Today wasn’t as stressful as I worried about yesterday, but it was still pretty bad. If not for the fact that one of my teammates was on overtime (on an insane twelve midnight-to-two in the afternoon shift), as mentioned previously there would only be three of us taking calls, and the third member would only come in around ten. That said… the call volume wasn’t as massive as one would expect with only three people managing calls. I’m not sure if some strings were pulled, or if it was just Workforce feeling particularly merciful, but there were points where I experienced long avail times in between calls. Of course, these were counterbalanced with instances where the calls came in fast and furious, but those were expected (they usually spiked around nine in the morning, when most of the full-timers and CS people went home) and as such could be prepared for.
Also, there is this thing we call ‘petiks’… suffice to say it’s something that call center agents learn to do eventually at some point in their careers, and doing it too much can get an agent in trouble… I don’t do it often, but I think in this case it was merited, if only to preserve my sanity in the face of so many disgruntled callers (the company that I work for seems to attract that in droves).
That said, I managed to survive yet another stressful week-closer and somehow not collapse as soon as I got home. That’s very rare in my case, since I get exhausted very quickly if I’m stressed out (though the humidity in the past few days might have contributed, which is why I welcomed the small bit of rain we had tonight). Indeed I was not only completely coherent, but relaxed enough to indulge in another session of rewatching anime series archived in my external hard drives.
And guess what series I’ve chosen to view, this time not as a neutral party but with fangirl shipping goggles completely on?
SHIP LIKE YOU HAVE A PAIR!
Why, Sora no Manimani of course? A quaint romantic-comedy from 2009, the follows the experiences of bookwormish (yet not-apparently bishounen) Saku as he is dragged kicking and screaming into the Stargazers Club by his
tormentor childhood neighbor (according to Keima’s guidelines, she doesn’t count as an osananajimi) Mihoshi, who could be described as Yui from K-On and Suzumiya Haruhi mushed together, minus the god powers: energetic, driven, but with the emotional maturity of a 12-year old (despite being a sophomore in high school). At its core, the series is about Saku’s interactions with Mihoshi, the rest of the Stargazers Club, and the student council, and how he changes from his experiences from a stuffy bookworm who hates being noticed in public to… someone more comfortable in his own skin, I suppose.
BUT like I mentioned, I’m not coming into this rewatch as a neutral party, oh no. Two years later, I’m going into this with fangirl goggles firmly in place, so I can finally squee with shameless delight as I ship characters with abandon. Readers have been warned.
Now let’s get introduced to the individuals involved in the ships:
Where to start of course, but with the male lead and viewpoint character? In this case, it’s one Ooyagi Saku, who despite apparently being extremely bishie (not too obvious in this adaptation) would rather hole up in a room somewhere and spend his free time reading books. At the start of the story he’s been away from this city for around seven years, and if were up to him he’d rather be somewhere else. Why, you might ask? Because the city reminds him too much of the two years of his childhood where he
was terrorized made the acquaintance of an older girl living a floor above him…
Of course, the girl in question is Mihoshi. Energetic (if a bit dumb), she left a definite impression on a young Saku, primarily giving him the instinct to run away from her as much as possible. She loves stargazing, and Saku discovers the years he hasn’t seen her has dampened her enthusiasm for watching the nighttime sky not a single bit. She shares the same quirks and type of personality as Saku’s mother — let that thought sink in for a bit.
Interestingly enough, despite being the designated ‘main girl’, Mihoshi is not the main ship of the series (at least as far as watchers are concerned). Why? Because, when you come down to it, she has a childish interpretation of relationships (she treats Saku more like a kid brother, for example), which doesn’t lead to interesting shipping fodder. However the next two more than make up for it.
Now this is a ship. The first serious contender, as far as watchers are concerned, is Hime. She’s Saku’s classmate, and has been holding a small flame for him when he was nice to her during the entrance examinations. Of course he doesn’t remember, since she was wearing pigtails at the time, but his small act of kindness definitely made an impression on her. She pretty much joins the Stargazers just so she could get Saku to notice her, at least in the beginning. She has an obvious dislike of Mihoshi, what with the older girl’s casual and very clingy attitude towards Saku, and the fact that Saku tends to go along with whatever Mihoshi wants to do.
Hime’s main opponent in shipping wars is Fumie. A member of the Student Council and the Literature Club (a group Saku would have gleefully joined if not for Mihoshi’s influence), Fumie is confident, and very much in charge. Her browbeating of the Stargazers seems to be her primary trait, at least in the beginning (with constant threats to downgrade the Stargazers’ standing from official club down to fan group, as it saves on the budget), as well as her apparent opposition to everything Mihoshi stands for, but she shows hidden depths later on.
Where do I stand right now on the shipping war? At this point, the flag on my mast is in favor of Fumie, given my own bookish personality, and the fact that Hime seems to be trying too hard right now but… We’ll see.
It’ll be an interesting few days of anime rewatching, I think.