Amanchu! Review

amanchuStory:
Futaba Oki is extremely shy and anxious about pretty much everything. Especially about changing schools and moving so far from the city. But when she runs into the eccentric, cheerful, scuba loving nerd Hikari Kohinata, she not only finds a friend, but also learns how to control her anxiety and embrace the joys of everyday life in a small town.

Violence:
Besides the occasional slap-stick punch, nothing to report.

Language:
Another section blissfully free of worry.

Nudity:
We get an episode where the girls try on new bikini’s and, of course, bust size comes up. We don’t see anything though, so besides some talk of chest sizes and such, not much to say here.

Theology/mythology:
One person might comment in passing about how humans came from the ocean originally, but that’s about it besides one character hanging a rain charm up in the hopes of keeping it from raining one day.

Personal impression:
This was definitely one of my favorites from this last season, which was rather unexpected for me as I thought this show was going to be a typical (aka boring) slice of life. Thankfully, while it never becomes revolutionary, it definitely has a charm unique to itself. One of the main leads suffers from anxiety. Her personal journey of not only becoming more in control of it, but also learning to trust her new friends and growing skills, is handled at a gentle, but realistic pace.
Perhaps most importantly of all is how her new friend reacts to her anxiety- with compassion, cheerfulness and love. Too often in anime anxiety and other such traits are dismissed or used as cheap stereotypes. But this show not only portrays it accurately, but also introduces characters that are understanding and caring towards it. Our anxious MC is never expected to get rid of her anxiety, but rather not let it control her. It’s an important distinction. She’s also never told she has to face it alone. Instead she is constantly reminded to trust and ask for help from her friends. At the same time, there are some battles she does face alone and I couldn’t help but feel proud that she faces them bravely, knowing that even if her friends can’t physically fight along side her, they support her in spirit and it allows her to press forward despite her fears.
As someone who suffers from functioning anxiety, I can safely say that this show is the most accurate portrayal of what living with it can be like day to day, yet is still a joy to watch as it remains cheerful and bright throughout (unlike Orange, which deals with another mental illness but is far more dark). Overall, if you don’t mind stepping back from the actions flicks for a bit, this is a really great, sunshine-lovin’ title.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: PG
Genres: Slice of life
Company: Production I.G.
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

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