Arte Ep. 2: More physical labor

I guess before a woman can prove that she can draw, she needs to prove that she can lift? It’s all about the gains, man.

— Leo’s not completely heartless, so he gives Arte a bunch of money to fix up her shack. This means grabbing the wheelbarrow and paying a visit to the marketplace. Hm, did they really sell meat skewers back in 16th century Florence? I’m asking seriously, by the way. I wouldn’t know this sort of thing. History was never really a passion of mine.

— When it comes time to buy wood, our heroine runs into the same ol’ problems again, i.e. most of these men are too sexist to even take her money. Money is money, man.

— Arte eventually does manage to buy a few planks of wood, but she has trouble dragging them home. She takes a tumble at one point and is about to cry, but like last week, she tells herself that a boy wouldn’t cry in her shoes. Eh… I wish the mangaka had taken a difference approach to equality between the sexes. It shouldn’t simply be, “If you can do it, so can I.” We should go a step further and say, “No matter your gender, you shouldn’t feel any shame in doing whatever you want to do.” Within reason, of course. I shouldn’t have to say that stuff like murder are off-limits, but there are devil’s advocates out there. Anyways, my point is that I don’t have a problem with girls crying. I don’t have a problem with boys crying either. If you are a human being and you feel the need to cry, just do it. Crying serves an important function.

— Anyway, some baby-face guy by the name of Angelo shows up and instantly tries to help Arte. First, he cleans her wounds and bruises, then offers to help her carry the wooden planks. But even though he has good intentions, he still comes across as patronizing. As a result, Arte rejects his help.

— Would a guy back in 16th century Florence overreact like this to holding a girl’s hand? Or is this just another example of anime tropes leaking into places where they shouldn’t be?

— Eventually, Arte makes it back to the workshop and immediately gets to work. And after a week has passed, she’s done. It even looks good on the inside. Unfortunately, it’s not very well-insulated. The shack will get very cold in the winter, but I guess Arte can worry about that when the time comes.

— I’m just kinda surprised that Arte would even know how to fix up a shack on her own. This isn’t about being a girl or a boy. This isn’t even about being young or old. I’m an adult man, and I wouldn’t jump headfirst into construction. I would at the very least consult some DIY resources. So y’know, this scene just feels unrealistic regardless of Arte’s age or gender.

— When Leo sees the results, he’s impressed. As a result, we get anime’s patented head-pats. Lame. It’ll be doubly lame if this is the story’s attempt to build towards a romantic relationship between these two. For now, Arte is appreciative of the fact that Leo never points out her gender. I’ll be more than happy if he simply serves as a father figure to her.

— I know what some people are gonna say. They love screaming at the top of their lungs that we shouldn’t impose our contemporary morals on the past. No, this isn’t about that. I’m not going to call Leo a pedophile if he ends up in a relationship with Arte. I just don’t want to watch it. It’s that simple.

— The perspective then jumps to Angelo. He just has this compulsion to help women out no matter what. Why? It’s because he lives with a bunch of spoiled sisters. They apparently can’t even rub their own feet. Since he was told by his own father to protect his sister, I guess Angelo just feels uncomfortable if he can’t help women in general? Pfft. I mean, even if he feels as though he needs to help all women, his reaction to Arte’s rejection is a bit extra, don’t you think?

— Anyways, he happens to bump into Arte again one day. She’s actually at his master’s workshop, begging to sketch one of the sculptures. But again, women bad, blah blah blah. And again, Angelo wants to lend a hand only to be rejected. He wants to help her so bad, he’s willing to sneak her into the workshop and risk getting himself into trouble. He’s a helpful guy, but he’s not very empathetic. He can’t seem to understand that Arte wants to do things on her own even though she’s spelling it out to him directly.

— Arte confronts Angelo’s master one more time, so the old man pulls a Leo and gives our heroine yet a seemingly impossible task. He wants her to carry heavy sacks of clay all by her lonesome. Eh… I’m fine with a show about a heroine shattering glass ceilings, but I’m already kinda tired of these labor-intensive tests, y’know? I kinda want to move on from that. There are other challenges for Arte to overcome. I don’t want to keep watching her impress men through physical labor.

— Eventually, Arte gets the job done anyways, because she’s as stubborn as a mule. But again, my credulity is stretched, ’cause she’s fourteen. Male or female, it doesn’t matter. Teenagers, however, are not that strong. Clay is heavy, man.

— Still, she impresses Angelo’s master. When she’s unable to sketch after losing her grip strength, he even tells her that she can come back the next day. It’s like flipping a switch.

— But Angelo doesn’t get it. Once more, he tries to help even though Arte has never asked for his assistance. He tells the girl that she should just join his workshop. This way, he can help her! Dude, get a damn clue.

— Well, Arte hammers her reasons into his thick skull one more time; she tells him that she just wants to be able to do things on her own. It’s not that complicated. And just like that, Angelo somehow gains an epiphany.

— When he returns home that night, he tells his sisters to try and solve their own problems without his help. Every dude in this show is getting their switches flipped.

— Honestly, I thought the episode was a little boring. I want to see Arte face new challenges and not just rehash ones we’ve already seen. As for Angelo, he seems like a doofus. Maybe now that Arte has explained her mentality, he’ll become a better character. Finally, Leo barely had any screentime, so I can’t really comment on how he’s developing.

3 thoughts on “Arte Ep. 2: More physical labor

  1. DerekL

    “Clay is heavy, man.”

    Oh, yeah. Was hanging out with a friend in her pottery studio and volunteered to help her restack some of her stash. How hard could it be? The bags were only about the size of a pair of gallon milk jugs…

    freakin’ *hard*. Those “small” bags weighed about thirty-forty pounds each. The ones that Arte was moving were much larger…

    1. Sean Post author

      And she’s 14. I doubt my 14-year-old ass could’ve done the same. I doubt any 14-year-old could’ve done the same.

  2. Pingback: The First Sunshine Blogger Award in 2020 of Yahari Bento!! – YAHARI BENTO!!

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