Double Reaction Shot!
|For the most part, I really don’t like writing series finale posts, because it usually means that a show I like is now not going to be on any more. But the shows stop whether I write the post or not, so it’s the time to get the thoughts out.|
It’s pu-ru Time!
“You know, like a big cat.”
Hikari’s got two questions for Tetsuo. The first is whether he thinks the eyeshine that she exhibits in flash photos is a vampire thing, and the answer is probably yes. It’s not too far out of the realm of possibility that a human could exhibit eyeshine (due to the development of a tapetum layer) with a DNA change, especially because there are plenty of mammals that do. So that helps explain why Hikari can see more than others at night. Of course, that leads to Tetsuo mansplaining things to Hikari, which she playfully shuts him down with the simple question “How long do you think I’ve been a vampire?” I liked this pushback on her part, and Tetsuo actually welcomes it against his natural inclination to explain things. Silliness ensues and ends up with another contextless message to Himari, in which she confronts Tetsuo about having seen Hikari’s underpants, but that leads to the second question.
Himari chimes in
The other question is whether Hikari and the other girls can reserve the school pool on a weekend day. They need to have a teacher present, and they need permission, but it’s a situation where if a teacher or two is supporting it, and for special students, they’d likely get permission. But there’s another question for Tetsuo, in that knowing that Hikari is sensitive to sun and brightness, should she really be playing at an outdoor pool? This uncertainty is what he asks Himari, but her perspective is a good one as well. If she wants to do it, then let her do it. I think that this is a good point for all adults around a lot of growing kids. If they want to do it, let them do it. Most of the time, you don’t need to protect teenagers. Like Hikari said earlier to Tetsuo, she knows what the issues of being a vampire are, better than he does. So if she wants to push her limits a little bit, then why is that a bad thing?
Speaking of pushing yourself
A Chance Avoided
And she embarrassed herself again
Tetsuo also enlists Sakie’s help with the pool outing, but initially it seems like he’s basically fobbing the whole thing off on her, as he tries to beat feet as soon as she shows up. She’s been trying to appeal to him more, but keeps chickening out, so she was happy for the opportunity to spend time around him, but with him walking away she thinks quick and asks him to stick around. And as he explains in their conversation, he actually had thought it was a good chance for Sakie herself to enjoy swimming, since it would all be girls. OMG could this guy be any better? That’s certainly what Sakie’s thinking, and she’s not about to let him get out of this situation. So she shows off her bikini, and of course he can’t show a reaction, although I’d have liked the show to maybe throw Sakie a bone, some hint that maybe she does have more of an effect on him. I know that this show isn’t really going to show a trouser tent, but it could have done a “OHIthinkIwillgetinthewaterrightnow! Excuseme!” And even when she drops hints about a student confessing, and saying she’s not a student or a child, she doesn’t get the reaction she wants.
She has trouble keeping up
But really, Sakie’s misunderstanding the problem, I think. It’s not that she’s not appealing to Tetsuo, or that he’s not turned on by her, or that he’s not interested in her. I think this is actually a good thing, as far as depictions of people and behavior on TV. Sakie’s big problem is that she herself has very clearly set boundaries as to how she would like people to interact with her at the school. She did that right away, and she was right to do so: it’s troublesome if people approach her because they are attracted to her. The message was clear, and a guy like Tetsuo is going to abide by it, because he is a good person! He’s respecting her boundaries, and not doing some stupid “I can’t control myself anymore!” thing that we see far too often. Even if it is very hard to exert that control, he’s doing it. Because the message so far has been that it’s unwelcome. From my point of view, it’s now entirely on Sakie to clearly state to Tetsuo that she would like the boundaries for him to change. That’s what she hasn’t done yet. What she’s done is try to use the exact same characteristic that she wants people to not be affected by to affect him. She’s done that, but in effect she’s really just teasing Tetsuo with it, because he’s resolute in his efforts to not be a bother to her. If she wants the situation to change, then she needs to do it, and with words, not sex appeal.
Everyone gets an eyeful
A couple of other vignettes happen at the pool. Machi thinking about the rarity of dullahans, and the legends of them being knights and harbingers of death, makes her wonder if one in history was a particularly great knight, leading to those legends being created, and the lack of other dullahans watering down the legend with counterexamples keeping it so specific. She also reveals that she’s never put her head underwater, which leads to the chance to do so. They make a big deal about Tetsuo calling her father to ask for permission, which seems to be in contrast to my point earlier about letting kids do things that they want to try, but it’s less that than Tetsuo and Sakie are not the ones with decision-making power in that stiuation. She’s still able to do it, but you have to make sure that it’s ok with the right person. The other thing is that Tetsuo and Hikari discuss her desire to fit in more, and have others not be so conscious of her differences as a vampire, and that’s why she wanted to have the Girls-day-out-at-the-pool at the outdoor school pool, to push a little and to let the others know that they don’t have to think about it as much. Yeah, she got a little sunburned, but who hasn’t? In exchange for a better relationship with the others, it was worth it.
The centerpiece of the show
Atsumi gets tossed
and speaking of progress, remember these two from episode 1?
And that’s a wrap for this show. This is one that I didn’t know what to expect from it before the season, but anything that I could have expected wouldn’t have been nearly as great as it turned out to be. Funny, thoughtful, earnest, the show was a nice display of modern tolerance, respect for others, and a push for de-othering. There were a lot of people who seemed to think that this would overdo it with some anime tropes like a harem (nope) or ecchi (nope, but that was kinda the point) or melodrama, but really all it did was tell good stories about good people trying to be good people, about kids trying to grow up and learn about themselves and the world. It really limited the cast to just a few people, but did it well in a way that made it applicable to much more than just those individuals. I really enjoyed the show, and I hope you did as well. And maybe when there’s more source material, there will be more anime of Interviews with Monster Girls.