplier 3)

Characters: 8 (Multiplier 3)

Art/Animation: 6 (Multiplier 2)

Voice acting: 9

Soundtrack: 7

FINAL SCORE: 76





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