I finally pulled the first Tora-san box set, released by AnimEigo, from my pile of unseen DVD discs. What a great series, from the opening dialogue of the first film (1969) to the ending of the fourth I found myself wanting to see the next film. Atsumi Kiyoshi's portrayal of Kuruma Torajiro, aka Tora-san, is a delight. The bighearted fast talking Tora-san is enough of an idiot to get himself into all sorts of situations, usually complicated by his good intentions. Tora-san always manages to work his way through the mess he got himself into and in doing so drags others into it to our amusement.
If you are looking for a classic series of highly entertaining films I recommend these. You will see why they were popular enough to become a 48 film series.
One of the places I plan to visit in my next trip to Tokyo is the Tora-san Museum in Shibamata, the neighborhood much of the stories take place in. I even intend to take the Yagiri Ferry to Chiba and walk the banks of the Edogawa river just like Tora-san does in the movies.
I have now added two new entries to my Anime Companion Supplement. These are:
Atsumi Kiyoshi 渥美清
Otoko wa Tsurai Yo (It's Tough Being a Man, aka: The Tora-san movies) 男はつらいよ