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Uncle From Another World
Episode 4

by Richard Eisenbeis,

How would you rate episode 4 of
Uncle From Another World ?
Community score: 4.4

While the last episode was all about empathy, this one is all about how people's deeply-held impressions of others are often mistaken. We were led to assume last week that Takafumi sees Fujimiya as a bully and not in the least bit girly. However, this week we learn this was just his first impression of her. As a sensitive kid with nerdy habits, Takafumi was a prime target for bullying—not just from Fujimiya. Yet, we know that in Fujimiya's mind, she was never a bully. She truly believed, even at the time, that she and Takafumi were the best of friends. So, when the boys in class start to bully Takafumi, she steps in to help her friend by bullying the bullies.

This is where the twist of the episode really lies: Takafumi can't see Fujimiya as a romantic partner not because he still sees her as the bully she was, but because he still sees her as the hero he doesn't deserve. And honestly, this might be an even bigger hurdle for their relationship to overcome.

This episode shows that while Takafumi does find Fujimiya attractive, he also thinks that feeling that way towards her is disrespectful after all she has done for him. With his long-held impression of her as his savior, he cannot believe that she would like him that way; he's incapable of seeing her as anything beyond a really good friend who would say anything to keep the friendship because she's just that amazingly kind.

Similarly, in the latter half of the episode, we see that Uncle can't get over his first impression that Elf hates him. No matter how much she helps him, spends time with him, or covers for him, he has decided in his own mind that he is alone. Yet, this seems to be more of a defense mechanism than the actual truth.

When drunk, Uncle's barrier comes down and he is able to see her actions instead of her words—at least to the point that he sees Elf as someone he can rely on when weakened. Then, in the post-credits scene, we see he is willing to put himself at risk for her, sucking out what may be deadly poison in an attempt to save her. Of course, once the alcohol is gone and the danger passed, Uncle is back to seeing the fantasy world and all within it as people ready to screw him over—elf included.

Will Takafumi and his uncle be able to overcome their individual preconceptions and come to accept the women who love them? Maybe. But not before some serious character growth first.

Rating:

Random Thoughts:

• Important note: It's never a good idea to get the person with god-like superpowers drunk.

• While Uncle is almost always the butt of the joke, it's important to note that, in both the fantasy world and our own, Uncle instinctively protects others—be that from raging serpents or spilled coffee.

• The fact that Uncle has A) always looked creepy and B) apparently doesn't age is a solid joke.

• I can think of few things more awkward than a girl sending a picture of herself in middle school wearing a swimsuit as a birthday present. Like, how are you supposed to react to that? It feels like a lose-lose situation no matter what you do. (In all fairness, I don't think Fujimiya thought her cunning plan all the way through.)

• I love that needing to have your memory erased constitutes a valid emergency in Uncle's book.

• Man, that tragicomic moment when you realize that Elf spent the night crying... It hurts right in your soul.

• So, about that post-credits scene... Elf's infected with Aphrodisiac poison. She knocks Uncle out and stops his ability to record. And when he wakes up, she is totally okay but won't show him the antidote she took. Did she... are we supposed to assume she raped him? Was that the joke? Or I am reading too much into this?

• Welp, thanks to the whole staff getting COVID, it looks like we won't have a new episode for two weeks—unless of course Netflix decides to keep the US airing unbroken since it started two weeks late initially.

Uncle From Another World is currently streaming on Netflix.

Richard is an anime and video game journalist with over a decade of experience living and working in Japan. For more of his writings, check out his Twitter and blog.


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