April 23, 2011

I'm a lonely spaceman

For those who have watched Asobi ni Iku Yo, they will surely remember episode 9, for which my mnemonic is "Grandma". At first it seems like filler. But it's actually a character building episode for Eris, and even more so for the assistaroids.

There's a song in it. Pieces of it get played at various times in the early part of the episode, and then near the end Lawry sings it, standing on the Okinawa beach at night time. It's a very stirring moment. (Especially if you know why she wants to do it.)

I have wondered where that song came from. In the story, it's claimed that it came from the anime series Captain Future, and at first I wondered if that even existed. Well, it did.

Then I wondered if the song really came from it. And now I know: yes, it did. Which makes it a truly awesome call-out, because when Lawry sings it, eventually everyone else does, too. Even Jens!

That episode stands alone, but it's probably my favorite single episode in the series. It's also played completely straight. It's not dark. It's actually quite warm. But there isn't any comedy in it. And there isn't any fan service. They didn't want to distract from the (really quite deep) story of that episode.

It doesn't directly contribute to the story line in any way, but it adds depth to nearly every major character in the series.

UPDATE: Which leads to the third question: there are a couple of scenes where Muttley is ostensibly watching the series, and we do hear some cheesy dialog. Is that really dialogue from the original series? At this point, I'd bet that it is.

UPDATE: I take it back: there is one funny scene, with Isozaki-sensei thinking about Lawry, who is a humanoid android. "So close! So close!"

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in General Anime at 04:19 PM | Comments (8) | Add Comment
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1 I like what episode 9 says about the team that produced the show: when they needed a "filler" episode before going into the end of the story arc from books 1-4, they didn't come up with random fan-service. Instead, they used a serious, thought-provoking standalone piece from book 9.


Posted by: J Greely at April 23, 2011 07:01 PM (7CyNp)

2 And I bet the book didn't specify the song, did it?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 23, 2011 08:41 PM (+rSRq)

3 Your youtube link had the Japanese song title, おいらは淋しいスペースマン, so I was able to search for it in the book. Not only does that story mention the song, in the afterword the author tells you what compilation CD it's available on.


Posted by: J Greely at April 23, 2011 09:06 PM (7CyNp)

4 It's the first time I've ever run into "oira" as a reference to self, like atashi and boku. I wonder what the implications of it are?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 23, 2011 09:19 PM (+rSRq)

5 According to my good dictionary, it's a dialect variant of "ore" (derived from the plural ore-ra, but usually used as "I" rather than "we"). It feels right for the musical genre, so I wouldn't be surprised if it shows up a lot in that kind of song.


Posted by: J Greely at April 23, 2011 11:50 PM (2XtN5)

6 Tokyo dialect, post-shogunate period, boy. Mostly kids with the kind of attitude where "ore" would be appropriate but not the years to go with it. Cropped up in Sakura Wars a couple of times, for example. Not quite archaic, but musty; I don't think I've ever heard it from a contemporary speaker.

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at April 24, 2011 07:43 AM (mRjOr)

7 Well, at least based on anime, it seems that kids no longer have any problem with using "ore", so it's easy to see how oira could fade away.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 24, 2011 07:59 AM (+rSRq)

8 It turns out the ED version of the song is her as well, not using her Lawry voice.


Posted by: J Greely at April 24, 2011 01:09 PM (2XtN5)

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