Fuuka’s mother appears at the aquarium and states she wants to take Fuuka back home! But first, she needs to go to Kukuru’s house and properly thank her grandparents for letter her freeloading daughter stay there. Cue Operation: Get her Drunk and Make a Break for it!
Fuuka doesn’t make it far (she ends up at Udon-chan’s restaurant) and just as she’s making plans to sneak away and hide, she realizes she can’t just leave the aquarium behind.
Step right up folks, step right up. We got your mothers, we got your daughters, we got your mother-daughter relationshiiiips.
This episode is about what new found best friends do for each other. That’s right people, we’re boozing up moms and planning escape routes.
Minus all my sarcasm, this is a nice episode when it’s focusing on the central theme of mothers and daughters. Some of its other plot elements fall flat and distract from that topic.
Just to clear it out of the way, I wasn’t a fan of Fuuka’s “escape plan” plot. It feels tacked on and like the writers were thinking “We need to get rid of her for a few hours so we can have her mom and Kukuru’s grandparents talk about important things! Let’s have her exit stage left in a doofy outfit.” I feel it would have been fine to just LET her hang out with Udon-chan without the guise of her being on the run. Fuuka’s plan to ditch her mom and hide goes nowhere, and FAST. It’s ultimately fine though because we get the return of…
The fortune teller lady! She’s Udon-chan’s mom and she’s amazing. Thank goodness for this woman and her bitchin’ driving skills.
Okay, back to our regularly scheduled Concerned Mommy Programming:
Fuuka’s mother is immediately morphed into an understandably concerned parental figure, as opposed to the imposing, stiff, business-like lady she’s initially presented as.
Fuuka left home at a young age due to her dream of being an idol. It seems like Fuuka’s mom regrets not doing anything for her daughter for so long, and is now trying to be more involved. She immediately comes off as sincere and I found myself wanting to know more about her and her relationship with a young Fuuka.
An important piece of dialogue dropped about letting your children go + a camera focus to a picture of Kukuru’s mother hints at important details to come. I am very curious how the baby book, Kukuru’s parent’s deaths (estrangement?!), and the aquarium will ultimately tie together. Something tells me there’s more to it then “I just want to preserve the place where my parents and I used to spend time together”.
I’ll end with a strange piece of storytelling from this episode. In the early part of the episode, Fuuka discovered the Coral Blenny was sick. At the finale of the episode, this acts as a motivator for her to return to the aquarium and resume her duties. The fish ultimately dies, resulting in her having to accept that life at the aquarium is hard sometimes. You guys killed the Fuuka metaphor fish?!
This felt like a lesson that would have been better learned elsewhere, when less plot was going on so we could sit in those emotions. Instead, the moment feels crammed in. Kukuru goes, “Yeah, life sucks sometimes”, and then the whole scene moves on, which basically washes the events out with the rest of the material dropped in this episode. It wasn’t effective in the slightest and I’m wondering if Fuuka will have a more emotional reaction to losing her metaphor fish later in the season . Maybe we just paved the way for her to acquire a new metaphor fish?!
This episode is a touch crowded and would have been better served just focusing on the mother-daughter aspects. I immediately took to Fuuka’s mom and I’m curious about Kukuru’s backstory. The show continues to look beautiful, and now I really want Udon-chan to make me lunch. Also, more of Udon-chan’s mom please. She’s just so awesome.