OP: 「新月のダ・カーポ」 (Shingektsu no da Carpo) by Risa Aizawa
「海の遥かなティンガーラ」 (Umi no Haruka na Tingaara)
“Tingaara in the Far Away Ocean”
Aquatope’s second cour set off to a brilliant start. Perhaps not for Kukuru. Nevertheless it makes for very real story-telling that will surely resonate with many adult watchers.
The Corporate World is Harsh
As expected, the leftover staff from Gama Gama are absorbed by Tingaraa. But they soon discover corporate world is nothing like the familiar haven they once had. For starters, Kukuru is thrown into uncharted territories working for the PR team. It makes sense. To become a more senior member of this aquarium team, Kukuru has to develop skill-sets that go beyond managing the aquatic life. Clearly, the director has seen her potential and has a professional trajectory in mind – one that probably stretches very far. To fulfil what he has envisioned for her, she must now go far beyond her comfort zone.
Yet she got zero training for a job she has zero experience with, no explanation on what should be prioritised, a pile of books that even a dedicated Law student wouldn’t be able to demolish in a day. To me it seemed like insanity that all the blame was laid squarely on her shoulders, with her boss topping it off with an extremely rude nickname. I wouldn’t be able to describe this situation as anything other than bullying.
Moreover, when an employee has no advice or training to work on, it only makes sense they will defer to personal experience, in terms of what has previously worked for them. I felt Kukuru did an incredible job marshalling an alternative action plan.
Where Kukuru Fell Short
While I felt her efforts deserved praise, since she demonstrated initiative and what I would describe as the right attitude and idea, I can understand what he means. Things will be run differently, and in some aspects an individual can’t just default to the same modes of operation. When so many teams might be involved or affected, everyone has to be kept up to date. Not just some special operations team in isolation that can execute the task at a moment’s notice.
I can understand wanting to avoid interactions with unpleasant individuals. But if everyone at workplaces avoided colleagues they disliked, there could very well be few functional teams out there. It’s inevitable and it isn’t easy, however Kukuru has to learn how to deal with it.
To be honest, as much as I dislike Haebaru as a character, Kukuru partially brought this onto herself. In a specialised industry, where people in an area are going to generally know each other, it never pays to act petty and unprofessionally like she did when Haebaru was visiting Gama Gama to learn some lessons. Even going as far as trying to sabotage Haebaru. Sure, Haebaru came in with a conceited attitude. But there were definitely more diplomatic ways to approach the situation. And Kukuru is paying the price – it’s sad, but welcome to the professional world.
Had she never behaved antagonistically towards Haebaru, and sought to build a warm and friendly connection with her from the outset, this induction probably would have been a breeze. Personally I hope to see a point of growth and reconciliation from both characters in question. I reckon it would make for a compelling sub-narrative arc within the story.
Tingaara doesn’t seem to be run in a sustainable way, if these problems are allowed to persist on a long-term scal. Staff are petty enough to wilfully put up layers of bureaucracy to impede events. Bosses are out there destroying morale of passionate and dedicated workers in record time. I also have no clue what the CEO is doing letting this whole situation slide out of control. But he seems to have faith in the process, so I’ll be curious to see if he has an ace up his sleeve.
At the very least, the new guy with glasses wasn’t a snobby asshole. Turns out he’s a really chill guy who doesn’t look down on Kai for coming from a working class, fisherman background – and even respects him for it. Despite being acquainted for 1-2 days, their dynamic has already become my favourite in the series. That’s the stuff brotherhoods are made of.
Not to mention the sisterhood has returned. Despite her exclusion from promotional material for the second cour, Fuuka making a surprise appearance at the end way earlier than expected. While I’m brimming with questions regarding her showbiz dreams, it looks like a timeskip has occurred and she seems in good spirits, so I look forwards to seeing how her personal experience and differing perspective can assist Kukuru in navigating the treacherous dynamics that are present in corporate working environments.
Anyway, that’s about everyhting I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!
ED: 「とめどない潮騒に僕たちは何を歌うだろうか」 (Tomedonai Shiosai ni Bokutachi wa Nani wo Utaudarou ka) by ARCANA PROJECT