A thoughtful response to current anime.

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko – Episode 4

Last episode on Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, we saw the protagonist shake Erio out of her delusions of aliens. Good work, the protagonist! But don’t stop there! Now you have to cure her of her other ridiculous beliefs, like belief in love, or honesty, or moral behavior! Or are you not really concerned with the accuracy of her beliefs at all? You only care about her beliefs inasmuch as they interfere with you getting her into bed, and if the obstacular beliefs happen to be demonstrably false, then so much the better! You can destroy them, and then she will be all yours. I dunno that he’s really engaging in strong play here, though. She had been in a situation where she would only go out wrapped in a futon (acting as burqa), but she was willing to take it off for him. She was, to her, a special existence! He had her in his pocket and threw her away. Maybe somebody needs to cure him of his belief in love, honesty and moral behavior.

… Uh, you should probably disregard everything I just wrote and enjoy the pure, idealized romance of Denpa Onna episode 4.

…thirty minutes pass…

You'd be better off driving your bicycle off a cliff.

I was mistaken.  My earlier comments were totally reasonable.  This isn’t a pure fantasy love story.  This is a sharp, intellectual comedy taking a realistic look at a lot of aspects of human interaction.  Take the show’s basic “cute” character, Ryuushi.  Compare her to a cute character from any other show, like say Kanon, where the obvious choice is Ayu, but I never liked her so let’s pick Makoto, the superior character in every way who unfortunately loses out in mindshare because her catch-noise is not as catchy as “uguu~”.  Anyway, my point is, Makoto is naive and innocent, she is naturally cute, whereas Ryuushi is pretty obviously working at it.  She’s playing a strategy, deploying tactical cuteness.  This is the much more common situation in real life, but much rarer in anime.  And when it does show up, it’s taken to absurd extremes, such as in Lucky★Star’s Akira, who smokes and swears and brutally maims the moment the camera isn’t on her.  That’s not realism, that’s mere cynicism. (Which is what my earlier comments were too, so you can go back to disregarding them.)  There is good in the human race! Ryuushi puts up a cute and innocent front, but underneath it she is probably still fairly cute and innocent.  She’s just some chick.  Anime doesn’t usually portray people as just people, it prefers to give one-dimensional stereotypes.  And stereotypes can be entertaining in some situations, but a deep character like Ryuushi can really speak to me if done well.

So that was a lot of words about Ryuushi, who showed up for about two minutes in this episode.  The rest of it was really good too!  The aunt is always a good source of laughs (the bit with the blown kiss especially, and also the refrigerator bit), and we got to listen to the protagonist’s introspective monologue for a while.  And I was happy to see that Erio hasn’t given up the futon, it looks good on her.


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