I was giggling during the first part of the episode, then I found myself melting deeper into my mattress the next moment. As if singing a lullaby, Amanchu! hums an imagery nothing short of poetic. This episode is a perfect combination of high and low — just like a wave crashing on to a shore, and receding back into the vast blue.
The high is obviously the first part wherein we see Pikari on her way to school. I did mention in my first episode post that there is energy to be found within Amanchu!‘s serene nature, and that comes in the form of Pikari. Pikari is… well, reminds me of someone who “accidentally” drank 10 cans of Red Bull first thing in the morning. I’m a timid person myself, and I know for sure that I have no way of matching her frenetic and bubbly personality. However, there are still moments wherein I felt doing something, unnecessary or not, purely out of catharsis, or perhaps out of the need to do something fun. Be it burning an extra gram of calorie by taking a detour en-route to work, or writing a couple of romantic verses for a 3D-waifu (no, I don’t do this).
There is always something to be found in whatever you do. For Pikari, she attracts fun and possibilities. I have a friend who’s a social butterfly, and it’s no understatement to say that she easily makes friends all by herself. The same can be said for our green-haired kappa. The more you explore and interact with your surroundings, the more it will lead you to a place you haven’t been in before (sounds like scuba). Who knew taking the scenic route on the way to school will lead her to a revelation that sensei is a fellow diver? Who knew she’ll also meet Cha, the club’s advisor (lol), in their school’s scuba club room? These meetings may sound cliche, but is this not how it works in real life? Our life diverges in multiple paths when we are presented with a choice — it just so happens that we usually shrug off the adventure-filled road.
We’re trapped in a chain we tied ourselves into.
Now, the low comes in the form of Teko (or so to say she triggers the low), as the focus of the episode slowly shifts to frame the interaction between our main duo. She obviously have a separation anxiety, though it looks like she’s starting to warm up on Pikari’s antics. Trust me, as someone who’s an introvert, we consider mundane activities to be a bother. I’d rather lurk 4chan than take a healthy walk outside. I’d rather join the Get Home Club too instead of staying another minute at school. It’s not that we are anti-social, it’s just that we really aren’t exposed enough in these kinds of activities. We’re not comfortable outside our safe-zone. Teko is every bit the introvert and hesitant girl she is, but the way she draws in nearer to Pikari signals a more profound change in her. Giving in to peer pressure or to something new isn’t all about a change of lifestyle — it’s also a change in your perspective and view of life.
It’s the start of breaking free from that chain.
Sure enough, once Teko gives in and take that fateful dive, we are rewarded with this…
It. was. perfect. This episode captures everything that I love about the iyashikei genre, and also managed to present the heart and soul of Amanchu! coherently. There is an inherent rhythm/motion found in this genre: a high and a low. The high is normally composed of oftentimes a funny, energetic, or any skit that subjects us to stress — something that is meant to be followed and understood; whilst the low has to be quaint — something that is meant to be digested by our senses. This episode is a perfect example of that, and why the pay-off in the end felt even more satisfying. We decided to spend the former half of the episode following Pikari on her adventure, then we’re presented with a new experience during the latter part. The OST was played perfectly, as it smoothly bridges the high-low (and vice versa) transitions within this episode. Even the visuals kicked a notch higher: from the enclosed space of the club room, to a vibrant and seemingly vast body of the pool.
- I guess the closest analogy I can think of is the more tired you are from work, the more blissful the sleep will feel like.
- Noticed how they transitioned Pikari’s muppet face to her normal one in a single cut?
- I love these bits of information about scuba diving Amanchu! presents to us. Not that I’m interested with scuba diving but trivias are trivias!
- Looks like the color palette is dominated by blue for every Amanchu! frames.
Well, I guess this episode of Amanchu! resonated with me even more than I expected it to be. If they managed to make the pool look utterly beautiful, I wonder what we’ll see if we dive deeper into the sea? Until next week!