Papa no Iu Koto o Kikinasai! – 03 Review
Papa no Iu Koto o Kikinasai! – Episode 03
As I was sitting down to watch Episode 03 of this mind boggling loli-incest-harem-hell turned sappy-family-drama, I had no idea what to expect. I suppose I was just curious to see how in the world PapaKiki was going to pull off straddling two inherently incompatible genres. What I did NOT expect was a great episode.
And, guess what? Episode 03 was great! Really great! 🙂
The episode begins with a recap of the final moments from last week. The extended family is figuring out what to do with the sisters, and has decided to split them up. Yuuta passionately declares that, “Family must stay together,” and offers to take in the three girls despite relatives’ protests.
Later on, the relatives are at the girls’ house and discover that they are missing. Meanwhile, Yuuta and the girls are happily riding a train towards Yuuta’s apartment in the suburbs. As Miu is wont to do, she asks Yuuta some piercing and awkward questions, like, “Do you have any regrets?” and, “Don’t you think things are going to get pretty difficult?” Yuuta avoids the questions by pointing out how cheery Miu is (in light of the situation) and Miu essentially says that she’s excited because of the romance and thrill of being a runaway. Note that Sora is the only one not apparently having a good time – she is mostly quiet and reserved throughout the episode, and gives the impression of being preoccupied, overwhelmed with emotions, and depressed about her parents’ deaths.
Before completing the final leg of their journey, Yuuta decides it’s lunchtime. They find a generic family-style restaurant, but upon noticing that it’s packed full of happy nuclear families, Yuuta realizes that eating in such a place might be depressing for the girls since they just lost their parents. Not wanting to share his thoughts with the girls, he gives a bumbling excuse as to why they can’t eat there, and drags them off in search of another place. All of the nearby restaurants are either crowded with families or beyond Yuuta’s price range, so he takes them to a karaoke place. Miu and Hina are being super cute and having a great time singing, but Sora is still depressed. Then Yuuta’s pervy best friend, Nimura, sees them and ditches his date to get the scoop from Yuuta. It’s a funny scene – basically, Nimura insinuates that since Yuuta isn’t having much luck with Raika, he has turned to pedophilia.
While Yuuta is explaining that the girls are his nieces, his aunt calls. Yuuta hurriedly explains the situation to Nimura – that when he heard the relatives talking about splitting the sisters up, he freaked out and basically kidnapped them. Oh man. Nimura strongly encourages Yuuta to call his aunt back, and offers to look after the girls while he does so. Yuuta calls his aunt – and she basically breaks it down like this: what in the hell are you doing and how are you planning on doing that? Yuuta says that he’s going to raise the girls and he will get another job or whatever he needs to do to make it happen. It’s quite clear that Yuuta hasn’t thought any of this through, and his aunt asks him how he is going to be able to juggle college and breadwinning, reminding him of his sister’s desire that he go to school. Yuuta is at a loss, and firmly but with good intentions, his aunt makes it clear that in order to not hurt the girls’ feelings, he should promptly end the adventure if he isn’t completely sure about taking them in.
Yuuta is preoccupied over his aunt’s words, and the group continues their journey on the train. Hina is being generally cute and annoying and asks if they are going to pick up Mommy and Daddy. Damn. Oooooh. Ouch. Not knowing what else to do, Sora immediately distracts Hina’s attention away from the “elephant in the room.” It’s a really well done scene.
Just when you think things can’t get any more uncomfortable, the crew arrives at Yuuta’s tiny apartment. Hina’s three-year-old-naiveté puts a spotlight on the differences between Yuuta’s college-student-budget standard of living and the middle class lifestyle the girls have grown up with. While Miu is trying to cover up her surprise at how cramped the apartment is by calling everything cute (cute=too small), a wide-eyed Hina exclaims that Yuuta’s room is “as big as our bathroom”. Ouch. Hina later asks where all the other rooms are, obviously (because she’s three years old) not understanding that it’s a one room (some people call it a “studio”) apartment. Ouch.
Miu and Sora are obviously dismayed at the lack of space, but they’re trying to be cheerful and act nonchalantly about it all. Yuuta is uncomfortable and is not surprisingly just beginning to come to grips with the reality of choosing to raise the girls. It’s all quite brilliantly done. We really learn more about the characters from this scene than from the previous two episodes combined – but more about that later. Miu attempts to lighten up the tense atmosphere by joking with Yuuta about finding his porn mags, Yuuta is moving furniture out to the patio so that they’ll have enough space to all sit on the floor together, and Sora goes to the bathroom. Sora comes out, and Miu informs her that she could hear her doing her business. Sora almost collapses from embarrassment and suddenly realizes that she is going to be sharing a bathroom with her crush (Yuuta), and is hit hard by the understanding that things like smelly dumps can’t be kept secret in such close quarters. Yuuta is totally clueless as to the myriad embarrassments experienced by an adolescent girl, and Miu steps in and with moderate success explains everything to Yuuta.
They all sit down for a game of cards and it seems as if some of the initial discomfort and embarrassment has worn off. However, the girls are tired and emotionally overloaded. Hina gets sleepy and cranky, and begins to whine for her parents and wants to go home. It’s tough to watch, but Sora jumps in and calmly explains to Hina that Yuuta’s place is their new home henceforth. Miu suddenly darts out of the house, Yuuta chases after her, and Sora holds Hina tightly and starts to cry. Yuuta finds Miu (who has also been crying) and the two return home to the worried Sora. Yuuta then offers to sleep on the floor and arrange the futons so that the girls can sleep together. While the girls are falling asleep, Sora realizes how thankful she is that they get to stay together, and Yuuta sees the extra toothbrushes in the bathroom and smiles, knowing that he has made the right decision.
This episode was great! Whatever it was that PapaKiki had been missing until now has been suddenly found, and I’m hoping that things will stay that way. This week, PapaKiki really maximized its main strong point – realism – and combined that with good pacing, plot continuity, and character development to make a complete turnaround.
So, last week was a family-drama oriented episode too, right? Why did I dislike Episode 02 but love Episode 03? It’s all about the character development. Episode 02 basically spent 17 out of 20 minutes showing that the three sisters were totally normal, average girls with a solid upbringing. And that was it. Fini. Nothing else. There was not much plot (except for the last few minutes where the parents “died”), and the entire point of the episode was to show us what the girls were like. Now, Ep03 showed us ten times more about each character, but it was all in a very natural way – instead of the plot coming to a screeching halt so we could learn about the characters (basically what happened in Ep02), we were instead (in Ep03) able to learn about the characters *through* the plot. It felt totally smooth and natural, because, after all, that’s how we learn about people in real life, right? The only way we can know anything about anybody is to watch how they react and respond to the events (plot) going on around them.
Let me give an example. It’s been established that Miu is outspoken, spunky, and mischievous. So what. She’s a stereotypical anime chick, and there’s always one like her in every show, right? But this week, we start to see that there is more to Miu than just that – we start to see that Miu actually has depth and feelings. In this episode, it becomes clear that Miu acts crafty and flirty when everyone else is feeling uncomfortable – when she starts joking with Yuuta about finding his porn, she is intentionally trying to redirect the attention from the new and cramped living situation to something more light and funny. Although her actions may be counterproductive sometimes, Miu shows a sensitivity to situations and others’ feelings that makes her more than just an anime stereotype.
The realism consistently employed in PapaKiki is astounding. I’ve talked about it before, but I want to point out that it is still going on and going strong. Last week, I was wondering how Yuuta would convince the family to allow him to raise the girls. Well, Yuuta didn’t convince them at all! Instead, he and the girls ran away together, which is probably the most realistic thing that could have possibly happened considering that he is a teenager with a difficult and relevant past and the girls are most likely overcome by shock and denial. I suppose one could assume *realistically* that the family would try to catch them and possibly even press charges against Yuuta for kidnapping, but maybe not. It didn’t seem like any of the extended family were especially close or had much personal investment in any of the girls, and as such it’s probably safe to assume that the family members would consider taking the girls on as nothing more than a burden. It makes sense that no one in the family gives much of a shit, because they’ve probably got enough of their own lives, children, and problems to deal with without throwing an orphan into the mix. Add that to the fact that Yuuta’s aunt stepped in and “apologized” (which means she probably said whatever she needed to say to get Yuuta out of potential legal trouble), and we are left with an actual, believable situation.
I also appreciated how every character stayed “in-character”. For example, Yuuta didn’t suddenly become a swashbuckling hero when he kidnapped the girls. He just continued to be an ordinary, impulsive, 19-year-old kid who hasn’t really dealt with his parents’ deaths, and his decision to take in the girls was entirely consistent with what we know of his character so far. Sora didn’t suddenly grow up and become mature like an adult when her parents died, in fact, she’s still just a young girl with a crush on an older guy and she is totally embarrassed by anything having to do with sex or excrement (as is typical of girls that age). Hina doesn’t start doing really “meaningful” things or spouting philosophy at any point; she’s just a cute (but really annoying) little kid with absolutely no clue about what’s going on. Bravo, PapaKiki. Thank you for refraining from typical anime crap like giving the characters superpowers, wisdom beyond their years, or the ability to interact with the undead, as a result of them enduring a crisis.
The reason I applaud this is because most real people stay true to their inherent “character” throughout the course of their life. This may be a bold statement, but I believe that there are very few circumstances and events that occur in a person’s life that can actually effect real and permanent change in us. I had a friend who once said to me, “I hope you enjoy being 23, because that’s who you’re going to be for the rest of your life.” It’s true. The age (23) changes a little based on the person, but I think it’s probably safe to assume that many people *never* actually change once they hit puberty – who they were at 14 is who they’re going to be when they’re 60. What I’m getting at with all this is that most of the so-called “life-changing events” that happen may drastically change a person’s situation or circumstances, but those events rarely actually change a person’s true character. For example, your parents die. Yes, that’s a life-changing event and it may have an impact on your finances, your day-to-day routine, and your plans for the future, but only very rarely does it actually and significantly change who you really are at your deepest core level.
Well, that’s enough ranting already. Moving on, I felt like the animation was great again this week (last week wasn’t as good) and my fav little light tricks were back, making me satisfied in that department. The background music was really sparse, but it worked well and what was there was just fine. I’m really happy with the reintroduction of Nimura, because I really liked the college characters from the first episode and I’m interested to see how Yuuta’s peers feel about his new situation with the sisters.
The last thing worth mentioning was that the loli fan-service was pretty much absent from this episode. There were a few moments that hinted at it – Nimura flirting with Miu at karaoke, Miu in the changing room, Hina grabbing Sora’s breasts in the bath – but every possible ecchi moment stopped just short of being sexual. Once again, Yuuta’s behavior shows no indication of him being romantically interested in his nieces, which is somewhat of a relief. However, at this point, if Yuuta were to be attracted to Sora, I would find it to be pretty acceptable considering their situation and the fact that her character has developed beyond just a tsundere-loli stereotype. I’ve heard it said that, “If you can’t keep it in your pants, keep it in the family,” but luckily, for this episode at least, everything stayed in the pants just fine. 😉
So, this episode was unexpectedly great and I really enjoyed it. But, out of 3 episodes so far, one was okay, one was bad, and one was good. What’s next for PapaKiki? I’ve got no idea. I thought I knew, but I ended up being blown away this week, so I’m not even going to bother trying to predict anything from here on out. I can only say that next week’s episode has got as much of a possibility of being amazing as it has of being absolute crap. If that’s not a good enough reason to watch the next episode, then I don’t know what is. Maybe the fact that I appreciated the “My Neighbor Totoro” reference? Whatever the reason may be, I’m definitely going to be watching Episode 04. 🙂
Episode Rating: 8.0/10