Though it is unclear based on the testimonies of the characters, it is nonetheless remarkable to note that the Assistant we’ve come to love and enjoy reconstructed himself based off of Watashi’s preferences conversed at the tea party. But what exactly was he like before? Watashi, the Grandfather, and the Doctor all envisioned the Assistant differently based off their limited encounters and skewed information, so the answer we are able to obtain is not entirely specific or certain. Nevertheless, it will be an interesting exercise to relate character’s perceptions of each other based off hearsay and personal wishes for what their idea of the Assistant would be.
Before reinstating our familiar Assistant, the silent, blonde boy with the Hawaiian shirt, we were given a diverse array of descriptions that were assigned to him but never necessarily accurate. Our first understanding of the character was based off the description the Grandfather described, after he had met the young lad once prior. Though he was accurate on how the boy was quiet, the Grandfather gave the impression that the young man was an average person, yet also a physical specimen. That is, the Grandfather believed the Assistant to be a muscular, brawny, and powerful man who as seemed rather ordinary, something that Watashi found contradictory but to some degree plausible.
Next, the Doctor provided her description of the Assistant, though her illustration was largely ambiguous but also somewhat helpful. Though she repeated the same information about the Grandfather about the nature and impressions of the boy, she added that his behavior was sometime erratic and often wandered off on his own. And though she spends the more time with him than anyone else, she cannot even assemble a simple description of his physical appearance to Watashi. Instead, she saw the Assistant as vital signs and clinical data, something all too familiar for healthcare professionals (and something I can relate to immediately). Though she could offer no physical description, the Doctor could offer Watashi all the clinical information regarding the Assistant and, while ultimately accurate, it wouldn’t be the best information to give someone unless Watashi actively went around collecting the heights, weights, and blood types of all the boys in the village.
Luckily for Watashi, or perhaps unluckily, she ran across a boy who claimed himself to be the Assistant she was assigned to find. However, she was unprepared for his eccentric, perverse, and untamable behavior. That is, she was expecting someone quiet, well-mannered, and useful, not the wild brat who was as chaotic as annoying. But as we know the truth about the Assistant, this just so happened to be a personal rendition of the Assistant and not his true form. That is, this is a version of the Assistant that Watashi created within one of the time paradoxes that spanned the past two episodes. And because of this, the Assistant we saw, the undomesticated cowboy who was obsessed with Watashi’s boobs, was what Watashi herself envisioned the Assistant to be. Perhaps everyone else who had met the Assistant up until that point, including the Grandfather and the Doctor, saw him in similar circumstances. It would explain why everyone had such a different impression of the young lad as well as why they weren’t able to clearly remember such a person. That, and it’d also explains some involuntary traits about each of the three characters that met him.
What subconscious thoughts the Grandfather had about the Assistant were that he’d be a athletic and muscular young lad. What this likely means for the Grandfather is that he envisioned the Assistant to be someone reliable, cooperative, and determined. That is, what the Grandfather wanted the Assistant to be was someone who would be able to help him with his tasks for the UNCC, to do the physical labor of the projects while the Grandfather was the brains of the operation. This is the reason why you see the Grandfather wait as his desk while he sends Watashi to find the new Assistant. His task is to meet the new Assistant but he himself is doing so without doing any of the work, instead allocating that to Watashi. What he wants from the Assistant is to be someone like that, to perform the hard work while he’s able to take care of the other matters, the ones that require more intelligence or wisdom. Had the Assistant heard the Grandfather describe his desires during the tea party, then perhaps we’d be seeing a young Hercules follow Watashi around during Humanity Has Declined.
The Doctor also provided a similar description for her character analysis, something along the lines of her unconscious desires for what the Assistant would be. Without a physical description, like what the Grandfather provided, it is a bit more challenging to understand what her character wanted from the Assistant, but there is enough evidence through her exposition to determine what she was looking for. What the Doctor wanted from the Assistant was to be someone learned and wise. She always explained his knack for running away based on his natural curiosity and how he wanted to figure out who he truly is. It’d be difficult for her to find out the true reason why he runs away though given that she also told Watashi that he never communicates with her and that she wonders what goes on in his mind. However, that does not stop the Doctor for wanting the Assistant to be naturally curious, to want to explore his surroundings and himself, and to understand everything about him. It may indeed be true or not for the Assistant, but it is quite clear that the Doctor secreted wanted the Assistant to be both rational and astute.
Even Watashi has subconscious desires for what the Assistant would be and, for her example, we were able to see her imagine of the Assistant for a scene complete with physical description, personality, and even her interactions with it. And while it may seem obvious that Watashi wanted an Assistant to sexually harass her, to grope her breasts and talk about sex between every breath, it couldn’t be further from the truth. When Watashi learned about a new Assistant coming to their branch of the UNCC, Watashi immediately scoffed at the idea, already detesting the idea of someone else being with her and her Grandfather in this village. Though Watashi is able to be pleasant among others, she revealed herself to be territorial and anti-social when learning about the Assistant. For whatever reason, she did not want anyone else coming to her branch of the UNCC and was immediately against the new Assistant. And with that foundation in her head, she envisioned the Assistant to be the worst possible candidate possible: a rude, obnoxious, perverted young boy who was constantly inconsiderate and disrespectful. So it should be no surprise that the Assistant she met, considering her negative emotions entering from beforehand, turned out to be the brat that Watashi saw. These weren’t necessarily the unconscious desires for what she’d like an Assistant to be, which she narrated during the tea party, but what she thought the Assistant she was going to meet would be. It wasn’t until Watashi was honest with herself that she meet the Assistant that we’ve seen throughout the series.
From here, we’re able to understand just a little bit more on each of the character’s subconscious based on the Assistants they envisioned based off limited contact and word of mouth. It is interesting that each character was able to meet the Assistant each and come away with such different impressions, ones that matched their desires or thoughts on what he should be. You almost wonder is truly like beforehand and during each of the encounters and what the true nature of this being is. Unfortunately, based off the information obtained from this and all previous episodes, we’re unable to arrive at any distinct or satisfying answer. However, with what we learned from this episodes, we’re able to understand our characters just a bit more, especially the recurring characters of the Grandfather and her granddaughter. And seeing them interact with the Assistant now and in all the previous episodes, we’re able to see some results of this character growth or progression from what they were previously to what they are now with the presence of the accustomed Assistant. Quite a meaningful and rewarding story arc considering it accomplished much more than introducing the Assistant but also showing the character subconscious of each character and how they’ve grown since.
I wanna go to the forest full of Watashis. Then again, who wouldn’t?
#1 by Tzaphqiel on August 20, 2012 - 6:49 PM
This was a good post, and it definitely highlights how unusual Assistant is in general. That being said, I’m not sure that the young, perverted “Assistant” was actually Assistant. Rather, I think that was actually Watashi’s grandfather (albeit at a really young age). And, just so you don’t think I’m being contrary for the sake of being contrary, here’s the evidence from episodes 7 and 8 to support that:
– Grandfather said that the sundial watch was a gift from a woman who was not Watashi’s grandmother and also, indirectly, suggested that he was a bit of a playboy when he was young.
– The point where the young Grandfather shows up is marked with both an unknown recurrence number and an unknown recurrence time, with the others clearly marked in episode 8. I will call this recurrence the “mystery recurrence” for simplicity.
– The fairy that gives Watashi the banana after that mystery recurrence mentioned a “bug” in the banana that “went back too far” (or something to that effect).
– Towards the end of episode 8, Watashi tells Grandfather that the sundial watch wasn’t a gift to him and that he instead stole it, which goes hand-in-hand with the young Grandfather stealing said watch in the mystery recurrence.
But I wouldn’t be surprised if the shirt that young Grandfather wore (and, maybe, some other characteristics) influenced Watashi’s perspective of Assistant.
Lastly, I just wanted to mention that the last part was pretty groan-worthy, because it was the only time (so far) that Assistant has spoken (which makes me think of how the only words of spoken dialogue in “Silent Movie” were spoken by Marcel Marceau), and because it seems like they built up this arc mostly to use the “Time Paradogs” pun.
#2 by ThatOneGuy on August 21, 2012 - 7:10 PM
Time Paradogs. Because Time Paradogs.
#3 by avvesione on August 26, 2012 - 12:21 AM
True, I did miss that about Ringo Kid being the younger version of the Grandfather. Guess I was trying to hard to fit the anime to my theme for this post that I missed some of those facts indicating who the kid really was and what was going on.
However, it still doesn’t really change the fact that this was Watashi’s perception of who the Assistant would be when she met Ringo Kid. If she didn’t already have the idea of him being the Assistant in her head, she wouldn’t have asked him nor hung around him if he wasn’t. That is, the Ringo Kid was her idea of the Assistant all along which is the main point of Watashi’s section in this post. Furthermore, one might question why even have Watashi meet Ringo Kid while on her expedition to find the Assistant? What purpose did these interactions serve? Beyond tied together the Grandfather into the story, it falls back into her idea of the Assistant.
So while you were right about Ringo Kid being the Grandfather and that was something I missed, I don’t believe it really changes what Watashi’s perception of him would be.
Also, I don’t think the whole thing was built up toward the “Time Paradogs” joke; just something clever the author thought of to end this arc on a high note (or for you, a low one).
#4 by Kaellian on August 26, 2012 - 1:34 AM
Maybe I’m looking too far into this, but I don’t believe that “Time Paradogs” was a mere pun, it was at least one or two level deeper! Let me explain why.
Everyone here probably heard of Schrodinger’s cat thought experiment. You put a cat in a closed box,and because of quantum mechanics, it will be both dead and alive at the same time (at different probabilities) until you open the box. This is the “tldr” version that everyone know, but the real problem is a tad more complex, and was essentially posed in relation to the EPR Paradox and uncertainty principle. Explaining these principles isn’t very important here, but what we need to know is many theories uses these to explain “multiverses” (every quantum events lead to a parallel world).
Wiki even gave us a nice picture to explain the concept!
The quantum-mechanical “Schrödinger’s cat” paradox according to the many-worlds interpretation. In this interpretation, every event is a branch point. The cat is both alive and dead—regardless of whether the box is opened—but the “alive” and “dead” cats are in different branches of the universe that are equally real but cannot interact with each other.
Okay, that’s a lot of useless talk, but essentially, cats break space-time fabric and create parallel world. And what else could fix that but dogs?
Of course, I could be completely wrong, but the show already quoted something relatively obscure to people who aren’t well versed in science (Pioneer’s anomaly), and the writers already proved multiples times they can be clever.
As for the episode being made around that “pun”, I don’t think it was the case. This episodes was crucial to explain the relation between the assistant and Watashi. The plot came in second imo.
#5 by Xiammes on August 20, 2012 - 6:53 PM
for someone as observant as you are, I am surprised you didn’t pick up Ringo kid was actually Grandpa. It should have been obvious when he took the watch from Watashi, then the fairies said that the last banana took her to far back in time, also near the end she even tells grandpa “The girl you loved didn’t give you the watch, you took it”. Grandpa also still holds his revolver likes Ringo kid.
The sundial watch was also likely made by the fairies, if it had been a normal watch, Watashi would have evidence of time travel, but when Grandpa stole the watch it created a time parado(g)x, as he would give it back to her, meaning it could never possible exist.
#6 by avvesione on August 26, 2012 - 12:24 AM
Yeah, I missed that about Ringo Kid being the Grandfather. Still, I don’t really think it affects my thoughts on Watashi’s perception of him because that’s what she believed the Assistant would be. Since this comment is similar to the first one, I’ll just link my reply back to this one since they both answer the same comment: https://avvesione.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/jinrui-wa-suitai-shimashita-8/#comment-4970
But yeah, great observation for picking up on that.
#7 by Kaellian on August 21, 2012 - 3:04 AM
Ringo kid being Watashi’s Grandfather went completely above my head….shame on me because it make so much sense in retrospect.
#8 by avvesione on August 26, 2012 - 12:24 AM
Same, though I assume it was because you and I were taking too many screenshots of Watashi and not paying enough attention to what’s going on screen with the characters and the story. Then again, for us, that’s true for every anime…
#9 by Reiseng on August 21, 2012 - 6:37 PM
Hoh, I found your interpretation of Ringo kid to be rather interesting. I agree with everyone else in that Ringo is Watashi’s grandfather, but at the same time, I agree with you to.
In that case, then it is possible that her grandfather and the assistant are one and the same, but they just happened to have been “made” under different circumstances or something.
Well, the only glitch in that theory is that the assistant shouldn’t have existed way back when the grandfather did. Oh well, enjoyable post regardless!
Not going to lie, but a good part of me only wants to watch this show because I find Watashi attractive.
#10 by avvesione on August 26, 2012 - 12:28 AM
Well, just because Watashi met the Ringo Kid doesn’t mean she traveled back in time to meet him; the whole situation could be in some time paradox where time in not linear or consistent and that the Assistant and Ringo Kid are from the same time and same age but living in two different time points. Because of the nature of the episode and how much was explained to us, it’s not impossible to think that. Good catch there on that being a possibility.
Also, thanks for liking my ideas on the Ringo Kid and the Assistant. And I also like watching this anime because of how attractive Watashi is, too, especially considering how rich her personality is.
#11 by ThatOneGuy on August 21, 2012 - 7:12 PM
eye color of the two characters are different. thus, Ringo =/= Assistant. sorry to burst the bubble.
#12 by Kaellian on August 21, 2012 - 8:53 PM
This episode described the assistant as a tall and muscular guy. I wouldn’t stop myself at eye color to make a statement about who the assistant is.
#13 by ThatOneGuy on August 24, 2012 - 12:17 PM
That is a good point as to who it is, but I was meaning that the assistant we end with was not Ringo, not that Ringo was not ‘the assistant’ at the time…i think…
#14 by avvesione on August 26, 2012 - 12:32 AM
“Well, it says I have blue but I decided I wanted grey eyes.”