Sorry for the lateness with this one, m’dears (don’t cha just hate relatives who randomly invite themselves over to stay, and equally inconsiderate and lingering colds?! Nuff said). Well – for those of us who wanted more of Nino’s past, we certainly got it in this epi. Er, sort of…
‘…then make hasty promises about people’s mysterious pasts not mattering to you, then gatecrash a girls only PJ party, then make Nino feel even worse by making a godawful tape where you almost undo everything you’ve done lately by going on about how perfect you are, then almost hug Nino to death.’
Yes, P-Ko, your shrill, nasally voiced telling-off of Ric, for destroying Nino’s trust in him by listening to her secret tapes that she’s so obviously hidden away, was probably about right. Finally, cue a bit with Sister and the Mayor and then the gag contest and that was pretty much the gist of this emotional epi. Now, to try and unpick those angry bird-faces…
So, that’s what Nino looks like when she’s angry, eh. No wonder Ric’s near fatal asthma attacks returned with a vengeance. However, while the latter are manifestations of Ric’s feelings of guilt/ disgust about feeling indebted to someone, clearly, in this case, there’s more to it than that. Ric has forcefully pried into Nino’s past and genuinely upset and angered her, so it’s more a feeling of potential heartbreak, I think. Neither of them want to lose each other, that’s for sure (oh, and as was foreshadowed by that rather cheesy opening monologue by Ric; not so much waiting for her to knock on his door, as opposed to trying to barge hers down, methinks).
Back to the angry faces. Firstly, these highlighted just how deadpan Nino normally is, and thus, in turn, her anger seemed all the more potent. We can assume that the tapes were made by her parents, and, as others have already noted elsewhere, the ‘advice’ that the male/ fatherly voice is giving out seems like the type of advice you might give to a child from whom you are to be separated, for whatever reason (e.g.: about places (not) worth visiting, to wash regularly, etc.). Thus, Nino’s anger is, on the one hand, suitably childlike; literally running away and hiding, like a child might do if they had their own room with a lock, or a treehouse… or a telephone pole, if they actually had access to one, of course.
Another, less childish/ wild animal-ish reason for the anger is, of course, due to a feeling of betrayal. Ric has, after all, knowingly done something he knows that he shouldn’t have. Not that I can blame him for being tempted, though… The whole giving-into-temptation thing aside, though, Nino reveals at the end, with what is possibly her most alarming face yet (the sad smile), that she’s angry/ upset mainly because she’s afraid of losing Ric, assuming he won’t want anything to do with her after he finds out whatever it is about her that Nino doesn’t want him to know on the tape.
Of course, we never do find out much from the tapes, what with Hoshi’s awesomely bad interference in the form taping over the rest of the tapes with his, er, unique songs. Thus, in this sense, the whole epi both did and didn’t reveal a significant amount about Nino’s past, as opposed to testing the bonds of her relationship with Ric. As that was pretty much where the epi left off, with Ric finally realising how Nino feels and saying sorry like he means it (as opposed to because he has to) and taking the initiative to tearilly hug her tight [DAWWW], we’ll just have to wait and see how their relationships develops next week. And by next week, meaning next month, probably (yeah, like this show is ever predictable).
Other thoughts on other randomness: The Mayor and P-Ko, individually as well as ‘together’ in P-Ko’s lala-land, were very interesting. The former clearly knows a lot more than he’s letting on, rather than just being a fatherly voice of caution to Ric. After all, he seemed to still have one of the original, untaped-over tapes in his hands in that bit with Sister in the kitchen where he says it’s too soon for Ric to learn what’s on the tape, so I look forward to finding out more about his involvement as well as to what’s actually on the tape. P-Ko, who I’ll admit is one of my least favourite characters [sorry, I just don’t like her voice. Yes, I’m a meany], was a lot less annoying in this epi, mainly because she was so sweet to our fair Venusian, I expect. Either way, like a motherly counterpart to the fatherly Mayor, she was like a scolding mother hen in her protection of Nino and her challenge to Ric, as if she was seeing if he was worthy of her, maybe. Also, the PJ party deserves a mention, of course, not least of all due to the brief fan service from the girls as they were changing into their nightwear. It was just so… unexpected. In fact, it emphasized for me how little fan service there is in this show, which definitely works for a show like Arakawa – i.e. too cool for dodgy fan service for the sake of fan service!
Finally, I really enjoyed the door imagery, as well as the emotional (and much overdue) development, in this epi. As well as Nino’s awesomely weird angry faces (er, if it’s not too sadistic of me to say so, lol). Hopefully, Ric and Nino will work things out – no doubt, Arakawa style…