Random Curiosity

Blend S – 03 »« Just Because! – 03

Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou – 03

「遭遇 / 都市 / 街灯」 (Souguu / Toshi / Gaitou)
“Encounter / City / Streetlights”

Ah the joys of being proven right. Having spent two weeks largely introducing us to the (mostly) tranquil adventures of Chi and Yuu, SSR seems ready to finally start delving into the material which made me fall in love with it. Fellow humans, philosophical introspection, there is a lot of meat under this simple veil, and this episode only just scratched the surface.

While it bears repeating that SSR will never actually turn dark (got to keep those expectations in check), it’s amazing how well the show has done in constantly hinting towards this possibility. The manga (at least for me) never really emphasized these moments, sticking more to the lighthearted nature and letting the audience fill in the blanks. Here, however, the simple act of discovering a half burnt cigarette visibly puts both Chi and Yuu on edge and actually gets our hearts racing. I obviously know nothing bad will happen, but the scene’s layout tests that belief, cheekily asking “are you sure?” as it keeps nudging me in the side. You sure Kanazawa will not use the rubble aggressively? You positive the guy is not leading them somewhere else? Just look at Yuu’s doubt, always time to second guess before it’s too late! It’s a fantastic play on the emotions, and while likely better if you don’t know what happens next, still remains impressively effective considering the story SSR is telling. This world is a big and lonely place, why would you not expect a random encounter to end up turning out badly? SSR may never actually explore that concept, but the fact it’s willing to remember it makes it all the more fascinating to watch.

As equally impressive as the emotional teasing, however, is SSR’s introspection. Take Chi’s musing on the meaning of life. Sure it may be a cliché question at times, but under these circumstances it acquires a particularly pointed edge. What is the point of living in a world all alone with nothing to look forward to but the next meal? Is there a purpose to it, a reason for just carrying on existing from day to day? It’s starkly nihilistic thinking, and while a question we will all ourselves struggle with at some point (god knows I have), it’s one SSR suggests has a very simple answer: make one up! Doubtful? Just look how far Kanazawa got by living for the maps he made. The poor guy may have lost them in the end, but his drive remains and that is all that matters when it comes to persevering through the day and the ones after that. Find a want, no matter how small, and pursue it with everything you have. Once you obtain it, then pursue another—the only thing holding us back is that first step. Chi’s and Yuu’s seemingly impulsive choices on where to go may seem childish after all, but their drive to discover and find something better is what keeps them carrying on. Life is very much what you personally make of it, whether a gift from God or simple, random biology, always treat it as an adventure to experience. Do so and you will never lack for moments of beauty.

Although I do not know just yet if I’ll wind up covering SSR (my Friday workload keeps changing to my chagrin), there’s no doubt in my mind that this show will turn out fantastic. Considering how well these early manga chapters have been adapted and the material yet to come, I am firmly optimistic SSR will be the dark horse I always pinned it as. It may only be slice of life, it may never go grimdark, but SSR will always be a treat to experience.

October 21, 2017 at 11:00 am
  • October 21, 2017 at 3:30 pmLittle Tangerine

    Is this an alternative universe from the Cold War era? I feel like this is post-Chernobyl if fifty Chernobyls and Fukushimas blew up around the globe.

    • October 21, 2017 at 5:33 pmAngelus

      From what they say about the upper city levels and the makeshift elevator that itself is over 100 years old, it must be set hundreds of years in the future. But then there’s the half-track from the 1940′s, and the Bear bomber from anywhere between the 1950′s and the 2040′s. So I’ve given up trying to work out when and where it’s supposed to be set.

      • October 22, 2017 at 2:55 amWorldwidedepp

        That or they are in some kind of Gigantic Museum of Mankind

      • October 22, 2017 at 9:45 amWorldwidedepp

        In Crest for the Stars, the MC had to hide in an Amusing park to get rid of the pursuer (that btw, wanted to have fun with the Girl…) and even used an Electric Horse to flee, so this World here now, reminds me a bit of this Episode of my past

        in the end they got saved with an Space rocket for funeral… Well the coffin was airtight

      • October 22, 2017 at 11:22 amPancakes

        Pretty much this, there is no specific time the story is set to the best of my knowledge, all the background and technology present exists to simply add flavour as the author sees fit. Furthermore what we have seen in the show so far is nothing, a few later chapters get quite surreal with what they showcase.

      • October 23, 2017 at 9:09 pmLittle Tangerine

        Well, that’s convenient.

  • October 22, 2017 at 5:14 ammac65

    A pleasant watch, not expecting anything very serious
    or dark for this series, though. A “slice of life.”

    In a way, this is the how Kino no Tabi should be this
    season, but isn’t. I actually feel an empathy for these
    characters, whereas I’m actually feeling pretty detached
    from Kino. While each episode (here) so far seems like
    they’re “visiting” a different theme, the way it’s presented
    makes for an easily digestible and enjoyable watch.

    • October 22, 2017 at 11:26 amPancakes

      You hit the nail on the head with the theme mac, each chapter/episode does explore different ideas, but does so in a manner that feels fluid and continuous. There’s no seriousness or pretentiousness, just two curious girls asking questions and seeing how their experiences can help answer them. It makes for very pleasant watching, with any thinking you do after a sort of cherry on top to the whole experience. It’s probably why I fell in love with it, it’s all about the experience rather than the message being sent.

  • October 22, 2017 at 9:07 amIncognito

    Now that this show revealed a bit more about the world Chi and Yuu inhabit, it reminds me of a Hive World (a city planet on steroids with sky-piercing skyscrapers) and a Forge World (a planet with lots of massive factories) from the fluff of Warhammer 40,000. Except it’s (mostly) unpopulated.

    And just like an actual Forge World, there’s no OSHA compliance. (I’d be trembling as well if I were to ride that elevator and look at that height… Yikes. Poor maps, though…)

    It’s nice to see another person (and voiced by Akira Ishida[?], to boot) in an otherwise desolate world, though post-apocalyptic logic dictates the need to be prepared for “unfriendly company” like the Mad Max or Crossout ‘verses. And Yuu pointing her rifle at Kanazawa for quite some time implies that Chi and Yuu may have had a few close calls with unfriendly company. But from the overall tone so far, I guess this series is more of a cozy catastrophe since Chi and Yuu meeting a fellow survivor seems like a rare occurrence.

  • October 22, 2017 at 5:25 pmClayton Barnett

    1. Love this show.
    2. Not read anything.
    3. Hypothesis: this is Purgatory. Until they free themselves of mortal attachments, they cannot ascend to the next level..

  • November 4, 2017 at 12:11 pmWorldwidedepp

    Ep 05:

    I think today it made click inside my Head, where i get this Vibes


    I bet this Island was the inspiration now of this World they are exploring, this giant empty City. Also his history is touching the WW2.. So perhaps there is the link what “Real Life Location” Hunters need for this Anime

    • November 5, 2017 at 5:28 pmTepenga

      To me, this was one of the more beautiful episodes of the year thus far of any anime. The ending song in particular was full of emotion but kept itself simple and majestic. This is quickly becoming a favourite I just know I will re-watch many times over in the future.

  • November 11, 2017 at 7:06 amTepenga

    I wish this series was still being covered as the past couple of episodes were really something,deep but still lighthearted. Not to mention the music is becoming more and more beautiful.

    Hope you are alright Pancakes and that this is just because you are very very busy and cannot spare the time. Hope to see you cover something again in the future! :-) I enjoy your viewpoint.

  • November 19, 2017 at 3:49 amWorldwidedepp

    Ep 07:

    With this Episode my speculation of that they are on somekind of “Museum Island” is getting bigger. Perhaps what the other Girl saw trough the binoculars, was the Main Island or such…
    Also she mention somthink similar like an Air Plane Museum…

    But then, who did these 2 end up on this Island anyway? :)

    I know that this has something to do with War, and their “Dad” send them away to save them. But they had been on this Island from the start. because their Kettenkrad can not float on water…

    But you know that there are Cars that could also move on water, right?.. But for that 1) their carburetor for the engine should be above water, like these Desert Jeeps to cross rivers, or the Driver girl (how can also repair and use the tools for it. Like welding metal and such) can come up with this solution. They just need to “modify” their chain drive to move forward of the water… You know put in some blades in the middle of the chain plates, to move like the “Duck”

    But, i bet their kettengrad is still to heavy to stay afloat. So here they also need pylons like “Big rucksack” filled with Air or other Liquid that is lighter as water (perhaps their own Fuel?)

    Well, i could improvise something on the spot. But you need the tools for that, and also the “spark” in the Mind

    As i said, my point out of Hashima Island to be the big inspiration for this world, are becoming more and more solid

    • November 19, 2017 at 3:53 amWorldwidedepp

      also, they dragged a bit to much the scene when they knead the “Sugar bread”, but oh well it fits in.. also the repeating lines of “hopeless”.. its hopeless if you give up.. But it helps if you are not alone. So you want to “save” the other live on your shoulders.. both “keep on pushing” each other to move on…

      Like “Enemy Mine”.. Lucky he did not stay long alone, he had to rise this Child of them… (just watch it, even if its old. Its Sci-fi)

    • November 19, 2017 at 4:19 amWorldwidedepp

      Something like this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7gZ28Msa8g

      It is this snorkel, that let the engine keep going with Air for the carburetor. But Air Pressure tanks inside can do the same trick.. But beware if the Air run out before have fresh air again or you suffocate in the cabin..

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