「あこがれのセーラー服」 (Akogare no Sērāfuku)
“The Sailor Uniform I Always Wanted”
This was such a treat to watch, I absolutely adored the pacing, even if it does feel a little bit slow, I really appreciate it for that. It has this sense of immersing yourself within the daily lives of these characters, within the monotony a sunny day provides as you lay on the couch and quietly take a nap. The hushed life of the country, and with good reason, as we quickly learn in the opening minutes, that the setting is the countryside no less.
The introduction of our titular main protagonist Akebi, Komichi (Murakami, Manatsu) a Genki Girl who is instantly likable, and we quickly learn has this naivete and simpleness to her, she lives her day to day happy, thanks to the way her mother supports her and encourages her to live her best life and become the best person she can be. Even their relationship with weight was nontoxic, sure Akebi made a little bit of a fuss, but perked right back up through subtle cues and encouraging words. There’s just this simpleness to the show itself, and it works! It works great! It clicked for me in more ways than one, and I really enjoyed it. Finding out how the pacing is going to pan out is always a gamble with first episode premiere’s, and this did feel slow, but never in a bad way. It was like seeing a movie, and immersing yourself, diving deep with these characters, and seeing what new and exciting things they will bring. I just love it, and my heart raced at the thought we’ll have to wait a whole week for a new episode, I want to dive back in as quickly as possible.
The story is far from boring, Akebi dreams of one day standing on the big stage, that’s her motivation as she runs through her neighborhood in the quiet countryside as obaa-chan’s plant’s new crops in the rice field. Furthermore, the fact they’re planting new crops suggests the presence of spring, and this cozy weather season is associated with new beginnings, like seeing a sunrise for the first time during New Year. The subtleties presented didn’t go unnoticed. Akebi does some impressive acrobatic moves but doesn’t quite stick the landing. A man with a truck strikes up a conversation but the way Akebi acts around him suggests she already knows this man. He offers her a ride and she takes him on it, a glimpse into what is a normal occurrence.
At her house, Akebi’s mom is working on some type of sewing project, which will become relevant in a bit. Akebi’s little sister has an instantly magnetic presence with both of her family members. However, Akebi’s dad seems to be either working in Tokyo, or far away, but instead sends a message. Moments later Akebi finds out both of them have been taking sneak shots of her and sending them to her dad. In that instant, they get a call from him, perfect timing!
The puzzle starts coming together when Akebi and her mom go shopping for new fabrics to continue with the sewing project she had going on earlier. Spoilers ahead, beware! Her mother is making Akebi’s uniform, a sailor uniform no less. Which is pretty cute, the blue ribbon adds a very nice touch to the whole outfit. Where Akebi-chan is about putting on a uniform, Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru is about taking it off. Both shows feature a heavy emphasis on how clothes make us feel, and how we can sometimes fumble like outsiders by the way we present ourselves within. Fascinating stuff!
The show continues with poignant moments with the family, we get to experience their dynamics and we even get to see an important part of Akebi’s character. She doesn’t believe in herself, even when people tell her so.
Finally, the uniform is done and Akebi is ready to try it on, the entrance ceremony is about to being, but oh surprise, the school has switched to blazers, so she stands out like a sore thumb. She thought her school life would be peaceful and she could make lots of friends, which turns out to be the complete opposite and now she’s doubting if she even wants to wear the uniform. But her mom made it, so it has a lot of weight and emotional importance. So she grits it out and decides to wear the uniform anyway, as the school allows her to honor the tradition, it once was a staple school uniform, but has since been changed, her mom just didn’t get the memo.
So she wears it anyway and gets to school first thing in the morning, unfortunately, there’s already someone in her classroom, Kizaki, Erika (Amamiya, Sora) who is cutting her feet fingernails, she smells her clipper, and umm yeah, Akebi breaks the ice by smelling her own feet, trying to make the other girl feel better by being silly.
In the instant, it didn’t register as anything but wholesome. But it’s kinda gross, sorry not sorry. I don’t know what’s going on with feet as there’s a lot of shots with feet. Maybe someone at CloverWorks is a fan of Quentin Tarantino films?
The two girls get a vulnerable moment as they connect over anxieties and first-day jitters. Turns out they’re actually desked, neighbors. Akebi greets a new person with a smile! And everything is just fine!
Can’t wait for more! The sentiments of being yourself even when you don’t feel like you fit in are permeated throughout, the struggles of accepting yourself and loving yourself enough to think that you’ll be okay even with the most extreme of anxieties! This was truly a spectacle, one to watch, Saturdays are about to become like dopamine candy!
Full-length images: 48.
ED: 「バトン 」 (Baton) by (Manatsu Murakami)