Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari – 04

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But then…one bite and many regrets later…

Still no udon, but I’m enjoying this show quite a bit. I haven’t blogged a slice of life show in a long time, so I was worried I wouldn’t have a lot to say for this one. Thankfully, this show has a lot of interesting stuff to mull over.

I feel bad trying to reduce shows like this down to a formula, but I must say the pattern so far has pretty darn effective. We have Poco rolling around and being adorable while Souta has adult discussions about what to do with his life. It works because Souta’s friends, acquaintances and family all have different ideas (or doubts) about what they want to pursue. They’re also very nuanced, as none of them are so firmly set on one path that it seems like it was an easy decision for them. Everyone has their own way in life, but everyone has regret at some point, wondering if they’d be happier doing something else. It’s a topic I can appreciate compared to a lot of the trite, high school romance drama from other anime. And hey, high school drama is fine when it’s done right, but I like having a change of pace where the main characters are a little older.

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Older, but not always wiser

Now, if this show was just Souta talking about getting old and worrying about the future, I don’t think I’d be as enchanted. Poco is an important factor in tying it all together and lightening the mood. His reactions still remain extremely simplistic, but it works well alongside these really deep, heart-to-heart conversations. In fact, his only reactions seem to be doe-eyed awe and fear, but I think that’s a good contrast to the adult world. Life’s easy for a kid. You see new, shiny things all the time, the world is equal parts exciting and terrifying, and your future is taken care of by your guardian. It’s pretty awesome.

Poco also keeps bringing Souta’s headspace back to a nostalgic place. He’s reminded of the time he spent with his father whenever he sees Poco doing something that he would have as a child as well. It’s slowly but surely building up to Souta becoming brave enough to work out his confusing feelings towards his father. When he first returned, he seemed to only have bad memories of when he rebelliously left for Tokyo and his father never accepted his career path. Poco is reminding him of much happier memories. Perhaps if he recalls enough pleasant outings with his father, he’ll be more inclined to keep the udon shop open. I like that he didn’t immediately decide to keep it open as a snap decision. It’s taking a while for Souta and Rinko to come to terms with their feelings, and figure out exactly what that place means to them (and if it’s worth protecting).

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Speaking of Rinko, she’s another great addition to the conversation series Souta has been having. Mrs. Tanaka has kids and is fairly content, Nakajima doesn’t want a wife/kids and is fairly content with that, and Rinko specifically chose to not have kids…but she’s not sure if she’s content with that. She’s bad with children, but part of her feels guilty for letting her parents down (since, as I said last week and I’m sure you all know, most parents expect you to pop out a baby). Nakajima purposely taunts kids because he’s not too fond of them, so Poco’s negative reaction is understandable. However, Rinko seems to kind of like them despite being bad with them…much like those characters who like cats, but constantly get scratched by them for some reason.

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Never get between a kid and their ice cream

In the end, Poco warms up to her, and Rinko warms up to Poco quite a lot. It was a cute bonding moment that felt very different from how Poco bonded with Nakajima or Souta. I feel like Nakajima and Souta treat Poco rather casually (Souta even wonders where the heck to dump this kid off when he leaves the island lol), but Rinko seemed to really consider becoming a parent after spending enough time with him. I appreciate all the variety this show has to offer in terms of the ideals of different characters, as well as how I can’t really predict how the show will progress. Will it focus more on Souta’s past? His future? Cooking udon? Learning what the hell Poco’s deal is?!?! I was surprised they went to a tanuki shrine and absolutely nothing came out of it that would give us any clues about where Poco came from and if there are any more like him. I guess there’s really not much to say there, but Souta is rolling with the “welp, guess I’m raising this bewitching tanuki boy as my son for now” a little too easily. I would have a lot more questions I’d want to have answered…

All in all, another great episode with interesting conversation, Poco being as lovely as always, and a bizarre Gaogao-chan ending scene. I haven’t commented on those yet in my posts so I guess I should finally address them. Uh…yeah…so..they’re weird. They clearly mimic events in the show, but with an odd, mildly comedic spin to it. I’m starting to grow tired of it, especially since it has so little to do with the show aside from surface features. There are so many things I would have preferred in that after-ED period but nope, we get crayon drawings of a derpy lion alien thing.

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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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4 Responses to “Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari – 04”

  1. skylion says:

    It’s always good to muse about the slice of life genre, just the thing really.

    ..and you know, much like this show, I always come to important life decisions on a precarious bridge.

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