Demi-chan wa Kataritai – 02

Sometimes you need to get your date a drink

winter15-highw Like I said in the FI, I really didn’t know what to make of Demi-chan wa Kataritai before the season. And what I’ve learned through two episodes is that I love it. But not only that…

Not a Hidden Message

Yeah, it’s not a very good look

There’s a significant depth to Demi-chan. Much more than you get with almost any other “cute girls” series. We touched last week on the message of fitting in that the first episode made use of in dealing with the integration of these girls who have just a little bit of difference (or a lot bit of difference) into the rest of the school, and that message is expanded just a little bit this week. But there’s much more than that in this show.

Hikari embraces her batty side

This week focuses more on Macchi as she talks to Tetsuo about her experiences as a dullahan. Macchi is certainly more of a straight-up girl than Hikari, from her long-sleeved, buttoned all the way up shirt to her longer skirt to her more formal way of talking. But even with her more serious look, she’s still a teenage girl and wants to have an enjoyable time, including talking and joking with others. Unfortunately, while Hikari’s look is kind of a goofy kid with some big teeth (and who knows what’s up with those weird hair buns), Macchi’s look is very different, a body holding a head and a great green flame burning out of her neck (with an amusing ‘awawawawawwaaa’ sound effect). And even though Machi tries to be accommodating to Tetsuo with allowing him to satisfy his curiosity about its nature, it’s not harmless, at least to her. But this is just the first indication that Macchi is much more likely to squash expressions of discomfort to other people.

Hikari doesn’t let lack of knowledge get in her way

But Macchi has a very pragmatic outlook on life, especially as it relates to her dullahan self. Any problems she encounters she works through trying new means and methods until finding something that works. I did ask last week about a sort of frame for holding her head, and we learn that she has one for eating, but I would guess that vanity would win out over practicality for going out. One thing I find interesting is that she never really places her head on top of her neck. She seems to much prefer having her head looking at her from a different perspective. To us this seems weird and alien, but maybe it’s much more what she’s used to. But this probably contributes to her issues in interacting with others, which is what she identifies as her biggest struggle. Plus, she got sick at the start of school and missed that important first few days, when everyone was getting to know each other. So she’s got a double whammy, as she wants to be more open with others, and wants them to feel comfortable around her with the way she is. That’s where Tetsuo’s adult advice comes in, as he recommends that she set the tone by making some jokes herself, letting the others know that she’s comfortable enough to joke, so they can be also.

I love this flapping in the OP!

Being a Girl

I just want to be held

Impotent rage at Hikari’s indiscretion

The show does a good job bringing the normal worries of high school girls together with the differences of a girl like Macchi. Things like her crush on Tetsuo. The show makes it obvious what kind of features she finds attractive, and Tetsuo’s strong arms are really doing it for her. Indulging in one of the things that makes her feel good, she gets him to embrace her head, even though Hikari sees them and goes a little too far with her reaction. Hikari also helps Macchi go on a secret date with Tetsuo, secret because he is sold the story that it’s a practice date. And just because dullahans gonna dullahan, it’s a “practice” chance for Macchi’s head to go without her body.

Table 2, Demis 0

Finally getting the message, but not the urgency (and more bats)

It’s pretty funny the way that they have Macchi’s body and head reacting to things that happen to the other one. Hikari loses a little battle with her imp of the perverse and teases Macchi with the double boob poke, but in general she takes good care of Macchi’s body. They also have to deal with Macchi needing to go to the toilet in the unfamiliar place. You’d think if she was at her house, she could probably feel her way to the bathroom, but here she needs Hikari’s help (and manages to scare Himari in the process). The whole thing works out, tho, and everyone has a good time, and Hikari gets a chance to tell Tetsuo about an idea she has to help Macchi, using a backpack instead of the required bag. Trial and Error.

The end of a successful date, when you have to shut up your friend

Noticing a problem

This show so far really has it all for a slice of life show. It’s fun, it’s thoughtful, and it makes you feel good to watch it. I wonder what’ll happen with Macchi’s crush on Tetsuo from here out (and if you know, don’t say, even in a spoiler tag). I liked that, on their date, Macchi acted like a normal person. Not a lovestruck girl, but someone who was enjoying her time out. Maybe it’s because she was getting what she wanted, but it was nice to see a date where nobody acted all bashful the whole time. And maybe that’s because neither of them were really considering it as a ‘real’ date. I think even Macchi realizes that Tetsuo’s not going to be her boyfriend.

watching from afar

The other thing that leads to next week is that Sakie notices Tetsuo’s care on behalf of the other demi girls, and their homeroom teacher, bringing up the idea of the backpack. Based on the title of next week’s episode, we’ll get to learn more about Sakie, whose few appearances so far have been a lot of fun. We’ll see if Tetsuo can get past his demi-con reputation with her so that she can see he’s a nice guy.

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Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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13 Responses to “Demi-chan wa Kataritai – 02”

  1. skylion says:

    Oh good you got this one!

    Hikari is the breakout character, she’s almost the Toshino Kyouko of Demi-chan with her sprite and bubble and mischief. I can see why you like the flapping.

    But….ah, why doesn’t Machi use the harness nearly all the time? That’s practical and doesn’t need to be awesome looking. Or is that just me??\

    • Highway says:

      She’s already a dullahan, she doesn’t need to look like some kind of Frankenstein’s Monster, too. It also wouldn’t give her much of a chance to look around, she’d have to turn her torso. Plus, she’s probably used to holding her head.

      As you know, I was wondering more “How do you find out your daughter is a dullahan?” Seems like that could just be bad. “Where’s her head? IT JUST FELL OFF!!!!!”

      (and if they go over this later, too, again, don’t say it, not even in spoiler tags).

      • skylion says:

        I guess the head is like a second-born twin? These days I’m sure a simple sonogram helps…

        …and I dunno, someone that uses something smart like a harness isn’t so much a Frankenstein’s Monster to me, they’re being practical. As for head turning, I’m sure that’s just improving the design…

        • Highway says:

          You’re too practical. Think like a teen girl. You can’t show up in some big head frame. The girly pillow is a much better way to go.

          (And now I’m thinking about Joan Cusack in Sixteen Candles…)

    • HannoX says:

      I think one reason Machi doesn’t use a harness nearly all the time is that she said she likes having her head held. It’s comforting for her to have her head held, especially in strong arms. And when you’re a child your parents’ arms always seem strong and now that she’s a teenager there’s Tetsuo’s no doubt strong hands and arms given his build.

      I think Machi can’t put her head on her neck. If she could you’d think she’d do so at least part of the time with some kind of high collar to hold it in place. Remember what she said about how it felt when Tetsuo put his hand in her neck flames? It’s likely to be the same if she put her head there.

      I can’t decide if Sucy or Hikari is my Best Girl for this season.

    • Blademoor says:

      Takahashi-sensei mentioned in the latter part of the episode that people naturally compensate for body motion as they walk. Dullahans do not have that natural mechanism, so holding their head in their arms and training the arms to compensate for the “head bob” substitute for it. It’s subtle, but they actually started addressing the issue earlier in the episode when she talked about being a little motion sick. 🙂

      • skylion says:

        So…you’re saying the bobble-head doll for Machi is going to be a bit of a challenge, yes? ;-P

      • Highway says:

        I think there’s a much easier explanation for motion sickness: Macchi was not in control of her movements. People don’t ‘head bob’ when walking nearly as much as was implied, and even when you hold your head more rigidly, or run or skip or dance, those things don’t make you sick. People don’t get motion sick when they walk because *they control the movement* and they know what to expect. It’s the same reason why car drivers don’t get motion sickness but passengers do: drivers are controlling the frame of reference, and anticipate movements much more than passengers can.

        It’s more likely that after he was made aware of it, Tetsuo took more care to make Macchi’s frame of reference more stable. So this isn’t really an argument against using her head harness when walking around. She’d be used to that movement. People in halos (what Joan Cusack is wearing in that video above) don’t get motion sick as a daily occurrence either.

        So I still go back to “She thinks it looks kinda stupid, and vanity wins out.” Which is a perfectly good reason.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention the so-called “elephant in the room”. How the general public didn’t react in a terrified manner to Tetsuo casually carrying around a disembodied head and shows that it’s alive. With the official word of having 3 dullahans in the world making them a rare existence, you’d think the mere sight would raise flags like wildfire. It’s been a while since reading the manga, so I don’t remember if that was ever dealt with.

    As for Satou next episode, you’ll be amazed to see what she has to endure because of her particular species.

    • Highway says:

      That’s not an ‘elephant in the room’. There is a welfare bureau for demi-relations. They’re mainstreamed into society. I didn’t find it particularly surprising that a culture that’s publicly “Mind your own business and don’t make a fuss” *and* knows that there are this kind of people around wouldn’t run in fear. It would be more troubling if the head *didn’t* talk back.

      If the show is going to portray that general people on the street don’t have a big issue, then I’m going to assume that it’s, in actuality, not a big issue. It’s also not contradictory for Macchi’s classmates to be uncomfortable talking about her specific issues but for society to be generally accepting of even talking heads.

    • skylion says:

      I think the X-Men have the market corned on reasonable person loses their sh*t, which spreads to others and collective sh*t then gets well and fully lost when finding out a family member/friend/or newly dated potential significant other/or to heck with it, total stranger is an “evil mutant”. It’s a narrative trope that has been very well and fully explored and is frankly getting a bit whiffy?

      Demi-chan takes the other tack, and assumes that most people are going to be fairly reasonable about seeing any sort of difference and can handle their sh*t better…

      I like both, but for now I like Demi-chan for exploring the other territory…

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