Umpf. That hit closer to home than I expected.
For some reason, this week’s Amanchu! reads like a personal introspection by its author — sorta like a piece taken out of a diary. By the way how Amano-sensei presents and phrases Teko’s character and words this episode makes me feel like she’s drawing Amanchu! out of her own experience. Teko’s inner monologues on her uncertainties of deleting images were thick with raw emotions, and, most of the time, the poet inside us is most active when we’re under these circumstances for example. In fact, the short stories I wrote before (yes, I write short stories) had a tinge of angst in it reflecting what my current emotional state is. It was a one-hit wonder — even earning the praise of fellow writers over at DeviantArt — though by the time I published a new piece that’s different from what my current emotions dictate, it didn’t become a surprise why it turned out as a flop. There are instances wherein we get to see what a writer is like, what his/her personality is, what he/she feels simply through the emotions behind their words. Case in point: we can further elaborate this example to writers such as Tatsuhiko Takimoto of Welcome to the NHK!‘s fame, or even Dostoevsky’s novels for that matter.
Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if Amano-sensei herself admits that she is an introvert like either Pikari and or Teko. Heck, I’d even wager Teko’s character was modeled after herself — after all, out of the dozens of characters I’ve seen from Amano-sensei, Teko had the most inside-out exposure. In fact, Aria the Origination, Amano-sensei’s swan song for the Aria series, had an immensely impactful climax owing to the separation anxiety its character and the viewers are experiencing — it’s just like what we’ve seen this episode, though the difference is that we’ve been with Aria‘s characters for far longer thus the farewells had more weight to it. It’s this particular connection that made me think whether or not the similarities between Teko’s character and to that of Aria the Origination can tell us more something about the mangaka’s personality. I know I’m not being clear with this but I feel like it’s a great food for the thought worth chewing later on.
The low-key undertone throughout the whole episode had me feeling a bit… uncomfortable. To a certain degree, I can find myself relating to Teko’s internal ramblings. Well, not exactly directly but rather it reminds me more of how my mom treats her possessions. You see, mottainai, a Japanese ideology concerning regret for things, runs in our family. We tend to put sentimental value to almost anything we dump to our closet even though we forget that they’re there afterwards. Mom is a much harder case given that her room is full of bags she doesn’t use, books she already read, gifts we don’t find useful stacked floor to ceiling. And I’m not even exaggerating here.
It may look like a waste of space, but I always hold myself back from suggesting that it’s better to donate them just because I know she finds peace from being surrounded by a stock-pile of surplus. Perhaps it reminds her of the person who gave this bag to her, or maybe a book reminds her of a certain moment from her teenage days. I will never know what it is exactly that makes her attached to them, but understanding that there’s an abstract value within them is enough for me to stay away from her room with a broom and a trash can in hand. If you ask me though, I’d rather donate them to whoever is willing to accept. I tend to view things a bit differently, in a way that these material objects themselves would be happier being used rather than being a display. We’re weird, yeah, but at least it helped us appreciate whatever comes our way.
It’s these little life lessons, these little reminders, that made me hold both Aria and Amanchu! closer to my heart than any of the other favorite anime I have. It’s one thing to be entertained, and it’s another to come out as a better person.
- Realized that I haven’t really talked about Amanchu! but whatever. It was a great episode of course.
- I guess what triggered me to give Aria and Amanchu!‘s connection some thought is due to a series of weird coincidences.
- Teko’s middle school buds were voiced by the same VAs who played Akari and Aika from Aria (the Hahi! catchphrase was even there!).
- I just finished watching Aria the Origination and there’s this episode wherein a character, Alice, is getting the separation anxiety blues from both Akari and Aika. Sounds familiar?
- I… never heard of something like a digital photo frame — I thought Pikari and crew bought a tablet.
- If you thought deleting images were that easy, it’s not. Which is why I favor hard-copies instead. They’re harder to throw away.
- Kozue Amano and Yoshitoshi ABe are my favorite artists, by the way.
- The Origination had me sobbing. You know it’s going to end, but you just can’t help but remember the moments you’ve been with these characters. Makes me wonder if Amanchu! will pull the same trick. Perhaps it will end with them graduating?
- Honestly, there are a lot more stuff I want to talk about with regards to this episode, but I’ll save it for the grand-finale.
There are 3 episodes remaining. So far, Amanchu! has been able to retain the same quality its predecessor was long known for. The only question is… we’ll we get another season? Suffice to say, it has been a great ride, and I’m eager to see how things will end for Pikari and the gang. I’ll see you guys next week!