「今日という一日を迷うコト」 (Kyou to Iu Ichinichi wo Mayou Koto)
“The Story of Losing Your Way in Today”
One way to describe ‘rationality’ is as the ability to always make the best choice in the service of self-interest. With that in mind, consider a hypothetical, perfectly rational donkey. It is set down a straight path until it comes to a fork in the road. The perfectly rational donkey knows that either fork are completely identical in every way. As such, it has no criteria in which to make a decision on which fork to go down. The perfectly rational donkey then proceeds to starve to death.
This conclusion is, of course, stupid (even if just on the assumption that choosing to starve to death is an irrational decision). But it goes to show, in an armchair philosopher kind of way, that not all decisions can be perfectly rational, especially for squishy, fallible humans like us, let alone imaginary equines. Perhaps it’s not even a suitable standard. Sometimes, decisions are completely arbitrary, or come from that mystical source of primal wisdom known as ‘the gut’. Amanchu! this episode seems to praise the ability to make arbitrary decisions as Pikari likes to do. She did seem like she’d be more the ADHD type, didn’t she? No, it turns out she just has an impulsive personality. And she has an, er, unsophisticated thought process, which may be a boon when it comes to choices, since humans actually suck at making them.
I think there was a study, a while back, testing the human brain’s reception to a large amount of choices. For the purposes of perfecting marketing strategies, but still. It turns out—and this is perhaps not a particularly surprising result—that when presented with a large variety of a certain product to choose from, most shoppers instead opt not to make any decision at all. They were instead much more responsive to a very limited amount of variety—or, better yet, subliminally guided to compulsive purchases. So yeah, we’re bad with choice. Turns out, freedom is great and all, but too much of it triggers an allergic reaction. The nanny state is right; we can’t handle a straight hit of that stuff. This is how procrastination happens. My personal experience is that the busier I am, the stronger the urge is to procrastinate. There’s so much to do! Meh, let’s just not do it right now. And then, the donkey starves.
The second half of the episode wasn’t about so much about decision making as about Teko getting on to making whatever decision, steeling her resolve, and generally advancing the plot of Amanchu!, such as it is. Yes, slice-of-life anime have plots, though admittedly this one is incredibly slow. I’m assuming that we’re going to end with Teko finally doing the ocean diving, which is a fine place to stop but also a point that took a long way to get to. 12 episodes of diving anime before the central character actually does any diving. It’s quite the appropriate pace for Amanchu! though, calm and idyllic, so no actual complaints here. It’s just that the conclusion is coming into sight now and, well, it always feels like we haven’t had enough.