Landlady, the Champion of the World

Finishing the last third of Hidamari Sketch Honeycomb, my favorite episode was the ninth, which comprised of the landlady (hence referred to with a capital L) dropping by to play The Game of Life with everyone. While Landlady is cool enough on her own, her interactions with the rest of the cast revealed more of herself with the ever slightest pinch of melancholy and brightness that the series has.

It made her cooler than ever before.

Landlady is a recurring character in the series who is often seen doing odd jobs and pushing sudden tasks onto the denizens of the Hidamari Apartments. Aside from these odd jobs, nobody really knows what Landlady is up to, and she’s purposely vague about what she does with the rest of her time. While Yamabuki is a private art school and a dorm beside it would likely charge for a premium, Landlady doesn’t look stable in terms of finances.

So when Nazuna asks Landlady about her “job”, Landlady dodges the question. It’s an awkward topic. Later the topic of conversation shifts to the girls having constructed careers they deemed they would most likely be in. There’s a hint of melancholy as Landlady casually mentions that she never envisioned to become a landlady, and Yuno urges her on to follow her dreams, whatever they are. Having grown up a bit, I can say that it’s very cute, and very naive for a teenager to tell me that I should single-mindedly embark on my deepest aspirations (which may, as most young people don’t know, involve trampling on others), but I appreciate the sentiment.

So, what does Landlady actually do? Crazy theory coming up, but I’d say she’s saving the world. She could be a superhero, a secret agent, or even a magical girl, whatever–I’d really like to think that she’s the star of her own show. The reason she’s hesitant to reveal details of her personal life is because of the dangerous work she does. It also ties nicely to owning a dorm. If you own a student dorm, then you’re helping bright-eyed youths to be whoever they want to be. Because you couldn’t, whether by responsibility or tragedy. You’re working to provide a place for people who could grow up to achieve the things you dreamed of. You’re fighting so they don’t have to.

And amidst her joking, easygoing exterior, Landlady is actually very kind, and strong. Kind, because she’s looking out for the girls in her own way (giving them useful things every now and then). Strong, because she’s doing a whole lot of jobs to be able to support them from a distance. Landlady has a slightly weathered look, like someone who’s faced more than a few hardships in her time. But she’s able to smile and put on a cheerful face in front of the girls.

One could say that she really does nothing outside her various jobs but drink and laze around, but the set in her eyes doesn’t support that interpretation for me. She’s an awesome adult if she can keep on living and smiling without letting the burden of her past show.

And even if I’m wrong, she’s still saving it, by nurturing these wonderful girls at arm’s length. Man, if you could think up of what cartoon characters do off-screen, why not think big?

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One Response to Landlady, the Champion of the World

  1. DoctorBaronvonEvilSatan says:

    Landlady is a cyborg ninja who works for a private military company to help support the dorms. Most of the money she earns goes towards repairs and maintainance of her cyborg body but enough goes to the dorms that, even if the tenants are late with rent, the dorms can still afford to be in such prime property.

    She mentions that she never dreamed to be a landlady because she honestly thought that her life would be nothing but endless battle. That she would never be able to escape the battlefield. She says “landlady” with some sadness because eventhough the apartments let her escape the battlefield, she still has to return to it so she can preserve this little oasis in her life. Even then, she feels that it’s worth it and she is able to smile at the girls.

    She chose to help students because she was the only survivor of an experiment by a shadowy corporation involving kidnapped children who were conditioned and modified to be able to accept the cybernetic bodies. She was the only one who was able to escape before being mindwiped to become robotic mercenaries. She wasn’t able to get the other kids in on her plans because she only spoke Japanese and the others spoke different languages. Landlady nurtures the tenants as penance for those she had to leave behind.

    My own dream was to become a cyborg ninja assassin like Landlady. But I can neither ninja nor cyborg 😦

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