Random Curiosity

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Amanchu! – 10

「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.



September 10, 2016 at 12:36 pm
  • September 10, 2016 at 12:53 pmAex

    I’m totally a donkey… >.<

    And yes we will talk about the yuri, damnit! Pikari x Teko FOR LIFE!!

    • September 10, 2016 at 12:55 pmAex

      P.S. Otter-Teko was beyond adorable. XD

    • September 10, 2016 at 8:09 pmPasserby

      Meh, there’s so much about yuri we could talk about. I chose to avoid the topic instead.

  • September 10, 2016 at 1:36 pmanothercat

    Otouto-kun, you shouldn’t let those used tissues lying on the ground in plain sight. Not implying anything.


  • September 10, 2016 at 1:51 pmBear

    I agree with your first point if you replace rational with logical. The perfectly logical donkey starves to death (no way to make a decision with logic). The rational donkey (one who deals with reality as it is) says that if both choices are equal then make a random choice because the choice doesn’t matter and staying there is just going to make him starve, which is far from rational and makes him a rather dumb donkey if he just dithers there.

    I was actually relieved by what Teko was afraid to tell Pikari about. I was sure she was going to say that she had something she had to do for her family and wouldn’t be able to spend the whole summer there with Pikari (which would really suck at this point). Her feeling that because she was a novice she would be a disappointment as a dive buddy was so like her. She didn’t grasp that friends like these three didn’t just love their sport but loved to help someone learn to enjoy what they saw in it. Pikari especially wants to share those things that she loves with her friends (remember how she was with the teacher on the train and the flowers). Heinlein once defined love (and not just yuri love dammit :P) is when your happiness is dependent on the other persons. I think that’s Pikari’s philosophy all over.

    Just a random thought, but Teko has been doubly blessed. First she had her two friends in middle school who sought out that shy introvert and now she has her three friends from the dive club because Pikari sought her out almost literally dragged her out of her shell. Hell, Sawako(Kimi ni Todoke) didn’t manage to gain friends until she was in high school, so Teko is ahead in that regard.

    • September 10, 2016 at 8:06 pmPasserby

      There are quite a few definitions of rational which academics like to fuss about routinely, with the one being used depending mostly on pedagogy. Being rational almost always implies being logical as well. You are right; it would be dumb of the donkey to just dither around and die, and I freely admitted that it is a stupid kind of conclusion. But it shows that a rational being cannot just be an informed logic engine. Or, we accept that the perfectly rational being is kinda stupid.

  • September 10, 2016 at 8:19 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

  • September 11, 2016 at 6:15 amNamaewoinai

    Shopping is Addictive…Sort of

    Just try not to overspent too much…Right The Des Alizes?, Maple?

  • September 11, 2016 at 9:15 amSeedStriker

    Look, a beach epi… Oh, wait! :p

  • September 11, 2016 at 11:56 amewok40k

    is it me or Teko is in love, just has not realized it yet?