by Amy McNulty,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Even by iyashikei standards, the latest Amanchu! is pretty laidback. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, since there's a substantial difference between laidback and outright boring. Although virtually no time is spent in the water this week, episode 7 is carried by fun character interactions and a relaxing atmosphere. Even viewers who are chomping at the bit for more diving will likely walk away entertained.
Katori-sensei is the central focus of this week's stories. Eager to discover how Pikari manages to stay so energetic in spite of the lethargic rainy season, the diving club's brash advisor follows her onto a local train (with Cha in tow). After quickly discovering her sensei's presence, Pikari reveals that she's doing her best to stay positive while Teko trains for her Open Water Diver Certification. While she's saddened by the fact that they can't spend as much time together, Pikari reasons that any negativity on her part would cancel out the positivity Futaba is radiating, hence her refusal to be down in the dumps. (I have to wonder, though—why wasn't Hikari the least bit curious as to why Katori was on the same train with her?) The second segment finds the various Diving Club members bereft of energy and goofing off against a steamy-hot summertime backdrop. Since the school has suspended all club activities in light of the upcoming midterms, Katori orders the group to play a game of red light green light. Despite being presented as a punishment, the game is just what Pikari and company need to break out of their heat-induced funk. As Katori reveals to her yet-unnamed nose-less colleague, she firmly believes that games are the perfect way to learn.
There are a few emotional moments scattered throughout, but the general mood is lighthearted this week. This is also the first episode in quite a while where Futaba's emotional struggles receive no focus. Of course, I suspect Teko still has a fair amount of personal growth to undergo, but it's nice to get a break from the show's more dramatic elements every once in a while. It was also interesting to get a glimpse of the main cast through Katori-sensei's eyes. Not that it wasn't obvious already, but this episode nicely illustrates just how much she cares about these crazy kids. She was concerned enough about Hikari that she followed her to an out-of-the-way station and boarded a train she had no business getting on. Even her overblown love-taps come from a place of genuine warmth.
Although diving once again takes a backseat, this week's Amanchu! is no worse for wear. As it turns out, our favorite characters' relaxed summertime adventures make for a solidly entertaining episode. Whether it's Hikari's overly complicated hydrangea-viewing or the rousing game of red light green light, this episode makes you want to slow down and enjoy life's simpler pleasures. As Katori-sensei points out, you don't have to be a teen to have fun.
Amanchu! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Amy is a YA fantasy author who has loved anime for over two decades.
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