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Second Impressions – Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san

I’m the first to admit that Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san isn’t going to be for everybody.  But it’s kind of working for me.  Maybe more than kind of, in fact.  I was low-key enjoying this episode just as I did the premiere, but it sort of crept up on me and by the end, I was actually pretty wrapped up in what was going on.  My gut is telling me this is more than just a gag show – there’s the will and ability to go deeper on occasion and actually tell a story.  I suspect it’ll be one of those optional deals, where one can ignore that facet of the series and just take it at surface level, but I think it’s going to be there.

All the panda stuff can’t help but put me in mind of Shirokuma Cafe of course, and I do think there’s a bit of stylistic overlap here.  Warumono-san being obsessed is hardly unrealistic – lots of Japanese people are obsessed with pandas (and non-Japanese too).  And why not?  They’re cute as hell.  But the General being obsessed with pandas is not just some quirk where the evil leader likes animals – we’re finding out he’s an actual nice guy.  All these little random acts of kindness (like getting on his little rookie’s case for working overtime and sending him home) add up to a pattern of behavior.

If you believe in karma, that  gesture did wind up getting the General gifted a box of panda cookies, but I totally get why he couldn’t bring himself to eat them.  Later, he decided to take a PTO day during the week so he can check on what color pandas’ tails are (I never really thought about it).  There’s something almost zen about his long vigil at the panda enclosure.  And his companion the entire time is a little boy who seems as enraptured by what he’s watching as Warumono.  After three hours, camera battery dead and under the concerned eye of the staff, the pair finally get what they came for (and yes, they are white).

The interaction between the General and the boy is the best part of the episode.  They meet up again at the petting zoo, where the kid educates Warumono about the right way to pet rabbits.  He also casually remarks that his mother told him being a vet was impossible (which is seriously messed up).  You can see that this really pisses Warumono-san off, and he does his best to encourage the boy within the context that his job is to eventually kill him.  And on the way home he bumps into Ranger Red again, stuck at a bus stop in the rain.  Not only does he refuse to fight because he’s carrying two dozen eggs for onsen tamago practice, he later returns and gives Red an umbrella and a bag of snacks and directions to the station to boot.  You’re telling me that wasn’t above and beyond professional courtesy?

See, this is where I think this series actually gets sort of deep.  It seems like a kind of musing on the nature of kindness (pretty much all Warumono-san does is dispense it all day).  Yet it’s completely at odds with his mission and entire reason for being on Earth, and I kind of think at some point the series is going to tackle that head-on.  I’m still not convinced Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san has staying power if the comedic hook is really all there it to it, but I’m starting to believe that’s not the case.

The post Second Impressions – Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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