Thanasis is a writer, professional geek, and assistant editor at MANGA.TOKYO. He started watching anime with the mecha shows of the 70s and hasn't stopped since. He loves JRPGs.
Steady progress. That’s a nice word for Episode 4 of Fune wo Amu. Progress: Forward or onward movement, as toward a destination. Improvement toward a goal. A journey to the future.
Fune wo Amy is steadily progressing into one of the most interesting series of this season. I just hope that they will be able to finish their dictionary in the end!
Japanese Title: 漸進
— アニメ『舟を編む』絶賛放送中！ (@funewoamu_anime) November 4, 2016
The dictionary departments is starting to behave more and more like a proper team. Everyone plays to his strengths, with Nishioka using his talent for communication and Majime helping Matsumoto-sensei with words and writing-guides.
After hearing the news that the publisher is thinking if shelving the dictionary, they need to take some drastic measures to save it. Nishioka proposes to manipulate the industry in a way that will convince their bosses to keep the project: start the promotion a little early by talking to potential writers and thus creating a fuzz around the dictionary. Then the publisher will have to rethink shutting down a project that has already gained some reputation. Not a bad plan, but I do wonder if it will succeed in the end.
Majime is his usual goofy self, but he is extremely happy to be part of a team. He wants to do everything in his power to preserve the dictionary department. It’s like he found something he was searching for all his life. On the other hand, mainstream Nishioka is having another kind of realization. Drinking beers and casually talking with his girlfriend in front of the TV, he realizes that there is a certain merit to passion. He’d never been extremely fond of anything in his life, and now that Majime is an indirect inspiration to him, he wants to use the thing he is good at to help his team.
Ah, another thing. HOW CUTE. H.O.W. C.U.T.E. was Majime and Kaguya’s date?
P.S. Sometimes I wonder how lenient an editor can get with an article about anime. Just look at those caps and periods in the sentence above. I am turning into a fan-girl.
— ゼクシズ公式 (@zexcs_animation) November 3, 2016
Ferris wheel: I love Ferris wheels and I was sure that at some point they were going to visit one. After all, the wheel plays a protagonist role in the opening credits. But the scene that cranked me up was the one after the credits where Majime lost his chance to get off the wheel cart. If you haven’t seen the scene, maybe you are one of those people who walk away from an episode just as the ending credit start. Heed my advice: 99% of the time the post-credits scene are worth listening to the whole ending theme.
Training Montage: The Training Montage trope is one of my favorites. My first training montage was in Rocky IV and from then I can’t get enough of them. Fune wo Amu’s montage played against the opening theme, Shiokaze by Taiiku Okazaki. I really enjoyed it. They may not be boxers or martial artists but their determination to create the Great Passage is admirable. And I really can’t shake from my memory this amazing quote from Buffy:
Buffy: “I’m just worried this whole session’s gonna turn into some training montage from an eighties movie.”
Giles: “Well, if we hear any inspirational power chords, we’ll just lie down until they go away.”
Word of the Episode: Zen – Shin （漸進）
to move forward step by step
E.g. I will make steady progress despite difficulty.
— アニメ『舟を編む』絶賛放送中！ (@funewoamu_anime) November 3, 2016
Pasta Slurp: You might have noticed that the Japanese have no problem making slurping sounds when they eat their noodles. It’s not a sign of impertinence, but instead a very interesting Japanese cultural eating habit. In Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, Shizuo Tsuji shares with us a few details about this strange habit:
‘Like sipping piping hot Japanese soup, to really enjoy noodles, one must imbibe them fast with a cooling intake of breath. To do this involves a decided sucking sound, which easily deteriorates into a slurp. But no one minds in Japan, since the whole point of noodles is to eat them fast while they are very hot…eating noodles too quietly can be mistaken in Japan for a lack of enjoyment of this food.’
Writing Guidelines: A writing guideline is similar to what is more commonly known as a style guide. If you are not employed in publishing, you have probably encountered a style guide during your college days, when your essays had to be written in a specific typeset on a page with specific margins and the prose had to follow specific rules. That’s essentially a writing guideline, a guide that lays the rules that a writer has to follow for a certain publication.
Do you slurp your noodles?
Saint Xavier: I have to be honest here and say that when Nishioka’s girlfriend mentioned the words ‘St.Xavier’ and ‘bald’ my mind went straight to an image of Patrick Stewart on his Professor Xavier chair wearing a monk’s uniform. But, as it seems, Saint Xavier (1506 – 1552) is a very popular saint in the Asian part of the Christian world. He is known as the ‘Apostle of Japan’ and he is one of the greatest missionaries since St. Paul. He was the first Christian missionary to venture into Japan and he was about to extend his missionary preaching to China but died in Shangchuan Island shortly before he could do so.
Ferris Wheels: Just some random trivia because I really like them. The ‘Ferris’ is written with a capital F because it comes from the name of its creator, George Washington Gale Ferris Jr., who designed and created the first wheel for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The term came to characterize all similar constructions. The biggest Ferris wheel in the world right now is the 167.6-meter High Roller in Las Vegas, US.
Every time I write a new review for Fune wo Amu I find myself in a loss for words. Take for example my extensive rumblings on love in the previous episode. I always try to bring something new to each and every review, but to be honest, I feel a little like Majime every time I sit down write one. What are the right words to use? How can I express my opinion in a way that is both entertaining and interesting? What do my readers want? The fact that an anime makes me ask those questions is its greater achievement. Fune wo Amu is a deeply philosophical series wrapped in a seemingly boring and uninteresting plot. Dictionaries are fascinating. Majime is fascinating. And I really hope that they become a couple with Kaguya.
I wrote about synergy in my review for Episode 5 of Stella no Mahou, that weird byproduct of the collaboration between different people with unique skills. Beauty can be found in the simplest of things, like a dictionary. Passion can be found in the weirdest of places, like in words. And one of your favorite anime of the season can be an anime with a tiger-striped cat named Tora. You never know.
Did you like the latest episode of Fune wo Amu? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check all the latest Fall 2016 reviews here on Manga.Tokyo.
NEXT TIME: Drifting (揺蕩う)
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