Kamichu! has long been one of my all-time favorite series, a series that manages to nail the slice-of-life aesthetic while also infusing it with a bit of Ghibli-esque magic. I love all the epiodes, but I have a special affection for “Love is Missing” (DVD episode 11). While being a very strong testament to familial ties as well as a lovely testing-the-limits-of-sister-bonds episode, it also happens to showcase the odd chemistry between Shokichi and Miko. Why do I care about Shokichi and Miko when Yurie and Kenji are perfectly servicable characters, you might ask?
Because they’re awesome, that’s why.
Yurie and Kenji are a cute couple, in the sense that Yurie is too shy to ever really say anything to Kenji about her feelings (because she’s, well, Yurie). Kenji, meanwhile, is utterly oblivious to the world at large, and charmingly so. It’s rather simple for me to identify with both of them, as I have had a shyness factor perilously close to Yurie’s (and now only dangerously close to Yurie’s), and I can get as oblivious as Kenji sometimes (most times I’m only slightly more than half as oblivious as he is, though, thankfully). And while I really like Yurie and Kenji as a couple, they somehow do not hold a candle to Shokichi and Miko.
Shokichi and Miko are both the kind of people who very very obviously know that they like the other, but cannot bring it to themselves to really say it. So, instead, what should normally be a very obvious relationship between two people who like one another instead becomes a relationship so awkward I can’t help but adore it. Nowhere is this awkwardness more palpable than in “Love is Missing”, sticking the two of them in Hiroshima alone together, in a situation where they are both obviously there together because of how they feel about one another (Miko having asked Shokichi to accompany her upon her running-away endeavor, and Shokichi willingly going and refusing to return home, abandoning her) and yet still reluctant to let their own feelings become too obvious to the other. Cue twenty or so minutes of awkward romance and truancy action and you end up with an OGT that is little more than a puddle on the floor. A blissful puddle, but a puddle nonetheless.
I’m not entirely certain if this post has any kind of point (or can ever actually have a point even if pressed hard enough to have one) other than 1) still not dead yet 2) having the long-sought-after fanboying over “Love is Missing” and Kamichu! n general that I’ve wanted to do for almost a year but hadn’t been able to due to having loaned my DVDs to a friend for nine months and 3) mentioning a plan to rewatch the series again with perhaps a closer eye towards each episode’s general theme, if only because starting to finish up the last rewatch made me acutely aware of the potential for verbiosity there.
Or, barring that, I can just watch it again because it seems to really be what I need right now, anime-wise.
Were you waiting for a brain-busting revelation? You only get this one [->], I’m afraid. A terrible let-down, I’m sure.