Kodomo no Jikan – 04
Some people would love to be in Aoki-sensei’s position – personally, you couldn’t beat me with a baseball bat hard enough to get me to do it. Cuz from the crap he has to go through in this ep, he has the worst job in the world. And the only perk is that he gets to peep on third grade girls every once in a while. And only about 0.00001% of the population (about 85% of people who come here) consider that a perk at all.
You probably know by just watching the anime and the previous OVA that Rin has been orphaned after her dad took off and her mom died some time ago. So naturally, when Aoki-sensei asks the class to write about their parents, she’s bound to feel a bit alienated and probably pretty sentimental about the whole thing. Of course in reality, I don’t think any third grader, orphan or not, would possess the level of emotional maturity to even get sentimental to the point that it gets them all emo and stuff, but as we’ve found out, these girls are actually a lot older than most girls you see in anime – they just happen to be conveniently stuck in the body of third graders.
Aoki eventually realizes his blunder (which to say, isn’t really a blunder, but as her teacher he should’ve known anyways), which makes him feel pretty bad, which of course makes the situation even worse. Like getting all sad and teary-eyed around a cancer patient. You’re not helping anyone. Leave the room. Aoki tries to be super nice to her, tries to be sensitive, but being the loser that he is, makes it so obvious that Rin picks up on it, making her pissed off at him. And probably for good reason. He did it all with good intentions, but come on man.
When he confronts her to apologize, she realizes that he really was just being nice to her to apologize, and the dramatic moment ends with… Rin taking off her school swimsuit in the changing room and a big censor block covering her. Wow guys, way to read the mood.
Aoki eventually decides to visit Rin’s place to get a better grasp of her situation. Ultimately, it’s this move that cements his position as a teacher and not just some sap who’s getting molested at school by his third grade student – he really does care about them in the nicest sense of the word, and he is honestly making an effort to try to understand them and help them grow. Reiji realizes this and tosses aside his prior thoughts about Aoki, and the two have a nice chat over a cup of tea.
Rin forgives him the next day after some smooth talking by Aoki, which leads up to Rin jumping off the stairs face-first onto Aoki’s face. Probably not Rin’s first kiss, but definitely Aoki’s. Sheesh…
Ok, this is probably the last time I do this, but I’m going to complain about the censoring one more time. It sucks! See, the censors in this episode were nowhere near as often as the previous ep, but one of them really stuck out and totally destroyed the mood. I’m talking about the one “shower” scene where Rin figures out what Aoki’s deal was, and her heart sinks in disappointment as she walks into the changing room (don’t follow me) with that cheerful facade. Up to that point, it was a great scene that really had some emotional depth to it, but then came the spinning “no” and the smoking pseudopedobear. Totally unnecessary. And we can’t blame it on just the stripping part either, as the shot that followed right after (screencap 19) showed that while Rin usually appears confident and in control, inside she is ever so fragile and wants to be loved.
And that’s all I’ll say about the censoring. It’s clear that’s the path they chose, so we’ll just have to learn to deal with it.
Ultimately, what impresses me about this show is that while it has massive, massive train wreck potential, it avoids all that and ends up being a solid show. There’s a good balance between the childish antics and the severe drama – and it’s convincing, too. Episodes like the Mimi bra debacle could have easily been spun as a Shuffle-esque Barbie-doll dress-up session, but to see Mimi so distraught and her friends so awesomely supportive of her turned what should have been a childish issue into a real problem. The issue of parents (or lack of) in this episode was even more serious – and it was appropriately given more emotional weight. To see Rin hold up her facade and then have it crashing down when Aoki comes through with his bulldozer of ignorance was painfully good to watch. Which makes me wonder – what kind of show would this have been had the girls been older, say 15 or 16? Granted, some of the issues might need tweaking, but in terms of the character dynamics, it would be pretty much the same. And I wouldn’t feel like slicing my balls off as penance for watching sexually mature lolis.
And what was up with Kuro’s outfits? I dig the neko mimi and all, but lol??
Sorry, no captions this week!