by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 10 of
Despite being set at the tail end of spring, a distinctly end-of-summer vibe permeates this week's laidback Amanchu! Featuring only the barest bones of a plot, episode 10 fully embraces the series' iyashikei roots. While not quite as poignant as last week's installment or as funny as episode 8, the Diving Club's latest outing is a relaxing (though slightly underwhelming) good time. As usual, not a whole lot is accomplished plot-wise, but we're steadily working our way toward Futaba's final Open Water certification exam.
The episode opens with Ai lamenting her propensity for wasting days off. However, when Pikari and Teko arrive at the Ninomiya residence unannounced, she immediately knows this going to be an enjoyable Sunday. Not allowing themselves to be hindered by Makoto's absence, the remaining three-fourths of the Diving Club visit a nearby mall, where Futaba and Hikari purchase new logbooks and all three girls buy new swimsuits. To ensure that these suits are put to good use, Pikari and company go for an impromptu dip in the ocean—although there's no diving involved. Of course, this wouldn't be an Amanchu! episode without Futaba having a crisis of confidence and temporarily having her spirits lifted by her fellow club members. When Teko expresses apprehensions about becoming Pikari's diving partner, the latter is quick to inform her that everyone feels lost sometimes—but those feelings of uncertainty are ultimately what help us grow as people. These words of encouragement help Teko pass the pool portion of her certification exam with renewed vigor, though the ocean portion remains to be tackled.
Ai wistfully contemplating her lack of weekend productivity is something most viewers can relate to. Despite the character's perpetually gung-ho personality, even she has trouble making a substantial dent in her to-do list. If not for the unexpected invitation from her friends, she probably would have spent the day vegging out like Makoto. Speaking of him, it was interesting to learn that his bedroom is kind of a pigsty. The show touched on him being chronically disorganized a couple weeks ago, but I was surprised to find this extends to outright messiness.
All in all, the shopping excursion was probably the least impressive portion of the episode. The girls spend a little too much time poring over journals and swimwear, and while I understand the show is trying to capture the feel of an actual shopping trip, it drags in certain spots. Still, the girls trying—and failing—to avoid setting foot in the swimsuit store is pretty amusing.
Futaba passing the first portion of her exam is a mildly important milestone. Unsurprisingly, it was satisfying to see all her hard work (most of which occurred off screen) pay off, bringing her one step closer to certification. It's strange that so little time has been devoted to chronicling Teko's progress in the water, but since Amanchu! primarily thrives on quirky character interactions, I'm not sure spending multiple episodes with her alone at the pool would be the wisest move.
Only the smallest bit of plot progression takes place in this week's Amanchu!, but the show and its colorful characters are no worse for the wear. The fact that both Ai and Futaba seem a touch listless and depressed behind their cheerful facades helps imbue certain scenes with a deeply reflective undertone and gives the episode a mature feel. I'm not sure whether we'll be heading back into the water next week, but if the show manages to maintain this level of quality, I'm good either way.
Amanchu! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Amy is a YA fantasy author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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