Runway de Waratte Ep. 2: Overworked

I feel the same way, girl.

— I’m watching this show mostly because I don’t know anything about fashion or modeling, and I’m hoping that the anime will provide me with some invaluable insight. High hopes, right?

— Right away, Chiyuki’s father withdraws the job offer when he learns that Ikuto is still a high school student. Duh. Why would a professional company hire a kid? I’m just surprised he even offered the job in the first place. Don’t most companies do background checks? In any case, Chiyuki’s father is completely justified here…

— …but he’s still an asshole. Who talks to their own kid like this? Hell, who talks to their own employee like this? But I guess this is how some industries are. This is how some companies are. Again, I have no knowledge of the fashion world, but I am pretty interested in the culinary world. And while it’s amusing to watch Gordon Ramsay call someone a donkey on TV, it’s actually pretty abusive. Most people wouldn’t want to work for a boss like that.

“Well, he gets results!”

Sure, but is Ramsay getting results because he’s an asshole? Or is he getting results in spite of it? There are plenty of accomplished chefs who don’t berate and verbally abuse their cooks. And I’d like to think that the newer generation is moving away from the old practices. Every fine dining kitchen I’ve ever visited was very quiet unless the chef in charge was calling out orders.

— I don’t like Ikuto’s attitude either. He repeatedly tells himself and others that he’s content with doing his own thing. And fine, it’s good to have perspective. If I shoot for the stars and land on the moon, I can still be happy. But the problem is that he doesn’t even try to shoot for the stars. He gives up immediately. If Chiyuki didn’t kinda bully him into pursuing his dreams, Ikuto would’ve just given up. It almost seems like he needs a type-A personality by his side or he’ll never get anywhere.

— Then we get to Chiyuki. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, ’cause when Ikuto isn’t receptive to her initial suggestions, she turns her words into weapons. C’mon, why do you gotta say that… especially when this isn’t what you mean! The guy snaps at her — hey, a person can only take so much punishment — so she finally replies, “But I just don’t want you to give up.” So say that in the first place? What is wrong with your people? Why are your communication skills so bad?

— With newfound determination, Ikuto meets with Chiyuki’s father again… and goes completely over-the-top. Ugh, anime and manga, man. I know screaming at people makes for a dramatic scene or panel, but it’s so ridiculous. Who goes into a professional meeting and acts like this?

— In any case, the kid gets a second chance. The company still won’t hire him, but through the old man’s connections, he does get to apprentice for an independent designer. But again, we meet another person who thinks they can be a jerk because they have an immense amount of talent. It doesn’t help either when people make excuses for these jerks. You’re just enabling their bad behavior.

— We also see his employees passed out on the ground because they have to put in extra work. He can’t even give them something soft to sleep on. This is great timing, because my local Twitter feed is currently filled with chatter about how CD Projekt Red is having its employees put in overtime in order to get Cyberpunk 2077 finished by September. This is why I didn’t go into game development despite my love for video games. There was that terrible isekai a while back about a programmer working for a company that would regularly put their workers through a death march. I had never heard of the term before despite being a software engineer myself. Well, my company doesn’t do that shit. And obviously, this sort of practice isn’t right. If you aren’t ready for a fashion show, then you didn’t manage your time or resources properly. This guy didn’t hire enough dressmakers.

— And sadly, the same problem plagues the culinary industry as well. Top restaurants get a lot of free labor in the name of stages. Some doe-eyed kid fresh out of culinary school looking for experience will accept, say, a stage at Noma. Just the name of the restaurant alone on their CV will open doors for them in the future. But they will be paid nothing for their entire stay. Absolutely nothing. Unpaid internships are a thing, but they shouldn’t be.

— Anyways, the episode’s plot structure is pretty basic from here on out. Ikuto initially screws up, so he gets kicked out of the studio. But he is determined to pursue his dreams now, so he comes back the next day and begs until he’s allowed to correct his mistakes. The asshole designer begrudgingly allows Ikuto to stick around.

— The day of the fashion show arrives, but one of the models can’t walk the runway. Naturally, Chiyuki is called upon to substitute. After all, this is her anime.

— The poor dressmaker has to quickly alter the dress in order for it to look good on Chiyuki’s short stature. Unfortunately, she succumbs to the pressure of the moment as well as general exhaustion. She has been overworked. The girl passes out, and as a result, the designer also starts freaking out. I guess not having one dress on the runway completely bombs the entire show? Shrug…

— But we all know this entire sequence of events is only taking place in order to give Ikuto the opportunity to step up and save the day. When we return next week, we’ll see whether or not he succeeds in fixing Chiyuki’s dress (he probably will).

— As a side note, I feel like none of the garments so far in this show have actually looked good. But again, I know nothing about fashion…

Please refrain from posting spoilers or using derogatory language. Basically, don't be an asshole.

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