Fumikiri Jikan

August 17, 2018

We are always constantly moving along our journey and trying to reach our destination. In what circumstances do we only actually stop? Well, one of them is at the railroad crossings. Hence, Fumikiri Jikan is a compilation of short stories and happenings as people wait at the railroad crossings. So put down your Smartphone and feel the excitement as you wait for the train to pass! You might be surprised at the weirdest things happening around especially at railroad crossings. Of course, no suicide cases please.

Episode 1
Ai dislikes the idea of wasting youth and right now they have to wait for the train to pass. Tomo dismisses that idea like falling in love since there isn’t anyone else but them here. Ai agrees since there are no guys but Tomo disagrees with a passion that women can fall in love with each other too. Ai tricks Tomo into screaming the name of the person they love when the train passes. Hey, it’s not like anybody can hear, right? Too bad Tomo screamed hers but Ai didn’t. Ai double checks with Tomo if she misheard her screamed her name. That’s when Tomo admits she likes her in a romantic way. Every day she waits here anxiously with her thinking about this unrequited her. She asks if she would like to share her youth with her. I guess this youth thing has come back to bite her since she isn’t sure. Tomo doesn’t need an answer right now and until she does, she hopes to come to school with her like usual. Ai fears she will be too conscious and awkward from now but Tomo notes this is just another form of youth. Welcome to youth? Not so keen on this youth thing right now, eh?

Episode 2
Tanishi sees Eriko Majima waiting at the railroad crossing. Just like how all the guys in the school says, everything about her is just so sexy. Hence he purposely comes to wait with her at this crossing just to admire how beautiful and sexy she is. Especially those rumours that she wears a skirt so short but you can never see what’s underneath. Then when the train passes and the wind threaten to lift up her skirt, he realizes he got unconsciously toyed with this idea. He thinks she has done a lot of adult stuffs and a virgin like him won’t stand a chance. She then notices him and talks to him, sending him into some paralyzing ecstasy. Even more so when she fixes his crooked necktie. He continues to be paralyzed with the sexy effect and will definitely come here to wait again tomorrow.

Episode 3
As the teacher waits at the crossing, it is not rare he sometimes bump into one of his students. This time, Kurobe from the disciplinary committee. He is in a dilemma to say hi because he doesn’t want to be known as a teacher who ignores his students. On the other hand, Kurobe is praying hard to be ignored. Worse, he is saying his inner thoughts out loud. When he ekes out a high pitched yahoo, Kurobe tries to hold back her laughter. He thinks she is disgusted because his own daughter views him as a creepy old man. This only makes it funnier for Kurobe but she is worried if she continues to ignore him, her report card will be affected. She tries to say something but she fumbles because she is still trying to control her laughter. Teacher misinterprets that she is booing him. At this point she bursts out in laughter. She notes him as a spacey technician but he doesn’t get it.

Episode 4
Takashi and Misaki Komaba are siblings and despite being next to each other waiting at the crossings, they communicate using their social media instead of speaking! Is this the future of relationships? He thought they should be talking normally since they are close but she denies anything about it. To show they are strangers, she starts using his first name but it backfires because only lovers would do that, right? The more they ‘talk’, the more she feels ‘harassed’ and starts calling him names. Takashi remembers a time when she used to love him and want to marry him and the likes. Of course she denies. She crosses the line when she tells him to go die. Takashi remains silent and doesn’t reply. She gets worried that he is actually mad. With no further reply, Takashi sees her cute nearly crying face and finally replies he was in the toilet. It brings so much relieved to her face. Oh, he didn’t go to the toilet anyway.

Episode 5
Goth girl, Fukutome is screaming at the crows?! They somehow bump off her hat. She goes on complaining about this neighbourhood and bugging parents and as she bends down to pick up her hat, she feels a sharp pain from her back. Could it be the sprain from bending over? Stuck in this position, her worst fears come true when an old classmate, Saito recognizes her. She tries to dismiss him that he has got the wrong person but this guy knows all her habits! Is he a stalker?! He claims he is a big fan of hers and follows her on social media in which she is quite active. Such a big fan that he has some picture of hers as his wallpaper! He also poses with her thinking this pose is using the solar energy to recharge! He then admits he used to like her. He goes off and will message her sometime. Fukutome is still left there in shock.

Episode 6
While waiting at the crossing, Akemi notices a weird guy staring at her from behind the bridge rails! It seems he was drunk last night and fell asleep on the streets. When he woke up, he found himself without pants. So please help and give him anything to wear. Will this paper bag do? Too small. Still exposed. How about these stockings? Tight fittings. See through skin tone colour. Don’t think so. But better than nothing. To repay his gratitude, he gives her a hassaku orange that was in his hand when he woke up. She doesn’t want it but he insists and tosses it to her (while making hassaku puns). Then she too inadvertently makes a hassaku pun.

Episode 7
Utako thinks she has some poetic awakening and thinks she is good at haiku. So as she waits at the crossing, she thinks of penning her thoughts down about the railroad crossing. Sounds decent but she realizes it doesn’t follow the 5-7-5 format. With a few extra syllables and rounding it up, it becomes 10-10-10 and the kanji for 10 looks like a cross, so triple cross haiku? Sounds cool until she realizes it sounds unintelligent and chuunibyou-like. Returning to the original format, she thinks of adding snow with railroad crossings. Sounds decent until she realizes both don’t match each other (because snow causes train services to stop). She adds love into in and realizes the pun of that word. Sounds great? Nah. Sounds bad too. Maybe she should give up being a poet.

Episode 8
More texting hilarity from the Komaba siblings. Yeah, they’re talking about crapping in the pants and Misaki having weird stamps just for him. He thinks she loves him so much since she only uses the stamps that way. He asks if she has friends since she is always alone waiting with him. She says she has and is only doing this to keep him company. She asks the same thing about him but more specifically if he has any girlfriend. None. She looks happy and is going to reply an excuse to accompany him when a couple of girls from his class invite him to karaoke. He would gladly go with them had not Misaki stopped him. I guess he can’t go then. He gives an excuse that he has things to do. What things? You mean accompany his sister? Nope. Going to crap in his pants.

Episode 9
An elderly guy, Saiki waits at the railroad crossing. He remembers this place that he hasn’t been since he was a student. He used to wait here while going to school. Remembering the nostalgic memories, there was this girl who waited across always reading a book. He fell in love with her at first sight and when the gate arm goes back up, they pass each other and go their own way. It’s a one-sided love. He even took the liberty to name her Yoriko and doesn’t even know her real name. After watching her in this manner through the seasons, he finally wrote a letter about his feelings for her. He gave it to her and told her he didn’t need a reply. Just letting her know was good enough. That was the end of it. He wonders what happened of her through the years and what she had thought of him. Suddenly he sees Yoriko standing there. She has not aged! Exactly the same! OMG!

Episode 10
We hear from Yukiko’s side that she loves reading books while waiting at the crossing. Suddenly a guy popped up to her and gave her a letter. Although he didn’t mind getting an answer, she never had a chance to reply whatsoever. Saiki instinctively calls out to her and she responds! Asking why she has the letter he wrote, she found it while organizing her mom’s belongings. So she is a splitting image of her daughter. Phew. That puts to rest she is a ghost or something. Silly me. Yukiko further adds her mom is a writer and left memories from when she was a student in essays. Since she likes them, she brought her book and letter to reminisce about her. Then this coincidence. She wonders if mom led to this meeting. She lets him read the book of what supposedly happened here. It does brings back some memories as cheeky Yukiko asks if it makes his heart skip to see the image of her mom in her. It makes him awkward thinking about a relationship between an old guy and a high school girl. Even if his relationship didn’t blossom back then, he doesn’t think there will a chance of a love story happening with this age gap. Could it?

Episode 11
Tanishi is once again enjoying the ass view of Majima. Too sexy! He starts fantasizing the other person she is communication on her handphone is her boyfriend and all the erotic things they did together. Yeah, he got jealous thinking of that. Despite realizing he is no match for her, he thinks that being short has an advantage as he gets to view her nice ass unlike tall people. Majima seems angry after her handphone reply. Her angry looks is also sexy. Thinking something bad must have happened with her boyfriend, he realizes it is wrong to think badly of others. His only way is to apologize silently behind her. But as he bows, he sees more of her delicious ass. So sinfully good! So sexy! He thinks of the need to apologize more but this time prostrating himself. What do you think he will see at this angle? Sexy level is over 9000! Majima then spots him and he gets flustered. Sexy time over.

Episode 12
Ai is now panic thinking about Tomo’s confession. The problem is not her confession but the kind of person Tomo is because she gives people weird nicknames and equally reads books with weird titles. Ai blames partly herself for suggesting that lover shouting game so when she finally asks Tomo about this awkwardness, Tomo admits it is. Ever since that confession, Ai has been distancing herself form her so Tomo thinks she disliked her. It made her feel she lost everything and regretted how easily she confessed to her. Wow. It’s getting dark and it’s like blaming Ai, no? When Tomo wants her to forget everything, Ai hits back she mustn’t turn her back on youth. She explains she was avoiding her because she felt embarrassed rather than creepy. She admits she has zero relationship experience, not even guys. So does this mean Tomo has a shot at her? Well, no competition, right? Ai hopes to give her some time while she sorts out her confused feelings. But then Tomo says something we can’t hear because the cliché train passes by. It leaves Ai very embarrassed because Tomo confessed to her again! Uhm… Surprise!

Stop, Wait, Ponder, Then Go
That’s so much about it. Although it wasn’t anything spectacular, it could even be ranging at just average and normal. This is just one of the few stories that happened at a certain railroad crossings. There are many of such crossings in Japan and throughout the world. Boy, how many more other funny and weird stories have we missed out? Oh, it’s like saying railroad crossings are the next happening place and sometimes a place for shower thoughts. Oh well, every place has its charm. But I still agree that it is an awkward place for romantic confessions. Even if you’re yuri. And also because cliché loud train passing to drown out the words so you can’t properly hear. Such great timing…

Well, the stories themselves aren’t much but for that short duration, they are interesting to watch. No overly complicated plots or twist, just bite size amount for us to enjoy. Therefore for those who argue that there is nothing much because of how random many of the skits are and how short each episode is, well, you have been warned when you read the series’ info and synopsis. It all boils down to how well the episodes are played out. Because there are some anime shorts that are just horrendous. Looking at you, Alice Or Alice (that aired in the same season as this one). For Fumikiri Jikan, I personally feel they are sufficient and satisfying. No questions asked. After all, it is already said they are random stories. You can’t piece a bigger plot from it all, can you? I don’t really want to turn this into some conspiracy theory.

My personal favourite story is the one involving the Komaba siblings. They are so close to each other in proximity but yet choose to communicate with their Smartphones. It’s like it is part of their body and can’t do without. The interesting and amusing parts are watching them interact with each other via messaging. Little sister is being tsundere but actually has brother complex while big brother trying to be cool and possible enjoy baiting and seeing little sister react this way. They probably have the best punch lines and jokes in the series too. Maybe they should have a mini spinoff of their own.

For the rest of the other characters and story, you could say they are a blessing or curse because they had to stop at the railroad crossing. Like Tanishi who got to enjoy some ass fanservice from one of the sexiest girl in class. A curse for Fukutome because she had someone see her in an unfortunate position. Broken body. Broken ego. Broken reputation. Some like Saiki managed to rekindle the flame of his past and put a rest to the mystery about the love of his life. Some like Utako trying to find inspiration but failing on an epic scale. These myriad of stories definitely makes waiting at the crossroad less boring. For viewers, that is. But I’m not going to wait at one just to see interesting happenings. Might get arrested for acting suspicious.

Art and animation are pretty okay since it is produced by Ekachi Epilka (say that name again?) in which this series is their first and only production so far. Voice acting is rather okay too for a short series. Norio Wakamoto makes his came as that hassaku uncle and it is nice to hear his voice after a long time. Same for Yukari Tamura as Yukiko. The other casts are Sayaka Senbongi as Ai (Chitose in Girlish Number), Yui Ogura as Tomo (Tomarin in Teekyuu), Kazuki Matsunaga as Tanishi, Yuri Komagata as Majima (Shirayuki in Mikakunin De Shinkoukei), Mariko Honda as Kurobe (Yuuko in Nichijou), Mitsuhiro Ichiki as Takashi (Kazuya in Freezing), Suzuna Kinoshita as Misaki (Mitsuki in Ousama Game), Nazuna Haruki as Fukutome, Kazusa Aranami as Akemi (Tomoe in Da Capo III), Yuu Ayase as Utako (Quetzalcoatl in Centaur No Nayami) and Ken Narita as Saiki (Sesshoumaru in Inu Yasha). The opening theme is the same name as this series and is sung by Yuri Komagata.

Overall, the series isn’t a masterpiece but it certainly doesn’t suck. Short and non-continuous is what makes it fun and enjoyable. It feels like it could have added more episode and cours but then again, the question of whether it will lose its charm because of all the randomness despite each story being unique. But I shouldn’t be asking for too much. After all, you’re not supposed to stay long at a railroad crossing. You move on once the boom gates lift. It is true that life isn’t about the destination and the journey. But one shouldn’t stop too long at a single place. Just like life, you have to move on, move forward ahead. Somehow I have the urge to sing the Bee Gees’ Railroad song… Yes I’ll walk by the railroad anytime, anytime/ Walk by the railroad anytime/ Tell my women that I miss her/ That I can’t wait to kiss her/ ‘Cause I’m walking by that railroad till I’m home…