「てるてるぼうずを作った」 (Teru Teru Bouzu wo Tsukutta)
“I Made a Teru Teru Bozu”
While the past three episodes may have been pretty good, this week’s episode was hands down the best one thus far. Combining all the fantastic elements of a great slice-of-life, this week’s episode hit both all ends of the emotion spectrum. From a fantastic high that had me grinning from ear to ear to a surprising low with a surprise that had a few tears running down my cheek, I don’t think I could have asked for any more.
Teru Teru Bozu
If there’s something I can appreciate in a slice-of-life, it’s when they adequately explain any cultural elements that could fly over anyone’s head. In this week’s episode, we got to see firsthand the power of the Teru Teru Bozus. Shaped like a ghost and typically made from tissue paper or cotton, these cute dolls are supposed to bring the sun out when hung on a rainy day. While I can’t comment on their size-to-efficiency ratio, you can bet I won’t pass up an opportunity to see Ren-chon do her thing. Looking more like a monster out of a picture book than an actual Teru Teru Bozu, it wasn’t too surprising to see someone getting scared by her outfit. Sure, it sucks that Koma-chan once again ends up drawing the short stick, but there was no denying how funny it was to see her reaction to everything. Poor Koma-chan!
The Cycle of Life and Death
As I said in the opening paragraph, the latter half of the episode caught me completely off guard. I remember when I was younger I had a pair of fish I took care of and when they finally passed away, I remember I was bawling like a baby. Yes, they were just fish that I couldn’t even interact with, but there’s just something really freaking sad about seeing something you care about suddenly just disappear. In Ren-chon’s case, when the realization of what happened to her tadpole shrimp hit her I could just feel this surge of sadness smack me right in the face. Combined with the touching background music and symbolism of all that rain representing how she felt on the inside, it was getting really tough for me to maintain my composure. Toss in that picture she drew when I thought that just maybe she was okay and not just holding it all in and I was on the verge of tears.
But that’s nothing compared to how the show managed to turn all of that into an immense feeling of happiness. In one fell swoop, the story managed to show that life isn’t just about death but also life and somehow transformed all that sadness into a feeling of pure elation. Through Natsumi’s simple act of thoughtfulness, she managed to both liven up and get a few tears of happiness out of Ren-chon and myself. Something I consider a pretty big accomplishment when Renge (and myself to an extent) is definitely the type of person who doesn’t let her non-happy emotions show all that often.
After all of that, I’m not sure if my emotions could handle another rough beating like that. While I wouldn’t actually mind another super touching episode, I have an odd feeling that next week’s episode is going to take things easy. Based off of the preview, it looks like things are going to be a pretty lively at the school pool and for those of you who’ve ever eaten Okonomiyaki, you know just how much you happiness and regret is involved after you eat the whole thing.
Catch you next week!