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Amanchu! – 03 »« Amanchu! – 01

Amanchu! – 02

「光といけないコト」 (Hikari to Ikenai Koto)
“The Story of Doing Something Bad with Hikari”

 

Hardcore parkour anime Amanchu!

This is about as action-packed as Amachu! is every going to get.

Perhaps that may be disappointing to some viewers, but of course was never going to be a very intense kind of sports anime, about power-walking or otherwise. Besides we already have a power-walking anime (though that hardly needs to be said, since there is by now anime about absolutely anything) and hardcore fans of the prestigious foot-locomotion genre no doubt know where to get their fix. Amanchu!, is sadly for all of us, probably not it. Instead the emphasis is, as one may have expected from sensei’s speech last week, on fun, more specifically the ability to seek fun in all the little corners of life. Sure, racing your teacher to school is a tad silly, and something I’d never have dared to do back in my school days (possessed as I was with a desire to actually graduate), but it served a neat contrast to Teko, who could hardly get out of bed, let alone show enthusiasm for the commute. Her moped license was simply a matter of pragmatism, if you recall.

Interestingly, the race that served as the first half of this episode was actually the second chapter of Amanchu!, and actually took place before the first day of school. Last week I noted that Amanchu! was mixing things up slightly, and it was this scene (or rather, the lack of) that was on my mind. I’m still fairly sure that the purpose was to shift some of the focus onto Futaba, and am fine with the change as I did last episode, so let me find something else to praise this week. Y’know when Hikari finds out that Katori-sensei (Itou Shizuka) is a fellow diving enthusiast? Well, in the manga, this was before Hikari introduced herself in class as having SCUBA diving as a hobby, so there was actually surprise on both sides, as opposed to just Hikari being at a disadvantage. More approval points from me here; perhaps it’s a given, but when there are adaptation changes it’s always good that they also have causal consistency. The team’s paying attention, hurrah! Also, Katori-sensei wears a different outfit than she did on the first day—that’s attention to detail! That’s two thumbs up.

Not taking a dive yet, in more ways than one

Of course, Amanchu! is not actually about sports-walking, but sports-diving, and more of the technical details do come out in the second half, even though they’re still just floating about for pretty shots instead of actually sports-ing. I think it just goes to show that Amanchu! is not your typical sports anime, just as diving is not your typical sport.

A lot of sports anime is hot-blooded shounen fare, but of course Amanchu! is going to need to have blood of any significant temperature without switching genres and also catching malaria. Then again, even baseball can create drama, and baseball is five-minutes of stretches followed by three hours of lawn appreciation (this coming from a man from a country that plays cricket). Baseball is competitive, though, and from competition there is drama, or at least enough testosterone that someone will eventually do something stupid enough to be called drama. Is there competition in diving? I don’t know much about it, I admit, but I don’t really see it. Sure, there’s likely some sort of competitive event surrounding it somewhere, sometime (again, testosterone) but as far as I’m concerned the record for holding one’s breath underwater is probably as thrilling to watch as the record for ‘Wall with Least Damp Paint’. Which means both will be in the Guinness Book, which somehow still exists to record human inanity despite being obsoleted by Youtube.

‘Get in the water, Shinji.’

No, there’s little testosterone anywhere to be found anywhere in Amanchu!, as you can probably tell. It’s not really about competition, or at least not competition between people. Diving, it seems, is about challenging the sea, about personal benchmarks, about finding inner strength. And the accomplishment comes not from throwing down your rival, breaking his will, and taking the spoils, but about the sense of achievement from being able to successfully plunge into the depths and appreciate the beauty beneath the waves. Which is perhaps why Amanchu isn’t in a big hurry to do the diving just yet; the process counts too, and there’s plenty of character development to be done along the way. If gentle, personal journeys sound good to you, then while Amanchu! may be a very atypical sports anime, it is definitely for you.

 

Preview

July 16, 2016 at 10:35 am
26 comments »
  • July 16, 2016 at 11:17 amWorldwidedepp

    The Only “Drama” i can see here in this kind of Show is diving without help or Air pressure Gear. How can dive the deepest just with his own Lungs

    This is the only drama, i can see right now

  • July 16, 2016 at 11:28 amkyo

    Is this a sports anime? i thought it would be iyashikei or something like that.

    • July 16, 2016 at 2:15 pmAex

      Maybe in a little more of the the same way Aria was about the tourism industry. You could say it’s the setting, not the focus. The focus is always how the people find more ways to be ultra-super-omega fluffy and adorable in a “grounded” setting.

    • July 16, 2016 at 8:21 pmPasserby

      Sometimes I feel like I’m just wasting my time with this blogging thing.

  • July 16, 2016 at 11:48 amL002

  • July 16, 2016 at 12:04 pmewok40k

    actually diving is one of the more dangerous sports out there, with only technical apparatus of high degree of complication keeping you alive 30 or 40 meters below sea surface… there is a reason one of first rules of safety is “never dive alone”
    and thats apart from the even more extreme of freediving without air supply – see the Big blue movie by Luc Besson for that aspect of diving…
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095250/

    but I presume it will be not that kind of drama we will be facing, since it is healing summer anime after all… and I have done some snorkelling myself and it is wonerful relaxation sport that gets you away fromn this bustling world for a moment…

    • July 16, 2016 at 3:19 pmWanderer

      The author actually makes a point, multiple times, in the manga of reminding folks that diving is dangerous if not done correctly, and that you have to follow the proper safety procedures to get the joy out of it that our girls will get. Safety checklists are strictly adhered to (Pikari going through her “going to school” checklist is an indication of that: the school is her “dive” for the day), and sometimes people who are new to a particular aspect of diving can make mistakes that put them in danger and they have to be helped by their buddy.

      While this is a gentle relaxing series, and the focus is enjoying the beauty and fun of everything around them, the potential danger of what they’re doing isn’t ignored.

      • July 16, 2016 at 9:27 pmdaikama

        Not watching the show, but done a bit of scuba diving so adding my 2 cents FWIW. Definitely pays to get training/certified and follow checklists. The buddy system helps for sure, but it’s not fool proof. Best to dive in groups IMO. Thing is that people suck down air at different rates. Had a dive where my buddy just gulped down his air (tanks were loaded at same PSI and same size). I had over 1/2 tank left, but he was at the warning level and signaled me he was going back up. So either I cut the dive short or go on without him. Group dive so I stayed down.

        Even then it’s very easy to be distracted by the undersea wonders & get separated – especially if the water isn’t all that clear, sunlight reduced (clouds/rain) or just diving pretty deep (never done that). Situational awareness is very important when scuba diving. There are common sense things a well. Personally, I wouldn’t go spear fishing, or dive with seals around (i.e. things large sharks eat), etc.

        Scuba diving is a really cool experience, but one needs to take it seriously and follow safety protocols. Props to the manga/anime if they emphasize that.

    • July 16, 2016 at 8:19 pmPasserby

      Curiously enough, Amanchu! likes to say that diving is the safest sport in the world, though with all the emphasis on the safety procedures as Wanderer says (including, notably, the buddy system).

      • July 17, 2016 at 1:23 amWorldwidedepp

        Let alone the decompression you need if you want surface from deep down because of these tiny air bubbles in your bloodsystem.
        also an “Knife” should be always your friend, you never know if you need to cut through an old lost fish crawler dragnet or similar

        If they just want to dive near the shore then it can be “save”, but if they want to explore more deeps then they need safety first! instructions

  • July 16, 2016 at 1:55 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Just like ARIA, I can’t help but smile while watching this.

    The exaggerated facial expressions are still funny…

    http://randomc.net/image/Amanchu!/Amanchu!%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2016.jpg

    …especially Katori-sensei’s here (and now really loving her too XD), and frankly…

    http://randomc.net/image/Amanchu!/Amanchu!%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

    …it’s also just beautiful to look at.

    Another random thing I like are the girls’ school uniforms. It’s refreshing to see a more traditional or “proper” style of uniform from time to time as opposed to the typical (really-)short-skirted sailor uniforms we’re long since used to seeing, but the girls look no less beautiful in them.

    • July 16, 2016 at 6:07 pms_w

      Holy crap, Katori-sensei’s expression there is just right out of Aria. She looks like an angry Akira. XD

      The emphasis on how dangerous diving is is one of the things I like about Amanchu– yeah, it’s a pretty relaxing manga (and the TV show is following suit), but there’s a certain amount of tension, just because diving is really freaking dangerous.

      • July 16, 2016 at 10:49 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

        Not having super-exaggerated facial expressions is forbidden!

        XD

  • July 16, 2016 at 2:48 pmCherry

    Someone would be mortally injured before my kitty will get near water.

    http://randomc.net/image/Amanchu!/Amanchu!%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2035.jpg

  • July 16, 2016 at 6:52 pmLonghaul

    Oh, so Hikari uses the whistle to exercise her lung capacity?

    • July 17, 2016 at 2:33 amBrahmaputrastt

      Divers often carries ‘storm whistles’ with them for emergency.

  • July 16, 2016 at 7:15 pmBear

    So this is an episode of “The muppets go scuba diving”?
    http://randomc.net/image/Amanchu!/Amanchu!%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2001.jpg

  • July 16, 2016 at 9:47 pmET

    Somebody asked me why I liked Aria and Yotsubato but hate Amanchu, when they both employ chibi faces quite often too.

    The answer is that the first two don’t make their characters stay in chibi mode all the freaking time. They’re employed at the right time for comedic effect and that’s why they’re charming.

    Hikari does it so often that it’s just not funny anymore after the first few times.

  • July 16, 2016 at 10:21 pmNamaewoinai

    http://randomc.net/image/Amanchu!/Amanchu!%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2030.jpg
    That Barnacle Girl Seem to be A Weird Person here…she is somehow full of Joy!

    I Remember some girls with some weird Personalities (in an SoL Type Anime, of course), Like This one…and This One and even This One

    Well, They are still many of them, so pick up those for now!

  • July 17, 2016 at 7:23 amSkarfang81

    Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how beautiful this series is – like makes your heart go to a happy place level of beautiful. Teko and Pikari floating in the pool, the view from the summit…..

    Thank you. Now continue your lives =)

  • July 18, 2016 at 1:50 ammac65

    I thought this series would be a simple (with some light silliness) SoL,
    but there’s a thoughtful story going as well. Basically, one girl not afraid
    to test her limits (and almost injuring herself in the process of competition),
    and another girl beginning to realize she doesn’t have to limit herself.

    I wouldn’t really consider this a sports Anime, though. I enjoyed it.