「わくわくと諦める心のコト」 (Wakuwaku to Akirameru Kokoro no Koto)
“The Story of Excitement and the Despairing Heart”

I know some people have been turned off by the range of super-deformed faces used in Amanchu!, but I’ve personally never had any issue with Amano-sensei’s art style because 1) I thought The Muppets was a great show and 2) I think the style really does work. There’s no arguing that Pikari is not a goofy character, and the goofy face complements her well, as it does other generally goofy scenes where Amanchu! is in its laid back mode. They also serve to contrast the times when Amanchu! is trying to be serious without having to mire the show in melodrama. So it’s fairly easy to tell when Pikari is being serious about diving safety, or about encouraging her friend.

In that same vein this episode of Amanchu! is half goofy and half serious. The last two faces of the main character lineup finally show themselves, to be introduced in a light comic relief segment. They hardly have names or roles yet, but it’s a good way to start easing them into the show. I think ‘ease’ is certainly one of Amanchu!‘s abiding qualities, never in too much of a hurry to skip through its narrative, never getting very busy very quickly. The focus remains of Teko still, though with strong supports. Considering her insecurities it’s appropriate that the cast take their time to step forward, so both we and Teko can get used to them gradually.

The comic relief also serves to ease us into Teko actually dealing with her insecurities, both in terms of the mood of the episode and the general progression of events (that is, first observing diving, then trying it out herself in a pool, one step at a time). Here, once again diving serves as a very apt central metaphor for Amanchu!. I noted before that Amanchu! is a very different kind of sports anime, as diving is a very different kind of sport, without much in the way of competition whatsoever. That’s not the same as having no obstacles though, and for Teko that obstacle is internal—as it should be for any story centred around character growth. The way these obstacles are overcome play well into Amanchu!‘s mix of healthy idealism and down-to-earth pragmatism. Diving involves exhaustive, almost obsessive attention to safety (for good reason), but the cold mechanics of it are given warm by one’s faith in their buddy, never having to feel alone in the great blue. The power of friendship wins again!

And the payoff for all the trouble was definitely worth it. Now, I’m personally unfamiliar with scuba diving, but as a youth I did enjoy swimming a fair bit. In particular, I loved the diving pool, and just holding my breath and submersing myself in it. Perhaps it was the deep valley in the water, or perhaps the sensation of floating, but it felt like the closest I would ever get to flying—a feeling that I think Amanchu! captures in part. And, of course, the light filtering in from above was definitely quite a sight. Perhaps I don’t say this enough, but Amanchu! really is quite pretty, not with the same urban beauty of ARIA perhaps, but beautiful nonetheless. To make even a swimming pool scenic, and capturing the ways water plays with light, is a commendable feat. I can’t wait to see the seasons rotate again in Amanchu! when we, and Teko, get to look beneath the sea.

 

Preview

21 Comments

  1. I like the deformed faces too. They capture the personality of the two girls just right – Pikari’s wide-eyed happy-go-lucky attitude, Teko’s slightly confused timidity. Deformed Mato has that sort of cynical/weary face that’s actually at odds with her usual expression and demeanour , and so to me shows another aspect of her personality.

    I was captivated by this ep even though not much happened in terms of events. I think a combination of Teko’s character development and the scuba info did the trick enough by itself.

    Puffles
  2. I found the Muppet faces to be way less irritating than the previous episodes since they weren’t over utilized. This ep they were used more like the chibi style that shows up in a lot of anime to show a particular emotion. Part of my problem with Pikari being in Muppet style is that I really like her real face. She’s not gorgeous like Teko but she’s got her own type of beauty. She just lights up when she’s talking about diving.

    Bear
  3. When you dive, the Sound change. As if you dive into an different world. Sure your ear work now different

    Perhaps this is one of the secrets, while dive is fun

    Worldwidedepp
    1. for first timers or beginners, i think the fear comes from this change of hearing underwater and the little pressure on your chest. You can all experience it at home, just fill your bathtub, and then emerge your head under water for some time. Your ears change and this little Water pressure on your chest. You need time, because in an real pool you get used to this pressure really fast

      oh, and do not forget to hold your nose shut with your hand, or the Bathtub water gets in

      Worldwidedepp
  4. Wonderful. I have a little bit of anxiety for some things — including water — so I can definitely relate with Teko’s battle here. Gradual process from curiosity to anxiety, stress, and finally to when she conquered it are kinda breathtaking for me, and the reward is definitely gorgeous. I had doubt that JC could animate water as beautiful as I hoped (JC’s beach in some series — Little Busters! is what I had in mind — are mediocre at best), but I definitely loved the end result here.

    Now it’s time to find a real life Pikari to dive together lol.

    P.S I absolutely adore the OP part when Pikari is swirling around holding the cat in her uniform, it’s also the part of OP which I love the most as well.

    zeroyuki92
  5. Yay Monkey Siblings are here!
    Can’t wait to see their non-stop saru-ing action next week.
    Definitely my favourite cool sis with her bro sidekick this season.

    Andohbytheway
    “but as a youth I did enjoy swimming a fair bit… …Perhaps it was the deep valley in the water”

    Oh… W… wow,
    I am amazed that you’re still fine (alive, to be precise) Good, Sir.
    Or maybe you’re just THAT good at Croco-wrestling and Anacon-suplexing over there
    ;o___o)

    Kasper Hekmatyar
  6. For those who have never dived before, I strongly recommend putting it in your bucket list. Whether it’s “flying” over a reef, observing the local wildlife or exploring a sunken ship, visuals just don’t give it justice.

    Atlas

Leave a Reply to Wanderer Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *