Ladies, this one’s for you.
When it comes to nudity, there’s an old double standard: women’s nudity is sexy whereas men’s nudity is funny. Which, er—that’s a thing, I’m just going to point it out and then leave it alone. Trying to change social mores is beyond the scope of this post. Here’s an interesting mental exercise, though: Would the naked dance scene have been as funny if it were portrayed in the exact same light, but with all the female characters naked, partying, and as drunk as skunks? (They’d probably have to retain some clothing, so they still had a hand to drink. More to cover up don’t ya know, but that’s just logistics.) Personally, I think it would be, or it could be, provided the girls reacted the same when the guys came in (not caring, showing off) and the guys reacted the same to the girls (put off by these drunk idiots). Of course, I’d personally find it sexier that way, but that’s just personal preference. If muscles and man ass are more to your taste, this episode should be a treat.
Also, no means no, Maroro. You too, Ougi. This episode got a little rapey (because when it’s male on male, it doesn’t count! …trope), and sexual harrassy, and those are other problems I’m also going to point out and then set aside. You’ll decide whether it bothers you enough to not find the rest funny, and a lecture from me won’t do any good. Check out that trope page for more.
NOW, as for the rest of the comedy—hilarious! I will tell you that, sorry ladies, this isn’t standard behavior when a bunch of guys are drinking together, though I will say that I’ve been known to lose my shirt on occasion once the whiskey comes out. So it’s not entirely fictional. But the naked dance, and then Rurutie’s reaction, and the return of the amazing tails! Nekone’s reaction in particular was devastating—critical strike! To Kiuru too. Poor guy. You’re the youngest, it’s okay to be cute.
I am disappointed that Kuon delivered the knockout strike to Haku, because him forgetting to cover himself up aside, it was Kuon who didn’t knock and ask if they could come in, and while you can reasonably assume that the guys wouldn’t be all naked (usually), c’mon, leave the dude’s dangly alone! Also, Shinonon talking about danglies was great, and did you catch where Atui said the girls do the same thing? I know they do it in the bath, but as noted above, I want to see this all play out with the ladies drinking. (The ones that are old enough. Though it’s a fantasy world, there’s probably no drinking age.) Plus, apparently Mikazuchi is competing with Kiuru for Nekone’s affection, which, er. How old is he? I’m getting squicked out again. Best not to think about it. Muscles. Muscles everywhere!
Everyone Gets Scared. That’s Why We Drink.
Now that we’re done with all the naked stuff, let’s talk about the ploty/thematic stuff. The philosophical thrust of this episode had to do with Haku accepting the world for what it is, and his friends as the kind of people who can both be goofy with him and fight in wars. His fear is understandable, as is his disdain for war. Of more interest to me is the discussion of why they drink.
Understand first that I don’t condone excessive drinking, much less drinking and driving (where are you, my Google self-driving car future?) or anything like that. And having a drink or two a night, depending on your bodyweight, has nothing to do with being a drunk. But most of us who enjoy the occasional tipple has quite likely gotten steaming drunk before. I’m talking Maroro levels, though without the gay stuff, unless that’s how you swing, in which case with the gay stuff too. And while sometimes it’s evidence of a low tolerance or not knowing how to control your drink, sometimes it’s something more. Something deeper.
Sometimes, it’s nice to get away. To lose yourself, to reset, to say that this night I’m going to let loose, and stop worrying, and just live. To some people, whose minds can get in their own ways—a group that includes both Haku and myself—sometimes it’s nice to say, and this is the scientific term: “Fuck it.” To stop worrying for one damn night and just have fun. And a libation or six can help with that. What resonated with me the most was not that Haku ought to trust his friends or anything like that. It’s that Haku realized that everyone gets scared. Everyone worries. That’s why we drink. That’s why we party like fools. That’s why we live, and set the world with its incessant needs and crises, aside until tomorrow. Sometimes, as Ukon said, drinking makes you feel better.
Just don’t go hard too often, or the nights will blur into one another and lose meaning. Taking the medicine once in a while works just as well. Also, hangovers suck. Trust me, I’d know.
Original Utawarerumono Marathon Update (through episode fifteen): Show More ▼
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – A guy’s night for cheering up Haku turns into a drunk naked dance-off. You know, as it does #utaware s2e16
- Ukon and Haku confirmed for straight, sorry Rurutie. Not that she’s going to believe that anymore.
- Ohh, so that’s where the twins went. I was wondering.
My first novel, Wage Slave Rebellion, is available now. (More info—now in paperback!) Sign up for my email list for a FREE sequel novella. Over at stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Introduction, What Star Wars: The Force Awakens did right, What Star Wars: The Force Awakens did wrong, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The Conclusion.