I love anime that opens up new angles on which you can view life through a different perspective. It’s one of the primary reason I’m so into the medium, and also a main contributor of how I got into it in the first place. Surely, I would’ve turned out to be a different person than I am today if not for everything I watched, though I’m not really insinuating that I’m a bad person now and then either.
This week, the Japanese has succeeded (yet again) in encouraging me to try new things — one of which is diving (or swimming, I guess). If you’ve been reading my previous posts on Amanchu!, you should be well informed that I am, in fact, afraid to dive into the vast blue. The short explanation is that I can’t swim. The not so short explanation is that I can’t swim because I don’t want to. The not really a short explanation is that I can’t swim because I’m too lazy to learn something that won’t benefit me regularly or on the long run — it’s useless. Of course, all of that is just an excuse because… seriously, I just don’t have the motivation to try.
Oh, and by the way. It’s not Amanchu! that gave me the idea of conquering the seas. It’s all thanks to Yotsuba&! I love this manga. It’s a precise compilation of everything I’ve been missing in my life. From hot air balloons, riding a bike, to flipping pancakes… my childhood pales in comparison to that of the Eastern Calvin and Hobbes. However, it’s not really a bad thing. What matters is that you have the guts and balls to get out of your comfort zone; to breath underwater. The rest will simply unfold in front of you. But then, how does Amanchu! fit into all of this?
This week’s Amanchu! is, by all means, another gentle reminder of how elegant the show is. However, underneath its gorgeous exterior is a rather simple yet beautiful lesson — just do it; don’t be afraid of trying new things. I can, perhaps, further elaborate on it but doing so may sound like I’m insulting your intelligence. Really, as if seeing Teko conquer something she initially is afraid of isn’t obvious enough for the non-critical viewer to grasp. It’s beautiful, precisely because it’s simple. Beauty in simplicity is deeply rooted in Japanese traditional aesthetics, and, given that Amanchu! is from the same pedigree as Aria — a lovely show filled to the brim of references to Japanese aesthetics — I can’t help but I appreciate Amanchu! more for what it is. If Yotsuba&! is a realization of life’s grandiose vista, then Amanchu! is a warm smile that encourages you to experience it.
Pikari and Teko sure is a great pair, and this episode further enunciated by what I meant by a push and pull duo. It’s a simple and effective display of friendship, yet I can’t help but feel that sooner or later, it would be a bad idea for Teko to constantly rely on to Pikari. What if she gets lost underwater? What if Pikari buddies with a different person? Such trifles are somewhat… predictable, but their chemistry makes up for an interesting watch over the predictability of Amanchu!‘s linear story-telling.
On to other matters. Amanchu! still has that flair for comedic timing, and that underwear gag was something I wasn’t ready for. It was also a great way to introduce us to the two new characters from the OP. We haven’t gotten their names yet, but by far we should be able to perceive their personalities based on how they interact and react this episode. Though, to be honest, next week should be a great point to start further developing these side character. Aria did a great job at integrating a wide array of characters into its narrative and I wish to see the same with Amanchu!. Dragging the focus of the story onto the same people episode per episode can leave a bland aftertaste regardless of how fantastic the show is.
That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the Teko and Pikari’s buddy buddy this episode, though. Teko is an adorable character to watch. It’s actually funny to see how she quickly picks up on words that truly matters to her. Kinda like that moment when she took notice of Sensei calling Pikari by her nickname last week, instead of her listening to the caveats of scuba diving. This can actually mean one thing: that she’s more interested with Pikari than that of scuba itself. For all I know, Teko can be playing other sports rather than scuba so long as Pikari is there too. You want another metaphor? Teko is a barnacle that latched itself onto the belly of a whale named Pikari. Wherever that whale goes, it’s accompanied by a barnacle on its journey. Buddy buddy? Buddy buddy.
- Love how they’re nailing the water animation. I’m not an expert when it comes to animation but I can only guess that animating a body of water isn’t easy as it looks. Amanchu! makes it so natural.
- The kappa and monkey headgear solidifies my theory that Pikari is indeed a kappa. I will flip my table if I see her wearing that thing.
- They should give Cha more screentime and exposure. Grandma too.
- Kozue Amano has great fashion sense. Seriously.
- I have a feeling that the red-head girl is going to be my favorite character.
- Not much screenies this episode because I’m rather busy. Screenies takes time, you see.
Well, I guess that’s it for this week of scuba diving! I’ll see you guys next episode, and I sure do hope you’re loving Amanchu! If you are, I can perhaps entertain you into watching this show called Aria…