「デートに現代美術鑑賞を選んだ場合… その1 / デートに現代美術鑑賞を選んだ場合… その2」 (Date ni Gendai Bijutsu Kanshou o Eranda Baai… Sono 1 / Date ni Gendai Bijutsu Kanshou o Eranda Baai… Sono 2)
“When You Choose to Look at Contemporary Art for a Date… Part 1 / When You Choose to Look at Contemporary Art for a Date… Part 2”
「花の名前は…… は人の数だけあるんだよ, ってきっと嘘! / 美しさは人の数だけあるんだよ, 広義で言えばきっと本当?」 (Hana no Namae wa…… wa Hito Kazu Dake Arunda yo, tte Kitto Uso! / Utsukushisa wa Hito no Kazu Dake Arunda yo, Kougi de Ieba Kitto Hontou?)
“There Are As Many Names of Flowers… As There Are People, But That`s Totally a Lie! / There Are As Many Types of Beauty As There Are People, Which Is Probably True If Used in a Broad Sense?”
Apologies for such a long delay. Got my power back just recently so I’ve had to take some roundabout methods to try and keep up with everything. Luckily, I was able to catch up on the shows in the middle of the week, but this episode of Centaur coincided with my power getting wiped out along with some nearby shrubbery and lights. It’s unfortunate because I really enjoyed this episode as a nice intersection between the dystopian surveillance society the girls live under and the slice-of-life scenarios that come with it.
One example of how well these two elements are integrated these is when Himeno and her friends are morbidly curious about whether Sassassul’s date was going to turn into a hot one! In the process, Himeno’s stalking gathered the attention of the government’s surveillance program, creating an Inception situation of having the security agency stalk the stalkers and the stalkees to make sure no hate crimes or sex crimes are committed during this date. It was hilarious to see both Himeno’s friend group and the surveillance agent on high alert as Sassassul and her date walk past love motels, with both parties anticipating what on earth they’re trying to do, and what to do if they’re really going to walk into one.
Art plays a focal part in the episode as Sassassul learns about how art has evolved throughout history in comparison to the traditional fare that Antarcticans consider artwork. Her research into the culture of land-based people continues to expand as she learns about the changes that art has gone through in time as her date brings her to a contemporary museum and walks her through the transition that art has made from ancient relics to abstract paintings to Star Wars.
This theme is pressed further through Manami’s own date at the art museum as her date pries into her father’s motivations for being a professional artist. We’ve seen shades of her father’s questionable work ethic in earlier episodes, but Manami is compelled to reflect on why his father’s enthusiasm for his work has been waning for some time. She dotes on him a little more than the last time we saw the two interact, but she’s aware that she needs to be critical of him so that he isn’t discouraged from taking painting seriously, especially when her date mentions he could consider painting a hobby if he dislikes it so much. Her father’s passion of painting comes from his fascination in capturing reality through the canvas, but his dedication to artwork in itself is challenged throughout the episode as it takes to task why he likes painting above creating art in a field despite creative art being highly sought out. Episode 10 brings out multiple angles on cultural consumption of art and personal motivation for creating art the most efficiently through using Sassassul and Manami as our focal point for the significance art has on our personal and public lives.
Whereas Episode 10 was focused on tackling the intricacies of art in society, 11 was interested in discussing aesthetic beauty. It is a fluffier episode without heavy political intrigue considering that Shino and the Chi-chan’s are the respective main characters of the two segments, but it doesn’t hinder the lessons that they learn about. Shino starts to see herself more in Himeno’s shoes as she uses her older cousin’s knowledge of flowers and grass to educate her kindergarten friends on the matter with shrubs near the playground. Much like with the last episode’s explanation of art, Himeno and Shino’s walk-through of the local flora are given a level of research and respect as they examine the appearance and function of every plant they come across. It was funny to see one of their teachers have to backpeddle in order to explain why the weeds the children grew fond of had to be pulled.
The second half was even better with the Chi-chan’s trying to teach Sue how to use her tail, and going on their own journey to find someone more attractive than their older sister Manami. It gives the Chi-chan’s more to work with as siblings that want to help out their younger, frailer sister. It also told us about the function of tails in the universe as some grow out to great lengths, but can be tricky to keep from moving about anywhere without clothing created specifically to assist people in discreetly keep their tail from interfering with their clothes in potentially embarrassing situations.
Another part of this segment was a particularly humorous one where the Chi-chan’s are so concerned about Manami getting discouraged from striving for better that they shut down any positive reinforcement about Manami being the most beautiful person around. As they try to scope out someone beautiful enough for Manami to take beauty more seriously, they hit roadblocks with girls who are either just cute or not beautiful enough to compete. Their method of telling them how they rank in relation to Manami was hilarious, especially to one of their teachers who had to be on the receiving end of a “not as beautiful” rank. It wasn’t a very eventful episode, but it was a fun one, and of all the characters to follow, I’m surprised how much I enjoy the Chi-chan segments because of how funny and cute they are in their rebellion from their older sister’s strict rules and expectations.