Episode 03 Those who protect heritage
After having gone shopping to obtain the assigned item under the criticism and teasing of older male villagers, Machi feels like she has used up all the energy she’s got. Today is a chillax day; She is determined to spend a low key day, so she’s eating snacks and lying flat on the floor.
All of the sudden, she gets up and suggests performing “Kagura” – a sacrid ceremony to worship the gods. Surprised by Machi’s unusual enthusiasm, Natsu encourages and helps Machi set up the stage for the Kagura performance.
Later, on some hot day, Machi offers to give Natsu a hair cut in the shrine premise. Yoshio pays a visit carrying a large paper bag. Inside the bag, they find something unexpected.
Real names can’t be used for appearant reasons, and that’s totally understandable, it doesn’t affect whatsoever on how much I adore that baby Machi’s trans scene. An infant Machi bounces around, shouting,”Tsukeru! Tsukema!” (Loosely translated to something like, Attach! Eye lash!) while plucking eyelashes from Natsu who yelles in pain. Machi’s lunatic action and the voice actor Hioka-san’s super high tension, voice is endlessly looping in my head.
So she has a psychic super power after all? I was wrong to think that she’s just a naïve teen, easily manipulated by the key word “Tokyo” and let the bear torture her with the boondoog complex?
One more memorable phrase I picked up is this one: “Ginza~no~~~Karisuma Biyoshi~~~” (Charismatic hair artist working in Ginza) This is addicting! I’m singing it as I type this article.
Now, the episode 3 is packed with high-impact stories. Highlights of this show are, the creative artwork of Natsu, plus, a fashion show planned by the villagers for Natsu to choose a new line of priestess (miko) garb. Last but not least, pay attention to Machi’s hillareously confusing use of language!
Natsu Character Design and Artwork
Natsu’s animation comes out smooth and seamless; this episode especially highlights the high quality animation, in my opinion. I noticed several change-ups in the character design compared to the last two episodes. For example, Natsu moves around in the screen a lot more than before, plus, in a few selected scenes, there is a fun twist to the character design. Take a look at the night club scene in Tokyo, those explosive shots and DJ shots, I bet that the character designer or animators poured in a lot of effort to jazz things up, maybe way too much, in a good way of course.
There is a big difference in the artwork between realistic bear mode (which is Natsu playing DJ) and normal bear mode. This is fun to watch as usual. There are a couple of other scenes that show more fun twists. Take a note at the scene where the thunderbolt hit the tall tree, as a result of Machi having done something bad to piss off the mountain god. In this particular scene Natsu’s artistic representation is pretty rocking, and experimental too.
In the hair cut scene in the latter half of the show, Machi stubs Natsu’s furry skin with a pair of sharp scissors. Natsu jumps up and runs off. Natsu turns into something like a skidding fur ball, and effect of stretchy lines and bouncy kinetics make Natsu look cuter than ever.
Priestess Garb Design Competition
You just got to see it! It’s definitely a bonus round for Machi fans, cause, she’s friggin’ cute. She says she has only two types of wardrobes: a school uniform and a priestess garb. She never needed to buy any other clothes for the last two years. At the design competition, she is asked to try several nominated designs, so, for us viewers, it’s like watching her praying dress-up. Well actually, viewers get to peek her changing scenes … like I said, bonus! It’s genuinely fun to watch different outfits on Machi.
Would she pick the outfit #2? Will Yoshio actually carry out the “Machi Idol Project” which he likes to bring up in conversation whenever he finds a chance? The story continues to the third episode.
I wonder what kind of awesome person runs the villager’s women society. Whoever that is, it’s simply amazing to turn the grandpa and grandma’s artistic drawings to a adorable priestess garb.