|The title sequence shows some nice examples|
of Roman Art and Architecture.
This is the plot. Now far be it for me to pooh-pooh a time-travel adventure, because honestly, I love me some wibbly-wobbly, timey-whimey time travelling. But, still being honest, this is a weird anime. Even if we ignore the absurdity of the plot (yes, that is the plot...architect sucked through time drain), this is still pretty silly. It is also the kind of silliness that I know Japanese audiences enjoy, a "fish-out-of-water" comedy.
|The old man is right. Lucius doesn't understand Japanese.|
In episode 1, Lucius emerges in what he believes is the "slave's bath" and is given a fruit milk to drink. He is a fan, to say the least. His response to fruit milk, which I think sounds gross, is pretty dramatic.
|FRUIT MILK ORGASM!|
(I apologize for that outburst, but that's all I can explain this as.)
Episode 2 begins one year after Lucius's new "avante-guarde" (the anime's words, not mine) bath became a hit. He is called to the bedside of Consul Lepidus...and OH, MY GOD, IS THAT STEVE BUSCEMI?
|Not Steve Buscemi.|
|Lucius fell into the monkey bath, instead of the people bath.|
Now he's going to need Rabies shots.
I hope he gets them while he's still in the "future."
Episode 3 begins two years after the first accidental time tubing, with a history lesson about Hadrian and his homosexual lover Antinous and a description of a strigil (a Roman bathing tool that looked a little like a shoehorn and was used for scraping oil and dirt from the body). See, we are learning stuff. Lucius is having a discussion with his friend about creating baths in the home when...SHAKAZULU, he's whisked again back to modern Japan. This time he emerges in a soaking tub in a regular Japanese home.
|Taking a soak!|
And use it he does!
|Inventive, but still disgusting.|
All in all, Thermae Romae isn't SO-Bad. It is a little funny. The episodes are short, even by Japanese norms--they run around 12 minutes each, and the artwork is different enough from the standard fare to be interesting. It is weird though. Purposefully weird. And I'm not exactly clear what's special or compelling enough about this series that it deserved a live-action version...then again, I'm not sure why people watch Adam Sandler movies either. So, take my impressions of this series with a grain of salt and a full-awareness that this isn't something I'd be super into no matter what form it took. It is a fun bit of fluff, but not much more.
Now here's that live-action trailer I promised you, enjoy!