「十六歳、春、まだつぼみ」 (Jyu Roku Sai, Haru, Mada Tsubomi)
“Sixteen Years of Age, Spring, Still Buds”
I’m not entirely sure what I just watched. I was pretty sure that I was going headfirst into a slice of life that should look beautiful. But after I really got into things, I can say that I’m still not sure what I just watched. In the words of a Divine person I know, I’ve just been P.A. Worked. If my lame joke didn’t give it away, this is another one of P.A. Works’ works (what an odd sentence). If you’re a fan of Angel Beats, this studio’s name should ring a bell — they’re the ones who did it! At the same time, while I’m not a huge studio buff, I know that I can expect pretty looking things from this studio. What I didn’t expect was an awesome lead character.
Enter, Matsumae Ohana (Itou Kanae), the girl who I hope my future daughter will be like — strong willed, pretty, and eager to speak her mind. While I never expected her mom to be an irresponsible as she was or the guy who likes her to be as shy as he was, I must say that I’m very interested in Ohana’s character. It’s interesting to watch her battle with the idea of not knowing what she wants to do for the rest of her life — a topic which I can easily understand. As I have the same fears at times, I hate that feeling of knowing that time isn’t slowing down and that life isn’t waiting for you to make a perfect decision. While the first episode didn’t really touch too much on the topic, I’m half expecting to find some sort of profound answer to my problems through Ohana before this series ends.
While there are a handful of characters at play, Shijima Sui or Grandma, was the one who grabbed my attention. Something about her being the complete opposite of a candy giving grandmother made me chuckle at first, but I could of swore that I would have normally started to hate her before the episode ended. To pile on the hate, I wasn’t sure how I took it when she super slapped Ohana and Minko. However, something in the back of my mind keeps telling me that deep down, she has a loving heart. The whole idea of tough love and that the reason it’s tough is because the ones who care about you are the ones who are able to treat you the worst echo through my heart. But on the other hand, the only person who I really felt myself getting sort of angry at was Ohana’s mother. That’s not tough love but straight up irresponsibility — how can a mother be like that!?
Honestly, I see nothing wrong with making someone work for their pay, especially if they’re providing a roof over your head and food in your belly. At the same time, I love how Ohana manages to deal with her imagination and the real world clashing with each other. That last scene with her tearing up before roaring off really puts things into perspective. She isn’t some perfect girl who can manage everything by herself — she’s a normal girl who’s trying to deal with the interesting cards she’s been dealt.
P.S. I really like Ohana’s character design. The short hair, two pins, green sweats — it’s perfect! And then have you seen her in the ending? Omg.
Divine pointed this out, but the song in this sequence is actually the song for the opening. So we’ll see how things pan out next week. I also really like this song, which apparently makes me weird.