Here is less of a review than a tale of well intentions gone awry.
It is the story (less of a story more a brief anecdote) of myself, younger son, and two anime.
Mawaru Penguindrum (image from Wikipedia)
Kuma Miko- Girl Meets Bear. (image from Funimation)
As past readers of my blog will know, I am often “vetting” shows for my younger son. Seeing what is appropriate, what is not, what his mother may yell at me for letting him watch, etc.
Readers will also know that I am human and fail at this sometimes. These are my two most recent examples.
This show is a favorite of mine. It’s weird. Perplexing. Stylish. All the things I could want. I even have a figurine from this show. And part of me really wants Himari’s penguin hat so I could start out my days by putting it on and yelling: “IMAGINE!”. But, I start my days at 3:30 in the morning so my neighbors might not be amused.
So, I had seen news that HULU was removing a bunch of it’s anime catalog due to low viewership and just keeping the more popular shows. I decided to see if Penguindrum was on the chopping block. It was.
It had been a couple of years since I watched it and I had only remembered a few bits why I didn’t let my son watch it at the time. But, I figured: “He’s older. And he sees as bad on One Piece, it should be fine.”
So with only a couple of days of availability left I figured I’d let him watch it. I watched some of it.
The funny thing is: you can’t trust your memory. Memory is faulty.
So I’m watching it with my son. First couple of episodes, mostly fine. And then we come to Ringo’s storyline…poor deluded, psycho-stalker, Ringo. Ringo stalks her teacher and wants to make him fall in love with her. Ringo camps out under the crawl space of teacher’s house and eavesdrops on him. My son was watching this girl with shock, saying: “Oh my god! She’s nuts! She’s a crazy stalker!”
I cringed at this and proceeded to make my next mistake. I thought to myself:”Yeah…I think that’s as bad as it gets. This little Ringo arc should be over soon.”
I thought. Like I said memory can’t be trusted.
However, I did tell my son: “Wait, and watch this with me so I can monitor it.”
My son had other ideas. He was on a mission to finish it before HULU took it off their service. So he proceeded to watch it at his mother’s house without me there.
I, then, get the following texts from his older brother:
“Father there is a lot of sexual harassment in this show what the fuck are you even thinking letting him watch this”
“TWO PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ROOFIED”
At this point I was thinking to myself:” Oh, shit. I had forgotten so much.” and I get more texts:
“the sensei’s wife drugged Ringo cause she’s like ‘omg become Momoka'”
“and the clothes come off.”
“Oh dear god I think the dad is going to rape her or try to kill her wtf”
” Okay the father only stabbed her or something and mentally abused her telling her she was ugly but still wtf”
At this I replied and told him to have his younger brother Facetime me. He did. And I told him to stop watching the show and explained that the themes were too adult and not appropriate for him. He agreed and thought everyone on the show was nuts.
This is where memory failed me… I needed to remember all the reasons why I didn’t let him watch it in the fist place, but I (obviously) didn’t. My parenting fail…Oops.
Kuma Miko- Girl Meets Bear.
A failure of trust.
One evening, younger son and I were looking through some of the more recent shows out on Funimation and was seeing if there was something new he could watch without much vetting.
I came across this one.
I figured: “Oh. It’s a cute show about a country shrine maiden who wants to move to the city and her talking bear friend. Sounds cute. What could go wrong?”
And I’ve watched a bit of it and it is mostly fine. But the first episode I watched with my son.
Dammit anime…I trusted you. But you had to go there.
In the first episode there is an explanation by the village officer to the younger children about why the villagers and the bears in the area co-exist so peacefully. He tells a tale about how a villager (long ago) and a bear fell in love. But they couldn’t leave it there. They made the sexual part clear. Bear-on-human cunnilingus is directly implied, and almost shown (not to mention the kids imagining the Miko having this kind of relationship currently).
It was over in a moment, but all I could think at the time was:”Damn it! Why did it have to go there?!”
After that episode I told my son, no more of that show until it was fully “vetted”.
This was a failure of trust.
As a parent you try. You try and sometimes you fail. These were two such failures. A failure of memory and trust. Live and learn.
Until next time: Happy viewing!
*images contained on this post are not owned by this blog*