A Viewer’s Guide to RobiHachi: Episode 7

A Viewer’s Guide to RobiHachi: Episode 7

July 29, 2019 Anime Blog Hizakurige Japan Jippensha Ikku RobiHachi Tōkaidō Viewers Guide 0
Robby, Ikku

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***SPOILER ALERT***
This episode guide may include plot and/or character reveals.

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Japanese Title: 一寸先は夢の国

English Title: Land of Dreams Just Ahead

Characters: Robby Yarge, Hatchi Kita, Ikku/JPS-19, Yang, Allo, Gras, Kenta*
*Indicates the first appearance in the series.

Summary: Robby, Hatchi, and Ikku land on the planet Akka Sakka, which they discover is one vast theme park called Flower Mansion. Robby is entranced, Robby and Ikku are cynical. They soon learn all negative language or behavior is forbidden in the “world of dreams and adventure, love, hope, and pure, righteous amusement.”

After finding a viewing spot for the Lovely Fantastic Fairy Tale Dream Parade, Hatchi goes to refill his Lovely Flower Dream Treasure Caramel Box. Robby overhears a couple talking about the once-a-year Lovely Star Night, during which three asteroids align to form a heart-shaped silhouette. The event culminates in the Lovely King and Queen ringing the Lovely Bell in the Fairy Tale Lovely Fantasy Castle, which binds them together forever.

Yang, Allo, and Gras arrive at the park. Yang decides he must ring the bell with Robby.

Hatchi gets lost and is escorted to the Lost Children Center. Hatchi meets Kenta, a young boy who deliberately ditched his security detail. Remembering his lonely childhood, Hatchi tells the proud boy to make friends instead of worrying his parents. Robby arrives and the pair head back to the parade site.

From atop a huge parade float, Yang spots Robby and gives chase. Ikku runs to the Nagaya Voyager. Robby and Hatchi flee to the Lovely Castle. The beginning of star night is announced as Robby and Hatchi come bolting up the stairs of the bell tower. They knock the King and Queen out of the tower and the spotlight reveals Robby and Hatchi ringing the bell while holding hands. Ikku arrives in the Nagaya Voyager, rescues Robby and Hatchi, and they fly off through the fireworks.

Back on the Akka Sakka, Kenta meets a new friend. A tearful Yang resolves to never give up on his dream of being with Robby. Aboard the Nagaya Voyager, a confused Robby wonders what just happened and Hatchi turns away, claiming ignorance.

Notes

See “Getting Started” for background information on the anime, which is based on an Edo Period fiction series called Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige.

Episode 7 is missing the ending animation and credits.

Planet Akka SakkThe planet Akka Sakka is a reference to Akasaka (Tōkaidō Road post-station 36); however, the theme park is a parody of the facility located in Asakusa, a district in Tokyo.

HanayashikiThe Akka Sakka theme park is named Hanayashiki, which means “Flower Mansion.” The Asakusa theme park, also named Hanayashiki, is Japan’s oldest and was founded in 1853 as a flower garden.

Park entrance feesLike the RobiHachi version, the real Hanayashiki theme park uses a multilevel fee structure that requires purchasing an admission fee (differentiated by age, individual, group, and disabled) plus ride tickets or unlimited ride pass.

Robby's social media accountHatchi using a special, social-media entrance is a parody of tourist attractions that recruit social media influencers by offering free admission and other perks in exchange for promotional posts.

Flower girlsWord of pure, righteous amusementThe park’s oft-repeated motto “pure righteous amusement,” is possibly a parody of a memoir written by a rakugo (traditional storyteller) artist named Katsura Bunko, titled The Diary of Katsura Bunko: Ethereal Troubles of a Starved Youth — Pure, Righteous, …Amusement (2009)

Dashi parade floatThe large parade float Yang rides is a dashi or yatai, which is large enough to house a stage for live theater or musical performances. The similar looking mikoshi are portable shrines that house Shinto deities and people do not ride these ritually purified structures. 

Lovely paradeStanding among the alien parade watchers is a dogū figurine. (Also see episode 1 notes.)

Allo, Yang, GrasThe running gag about Yang’s sexual appetite, including his unabashed lust for Robby, is a reference to Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige. The original stories are filled with crass behavior, coarse and sexual language, obscene jokes, and double-meanings.

Lovely Starry NightThe chorus line sung at the climax of the Lovely Star Night scene seems to have been mistranslated. The Japanese phrase eien no aibou, which means “eternal partners” (in a platonic relationship), is subtitled “eternal love”. The translators may have done this deliberately to reflect the original material in Tōkaidōchū Hizakurige.

Robby and Hatchi holding handsTōkaidōchū Hizakurige implies a sexual relationship between Yajirōbei and Kitahachi. This was made overt in the modern film adaptation, Yaji and Kita: Midnight Pilgrims (2005), which portrayed the two characters as a gay couple.