Annotated Anime: Galilei Donna Ep. 8


Grandpa gives thanks, Anna gives back

Let's take a different approach for this week's Galilei Donna recap. Plot-wise, while the girls obtain the fifth moon sketch in an ancient graveyard belonging to the Yaguu clan in Nara, they take a vacation to visit Grandpa. Anna is growing more attached to the Ferrari sisters, and while we now know Roberto left them alive only so they could come back and find them as they collect the 6th sketch, it only makes Anna's spot in the situation all the more difficult.

That's all heart-warming and a nice thing to see during Thanksgiving week, but I think it's also a good opportunity to look at some east-meets-west themes. For one, I'm a big proponent of advance HVAC and HVAC accessories. No, I'm only half-kidding; nonetheless I'm stoked about this week's Galilei Donna. Yes, finally, an episode about the importance of advancements in HVAC!


By heat, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), I mean that here we have it -- an aging Japanese grandfather, all alone in his drafty Kyoto home. Japanese houses are traditionally built to withstand earthquakes and keep things ventilated during the summer. They are not so great at being heated like how American houses are. Philosophically and culturally, Japanese customarily prefer to heat the person, not so much the space the person is in. That's why in anime, you often see people bundle up at home and cuddling up under a kotatsu. They don't just turn up the heat in their forced-air system. Given the onset of the next ice age, everyone wants grandpa to stay warm. Grandpa, then, has to use his space heater. This is where Galilei Donna makes a very subtle statement about energy use, one that I am totally blowing up out of proportions.

The funny contraption out in the backyard of Grandpa's home is Dad's attempt to build a centralized source of heat. I don't know how they were able to hook it up to the portable stove -- but that's besides the point -- or how it has anything to do with the bath water temperature. However in modern homes, all of these can be somewhat reworked, centralized, and upgraded to use less energy, to be more efficient, and to heat things up faster. That was Dad's vision that now benefits his father. Considering that typically, Japanese homes use space heaters over centralized heating, I wonder what that is trying to say?


There are other east-meets-west moments this week, ones that probably would excite more so than what only excites a home owner paying his utility bills during winter. For example, half the time I felt the way the three sisters behaved as they walked the streets of Kyoto could be viewed as "embarrassing gaijin moments." I guess this is okay because they are cute girls from an anime, but much like Dad, the girls are excited and looking very out of place. Well, no more out of place than finding an authentic Galileo drawing from ancient Japan, I guess.


More over, I guess it's okay because in Galilei Donna, you can hide phones in your hair and nobody would even notice when it vibrates. I mean, I don't know, but I laughed -- hard.

Equally hilarious this week is when the Black Ganymede leader made a very humble and Japanese-like confession in front of Hazuki, her contemplative response is very cute. It also helps that Hazuki is positively vibrant and vulnerable this week, too, which gives almost a new dimension to her characterization that we haven't really seen before.

The moon is beautiful?

For a build-up episode, I really enjoyed this week's Galilei Donna, albeit in a manner wholly unexpected. Hopefully we can continue to riff on this energy stuff and not get too bogged down on the whole treasure hunt or Aldi Moon stuff.

[Learn Kyotoben on Crunchyroll]

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Jeff Chuang
Jeff ChuangAssociate Editor   gamer profile

Yet to be the oldest kid on the block, this East Coast implant writes cryptic things about JP folklore, the industry or dirty moe. Attend cons and lives the "I can buy Aniplex releases" life. ... more + disclosures



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