Amanchu! has a lot of great episodes that it’s starting to get difficult deciding which one is my favorite. I watched this episode four times just to digest and understand what makes it so entertaining and soothing to watch, and that should be enough of a proof that it belongs to this show‘s best of the best. Or rather, can we just say that every episode is the best in its own regard?
This week, it’s Katori-sensei’s turn to start and end the episode with her own monologue. Using her perspective had been a great way to meet and greet each characters outside their own natural habitat. Even without the presence of diving/swimming elements, Amanchu! proved that it can hold its ground on a different setting — evidence that it’s confident in its own skin. I know I’m barely scratching the surface here, but really, a good slice-of-life can do anything it wanted to.
I’m aware that I usually self-insert myself into my Amanchu! posts (should be understandable given the show’s nature), and this one won’t be an exception. Part of why this episode had been a breath of fresh air is, of course, thanks to Katori-sensei acting as a vehicle in viewing the gang’s personality through a new angle. Just like her, I don’t mind the rainy season. In fact, I’m gung-ho for gray skies and stormy days like a kid drooling over a Happy Meal — as if that isn’t obvious enough from this blog’s banner image.
The reason I’m attracted to the rain is somewhat a mix of Pikari and Katori-sensei’s take on it. You see, there are those who feel inconvenienced (I do, but not always); there are those who get poetic; then there are those who welcome the adventure. I’m a mix of the latter two. You will either see me walk the streets, twirling my umbrella, with a skip on every step, or I’d be sitting on my dingy chair facing the window, with a cup of tea in hand, listening to the conversation of a wind chime and the raindrops. Perhaps, just like Katori-sensei, I’ve simply become an adult — someone who contemplates things on a different perspective. Or, maybe I’ve become a Pikari at heart, someone who doesn’t have the leisure to be negative and strives to appreciate whatever comes our way. Whatever it is, everyone has a different answer, everyone will reach a different conclusion; no matter how well out of expectations it is, we’re composed of multi-layer shades of personality, age, and perspective. Every one has different questions, every one reaches a different answer. At some point, answering it doesn’t always have to be in the negative nor in the neutral.
Funny how Amanchu! is using the weather to characterize its characters, but I ended up characterizing myself too. Fun fact: I seriously do question a lot of things when it’s raining like… why am I not seeing kids bath under the rain anymore? Has the times change? Would we rather retreat back to our own virtual world?
Welp, anyways. That’s probably what made this episode a bit reflective in nature. Though, aside from the message I am able to derive, there are other tangible reasons why this episode hit the nail on its head. For some reason, it feels like it was directed by a photographer, or it’s possible that a different person directed this episode (particularly the first part). I am not familiar with the manga, thus I can’t say for sure if the storyboarding differs from the source. Here are a couple of shots that tells a lot about the situation and the characters:
Smooth transitions. Great use of the episode title to convey Teko’s absentmindedness. It’s like Teko isn’t even aware that the episode has started!
Rewatching these shots, it feels like it wasn’t only Katori-sensei who’s narrating and guiding us through the episode — the cinematics also aided her in that regard.
There are a lot of these scattered throughout though I know for sure this has been present from the previous episodes too. It’s just that it sticks out so much this week due to the pensive atmosphere Amanchu! is trying to simulate.
The second part deserves its own praise, too. It’s fun precisely because we’re observing them having fun. No monologues whatsoever. Just pure, unabashed fun. Of course, observing them means that we can translate their personalities from the way they played Daruma ga koronda: Teko-chin, perseveres despite her timid attitude; Otouto-kun is serious and analytical; Ane-chan will do what it takes to win; Bakari is surprisingly not that athletic; Katori-sensei cheats like what adults do (no surprise there). It’s an example that dialogue isn’t always needed to get you invested on a character or on the narrative — simply by watching them play under the sweltering heat, Katori-sensei found her own answer.
Why is the weather so hot? What’s the point? Is this because the world is ending? No one has the answer to those questions. (I feel like she’s doing a commentary on Global Warming lol)
I’ll leave it to you guys to find an answer to that 🙂
- Ane-chan calling Pikari with a new nickname: Bakari. And Bakari isn’t even slightly offended! Well, done.
- Again, Bakari is a kappa. Kappas have weak resistance to heat.
- I remember playing a variant of Daruma ga koronda when I was a kid. I forgot how it goes, but we can only play it when it’s night time.
- The VAs are nailing it this episode.
- Bakari’s “womp, womp, womp, womp” reply is so adorable.
I hope you guys enjoyed this episode, because I sure did! It’s not that it lacks diving/swimming stuff, it’s just that it’s nice to see what these peeps are outside the pool. Which reminds me, I wonder when will they get to swim in the sea? I’ll see you guys next week!