Monday, June 13, 2016

10 Second Anime - Kuma Miko - Episode 11

Machi at first refuses to join Yoshio's Miko Idol Project but the lure of the big city wins her over. Her social anxiety causes drama.

Episode 11 - "Go To The City?"


I got two major takeaways from this episode. One: Yoshio is always right, even when others convince him he's wrong. And two: Machi's social anxiety is infused with some paranoid xenophobia that is not endearing.

On the first point, Yoshio! Banzai! He had thought Machi was just being shy when she kept saying she didn't want to do the local idol work and, in very generously broad terms, he was right. If you can call paranoid delusions about other hillbilly girls being shy, then yeah, Yoshio was right.

On the second point, after seeing all the other country girls trying their best to dress in ridiculous versions of their traditional outfits, just like what Machi was wearing, her paranoid fantasies of what they must think of her were very unfair to what seemed like nice girls placed in a situation exactly liker hers. The only mitigating factor in Machi's case that could foster sympathy is her total lack of friends her own age in maturity level. Natsu and she are about the same age, perhaps Natsu is even younger, but as a bear, he matured much faster. They may be best friends, but he's definitely in the older generation with her cousin Yoshio and Hibiki.

I'm looking forward to the final episode where her social anxiety is helped by becoming friends with some of the nice hillbilly idol girls. The best impact would be if the girl from the rival village who made fun of her last episode became her good friend after the competition.


What's up with the sneezing bear?

Natsu's inner monologue set the episode up for a narrative reversal. By her actions, Machi was trying to make sure she devoted herself to her village duties and Natsu tried to convince himself it was for the best.

That line of thinking was as fake as his flute playing. Seeing that same tape deck, I hoped he would put in the Trance Kagura mix again. I should learn to live with disappointment like Natsu...

Hibiki totally didn't want Yoshio to know she would go wherever he asked her to. Even with a drunk Matsu in the cab of his van.

Seriously, that Matsu guy needs to shut up. But there's always one guy like that in a small village whipping up rumors into a bid deal.

I found it pretty hilarious that the city office staff thought that Yosuda would naturally have applied for some idol job. Sexual harassment!

Yes, this is the face of Machi being "shy."

It's too bad Natsu didn't take Machi's admission that she thought people in the big city would make fun of her. This was probably the first time she said out loud her biggest fear, but Natsu deflected her concern by claiming she had "cleared" other challenges in visiting a metro area. He wasn't there, so he had no idea about the effect on her except the one time she kept him up all night.

That kid really ain't right in the head.

Natsu's victory sign isn't all that comforting.

Yoshio really had not considered the idea at all that Machi might not want to go along with the Miko Idol Project. Of course, he was right that she would do it to go visit the big city of Sendai, but a lot of people in the village, like Hibiki, are just too overprotective of her.

Hibiki thought she detected some real regret in Yoshio's tears, but he just had some trouble with his contacts. This is comedy, so misunderstandings are required.

Training montage!

We actually met the Mountain God! Okay, it's just a big boulder representing the Mountain God, but still. I actually thought we might see some magic beside a talking bear for once, but no, Natsu wasn't praying for the bullet train to stop or the bridge to collapse. He was just confessing his selfish thoughts. The Mountain God is obviously smart enough to know the difference.

Machi's paranoid social anxiety is just not fair. These locodols (heh) would never make fun of her.

All of them have the same kind of embarrassing idol versions of their miko outfits. And we heard a whole bunch of rural accents in the dressing tent. If any bunch of girls would understand Machi's nervousness, it would be these girls.

Thankfully, this setback only happened during dress rehearsal. We have a whole episode for Machi to get over herself, make some friends and maybe even get a skype call from Natsu. I'm expecting a whole bunch of singing, dancing, making friends and genuine relief in the next episode.

According to the preview, it's called "Decision." Does that mean Machi will decide to stay in the village after all, or go to the big city for school but come for the weekends? I'm thinking we're going to get a best of both worlds ending to keep Natsu happy.

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