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Amanchu! – 09

「消せない思い出のコト」 (Kesenai Omoide no Koto)
“The Story of Memories You Can’t Erase”

After a series of shorter stories that canvassed the whole of the main cast, the focus turns back squarely onto Teko and her troubles this week, in particular her unassuming little hobby. Ever since the first episode, we’ve known that Ooki Futaba enjoyed taking photographs and staring wistfully at old ones. The obvious metaphor is these were happy memories, and that Teko clings dearly onto them (hence the title of the episode; nothing cryptic here). What better to represent those halcyon days than Teko’s old school friends—and perhaps they’re old friends of ours as well, for Akane (Hazuki Erino) and Chizuru (Saito Chiwa) may well have been lifted out of straight out of mangaka Amano Kozue’s earlier work, ARIA.

In the manga, the true forms of Teko’s old friends aren’t actually revealed so early (technically the anime hints at them in the very first episode), but when they were there was no doubt that the two were nothing less than Akari and Aika’s soulmates from modern Tokyo. In the anime, they have a different colour scheme and all, but in monochrome manga they were just a few tones shy of being spitting images of their Undine predecessors (I know ARIA is set in the future, you know what I mean). In return, in the anime their voices are instantly recognisable for any ARIA fan; no effort is taken to disguise the fact that they’re exactly the same. And why should they hide it? In a different context, this may seem like a bit of a shameless, self-referential, fourth-wall-breaking cameo, but when discussing the themes of The Story of Memories You Can’t Erase, this feels right. Akane and Chizuru are Teko’s past just as ARIA may be ours, and we may feel the same nostalgia as she does for those good times.

I basically started coverage of Amanchu! saying that I really didn’t want to compare it to ARIA, and then failing to hold to that repeatedly. Part of me knew that, personally, Amanchu! would never, ever hold up to ARIA. ARIA is just too dear to me, and I have too many fond memories of it. I don’t think I can look back on ARIA with anything but rose-tinted glasses, and thus it will most likely be my very favourite slice-of-life anime until the end of time. And so I’m glad that Amanchu! is coming out and telling me that, in a way, that’s okay. Never once does Teko’s friends belittle her attachment to her photographs, or lecture her about letting go of the past, or wax lyrical about the beauty of the ephemeral. Instead, they go out of the way to encourage her. It’s alright to be sentimental, Amanchu! says. The past doesn’t just go away; its still with us, and we should remember it, and we should treasure it. Indeed, I still re-watch ARIA, once in a while. I don’t need to push it completely aside to make way for the present. And meanwhile, Amanchu! is quite enjoyable, too.



September 3, 2016 at 11:38 am
  • September 3, 2016 at 1:22 pmAex

    She even has the “sideburns”! Now just imagine if Akane and Pikari met… O.o The corners of my mouth lift just thinking about it, but could we handle the sweetness?

    • September 3, 2016 at 3:26 pmWanderer

      …You should read the manga. :D

      • September 3, 2016 at 4:58 pmAex

        …While that didn’t go the way I expected, it was still awesome. Pikari’s so smooth! XD

        Seriously, this author is my friggen hero.

  • September 3, 2016 at 3:34 pmBear

    Gah, I’m going to need insulin shots if I keep watching this. When we were first introduced to Pikari I found her rather annoying, but she keeps displaying amazing depths and empathy. What a perfect gift.

    Teko’s friends also turned out to be true friends. I thought they would have drifted away as soon as Teko had left but it seems as if they really were close and want to keep in touch. I hope they do visit because I really want to see what Pikari does when they do.

  • September 3, 2016 at 3:35 pmWanderer

    This episode brought tears to my eyes so many times… It’s beautiful in its message, in its emotions… and then hearing Akane and Chizuru’s voices… My heart was not ready.

    • September 4, 2016 at 9:54 pmKasper Hekmatyar

      “My heart was not ready.”

      Aren’t we all comrade, aren’t we all.
      Even though I know what will happen because I read the manga, but hearing Erino & Chiwa-san’s voice still bring tears and smile to my face :’)

  • September 4, 2016 at 1:18 amewok40k

    this was extremely good episode on why your memories matter… and people that we make memories with!

  • September 5, 2016 at 12:19 amduck

    I was eating my sandwich when I heard Akaris voice I spit all over my keyboard from surprise and laughter. If I heard Punyu and not Chaa something amazing would happen.

  • September 7, 2016 at 2:01 pmHaz

    Loved this episode! Also, although ARIA’s Aika might not be related to Amanchu’s Chizuru, it’s different for Akane. Her full name is Mizunashi Akane, so she is most definitely Akari’s ancestor :)

  • September 10, 2016 at 5:57 amraxar

    Love this episode so much, I don’t recognize Aika’s voice(shame on me) but I recognize Akari’s in an instant, what a surprise! :) And again words said by Pikari took me by surprise when she’s talking about the happiness of the giver.

    Btw, is this post tagged as ARIA on purpose? :p

    • September 10, 2016 at 12:48 pmPasserby

      ;) Though I should move it back at some point before Cherrie notices.