This was another tough episode to choose a title for. This time I was really torn between two options. Dreams obviously, which I ended up choosing but also Brothers. Fushi seems to be slowly building a family and I like that. It’s a good quest. I guess the whole save the world thing is ok too…
For an episode that featured a very young boy doing exploitative physical labour and getting screwed over by his own brother before having his head crushed and face permanently disfigured by an enormous log falling on him, it was pretty light-hearted!
Gugu is not entirely dissimilar to March and I think that I liked his character better because I already got to know March so it feels familiar and comforting. He is considerably more cynical but considering that he’s older and that his life has been more consistently sucky, instead of just recently sucky, I think it makes perfect sense. Honestly, this kid can’t catch a break!
And this is a theme emerging in the series. Life is unfair and cruel and still awesome. Even at its very worst, it’s worth fighting for. And this week, they spelled it out for us. Just three months after the accident, Gugu is walking around like he owns the place. He’s being a wise ass and he’s making friends with Fushi like they’ve known each other for years. In a lot of respects, his life is much better now and surprisingly, he knows it. You can see some of the bitterness that’s still there but all in al, he’s one amazingly resilient kid.
I really like the Fushi and Gugu dynamic. This is the first time we have ever seen Fushi have someone resembling a friend. Unless you count the boy in the first episode but the dynamic was different. I think that partly because Fushi has gotten to a point where he is aware enough and capable of interacting just enough for someone to form a relationship with him. And partly because Gugu is in his own very particular circumstances that make him much more likely to accept Fushi as he is. It puts them on more equal footing which is new for this series.
Also, the episode was just fun. Like more fun than past ones have been. Even when it was pouring on the misery the tone was light and sunny. It had jokes and running gages. I loved watching Fushi transform up close, still one of my favourite animations. I loved seeing Gugu’s mask blush and react as if it was a real face. I loved that Gugu gave Fushi a sample of sake that looked to be the size of a Big Gulp. That’s a huge American soft drink size. I’m not sure it still exists. It’s too bad we didn’t get to see drunk Fushi, that would probably have been hilarious.
And I also loved that Gugu got all jealous and gloomy at Rean showing interest in Fushi. It’s such a normal preoccupation for a boy his age. And the fact that he can still act and feel in such a normal way was a bit of a relief to me. Not to mention that after sulking for a bit, his reaction to jealousy was to put in effort for self-improvement. That’s not the way most anime characters deal with jealousy and I’m impressed.
There was a line in the episode when Gugu is getting Fushi to take a bath. He tells him to acknowledge when he’s listening and Fushi immediately complies by saying yes. Then in classic Fushi fashion repeats it a bunch of times. At this, Gugu says: well at least you’re easy to reason with. And this got me thinking, Fushi is really easy to reason with. Generally speaking, he pretty much just goes along with whatever people tell him to do. Even when it involves him getting stabbed or something.
Now imagine this story if Fushi wasn’t easy to reason with. Not necessarily a monster bent on destruction or anything like that. Just a bit more stubborn and trying to establish his independence. Fushi in his terrible twos or something. A petulant toddler that refuses to listen but is also immensely powerful and immortal. nd the thing is, Fushi may not know how old he is but I think it’s been about a year since he stopped being a rock. Those terrible twos are coming up…
I got distracted. I liked the episode, It was a bi of a break and I think it was smart to be a lighter episode here. Looking forward to how exactly Gugu could ever be a monster. Hope it’s not super sad.