By TheBigN(ip This in the Bud)
Suddenly, there were cell phones! Thousands of them!… Or so my thoughts went as I watched this episode. Of course, this is coming from someone who doesn’t have a cell phone, so seeing how frequently they were used in this episode is interesting enough for me to write about (or for me to care about, as I’m sure once I get one, the initial shock and awe would wear out quickly). So, naturally, I probably don’t really know about what the hell I’m talking about here.
Anyways, Episode 2 is a nice example of demonstrating how prevalent these handheld devices have become in our lives. They become an extension of ourselves, one could say, with how we set up things from outside in like wallpapers, the rankings on your calling lists (or whatever they’re called… I’m like Miyako here. :/), the trinkets like straps and such outside of your phone (Kurenai is still in my head), the music you can listen to and the videos you can watch/record if you’re so inclined. But this expansion also comes from our decisions of exactly what we decide to text/talk about, or take pictures of, and so on, where we “need” the cell phone to do these things from its inside out.
To the far extreme, our lives could revolve specifically around the equipment, with Meru from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei as a nice outlier there. But its basic use, the ability to keep in touch with others so easily to communicate with them or just to know how they’re doing, is comforting and shows off our basic human need for interaction with others. Even with things like IM running all over the place, hearing actual proof that there is a person on the other side, where we can tell things like inflections and attitudes as opposed to just reading what someone writes, just works. While I’m sure Sae would have felt the same way reading a text message from Chika, I don’t think I would have appreciated the older sister’s reactions quite as much if the younger’s voice wasn’t piping in from the other end. I’m not quite sure how to explain it, but it feels more, I guess.
Speaking of our easily embarrassed bespectacled tenant, Sae’s a good example about how “family” knows and shapes us better than most. Whether if it’s conscious or not, we do tend to behave differently with the vast majority of people outside our homes compared to inside of them. It reminds me of my times at college, where I only got seriously irritated or actually angry at someone a handful of times at most during my four years there. Yet as soon as I got home, it didn’t take more than 10 minutes for someone there to push the right buttons to seriously piss me off. At the same time, a mutual support takes place, since as a member of family, you also know your family better than most. And the “me” outside and inside are still “myself” as different sides of the same N, but when they merge, interesting things can happen.
The conversations with Chika tend to illustrate the dichotomy. A lot of times when we see Sae interact with Chika, she seems a little more exasperated and stern with her than with her friends at the Hidamari Apartments (also reminds me of the sudden change that Sasahara had whenever he talked with his sister in Genshiken. Fun times, that). But at the same time, we see a Sae that’s gentler and kinder as well. There’s a relieved, satisfied and content smile from her when she knows that Chika is alright and doing well. Course when coupled with what we know about how guarded Sae can be most of the time, it makes for a nice intimate moment as her friends look on and see her be more open, albeit not intentionally. It also makes for a nice moment as well when she notices that said friends are looking on. Ah that steam. :3
I did say that future installments of this sort of thing would be shorter than the first one, though in this case the problem is due to a lack of actual thinking here. And it’s cool if you have other things that you noticed and left an impression in your mind from this episode. Though I do have to admit that it’s harder to do with this show than most.😛
Next Episode: If It Makes You Happy