Hisone to Masotan – Episode 3
Another quite touching episode of Hisone to Masotan this week! In terms of events, Hisone gets included into the group of pilots to get some flight training, but this comes right at the time when the base is preparing for an air show so there’s a lot to do.
During this time, Hisone notices all the pilots have code names in English and she learns about Moriyama-san AKA ‘Forest’, her predecessor. She becomes very curious about Moriyama because Masotan’s reaction to hearing ‘Forest’ is very excited. Hisone, being who she is, seems to become a little jealous.
It is very interesting that although mentioning Moriyama is not taboo, nobody actually knows what happened with her or where she is now and no one seems to care but Hisone. She’s also having a little trouble piloting Masotan properly, so during an exercise, she messes up and ends up causing an incident that has repercussions later on in the episode.
The animation during the air show itself was really cool. I really liked the technique they used to represent the masses of people from afar and seeing all the camera people shooting pictures was cute in an humorous way because I’m sure it probably looks like that in real life. I’ve personally never gone to an air show, so I don’t know for sure.
The strength of this show for me is on the details of the characters and how they relate to each other. It’s definitely charming to see how certain things develop, for example, Kakiyasu’s ‘beef’ with the other officer who seems dead set in criticizing most of her actions and decisions. The fact that, even though Hisone may bring trouble with her frank and at times socially inept personality, her coworkers encourage her with a strong sense of camaraderie when it’s necessary and this gives her motivation to pull through.
The interplay of emotions is also nice and even leaning towards subtlety so far, and it hasn’t betrayed writer Mari Okada yet, hopefully it won’t swell to melodrama later on. Once Moriyama appears towards the end of the episode with her child in tow, we get a glimpse of why she left the force, but despite ‘Oscar’s’ or Masotan’s excitement to see her, later on it’s said that she couldn’t continue because Masotan wouldn’t accept her anymore. Instead, she left and settled into family life. I found it pretty funny that the cast had big reactions to what she looks like now, it made me quite curious as to what she looked like before.
There’s also emphasis on the relationship between duty and responsibility in Japanese culture in the narrative here. In two different occasions in this episode characters are reminded that they have to take responsibility for their actions. First when Hisone is blamed for the incident her mistake caused and then later on again when Hisone tells Masotan that she complied when he chose her, so now he has a role to perform and keep his side of the bargain.
In another place or culture, this situation might play differently, but this culture emphasizes the wellness of the group over that of an individual, so self-sacrifice and duty are very important and celebrated. This is also partly why Hisone is seen as rude and selfish, because she’s not as cooperating as she should be. Nao creates an interesting contrast because she’s rude to Hisone since she’s a rival, but when it comes to superiors she’s a softie.
The episode ends on a nice note with Hisone and Masotan blowing people away with their maneuvers in the air show and then Moriyama thinking up a code name for Hisone, funnily enough it’s just ‘Hisone’. I would have liked if she had used Sweet instead, like she mentioned at some point, but I guess this is all right, as the very serious Hisone likes it despite the looks of disappointment in her teammates’ faces.