Yeah, yeah, you guys are probably sick of people blogging about True Tears. I wouldn’t know because I’ve been taking a minor break from reading blogs (if one can do such a thing) and writing blogs. I do understand that it’s a show that offers some persuasion to both mind and emotion to express just how… moe? it is.
Thankfully I don’t have a weakness against the backside of girls’ knees (or am I confusing it for Aria?). I think. And I’ve long since gotten my meganekko thing under control. I’m pretty good against porn generally. Most other forms of fanservice have the reverse effect on me (save when it’s well-done).
Am I the only one who wanted to have at Jibeta’s feet? I bet it tastes good.
Hm, I thought I already wanted some imagawayaki.
Hiromi’s feet is a wholly different matter. It’s really an inadvertent use of fanservice that turned into awesome.
And here’s why it’s awesome. So awesome that I’m going to spend many hundred words to talk about it.
In episode 11, we see that Hiromi is living on her own and enjoying some freedom. Away from the constraint of her adoptive family and the pressure that has been working into her bones the past 10 episodes (and few years of her life), she’s notably loose and relaxed. Let’s recall that at home and at school Hiromi goes by the picture-perfect model, and she does follow societal obligation for someone in her position–to not burden her host family too much, and at least make them passably proud of their adoptive live-in. Perhaps this is the proper perspective to watch her transformation after getting suspended and having Shin’s mom stick up for her. Hiromi was probably expecting being oppressed further ala Fairy Tale Stepmom style, so it made some sense as a plot trick.
We can never really forget True Tears is a late-night anime aimed for otaku. It’s not to say normal people can’t enjoy True Tears, but it’s not the primary audience for this show. To that end we’ve seen it given a lot of funny eroge-ish nods… HCG unlocked is not too far from the truth. It’s good to compare it to a harem anime just so we can see why this is so different. Anyways, the scene in episode 11 where Hiromi steps out of the shower in her bachelorette’s pad is really just a honest nod to that.
With those two things in mind, it already made it passable fanservice–conveying two things at once. It was done without drawing too much attention to itself, and with that third fact, makes it decent fanservice.
The whole of True Tears, really, is about not drawing too much attention to itself. It required people to be able to draw subtexts and infer from events and body language, and the show invited us to do so. It felt crisp and refreshing from the usual, hackneyed approach. Sharp-looking visuals and art direction helps, too.
But what made that scene awesome fanservice? That is the great feat of strength of dexterity that was demonstrated by our director.
We see a foot extended into the vacuum of an unframed shot, as it gingerly yet clumsily grappled a hanging piece of woman’s apparel hanging to dry between its toes.
What does this do? For the most part True Tears is directed straightforwardly. Suddenly we get this detached image of something curious yet massively suggestive, it make you wonder what the hell is going on. For those of us who don’t pursuit that line of thought very far (for whatever the reason), that’ll be the end of it. We enjoy a little footsy play on woman’s underwear, yay?
But there’s more to it than that. Showing us less is actually giving us more here. Did you wonder why and how was that foot trying to grasp that article of clothing? From the looks of it, it was hanging from the ceiling in the middle of Hiromi’s apartment. The actual height of it is somewhere as low as her shoulders or neck up to above her head. It’s in an elongated shape.
Do you ever try to grab something with your toes at that height? Why would anyone? How can it be possibly be done out of laziness? We know that she just got out of the shower and she’s holding onto her towel with one hand. Let’s just forget for now that in Japan people use compartmental heating so general areas are cold during winter (and True Tears is set in a snowy, frosty part of the country in late winter) and the proper reaction of Hiromi would be trying to avoid being frozen off.
But it’s still not quite fair to say that the feet bit is chronologically directly after the cut we see above. Let’s look at the actual fetching.
We can estimate the angle in which the undergarment stretches, and guess about how tall Hiromi was standing at the time.
The blue area is approximately where the rest of the garment has to stretch to; the arrow points off the picture.
What’s amazing is that, hey, that actually is a sensible angle for a kick, for approximately the height we imagine Hiromi and her clothes are in relation to each other. If you google for some pictures of high kicks, you’ll see this actually makes some sense. We have to take into account that Hiromi wasn’t really doing a full high kick, as she was extending her right leg up to fetch, and it was suspended for some period.
But that still doesn’t quite solve why Hiromi, as a character, would be motivated for this exercise. I guess we can consider her a serious athelete (we don’t know for sure) so it is not beyond her to do this for fun, at least considering her physical limits. Again, it ought to be cold. And again, she’s probably mostly naked.
One possiblity is that she’s just liberated. She’s doing something “improper” for a “lady” and certainly she’s enjoying that sense of freedom, as it was a main point in that whole scene from the moment she’s out of the shower to her phone call with Tomoyo.
There’s a feeling of meticulousness in True Tears production. It’s not as sharp as what you would expect out of a Kyoto Animation product, but P.A. Works combined with Junji Nishimura’s tight ship gives us some pretty epic results. In addition to some casual fanservice.
It’s no surprise the more imaginative and babbling bloggers tend to fall victim of True Tear’s less-is-more tricks.