OP: 「Crosswalk」by 鈴木みのり (Suzuki Minori)
「ある夏の夜と告白のコト」 (Aru Natsunoyo to Kokuhaku no Koto)
“The Story of One Summer Night and a Confession”
Amanchu! is back! That’s nothing but good news. But while I’m here introducing Amanchu! ~Advance~ and am quite excited about getting a new season, I’m not going to be blogging it. This has nothing to do with the quality of the show. Those who have been following RandomC for a while and have been unfortunate enough to have been inflicted with my writing long-term know that I love ARIA to bits and that love has carried over to Amanchu!. And all the great things it gave us in the first season is all there. The major staff are all the same. The cast have not lost their muppet faces. The water is still pretty. There’s still cats. In fact, much of this first episode of Advance was a clever recap episode, reflecting on Teko‘s journey in the first season and reminding us of all those good times we had there (and the good times we had in ARIA too. Those cheeky foxes). Though there were a lot of flashbacks, they played into the central theme of the episode and while a fair amount of time was spent refreshing our memories the character characters weren’t stagnant, and their development marched on. The episode didn’t feel like a waste of time, as less integrated recap episodes may. Instead, Advance picks up right where we left off before and doesn’t miss a beat. It’s a solid start, and I’ve no doubt that this season of Amanchu! will be just as strong as the first.
But I’m not going to be blogging Amanchu!. This has everything to do with the way I blog and the kind of show Amanchu! is. I don’t do a lot of reviewing here on RandomC. Often, I’d rather take a big idea of an episode and go on a tangent about it. But there’s only really one big idea underpinning all of Amanchu!: getting more out of life. We’ve already talked about that a lot, haven’t we? Then, what else should I write about? I could go into full review mode and try to really deconstruct each episode, but that’s an awfully dull way to experience anime and I don’t want to do that to Amanchu!. Or I can gush about my emotive response to each episode, but that’s not really valuable for anyone and Amanchu! makes me mellow more than anything else. Amanchu! is more visceral than cerebral, like a warm meal, but for the soul. That is, it’s soul food, what the Japanese call iyashikei, and has a sort of intangible je ne sais quoi to it that I don’t want to ruin with my clumsy words.
When I wrote about A.I.C.O. Incarnation and Violet Evergarden I talked about anime in the age of online streaming and about the differences between anime made for binge watching and anime made for episode viewing week by week. I get the feeling that anime like Amanchu! is not really made for either. I do rewatch ARIA sometimes, but I rarely get the urge to devour it en masse. For me, ARIA is the kind of anime to watch in the quiet of one’s room with a cup of tea, and that’s how I enjoy my Amanchu! as well. Even soul food should not be overindulged. Sometimes your boss will get your goat, or maybe a loved one passes away, or maybe you’ll just have a bit of a crummy day. And it’ll be comforting to know you have an episode of Amanchu! waiting for you.
ED: 「ハロー、ハロー」 (Hello, Hello) by 坂本真綾 (Sakamoto Maaya)