The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

The Careless but Loveable and Cute Junior, Ai and Private Film: Tawawa on Monday OVA Review and Reflection

“Feelings aroused by the touch of someone’s hand, the sound of music, the smell of a flower, a beautiful sunset, a work of art, love, laughter, hope and faith — all work on both the unconscious and the conscious aspects of the self, and they have physiological consequences as well.” —Bernie Siegel

I’ve gotten many enquiries about whether or not I’ve seen the two OVA episodes for Tawawa on Monday, which were bundled with the home release editions. While not mentioned in the original post, the answer to that is I found out about them moments after publishing, and had originally decided to give the OVAs a separate post. In response to the level of interest, I’ve moved up the posting schedule: this Tawawa on Monday OVA review thus comes out ahead of a talk about the behemoths in Battlefield 1. In the thirteenth episode, kouhai-chan is getting ready for work but forgets to zip her skirt completely, eliciting much glances from those around her en route to work. After arriving, her senior mentions this to her embarrassment, and feeling that she’s now spoiled for marriage, has her senior accept responsibility should this happen. The fourteenth episode deals with Ai-chan cleaning up the salaryman’s apartment while visiting, only to discover a Blu-Ray disk depicting a well-endowed woman with a uniform identical to Ai-chan’s. Flustered, she accidentally shatters one of the salaryman’s disks and later, tries to make amends by wearing her uniform for him, only to become annoyed when he suggests they watch Tawawa on Monday together after some disks arrive for him late into the evening.

While the two OVAs initially seem quite disconnected, separate from one another, they surprisingly have a common theme. In the first of the OVAs, the first thing that comes to mind is the stock phrase “[I] can’t get married [anymore]”: it’s been thrown around in a non-trivial number of anime that I’ve watched in response to entering some sort of compromising situation, and a bit of inquiry will find the joke is very dated. Apparently, it’s a relic of arranged marriages in Japan, where people often joked about how strict the criteria for finding a suitable partner, individuals who were “defiled” would not fit the requirements and become “damaged goods” in a sense, hence the phrase. However, since the 1950s, arranged marriages have dwindled in Japan, and the phrase no longer holds much meaning. In Tawawa on Monday, however, given that kouhai-chan seems to be interested in her senior, this might be seen as her way of implying that she wishes to be with him. Similarly, in the second of the OVAs, Ai-chan is shown to be uncomfortable with the salaryman looking at anyone else after discovering his stash, and her means of apology is to sate his biological curiosity; as Ai-chan seems to want salaryman to only have eyes for her, it stands to reason that she’s interested in him, as well. With this being said, I am basing this conclusion on reasoning that might involve several massive subjective leaps — interpreting and predicting romantic interest is not something I’m particularly good at, although I also remark that it’s quite overt in Tawawa on Monday, so that even I can pick up the signals.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • If there was any doubt as to whether or not I’ve watched the OVAs for Tawawa on Monday, this post should answer that question quite decisively. In keeping with how things work around these parts, I’ve done a full-scale post with twenty screenshots, and open with the remark that I have different sets of pyjamas for use depending on the seasons. In winter, I wear the traditional jacket and long pants type, since it goes get quite cold where I am. Conversely, in summer, a shirt and shorts are sufficient to maximise comfort even on nights where the temperatures remain above 20°C.

  • Tawawa on Monday might be about mammaries, but the OVAs also permit audiences a glimpse at kouhai-chan’s posterior: she makes an interesting choice here, considering that she’s set to meet up with her senior later in the day. Since readers have been wondering, “is this scrub even current in their anime knowledge?”, I figured I would make a concerted effort to keep the post interesting through the screenshots. This leads to the question: of the readers who follow this blog, which proportion come only for the screenshots, and which subset of this group stays for the discussions?

  • Getting ready in the morning can take quite some time, and it is for this reason that I’d much rather shower at night: asides from going to bed devoid of any detritus accumulated over the course of the day, it means I only need brush my teeth and wash my face before downing some breakfast and head off to work. By doing everything (including packing lunch and any papers/electronics) ahead of time, it means I can sleep a little more in the mornings before waking up — not being rushed in the mornings contributes to my being a morning person.

  • As a general rule, one should not wear dark undergarments if they are wearing light-coloured clothes on the surface. I’m looking around the post and suddenly realise that I’m doing a cursory talk on clothing, which is a topic I rarely cover. I dress rather simply unless an event requires more formal wear, and I place a greater emphasis on comfort and practicality over style under normal circumstances.

  • I remember from my primary school days that one of the more gentle ways of letting someone know they’d failed to zip their pants properly was with the expression “your zipper must be afraid of heights”. It’s rather more subtle than the commonly-used “your fly is open”, but the senior office worker decides to remark that “black is a nice colour”. Kouhai-chan takes a few seconds to catch on, and during her commute, seems completely oblivious to the trail of embarrassed males she leaves in her wake.

  • Access to my old office on campus was controlled by proximity card readers: strictly speaking, it’s not necessary to push a card directly against a proximity reader. Security cards have a magnetic stripe on them, with the particles polarised as either north or south. This arrangement equates to binary information, which readers can detect — a proximity reader will listen for small fluctuations in a card’s magnetic field to allow or denote entry, and readers with a more powerful solenoid can allow the card to be read without touching the reader surface, hence my assertion. Of course, this would deprive viewers the chance to watch kouhai-chan push hers into something.

  • Kouhai-chan’s expression is priceless after she realises what’s happened, and remarks that she’s spoiled for marriage. While some chalk this up as lazy writing, I have a feeling that it’s probably done as an in-joke for script writers, rather similar to how cartoonists will white out a panel and claim it’s a polar bear in a snowstorm, or else, some character testing out their new super-flashlight. Most comic strips do not deal with such humour, and it was only through Bill Amend’s Foxtrot that I became aware of a cartoonist’s take on making comics. Prior to that, in Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes, Watterson spoke frequently about the sizing of panels and using space to properly depict Calvin’s adventures with Hobbes.

  • Completely focused on the day’s work, the senior office worker is unaware of kouhai-chan’s remarks about having him take responsibility of the damaged goods: she’s really implying that she’s interested in him. For all of my remarks about matters of the heart, I’m green in this field in spite of all that theoretical background, and I’ve got the feeling that being out of tune with signals people send may mean I might not be able to lay claim to the achievement of breaking exactly zero hearts throughout the campaign called life.

  • After seeing the senior worker’s reactions, kouhai-chan smiles mischievously, bringing the first OVA to an end. Unless my intel is completely off base, there are only two OVAs at present, although personally, it’d be nice to see more of Tokumori-san and the trainer, as well.

  • Ai-chan’s look of horror when she discovers the salaryman’s stash is priceless, and her cheeks flush in shock at the contents revealed. It brings to mind a scene in Tomorrow Never Dies, where Bond is looking through Henry Gupta’s safe to locate the GPS encoder and finds it under a pile of adult magazines. Pierce Brosnan’s Bond merely grabs the encoder and prepares to leave, while George Lazenby’s Bond outright takes a centerfold from the safe of a German lawyer suspected to be in contact with Ernst Stavro Blofeld in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

  • While there are some commonly-used, modestly effective techniques out there for hiding directories containing these materials from people (one of the most hilarious suggests I’ve seen is renaming the directory to “System.dll”), if one has a partner who happens to be savvy in computers, one should really just bite the bullet and wipe out those contents. Something as simple as doing a virus scan or disk cleaning and discovering a 50 GB folder is enough to give it away. A good file shredder is useful here: they work by writing over the sectors containing the data in multiple passes, scrambling the binary values there randomly with the goal of making sure the data cannot be pieced back together.

  • While lecturing the salaryman on his viewing habits, Ai-chan accidentally steps on and breaks another one of his DVDs. The aftermath is not shown, but Ai-chan does feel quite guilty afterwards. Here’s a bit of trivia I neglected to mention in the previous Tawawa on Monday post: the salaryman is voiced by Junji Majima, who provided the voice to Tamayura‘s Kazutarō Dōgō and Hanasaku Iroha‘s Tōru Miyagishi, Tora Dora!‘s Ryūji Takasu (I’ve finished that one for around a year now and loved it) and Rei Hizuki of Sky Girls.

  • When he returns home from work, the salaryman finds a sullen-looking Ai-chan camped out at his front door, evidently guilty of breaking one of his possessions and waiting for him to return such that she may apologise in full.

  • Her “apology” takes a very unusual form: she makes it clear that she’s uncomfortable with the idea of the salaryman looking at other women, and in order to exhaust his desire to continue doing so, had arrived dressed in her work uniform. She is prepared to give the salaryman a good look at her even though she finds it mortifying to do so, and when the salaryman expresses shock rather than acceptance, Ai-chan is prepared to take things to the next level.

  • Throughout the second OVA, Ai-chan’s actions got me curious about the origins of modesty in humans: humans are the only species on Earth to wear a substantial amount of clothing and cover their genitals. To see what I could learn, I found a paper by William Thomas, published in 1889, that suggests that modesty is a behavioural trait that evolved from our social structures, to avoid unnecessarily exhibiting messages of courtship. If this is true, it would have likely evolved in conjunction with the development of clothing in early human populations.

  • While the other Tawawa on Monday episodes ran only for around four minutes in total, including the ending song, the last of the OVAs runs for a full minute longer. After Ai-chan wonders if the salaryman is expecting to see more, the lights turn out, and the observer’s mind will begin wandering. However, before anything crazy can happen, a deliveryman shows up with a package for the salaryman. While this may seem unusual, I have had someone appear at seven in the evening to deliver a package; I remember vividly, since the package contained my MCAT study package.

  • After seeing that the package consists of anime disks, the salaryman asks if Ai-chan would like to watch Tawawa on Monday with him, and she becomes indignant that the salaryman is into that sort of thing. This is particularly amusing, considering that they are in Tawawa on Monday, about to watch Tawawa on Monday. Presumably leading to an existential crisis of sorts, or in internet-speak, causing a divide-by-zero cataclysm (even though mathematics certainly does not work that way), the episode chooses to have Ai-chan delay any watching to spare the writers of having to work out what would happen if they watched Tawawa on Monday.

  • While the existence of a soundtrack for Tawawa on Monday is not outside the realm of the expected, I was quite surprised to learn that the release price will be 7020 Yen (80.38 CAD at the time of writing), especially considering that there are only sixteen tracks for a total runtime of twenty-two minutes. The music in Tawawa on Monday is nothing noteworthy, but well-composed to add a genteel sense to the events of the anime. For those who are interested, the soundtrack is set for release on January 16.

  • As her rant progresses, Ai-chan becomes more animated and invariably pops yet another button. Outside of Tawawa on Monday, there’s only one other anime I’ve seen where someone’s assets have caused buttons to pop off a shirt, and surprisingly, it comes from Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu Ka?? — during the second season, Sharo gives Chiya her uniform to try out, but their different figures results in a button popping off with enough force to deflect off Sharo and still travel a few meters in the opposite direction vector, resulting in much indignation from Sharo (and humour for the viewers).

  • Tawawa on Monday thus ends with Ai-chan covering herself up after her buttons fail, and the aftermath remains as an exercise for viewers. The OVAs definitely were fun to watch, and like the anime proper, is not something that can be easily explained to observers. I recommend watching this somewhere secure, preferably with a wall to one’s back and a roof overhead. In the meantime, I’m signing off for the evening: the Flames and Oilers are deadlocked at 1-1 after three periods of play and are set to go into overtime.

I believe that, with these two OVA episodes under my belt, I am truly done Tawawa on Monday. My opinions of this anime short have not changed since I last wrote about it: it fulfils the role of what is known as a “guilty pleasure” in my mind, and these OVAs certainly continue on with the tone that the regular episodes had before them. However, there is a more subtle element that is presented in both OVAs concerning how Ai-chan and kouhai-chan think of the men they spend time with. While seemingly minor, it does drive Tawawa on Monday towards a different direction than merely being an amusing form of #MondayMotivation: at present, I’m not certain if there will be a continuation of Tawawa on Monday in an animated form. Kiseki Himura is continuing to publish art to his Twitter at a regular rate, and although I’ve read from unverified sources that Ai-chan enters some sort of relationship with the salaryman, I’ve not actually seen anything for myself to suggest this is the case. Continuing Tawawa on Monday with a more full-fledged story could prove to be challenging, and with the entire series now in the books, I imagine it to be unlikely that Tawawa on Monday will continue to be adapted in the near future.

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