badger11’s take on anime

Pumpkin Scissors Ep 5

As the show opens, Alice is chewing Oland out for sneaking out of the hospital to find the cats from the bridge where he normally sleeps. Because he snuck out of the hospital, his wounds became infected so he has to stay in longer. Alice is so furious that she swears never to come back and see him. After she leaves, Oreld tells Oland that she was pretty concerned for him. A nurse, Rosetta, storms in and also reprimands Oland. She asks Oland’s roommate to ring a bell if he tried to sneak out again. When she finds out that Oreld and Machs are Oland’s friends, she asks them to take a urine sample from him. Embarrassed, they make up an excuse and leave. The nurse then attempts to take one herself and here we come to the running joke throughout the episode. Since Oland is so big, everything is proportionally big also. Eeevvvverything. Oland starts talking to his roommate, Wantz, who’s envious that Oland has friends to visit him. Wantz works in a briefcase factory and has been in the hospital for a week due to stomach problems. None of his coworkers have visited him. Seeing that Rosetta is having trouble taking a sample herself, Oland takes the sample bottle and leaves the room to do it himself. As he leaves, he sees someone enter the room. Hearing the stranger talk to Wantz, Oland realizes that it’s somebody who works with Wantz. Despite his wounds, Oland limps off to the bathroom.
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Back at the headquarters of Oland’s unit, Machs and Oreld are in the library. Machs is trying to find evidence about Oland’s old anti-tank unit, ATT-901, and the “Invisible 9″ that Captain Hunks told him about. Oreld is trying to find out why Machs is doing all this research on Oland and his old unit. Machs explains that he believes that Oland’s presence in the unit could threaten the unit’s work and existence. Oreld tries to get more information from Machs, but Machs refuses. Until Oreld starts to embarrass Machs based on a childhood incident (both have been friends since childhood). Oreld makes the point that just as Mach’s past isn’t of any concern to people in the library; Machs shouldn’t be concerned with Oland’s past. Machs fills Oreld in on the information that Captain Hunks told him about the Invisible 9. As they’re talking, a woman, named Mirelle, passes by them. Oreld had taken her out on a date. Oreld and Mirelle flirt with one another. AS she walks away, Oreld tells Machs that she works in the Personnel department. He gets the idea to pay Mirelle a visit and see if he can get gat access to Oland’s personnel files. Even if there isn’t any record of the 901 Anti-Tank Unit, there has to be records of Oland’s military service.

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Oreld finds out that Oland’s assignment was strongly supported by the Imperial Science Laboratory, also known as the Kauplan Institute. Machs decides that he wants to talk to Oland about his past. Oreld agrees and as the two start to head towards the hospital they run into Alice. She’s still adamant about not visiting Oland. At the hospital, Oland’s gets calls the Rosetta because Wantz hasn’t been seen since earlier in the day. She notices a briefcase in the trash next to Wantz’s bed. Oreld and Machs run into the room, telling the Rosetta that someone’s on the roof. All four of them head to roof where they find Wantz preparing to jump. He tells them that the visitor he had was his boss who fired him from the factory. He has no where else to go. The briefcase was his severance package for working for 20 years at the factory. Oland manages to convince him not to jump by promising to make the country a better place for people like Wantz. Wantz starts to step away from the ledge when a strong wind starts to blow him over. Oland dives and manages to push him back from the edge only to go over it himself. He’s caught by Machs and Oreld but because his size and weight, he starts to pull them over. Wantz and Rosetta try to pull them back. Suddenly Alice appears next to Rosetta, helping her and Wantz pull everyone back from the edge. As they lay there, Rosetta starts to look around for Alice who has disappeared behind the door to the roof.

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This wasn’t a bad episode except for the ending. I thought it was a weak story device. A strong wind. That’s what that they come up with?! Hell, in Welcome to the NHK, Satou damn near fell of a cliff edge when it collapsed on him, but a strong wind? I know, I know, they needed a convenient plot device to bring a climax to the show. And since there aren’t any tanks or boulders for Oland to shoot, they give us this. I can’t really fault them on it, but it’s just so…predictable. I would’ve been satisfied with Oreld and Machs smuggling in some beers into Oland’s room with Alice spying on them from outside the room. One saving grace was the orchestral background music. It worked with the intensity of the roof seen and reminded me a lot of some classical music I’ve heard before. I want to say it reminded me of Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King” from “Peer Gynt” but it’s been awhile since I heard it. It was nice to see and ending that didn’t rely on Oland’s tank killing mode and to see Alice’s buried concern for him (even though it’s obvious to the viewers that she is concerned about him.)

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