「仲間と始めての海のコト」 (Nakama to Hajimete no Umi no Koto)
“The Story of the First Time at Sea with Friends”
All sibling relationships are based on abuse
Finally, the full set of Amanchu‘s major characters have been completed, with the formal introduction of the last two—who handily happens to be twin so we have one less name to remember. Meet Ninomiya Ai (Oonishi Saori)) and her doormat, Makoto (Umehara Yuuichirou), who are of the ‘opposite in personality’ twins archetype. They’re also fraternal twins which means—oh no, a male has intruded into our perfect sanctuary of female beauty! Fear not, though; Makoto seems to be an organism completely free of testosterone. Also, backbone, which I’m assuming his sister surgically removed.
Normally I’d stand in protest of anime’s of the male punching bag, but having lived (and miraculously survived) as a younger sibling myself, I actually empathise with the situation. Single children seem to think that having a brother or sister is a great thing, envious of some imaginary happy and supportive sibling relationship. They don’t remember, though, that Cain and Abel were also siblings. I tell you, being the younger, smaller, and definitely more bruise-able sibling was a daily ordeal. It’s not even always malicious, is the problem; your older kin just does not appreciate that your undeveloped bones are oh so easy to snap. Sisters are the true monsters; they develop faster and are quick to establish hierarchy with a reign of terror with that window of opportunity. At least Makoto gets to snark; he understands, snark is the younger sibling’s true weapon of resistance. Temporary resistance, until the iron heal stamps it out.
No, I think I turned out quite well. Why do you ask?
I suppose at least Ai bullies her twin with the best of intentions. She’s shaping him up! Into a real man! She simply reads from the drill sergeant’s manual of encouragement.
Not in Kansas anymore
One big difference between a manga and its anime adaptation that we don’t talk about enough, perhaps because it’s taken for granted, is that anime has colour. ‘Well, duh, Passerby,’ but while all anime add colour to scenes and designs out of obligation, less actually specifically make use of that advantage. Amanchu!‘s original drawing on the chalkboard scene was monochrome. Certainly, colour was implied, but not used in the same way as in the anime. In fact, the entire scene was expanded compared to the manga version, really pushing the entire diving metaphor. Sure, Teko has yet to step into the open seas as a diver, but what she really really yearns for is to do something memorable with friends. And it doesn’t matter if it’s diving or whatever, it’s about Teko being able to step forward and add colour to her life.
I’m always happy to see a director go out of their way to add to an adaptation. Some people value faithfulness to the source above all else, and I can see why, but I think that an adaptation can actually improve the source. And here is where I’ll say, once again, that director Satou Junichi really gets it. I completely trust him to capture the spirit of Amanchu!, and indeed have nothing but praise for his effort so far. And so while next episode we still won’t be going into the sea quite yet, I’m more than happy to let Amanchu! take its time with whatever it wants to do. It’s good to relax.