Episode 08 On The Floor
It is a sunny day of early summer. Machi and Natsu are cooling off at the river side, dipping their feet in the cold river water. Time slowly shifts to noon time. Natsu feels hungry and asks Machi what she is planning to cook for their lunch. Machi replies, “Mizukake gohan!”
Mizukake gohan, or, rice and cold water, is also known as Mizumama. To Natsu’s surprise, Machi arranges that simple dish to something delectable. Inspired, Natsu decides to make his own version.
Wow this episode is a quick one. The opening of the show grabbed me with a surprise, giving me an impression of watching a cooking show, and then the story seamlessly moves on to Nameko-mushroom store-demo, which took Machi (and me) by the storm. The show ended before I knew it.
The eighth episode unveils Yoshio’s planning and handling; His town revitalization strategy features Machi as a presenter/salesperson of the village’s special products.
Natsu usually sides with Machi so he would under normal circumstance persuade Yoshio to go easy on her, but, on the contrary, as soon as he hears Yoshio mentioning work outfits and the Bear-inspired priestess garb from the design contest episode, he changes sides. He supports Yoshio to sweet-talk Machi to accepting the challenge. Natsu must have reeeeally loved that priestess garb design #2.
When did you ever have a good experience after having followed Yoshio’s lead? Never. It is way obvious to the viewers that something bad awaits Machi.
And just as we anticipated, Machi goes through a tough situation again… oh dear. Yoshio must be fully aware of Machi’s shy personality. Why would he leave Machi alone in the food sampling and demonstration site alone, hmmm?
Most of the stuff Yoshio told her in advance turns out to be either wrong or not being enough. At the local supermarket production section, Machi trembles in fear and frustration. To begin with, she really brought the 2nd garb to wear at work, which was turned down. The floor manager pressures quiet Machi to do more talking or to go home. Situations like this would seriously enlarge the hurdle of living in a modern society, let alone urban life. But, Machi hangs in there, repels the urge of going home. Aww Machi! After having thrown into a hellfire, she tries to level with Yoshio’s professional presentation skill. She learns how rewarding it is to get a smile back from the crowd who had sampled her cooking. She finds lessons one by one.
Having watched Machi’s toughness, I start to feel like I’m one of her neighbors in the village. Good job girl, you did good… here take some Metropolis Papa, you deserve it, go ahead…
While viewing the show, I said “I knew it!” “Oh poor Machi!” to the monitor countless times. When the episode reveals that the village’s special product is Nameko-mushroom, and Machi’s assignment is to sell them, first thing that came to my mind is the lyrics in the ending theme song. “Boys, girls, buy my Nameko.” Oh so that’s how it plays out, huh? I really like the random-looking elements actually connecting up like this. Finding a meaning in details is like a treasure hunt. Fun.
In my opinion, this episode’s MVP goes to… Hibiki chan! The deeper I know the show, the more I like Hibiki. She’s really bad at sharing her feelings with others, and under the tough-chic look, she’s very humane and girly. Plus, she’s cool like a big sista. In this episode, her act of kindness turns out to be Machi’s big mental support. And she does that in subtle way as she reaches out to the struggling Machi. She’s just like a reliable sister.
By the end of the next episode, I might even fall for her bad-ass attitude, who knows.
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