「サンクスギビングの憂鬱」 (Sankusugibingu no Yūutsu)
“The Melancholy of Thanksgiving”
A couple weeks ago I woke up in the morning unsure if I had posted that week’s Denpa, prodding my still hazy brain discerning whether or not it was a dream that I hadn’t posted about it. Took about 20 or so minutes before I settled on the fact that I did post it, but didn’t bother to check, out of some pride to the ability to separate reality and dreams. The absurdity of the show is getting to me.
Following what appeared to be the “main” story, the “plot” moves on to Erio trying to get a job, which of course she finds to no avail. I put “plot” in quotation marks because I see it as more of a “point” or a “goal.” It’s like how slice of lifes have “plot” in that one episode they need to do a certain thing, and then spend the entire episode screwing around either eventually doing it, or never at all. So it’s like K-ON, because at the end of every episode, you realize, wow, nothing really happened and you’re okay with that.
And yet, if you look for development, it is there, like Meme’s constant front over what’s actually bothering her, and in this case, that would be money for Erio’s schooling. I still find her antics a bit annoying and pointless, and generally an excuse to bring out moe. But wait, moe is like 60% of the show! Yes, but Meme somehow poisons and ruins whatever kind she creates. I much rather prefer the one on one scenes with Erio, which were littered all over this episode. She’s become a really likable character, if not simply because she lacks bad qualities, but she’s also just a very modest try-my-best girl. The obsession with making her look cute doesn’t hurt either, but it finally works more for her character than any other for those very reasons.
In the end, I find myself enjoying Denpa, but only here and there. The absurdity of the show really works against it at times, and other than comedy, it really doesn’t succeed in setting any other tone. Certainly it can do it if it tries, such as near the end of the series to wrap things up, but as of now, I simply see it as a comedy. I guess it’s exactly like Arakawa in that sense, except a little more on the rail with the plot. Sometimes I think maybe it’s a culture discrepancy that has me misunderstanding the show’s real value, like why all their commercials try to be as weird as possible. Or maybe not. Screw it. I’ll think more about it next week.