Rinshi!! Ekoda-chan Is an interesting anime. In fact, I’d say it is one of the best josei I’ve seen in a very long time. So far I’ve seen two episodes with 10 more yet to be released.
There will be 12 anime in total, each created by a different artist and voice actress. The stylistic difference between eps 1 and 2 was there. A lot more color in ep 1. Ep. 2 struck me as dark and grey most of the time.
Ekoda is a woman of 24 who has lost her way. She feels she is past her marriageability prime. Men think she is older than she is. Or perhaps they just say that because they think it gives them leverage.
She plucks her eyebrows to look more beautiful while contemplating the pain of each tweeze.
Each episode is short, only a few minutes. Ekoda herself would be a typical young adult living in an apartment – at least in urban USA. She is an at home nudist – she’s usually naked when she’s home. (That may not be so typical but I suspect more common than one might think.) She also worries that a lizard that got into her apartment might run up inside her. That is not a reasonable fear.
Her current lover is no Prince Charming. She needs to dump this toad and find a better frog to kiss. She keeps him around because she fears loneliness. She hopes to outcompete his other girlfriend and make him hers. He is two-timing the woman over the phone even as they are in bed together and it is painfully obvious (to me) that will be Ekoda’s fate as well. He’s even a lousy and disinterested sex partner. Rolling over and going to sleep while your lover still wants more ought not to be an option.
Some people will drool over the “fanservice” while others bitch about the sexualization. I’m not feeling either one here. It is just how she lives. It is amusing that not adding in nipples somehow makes this suitably sanitized by someone’s standard. (Not the first anime I’ve seen this in, either.)
Ekoda-chan is worried. Time and the aging process do not sleep. Waiting for her train to arrive, so to speak and hoping her lover will finally cut the cord to his other girl. She is eaking out a living working in bars. She caters to Japanese businessmen. She cannot keep names and faces attached. (I guess if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.) The customers frequently become obnoxious.
It is a peculiarity of middle-aged and elderly males that they imagine that a younger woman would desire their aging and decrepit bodies because they have money or status. The truth is that some women will desire status and money enough that they will tolerate these aging and decrepit bodies to get it. It may well be that the men don’t care if they are desired as long as someone fawns over them.
She has bought into a toxic illusion. Several, actually. All the things she needs to be happy are supposedly to be found outside herself and not inside. These illusions are supported by the culture around her and pushed upon her at every turn. But she survives and endures, maybe even discovers bits of happiness along the way.
The rest of the half hour is given over to a discussion with the voice actress and the director of each show. The actresses so far are young and look a lot like I imagine Ekoda would in real life. The directors look a lot like the businessmen in Ekoda’s bar. To try to spike up some prurient interest, they call it a “Naked Chat”. So far the discussions haven’t sparked my interest at all. YMMV.
Twelve different episodes by twelve voice actress and director combinations. The poster features 12 different versions of Edoka-chan and almost all are nude. Is this what they think the entire message of the series is? Let’s go stare at a naked girl?
This is going to be interesting.