“Home is the nicest word there is.” —Laura Ingalls Wilder
After Nanako becomes enamoured with Awa Awa Girls’ PV, Nanako’s uncle announces that the Nagarekawa Girls will also be creating a video of sorts to boost public awareness of the Nagarekawa region and its specialities. Their initial cuts appear too forced, and Mirai is eventually chosen to be a director. The girls succeed in creating a public relations video that resembles a music video to capture the spirit of Nagarekawa. This Locodol OVA joins the ranks of the previous OVAs as being fun additions to Locodol, although being set in the middle of the year, watching Nanako and the others film a PR video was perhaps not quite as enchanting as the Christmas OVA. Nonetheless, this third OVA does showcase through the resulting video, that the most authentic representation of a region is simply to be honest in showcasing an area’s attractions and specialities.
The third Locodol OVA marks a return to the warm weather and easy-going pace of life in and around Nagarekawa that Nanako is familiar with. As Nanako and Yukari re-discover, it is this normality that her uncle is trying to depict in their video; there is no surprise that the final video and the process of gathering footage highlights Yukari and Nanako doing things at their own pace to complete their assignment. At present, it’s been almost two years since Locodol proper aired. However, the third OVA captures the same charm that made the Nagarekawa Girls unique as Local Idols: they’re not particularly flashy or distinct. Instead, they perform with the aim of putting their home town first; Yukari and Nanako’s shows, though not as coordinated or structured as those of the Awa Awa Girls, are very genuine. This mindset allows them to bring out the best in Nagarekawa, and becomes the reason why Nanako’s uncle and Saori feel that Yukari and Nanako’s performance is too rigid. Conversely, when everyone acts as they are wont, the video’s contents become more reflective of life in Nagarekawa, making it into the video’s final cut for the world to check out.
Screenshots and Commentary
- This is my 700th post, and I will spend it going through the latest Locodol OVA. The presence of this OVA came as a bit of a surprise to me, being screened to a very limited number of viewers back during March (to the point where there was next to no discussion on social media sources and message boards that reached English speakers) and streamed to around a thousand viewers during April.
- Yukari provides a quantitative measure of the extent to which she feels that she and Nanako can be considered a couple. The dynamics between Nanako and Yukari have been the subject of no small discussion, and while I find it to be adorable that the two are as close as they are, it’s not particularly meritorious of extended discussion.
- Yukari and Nanako share the news of their assignment to shoot a PV to Yui and Mirai during lunch hour. Yukari feels it’s best to make the video public domain since the objective will be to promote Nagarekawa, and the girls decide to ask Nanako’s uncle first. Feeling that they lack the expertise, they further ask the Awa Awa Girls for some pro tips on how to make an effective PV.
- Because the Awa Awa Girls are more seasoned idols, they have experienced the pressure and challenges of making a good PV. They remark that it’s hard work to deliver each section, since they do numerous variants and select the best ones for the final video. The ultimate advice they impart for Nanako and the others is to put their hearts into the video they’re making, since these feelings (or the lack thereof) can be felt by an audience.
- Yukari’s interactions towards Nanako is largely employed as a comedic device in Locodol, and I find that in anime such as these, they can be successfully utilised to create humour far more effectively than if an identical setup in a different form of media or even genre.
- After classes end, the Nagarekawa Girls meet with Saori and Nanako’s uncle to discuss logistics for how the shoot will go. It turns out they’ll be doing a public relations video promoting Nagarekawa rather than the PV videos (music videos) that Nanako was envisioning in her mind’s eye. I believe my hometown has countless videos highlighting its features, and I need not remind readers that Calgary is only an hour’s drive from the legendary Rocky Mountains, as well as being home to some of the best steak this side of Canada.
- I could probably spend forever going on about why Calgary is a pro city even if I do have complaints about the efficacy of city transit and snow removal; that would rather defeat the purpose of this post, so I won’t speed too much time talking about Calgary. Back in Locodol, the girls begin shooting the video using a camera on loan from their city council. While Nanako is surprised to learn it’s a PR video, some words from Yukari motivate her to do her best nonetheless.
- Given that this is a PR video, Yukari’s wish of making their video freely accessible will be realised. This reminds me of the ACM publishing policy notice I received a few weeks ago: the conference paper I published to Laval Virtual is signed under an agreement that allows my professor and myself to retain copyright of the work that gives ACM the right to pursue copyright should they so choose.
- We opted for this approach because it would allow me to continue using the screenshots in my thesis paper and other conference papers. My third conference paper, submitted to the PPSN conference, was unsuccessful, but my Laval paper was selected as one of the Best Papers and invited for submitting an extended paper to the International Journal of Virtual Reality. I learned of both during the same week in that order, and it’s funny how things work out sometimes.
- In my “Home of Locodol” post from last October, I remarked that the canal cutting through Nagareyama, Nagarekawa’s real-world equivalent, was designed by a Dutch engineer. In both the fictionalised and real locations, the canals serve as a park for locals to relax in, although Nanako and Yukari do not mention that the canal is a fine spot for hanami.
- While working on variations of what to do and say here, a group of children who are fond of the Nagarekawa Girls drop by to visit. Both Yukari and Nanako get along well with children and spend a few moments playing with them: for audiences, this shows that Nagarekawa’s Local Idols are quite hands-on with respect to interacting with their town’s community, further demonstrating that they are effective in what they do.
- Today was the long-awaited defense date, and I arrived early on campus to clear my mind before taking on the defense itself. The presentation component blazed by, and three rounds of questions from the exam committee later, I was informed the exam was over. The wait for the results were agonising, but the wait wasn’t bad: I passed. The thesis now needs a bit of extra work to clear up some definitions and terms, and there are a few minor things here and there to fix, but the toughest exam I’ve taken since my undergraduate defense and MCAT is done at last.
- After the examiners provided their feedback, my supervisor handed me a form for complementary champagne from the university’s graduate lounge. We visited the lounge for lunch, and I decided to have a Carnivore Pizza (topped with spicy chorizo sausage, pepperoni and bacon) before returning home, just in time before a large thunderstorm rolled through my AO. I’ll cash in on the complementary champagne closer to my convocation, and for now, I’ll take a few days off to reorganise myself and prepare for the upcoming conference in the Yucatán Peninsula.
- While filming, Nanako runs into some of her friends, and here, Mirai decides to include everyone in the videos, making the PR video a very lively one. Voiced by Inori Minase (of GochiUsa‘s Chino Kafuu), Mirai is quite shy but nonetheless makes substantial contributions to the Nagarekawa Girls, acting as a substitute for Yui as Uogokoro-kun where needed and otherwise performing quite well in a support role.
- After editing, the completed PR video is ready for viewing. Professional video editing requires a substantial amount of effort, and I imagine that Saori is probably quite skilled if she’s doing these tasks for the Nagarekawa Girls. In the TV series, Saori was shown to be enamoured with Yukari and Nanako, but these tendencies become more subtle as time wears on rather than more overt, and as of late, she merely comes across as a competent manager whose fascination with the Local Idols is portrayed with reduced frequency.
- The video’s unveiling occurs at a small event, and it turns out, despite being meant to be a PR video, the resulting product is a music video of sorts after all, showing ordinary life in Nagarekawa. Ultimately, the girls try, and succeed, in making a good PV.
- Quite truthfully, I prefer the theme song for my home town over the Nagarekawa song any day of the week. It turns out that the theme song I mentioned for Calgary during my first Locodol post has a bit of an ironic twist to it: the melody and song was actually used for a wide range of American cities and is not unique to Calgary at all: while the Nagarekawa song sounds nowhere as polished, at least it’s original.
- With this post done, I’m looking at the calendar and predict that I will have enough time to push out a talk on Alien: Isolation at the halfway point before I leave for my conference. I’ll be back mid-July, and will begin working then, so it may take me a little bit after that to acclimatise to my schedule. With that being said, I’ll try my best to have a final review for Flying Witch for sure: I’m on the final episode now, and look forwards to finishing one of the most interesting anime this season on short order.
- While I’ve not provided any screenshots here of the OVA’s opening sequence, it turns out that the animation and artwork for the OVAs differ from that of the TV series. While some have taken this to hopefully correspond with a second season, news has not reached my ears of any continuation. As it stands, if all we get of Locodol is more OVA episodes in the near future, that would be acceptable (even if I myself would certainly enjoy another season of Locodol).
- While Yukari and Nanako wonder if any international viewers has seen the new video, it turns out that some foreigners have; they recognise Yukari and Nanako. The scene might be scaled up to wonder whether or not international audiences are watching Locodol, and if this blog is anything to go by, the answer is a resounding “yes”. I will, for the foreseeable future, continue to write about any new Locodol OVAs that reach my ears, and if a full second season ever becomes a reality, I will be reviewing it in some capacity without question.
While discussions on this OVA are limited in scope and scale, watching Nanako and the others film a PV to promote Nagarekawa is reminiscent of the several opportunities I’ve had this year and in past years, where TV crews from local news stations visited our lab to film some of the research we carry out. Usually, the crews ask us to act as though the cameras are not present, and since the lab’s researchers are rather used to focusing on a demonstration or discussion, it’s surprisingly easy to act naturally. Granted, it can be somewhat more challenging knowing that a camera is present, but as Yukari and Nanako discover, they can be true to themselves on camera without too much difficulty. With that being said, my time with the university research lab is slowly drawing to a close: as of today, in this seven hundredth post, I’ve successfully defended my thesis in an examination lasting around ninety minutes. All that is left now is to apply some changes to the thesis paper itself, and then convocate in November. This brings the third Locodol OVA review to a close, and concerning any continuations, my thoughts have not changed since the Christmas post; while I would love to see more Locodol, for now, no new news have been released about a potential second season.