Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari – 03

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That feeling when something is so cute that you just wanna kill it

Last week, I complained that Poco makes for an awful conversationalist, which greatly lowers the chances of Souta coming to any epiphanies without having someone to talk it out with. This episode addresses that by putting Poco as a cute backdrop and letting the grown-ups do the talking.

This was a really nice episode, and I love how much this show is laying down the “real talk.” Poco’s Udon World is very careful not to judge certain life choices to be superior or inferior to others, so we get to hear people from different walks of life putting their honest, 2 cents worth forward…without being laughed at. Last week, Souta bumped into Mrs. Tanaka, who was content being a young parent of two children. This week, Nakajima tells Souta that he’s more than happy just focusing on work without having to worry about a wife or a kid. Both are shown as having pitfalls, but being equally viable options that can lead to happiness.

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I find this approach surprising, because I feel like a lot of anime try and mock these single guys in their 30s, saying they’re losers for not being interested in starting a family. Even highschoolers in anime are automatically losers if they’ve never had a girlfriend. In fact, it might be more accurate to say that this is prevalent in anime because it’s such a big thing in real life. Parents will start to get antsy if their son or daughter isn’t married at a certain age, since marriage is one of those things that parents have learned to expect. Even if you manage to check that box, the next thing they’ll be badgering you about is giving them a grandson or granddaughter to play with. It’s a lot of pressure, and sparks can fly if their dream isn’t your dream.

Nakajima and his mom don’t exactly share the same future vision, so he gets irritated whenever she brings up marriage. He’s happy working on climbing the ladder in his career and helping sick people – which is a noble thing to do. There’s no reason to rush into that just because it’s a societal norm that people get hitched, on average, within a certain age range. I’m especially sympathetic because this guy is a doctor, which means he probably only just finished his med school residency and wants to work off his debt first.

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I’m not sure Poco is really helping here, but it’s the thought that counts

Nakajima’s small confession really struck me, because I feel it resonates with a lot of people my age who are focused on school/work, and yet are feeling the heat from their parents to get married. I went to my boyfriend’s cousin’s wedding a few months ago and everyone smiled at us and chirped “you’re next, right?” with expectant glances. Considering that neither of us will have the word “Doctor” in front of our names until we’re at least 30, we’re not even thinking about throwing away our meager graduate school wages for a wedding. Don’t even get me started on kids.

ANYWAYS, this post isn’t about me (and all my single friends who are tired of their moms trying to hook them up), but I couldn’t help but applaud this show for being so non-judgemental about what kinds of lives people choose. Nakajima may be single forever and focus on his job, or get married late in life, or all sorts of things – but his job comes first. And that’s okay. Souta is an interesting in-between because he’s not married and Poco isn’t actually his kid, so he’s like a father but…not really. So in the end, he can hang with Mrs. Tanaka and Nakajima and relate to both of them just as well. It’s interesting, and I wonder what other characters will pop up and how Souta will get along with them.

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I imagine another topic (other than “should I have kids or not?”) will be “should I leave the island or not?”. Is it the right thing to leave your hick hometown in search of bigger things, or can you find more happiness by staying in a familiar environment? Of course, the answer is that it depends on the situation, but that’s something Souta has to figure out. It’ll be interesting to see how he comes to his conclusion. I say this with confidence because the summary of the show says he quits his job, so he’s gonna pick staying home (lol spoilers). But why? Why quit when web design was your passion once upon a time, and now you’re…making udon…which I don’t think Souta actually knows how to do. Why quit for a new job you don’t actually like? However, I may be making assumptions, since Souta never explicitly states that he cannot make udon or that he hates making it. His bitterness towards the subject, however, remains a fact (especially when we see flashbacks of him harshly telling his dad this).

So I’m sure we’ll embark on a journey to the udon world soon…But not yet. I’m in no rush, as this was an excellent episode, and I’d be happy with more down-to-earth conversations like this one. Nakajima really got Souta to open up about his insecurities, and he was extremely direct in trying to force Souta to make a decision right then and there. I think the deciding factor here will be Poco. How could you not love this angelic little furball??? He wasn’t the main focus this week, but he was still as adorable as ever. But wait, there was someone who didn’t love him…


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He’s still willing to babysit…BUT AT WHAT PRICE?!

Yes, another “real” moment of the show was when Nakajima bullied the ever-loving shit out of Poco because he isn’t a fan of kids. Usually, in shows where a single dad raises a kid, everyone else is automatically one of those people who loves children. Everyone coos over how kyoot and pwecious they are, invites them over for food, and just lavishes them with praise constantly. Real life is a little different. Not everyone is good with little ones, and Nakajima is on the bad end of that spectrum. He just sees Poco as a hindrance for getting in the way of some quality fishing time with his buddy. In fact, he seems to see Poco as this weird sort of genderless gremlin thing…a bizarre object at best. That’s not to say he hates Poco, because he has a roaring good time making him cry. It’s a weird relationship…but again, I like that they don’t sugarcoat things and make everyone unconditionally love Poco from the getgo.

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…I unconditionally love him however



A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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2 Responses to “Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari – 03”

  1. skylion says:

    This was a great episode, as it near perfectly balances out the previous one. So I have to tip my hat to the production staff for lining them up so well.

    It interesting, but now is when just about all the roles and preconceptions are changing, and so just as many people are figuring that out as are trying to adjust to the new ideas. But the bottom line is, you got time, we’re living longer, and experiencing things at a massive rate. So yeah, cheers for being un-married if that is how you chill.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, I expected them to go for a message about how wonderful parenting is…but they balanced it nicely by showing some exceptions and how not wanting a kid is perfectly normal.

      I think the preconceptions are starting to change too, but my generation’s parents are taking some time to get used to it. At least, from my small sample size, that’s what it seems like. But ya we can do whatever we want!

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