Making improvements everyone can get behind
|After last week’s smackdown from Kazushi, can our characters, and especially Sanae, bounce back and raise their spirits? Let’s see how they handle it.|
Putting In The Effort
Yoshino’s trying to learn, but Sanae is reflecting
With her efforts rebuffed last time, Yoshino takes the criticism that she doesn’t know anything about Manoyama woodcarving to heart and spends some time to learn what she can. That includes trips to various houses to see installed ranma, helped by Mr. Kodata. But more than just sightseeing, she’s trying to learn more of the basics of woodcarving, what types of wood are used, what tools are used, and the different types of wood carvings that are made. And she’s also encouraging the other women to learn what they can about the subject as well.
Yuri couple spotted
And that learning in ‘self-study’ shows some interesting differences between the different ladies. Shiori and Ririko are paired up in whatever they do, with Ririko taking her more occult path to learning, while Shiori tries to learn earnestly. Meanwhile, Maki takes a more hands-on type of tack, actually trying some woodcarving, and learning that it can be dangerous and painful. And the learning pays off, as they’re able to get a lot more up to speed about what they’re trying to do, and are able to approach Kazushi with more confidence and authenticity.
Studying Your Self
Reflecting on meaning
Meanwhile, Sanae is still trying to come to terms with the harsh light that Kazushi shone on her life, and the acknowledgement that she is at least partly running away from her previous life, where she didn’t feel special. A conversation with Tatsuo helps her feel like she’s not the only person in the same boat, but she’s still feeling like she doesn’t belong where she is, and that she just doesn’t know what she can do about it. So it’s interesting that it’s Tatsuo who helps pull her out of the funk she’s in, when he also is thinking about how he can improve himself. He knows he’s not as good at woodcarving as Kazushi, but is able to find some inspiration in some everyday items, starting with shoes.
Yoshino gets philosophical
And the final push out of the hole is provided by Yoshino who, in acknowledging that just about any person can have someone else do their job, still thinks that an individual can make a difference, and will do the job somewhat differently. Even if it’s not praised, even if it’s not specifically acknowledged, what you do makes it done by you. And those little changes and decisions all add up to make it something only you would do. I think it’s good to keep that kind of perspective, and it helps Sanae to bounce back and get back to helping with Yoshino’s idea.
Getting some help from the mystery artist
A concept for the future
And that idea is grandiose and unrealistic, but unlike the other ones that they’ve had so far, at least this one has vision, and has a chance to inspire people. Wanting to turn the “palace” into a long term art project featuring Manoyama carving is a good idea, but Sanae’s amendment of starting with the station brings more meaning and possibility to it. And rather than the corny ideas they tried to integrate the woodcarving into the future, placing the ranma in the station is both future-looking and respectful. I think that the overall scheme isn’t bad, but I do hope that it doesn’t totally dominate the rest of the series. As a framework to hang things on, that would be good, but I hope that the time frame that they all realize it will take will keep it from being the dominating activity.