Genshiken - 8: A Compative Study of the Process of Assembling a Mass-Produced Unit

Episode:8: A Compative Study of the Process of Assembling a Mass-Produced Unit
It's a wonderful spring day, which, of course, means it's time to get started assembling "Plamos" (plastic models) in the Genshiken club room. The resident expert, Tanaka, plans to give a formal lecture on how to improve one's skills at model building. He has gone shopping with Sasahara and Ohno, each of which has selected a kit of a Mobile Suit. Everyone is fascinated and reads all sorts of implications into the choices the two have made; everyone but Saki, that is, who becomes annoyed at how technical the conversation is getting. She describes Plamos as "toys", a remark which Tanaka cannot tolerate. "Plamos", he says, "have souls instilled in them by the builder, who takes these tiny pieces and puts them together one by one. Thus, you're more emotionally attached to them than to mere toys". Saki asks to be allowed to hold a plamo that Tanaka has built, which makes everyone uncomfortable...
Bravo, Tanaka, I couldn't have put it better myself. I used to build plastic models wholesale, but only once did I buy a Mecha kit (which I shelved when I found it wasn't really capable of the cool pose which the artist had depicted on the boxtop). Countless identical plastic models are mass produced, but, as Tanaka points out, no two are ever completed in exactly the same way, since the buyer has a hand in the process. Thus, something unique is created. Perhaps it could be argued that a person can watch the same anime episode as countless other people, but by committing one's impressions to paper (or internet), likewise something unique, which can be appreciated by others, is born. Or maybe I'm just trying to justify all the time I spend on the keyboard. Anyway, surely the funniest moment of this episode came about when Saki had a little accident with Tanaka's plamo.

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