Kyuujitsu no Warumono-san tends to put me in a philosophical mood. And that’s hardly a surprise, since it’s rather a philosophically-inclined series. I think the essence of it is, “life it what happens on the way”. That’s what this series is about, and to an extent it’s Warumono-san’s quest. Earth itself is a stop on the way for him – he’s just here to conquer it. There was no real reason for him to immerse himself in Earth culture, except his preferences for how to spend his days off. But somewhere along the way that became the point. And I have to think that’s because that’s how he was wired in the first place.
The whistle-stop tour of human holidays (Japanese specifically) continues with Tanabata. I like the way this show gets under the hood of these celebrations and ponders their logic from the perspective of an outsider. Warumono overhears a couple of kids at the park talking about Orihime and Hikoboshi, with the girl fantasizing romantically and the boy cynically observing that this would be another frustrated meeting, as it’s supposed to rain on that day. At first he assumes they’re talking about real people, and wonders why they don’t just reschedule their meeting for a sunny day (without pondering the question of why they can only meet if it’s clear, apparently). But a poster in the shoutengai soon informs him that something else is going on here.
One thing we can say about the General – he clearly loves children, and instinctively wants to help and protect them. And honestly, there aren’t a lot of barometers of character than transcend that one. Also, kids and cats (along with faerie creatures) obviously give him their stamp of approval. When Warumono gets the sad gist of the kids’ situation from their conversation – the boy is leaving his mother and father and moving away with his grandparents – he uses his Tanabata wish to ask that they be allowed to meet one last time. Or was he talking about Orihime and Hikoboshi?
Next up is another of those “only on Kyuujitsu” chapters, an almost dialogue-free scene on the beach that sees the General get drawn into a sand castle building contest with a little girl. Again, it’s clear that an immediate bond of trust and affection arises here (he really is quite a childlike fellow himself). She winds up making a proper castle, he what we can only assume is the version from his home world. We get a bit of a mono no aware reminder here, but the girl is not chagrined – there’s always another day and another castle to be built.
Next up we meet Trigger (Nakamura Yuuichi). He’s one of Warumono’s comrades from the Evil League, but this time a self-described “high-ranking” one like the General. There’s a major rivalry factor here, but it seems to be totally one-sided. Trigger-san gets drawn into Warumono-san’s day off vibe, which winds up with the latter buying a panda crepe and then agonizing over the guilt he feels eating it (after getting his Insta shots). It leads one to wonder how good Warumono is at doing his actual job, and that may be an area the series broaches before too much longer.
Finally, the General is hurrying through his work to get home in time for a panda documentary (which he’s DVR-ing anyway). A last minute crisis foils his plans, and he’s too tense to sleep. So – having heard of the human custom of counting sheep (I never heard that rhymes with sleep theory) – he decides to count pandas. This doesn’t work, and Rooney offers the use of his kotatsu (so comfortable it’s still out in mid-summer). But before that can happen he falls asleep standing up (I thought only Japanese on rush-hour trains could do that) and dreams of showing an embarrassment of pandas (that’s what it’s called, look it up) his home world in the night sky. That felt like foreshadowing to me, but don’t hold me to it.