February 23, 2011

Giroro

I hauled out my Sergeant Frog DVDs last night and tried to figure out how far I'd gotten. I think I was up to about ep 28, something like that.

Then I went to the TV Tropes page for the series and read through it.

Everyone seems to assume that Giroro has some sort of repressed romantic feelings about Natsumi. That's not the way I read it. Their relationship is more like father and daughter, or maybe uncle and niece.

Aki is a wonderful mother, and she's raised a couple of great kids who are strong, smart, and well adjusted. But I kind of get a feeling that deep down Natsumi misses having a dad, someone strong that will protect her. Giroro is like that, and though she'd never admit it, for any of several reasons, I think she likes it. It fills a small need; it makes her feel warm and safe.

So when she needed a parent for a three-legged race at the school athletic festival, and her mother didn't make it on time, she was grateful to Giroro (wearing a human suit) for joining her. And when (as happens several times) she's deeply threatened with violence, Giroro will be there and protect her.

So why does he do it? In his intro episode, he took Fuyuki prisoner, and he boobytrapped the house. Natsumi was the first to show up, having just gone grocery shopping, and she made it all the way to Fuyuki's room armed only with a leek. Giroro recognizes her as being a true warrior -- but she's young, and still maturing.

Warriors are a rare commodity. Giroro doesn't really recognize any of his teammates as being such, not even Dororo, who is the closest to qualifying. For Giroro, that gives him a special bond with Natsumi, a kind of kinship.

It's a nice dynamic between them, but there isn't any intrigue or romance. It's not like that.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 10:21 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 324 words, total size 2 kb.

1 You're a gooood person.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at February 23, 2011 11:37 AM (EJaOX)

2 In the manga, it is 100% absolutely like that.

Except that it isn't, really. You're spot on about Natsumi's reaction, and Giroro being Giroro, he's hardly ever prepared to admit having any feelings at all, much less romantic ones. And there isn't a physical aspect to it, of course - Giroro's crushing, but it's a platonic crush. For the reasons that you listed, naturally, and also because Natsumi's relatively hard-headed and has one hell of a spine. He just flat-out likes her.

But it's not just some kind of vicarious adoption that gets Giroro to do some of the stuff he does. (Where did he even find a tuxedo in his size?)

Still, when they're not playing it for too much laughs, it's a great dynamic. Two tsunderes sitting around having breakfast, right? Which isn't exactly the right description for their dynamic, but it's a close approximation.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at February 23, 2011 11:43 AM (mRjOr)

3 I can't claim to be an expert on this since I've only watched about 3% of the series, but I don't remember any case of Natsumi getting violent with Giroro, at least once that dynamic is established.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 23, 2011 02:16 PM (+rSRq)

4 Completely OT, but Bathing With Hinako is on the torrents...

Posted by: Wonderduck at February 23, 2011 03:47 PM (W8Men)

5 Actually, I downloaded a sub of it on the 19th. (Which I haven't watched.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at February 23, 2011 04:22 PM (+rSRq)

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