Kukuru and Kai have graduated from high school and are now full time employees at Tingaara. Despite Kukuru’s extensive knowledge of marine life and her experience as Acting Director of Gama Gama, she’s assigned to the Marketing Department. This assignment is as far from her desired role as “Attendant” as one can get. Even after coming to terms with this, she discovers that employment in a large scale aquarium is significantly harder than she’s accustomed to.
It’s been mentioned a few times in writing and on our podcasts that I am an engineer. As such Dilbert, while hilarious, is genuinely painful to read. Its content is so true that I can’t help but feel a bit of a sting at the fact that Scott Adams can sum up my career difficulties in two to three panels, and it’s ultimately all just comedy for the masses.
Many of us get our degrees believing that we’ll change the world, or at the very least work on interesting projects. We come into a job with an expectation of what it should be, only learn that most work is mundane, repetitive, and lacking in glamour. We are then subjected to the despair spiral that is acknowledging that our lives are the same as Dilbert’s. Unless you are one of the lucky few who works your dream job where everything you do inspires/excites you, you will likely feel like Kukuru in this episode.
This episode is a peek into life at Tingaara. There’s a handful of new characters (who I have of course categorized with nicknames for now, because that just makes it more fun), in addition to some beautiful art. I’m definitely looking forward to Loner Fish and Fuu-Fuu gaining more characterization.
I also loved just hanging out at the aquarium in this episode. The art team for this show clearly did research and have designed a gorgeous theoretical establishment. I live near a large aquarium so everything about these montage shots made me want to go back and visit it for the tenth time.
The bulk of the episode centers on Kukuru herself as she gets a trial by fire experience in her first few days. There’s some statements Kukuru makes near the end of the episode that really hit me hard, despite the fact that I’ve been in Corporate America for years now. Adulting is difficult, and Kukuru learns that the hard way. The show makes no bones about how little it cares about the previous twelve episodes where she was Acting Director. Gama Gama was indeed small time play work. This is the proverbial big pond and all the fish are bigger and more aggressive than Kukuru could ever fathom.
She bombs her first task involving prepping for a back room tour of the aquarium. She also gets smacked around by none other than Chiyu who deserves an award labeled “Best Smug AF Girl”. It’s going to take a lot of effort for Kukuru to overcome her old ways and learn to navigate the corporate politics/personnel drama in Tingaara. It’s a very rough ride and I appreciate how real it all felt, and how little grace Kukuru is given here.
Speaking of Chiyu, I do hope they tone her down a bit in future episodes. She’s smug to the point of cruelty towards Kukuru and her attitude during the back room tour incident reeks of entitlement. She’s written a bit too much like a character from Mean Girls so she feels out of place in a show that’s this gentle.
I loved this episode even though very little happens plot wise. We get a preview of the additional cast, we get some beautiful aquarium shots, and most importantly we get a life lesson for Kukuru. Chiyu is a bit much, but I’m interested to see what the rest of the new cast brings to the table. Being an adult is not easy, nor is it fun. Navigating the ups and downs of where we end up in life is a necessary skill, and one that I’m very excited to work through with our ex-Gama Game squad.