Another one of my Otaku Expo loots: Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko (Electromagnetic Wave Woman and Adolescent Man, or so the DVD case says). Wasn’t really familiar with what it’s about but I heard/read it a couple of times somewhere so I thought I’d see what it has in store for me. And well, I was hurled into a frivolous alien-esper-filled world and didn’t even have time to fasten my seatbelt.
Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko takes us into the city life of Niwa Makoto, your average guy who gets to live with his 39-and-then-turned-40-in-the-series-year old aunt, Touwa Meme, in the city. Yes, she’s really 40. I couldn’t believe it, too. Anyways, upon arriving at her house, Niwa sees a futon with legs. Uhm, that is, it was her cousin Touwa Erio, who believes she was abducted by aliens and turned into some sort of spy to observe Earthling activities. In reality, though, Erio disappeared for half a year and was found by the beach and has no recollection of what happened during that half year she was missing or how she got lost in the first place. From then on, she’s always wrapped a futon around her upper body, resulting to the townsfolk branding her a weirdo and generally, being shunned by them.
What made this series special, I think, is that it was such a down-to-earth, straightforward series which basically says one thing: believe. It didn’t have an actual storyline – just the mystery behind Erio and her fervent and touching struggle to re-integrate into society and make friends – but it managed to pull through. A couple of episodes around the middle focused on each character and I loved how the arcs stitched together to form a coherent mini side story. But for the most part, it focused on Niwa and Erio’s struggle to regain the confidence in themselves that they have both lost through certain events in their pasts; Erio’s lost memories and Niwa’s childhood experience. The appearance of that girl in the astronaut costume whom I forgot the name proved to be quite the turning point for the both of them. The baseball game at the end would be the closure. I do think, though, that 12 episodes were too short but it’s also fine as it is.
I have to commend on how this series was drawn – I LOVE it! Seriously. Especially Erio. I love how she sparkles when she gets hit by moonlight. It makes me go ‘Bright! Too bright!’. Real lovely. If Erio’s brightness weren’t enough, then how about that Astronaut Suit-girl; she’s literally glowing. It actually reminded me of Nino and had me wondering, do aliens really glow when hit by moon beams?
Anyhow, Denpa Onna To Seishun Otoko was an out of this world experience for me but with a really sweet aftertaste. It makes for great easy watching or if you want something extraterrestrial but at the same time into this world to look forward to. And you just got to love Erio.
Touwa Erio. Blue-eyed and blue-haired Erio is a 16-year old girl and is Niwa’s cousin. She refers to Niwa as ‘Itoko’, which literally means, er, ‘cousin’. As stated above, she became an outcast after her ‘spirited away’ incident. I don’t know about you but my sympathies were with her throughout the show. She was placed in such a hopeless situation that she found escape in her belief in alien existence. Even Meme was simply ignoring her at the beginning – though I think it’s just Meme not being able to handle what happened to Erio. It’s not like she doesn’t love her or anything. On the contrary, she really does. And when Niwa finally shatters her armor and uhm, brings her back to Earth, we cheer for her. We cheer for her as she does her best to gain friends and gain the neighborhood’s acceptance. She takes a job and does her best to get rid of her futon-wearing days. She opened up to people more. As Niwa said during their baseball game, ‘You did well’. If you don’t think Erio’s such a sweet, persevering (not to mention a real cutie) character, then I don’t know what’s wrong with you.
‘You can move others the way you move yourself. Isn’t it the simplest kind of ESP that humans can use?’ — Yashiro Hoshimiya (the astronaut girl, I think)
‘Maybe I’m alive because a whole bunch of mysteries came together.’ — Ryuushi-san