The movie business has arrived in Manoyama, meaning one thing; Maki-centric episode! Our second-rate actress has taken a backseat for most of the show and it’s finally her time to shine. Considering the development Sanae got the past couple of episodes, I was especially excited to see what was in store for “Oden Tante-chan”.
To sum it up, a small slice-of-life production (
*cough*horror movie) was going to be shot on location in the town, providing an excellent opportunity for promotion. While the publicity is great, let me remind you once again that it was going to be small. Small production = small budget, meaning Yoshino and the gang have to step to provide a lot of volunteer hours, sans Maki (who got the short end of the stick in being a stage hand), who wanted no part in it.
We learn a whole lot about Maki’s past, far more than we’ve had the privilege of knowing. For starters, she’s a college dropout, and even more surprising, she quit her theatre group as well. Dang. Maki is struggling to deal with how doing what you love is painful sometimes. Even the third director makes a point of mentioning it. Goodness, this show truly resonates more with me with each passing episode.
Let’s be real, doing what you love freaking sucks sometimes, okay? There are many creative types in the world who aim to do what they love and be successful at it, but only a small margin get to live that dream. Only a few are so lucky. The fact of the matter is, no matter how good you are, sometimes luck factors in and gives us the winning edge we need, such as the case with Moe, who got discovered by eating a cicada on a game show. There are those bound to struggle, and those who just get lucky. Unfortunately Maki falls into the former category. She wasn’t getting any jobs as an actor and had to support herself through various other part-time jobs…and it was soul-crushing. I don’t blame her for quitting. I know what it’s like to be discouraged like that, don’t you?
This is where the third director plays an interesting role though, by showing us the harder path. He loves the film industry and someday wants to be a proper director, but is stuck being some pompous director’s gofer. Why bother doing it? Why? Because he loves it that much. He loves it to the point that being involved at all is good enough for him, albeit painful. He’s basically waiting for his own “cicada-moment” to pop up, but we all know that he runs the risk of never getting it.
The thing is though…he still has a chance because he carries on. Giving up entirely nixes that tiny chance. Now, I don’t fault Maki for her decision, that takes a whole lot of guts to know when to throw in the towel, but we’re certainly not done with her. Things may look grim for now, but I can definitely say that I’m excited to see the growth she gets from this experience.
To all you out there with creative passions, such as myself; don’t be discouraged. Keep chugging on.