Episode 07 Kikase
Machi comes home, and takes an axe, swings it above her head, and then, “Crack!” She splits a fire log in half.
Watching Machi’s big swing, Natsu suggests an alternative way which consumes less physical energy to split logs, however, Machi doesn’t seem to care much about efficiency. She continues to split logs that are piled in front of her. The truth is, their residence is located in an area, where the delivery of propane gas is extremely difficult. In short, Machi and Natsu are forced to rely on old-school fire logs to produce heat, and they have kept it that way for a long time. Fortunately, electricity is available. Natsu suggests Machi to pay more attention to useful ways to utilize electricity, but, Machi doesn’t seem to be concerned at all.
Phew! This episode is an excellent tension-relief after that super tense, emotionally taxing skirmish in the previous episode.
This is the seventh round of the Kumamiko series, and yet, there are still tons to be revealed when it comes to Machi’s incredulous ignorance in handling modern automated devices.
Going back to the log cutting scene in the beginning; Machi manually cuts fire logs, and then, tranfers those fire logs to a stone oven to cook hot meals. Natsu, the bear and guardian, has watched the same routine over the years as she grew up. He urges Machi to rely more on electricity, which is fortunately available and useful to reheat the bathing water, or to cook rice in an electric rice cooker. Even though propane gas is not available, electicity will free up lots of Machi’s time.
No matter how cultured the suggestion is, Machi is not interested – worse, she’s scared of using electricity. So far we the viewers have seen Machi completely unable to operate machines. So far she learned how to turn on the TV, and how to copy contents from MD to another digital medium. She’s learning, right? Oh who are you kidding? She has frigging no idea!
For example. A rice cooker. Machi is overwhelmed with the number of buttons to operate. She carries the inner pot using the wooden long chopstick, instead of her hands, because she’s too worried about electric shocks. And she trembles in fear! Omg. Cute. She reveals (in a quite casual manner) that she has mishandled countless number of automated devices in the past, and the villagers dubbed her as the girl of omen. It takes talent to cause a fire just by using a rice cooker… Machi … if you don’t want the bad name you better be quick about putting out the fire, before you make up your mind, ‘k?
I now know why Natsu doesn’t want Machi to aspire urban life. For a second, I had to wonder why Natsu had never tried or cared to teach Machi all this stuff, so that she can learn more from experience. But, realizing how Machi ignored Natsu’s advice about the fire log preparation, I’m guessing, Natsu had given up long time ago. Young kids of Machi’s age don’t listen to any advice from the closest family member. During the “Kikase” ceremony, Natsu holds a speech for elder villager participants, but, his message is definitely directly targeted at Machi. Well, of course, she is not listening.
In this episode I urge you to enjoy not only Machi’s incredurous unskillfulness in operating devices, but also, neat details, like, the Bruce Lee pose in the log cutting scene, Natsu’s cute lip-smacking, the fake food brand “Metropolispapa” (in contrast to the real-world brand “Country Ma’am”) plus, Shoko-san’s Spuu hiding in Machi’s doodling. Things like these crack me up, making the show more and more enjoyable. You might find even more, if you re-watch the episode. Enjoy!
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