Episode 04 Village Treasure
Machi, donning the priestess garb that won the design competition, joins her villagers and portable shrine “Kagura” in the walk in a prayer for celebrating harvest.
The villagers frankly chat about Machi’s new garment. Inside the portable shrine, Natsu (the bear) gnarls and scares anybody who hear it.
Meanwhile, Yoshio has been working on a request from the town office to come up with a new business model that brings in more attention and revenue to the village. It seems that he finds a hint while watching Machi and Natsu.
The show starts from a daily scene at a relaxed town office. My definition of quality animation finds a perfect example in this episode. In my opinion, high-quality animation effectively supplements missing elements in the original work. In this case, in the original, printed comic version of Kumamiko, there is no explanation provided as to why the village people knew in detail how the design competition went. However, in this animated version, the “why” part is added on to enhance the story. There is a short reveal scene showing male villagers huddle and peek at the competition from the corner slit of the shrine tent. It helps to establish the Kumamiko’s comical and friends-in-the-low-places type of flavor. For Kumamiko fans, particularly those who have started from the comic version, including myself, a neat enhancement like this tickles. I really appreciate a skillful bridging between the original and the animated version… Kudos, awesome production staff.
Kumamiko’s story structure is dynamic and fast. So much so that, I forget what element of the story carries out from the previous episode into this episode. After having watched it several times, I finally realized continuity among some of the story points, or topics, as I might call them.
For example, in the second episode, Natsu gave Machi a series of homework to complete if she really wants to go to an urban high school. One of the assignments was “Let’s learn how to turn on the TV.” In the third episode, same topic resurfaced as “Let’s learn the history of electricity.” Then, in this episode, Machi shows that she has learned how to turn on the TV.
I like the way how stories are stringed together in a non-obvious way, because it’s super fun to pay attention to details and find how these pieces connect up, like a jigsaw puzzle, it’s fun to slowly discover a larger picture.
In one scene, Natsu appears wearing a pair of black-framed glasses. He sorta looks like CV’s Yasumoto-san. Is it just my imagination, or, is this a part of the production staff’s grand scheme? Take a look and see what you think.
We have a new character this time! It’s been a while.
Hibiki Sakata – a childhood friend of Yoshio, her dramatic appearance beats Natsu’s dangerous flair and impactful visual in his first appearance.
Boy she mastered the dramatic appearance. Or may I say scary appearance? I bet the viewers were on the edge of the seat worried about helpless Machi trying to make an escape from Hibiki.
“It is a daily event to be mocked by delinquents in boonies.”
Machi’s panicked monologue ignites tons of misleading comments reactions, I’m sure….
The story reveals that Machi and Hibiki are acquaintances, so this is not their first encounter. But, Hibiki obviously drops in without any appointment, and gives tearful Machi a pretty rough treatment, and snatches her to Shimomura the Shopping Center, then says, she’s going to treat Machi to $200 worth shopping spree. What in the world is Hibiki thinking?
Poor Machi, she is scared and confused. She obeys Hibiki’s violent lead anyway. Then, something happens. Her priestess super power puts her into trans mode. As she monotonously talks and promotes Shimomura’s organization effort and strategy in apparel business, she scares Hibiki in return. Eventually, she snaps out of it when they decide to go to another Shimomura in a neighboring town.
Are they going to get on better terms, helped by Machi’s priestess trans power…? And, as Hibiki predicts, will Machi become a Shimomura expert…?
To be continued!
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