Nichijou Ep20

I kind of lost a lot of interest in watching the Dota2 tournament for the time-being, after the sad games last night that dropped EHOME and iG to the Loser's Bracket. Yeah, there's a chance one of them will still make it to the final, but I don't really want to watch the road there. I like plays that's based heavily on analysis and specialization, and both matches with these teams last night seemed to show them choking and crashing, often running around without any kind of coordination. That just made me sad.

The perils of eating first, reading second.

This episode followed essentially just one story, with a handful of tiny shorts interlaced in between. Mio had gathered Yukko, Mai and Nano to help her out to her manga deadline, leading to all kinds of hilarity because the three of them seemed to be quite inept in various ways. I actually liked this kind of story-telling (one long scene that appeared throughout the episode), although it made me really question Mio's taste in friends...

Ah, so naive, so innocent.

I remember the days when Mio hid the fact that she could draw, and then the fact that she drew yaoi doujinshi. Wasn't it just recently that she beat up everyone around her to keep them from spotting her submission to a competition? I was under the impression that she missed the deadline for that specific one, but it turned out that she was "accepted" into another, since the editors had contacted her to let her know that they wanted more. Out of everyone she could have asked, she chose to ask her closest friends - and paid for it. Nano dropped out of the running right away, after "accidentally" reading what looked to be a pretty steamy scene. She went outside to get some air, and Mio knew she wouldn't really be coming back, so she rearranged the tasks amongst the three remaining troopers (including herself).


Yukko got off on the wrong foot by being overconfident in her (terrible) drawing skills and accidentally clicking the wrong end of the mechanical pencil. I once got pencil lead in my finger; it happened when my mother gave the little child version of me a shiny new pencil and I chose to run around the house with it. It was sharpened and it jabbed into my pinky pretty hard. My mother had to get the chunk of lead out by using two sewing needles (I'm pretty sure it was graphite, so not poisonous), while my older brother stood by and apologized constantly for chasing me around. (I wasn't stupid; I wouldn't run if I wasn't being chased. Yes, that's my excuse.) If I look at my pinky even now, more than a decade later, I can see some blackness of the remaining lead/graphite underneath the skin. It's a memento.

So mean! Honest, but still mean.

Meanwhile, Mai (who was in charge of screen-toning) decided to do what she did best and screwed around on purpose. Instead of applying the tone "properly", she decided to use it to draw shapes (like a monk) or change the background (to a graveyard). When Mio gave her a new piece of paper and told her to lay out the frames (since she would need to redo the page), Mai decided to draw out her own story, a retelling of Momotarou. Every time Mio asked her why she would do such a thing, she had an "excuse", such as that the emptiness called for it, but the reality eventually came out - she thought that Mio's manga was boring. That was pretty harsh, but I guess it's good to be honest. It did annoy me a little that she kept going instead of willingly dropping out; it reminds me of a girl (or a boy, I suppose) being terrible in a relationship on purpose so that they wouldn't have to be the one initiating the break-up, thereby not being the "bad guy". Mai is kind of a terrible friend most of the time, isn't she...

Forget the desk! Blot the paper! The paper!

While this was going on with Mai, Yukko accidentally spilled a bottle of ink on the paper, destroying one of the boy's faces. Even though Mio told her (over her shoulder, so she hadn't spotted the terrible act yet) to let her know if a mistake had happened right away, Yukko thought it would be much too bad and decided to attempt to fix it herself. Her solution was to white-out the ink and redraw the face. That wouldn't be a bad idea, if she knew how to draw the character right. (I'm sure that, of the many assistants a mangaka might have, at least one is also there to draw.) All of her faces of a "cool guy" turned out to be nothing like the original (Sasahara, of course).

...yaoi likes weird things, hm...

Mai, who had been told to go read a book to keep herself busy, spied Yukko's problem and wandered over, drawing the face herself. Of course she ended up drawing a monk-related person, which didn't really help the problem at all. This scene really reminded me of one in a recent Usagi Drop episode, where Masako was unable to draw a simple map even though she was a mangaka and drew for a living. People have specialities, and Mai's happens to be ancient and spiritual Japan. Yukko eventually realized the true solution to her problem - she re-poured some ink on the paper and took it to Mio, apologizing for her mistake. You should have done that from the beginning! Ah, poor Mio...

That's a strange place to put the expiry date, of all things!

There had been a short earlier within this long scene (one of a young man losing a shogi match because his opponent held his hand, keeping him from putting the piece down; I didn't really understand it), but the focus shifted fully from the manga-drawing scene after Mio yelled out in turmoil that she had no more manuscript paper left (to fix Yukko's destructive mistake). A series of shorts followed, such as Sasahara running down the hallway while Tachibana followed in her body-hiding war-suit and Tachibana attempting to get a pep-talk from Mio's older sister (a fellow kendo member, probably once a senpai in the same high school). A slightly longer scene was in the form of Professor-Nano-Sakamoto playing hide-and-seek, with a parody of comedic cartoons when Nano ran around while jumping gaily and Sakamoto yelled out, "Shabba Dabba Doo," being a throwback to Fred Flinstone's catchphrase.

Such theatrics are fun to watch, though not being a part of.

Returning to the manga-drawing scene, it was already night-time and Mio was retelling the most recent events in a set of flashbacks. "When I said to do this, what did you/Mai/Nano say?!" It was extremely funny to see how wild and out-of-hand the entire situation was getting as the story continued; it started with Mio being slightly tolerant (when Yukko wanted to toss a coin to see who would go out to buy the manuscript paper) to her diving off the deep-end (when Yukko brought back writing paper, and Mio reacted by deciding to write a pornographic story instead of manga). In the end, it turned out that it had only been a long ruse by Yukko, who had the manuscript paper all along. (This was something that Mio had suspected, having faith in Yukko by constantly going, "You have it, though, don't you?") I didn't agree with Mio's apology at the very end for yelling so much when Yukko had the item all along; I completely understand her anger in such a tense situation. Still, I guess it was a good idea in the interests of keeping the peace. Ah, friends...

Sasahara got a face lift when I wasn't looking.

This episode went by in the blink of an eye, which tends to happen when the focus is on one particular scene. I feel so bad for poor Mio; she tends to be the most "down-to-earth" one of the group, though she does sometimes go along with insanity. Judging from what various other anime would have me believe, being a mangaka is hard work and her friends are only making it harder. I hope her capacity for forgiveness doesn't deplete (although that would be a funny screaming match).