26 Days of Future Boy Conan - Episode 04
Episode 04 - The Barracuda
Episode Summary: Jimsy and Conan sneak onto the ship, but Jimsy gets drunk and alerts the captain of their presence. While trying to escape, they are caught. Captain Dice lets Conan and Jimsy stay on the ship if they will take punishment. Jimsy passes out and Conan takes both their beatings. They work on the ship doing random jobs. Finally, the ship sets sail for Industria.
Episode number four, "The Barracuda," aka The One Where Jimsy Gets Drunk Off His Butt. This episode is really funny and has a number of silly gags, and Conan seriously comes through as determined and hard-working. As for Jimsy...am I the only one who thinks he's a jerk in this episode? After all, they both get caught because he's stealing food and wine from the kitchen. And he may know how to smoke tobacco, but the kid can't handle his booze. At least he's a funny drunk, but look at how Conan has to pay the price for Jimsy's attitude.
Fortunately, Jimsy comes around once he realizes that Conan took double the beatings because a certain someone had passed out. When he realizes what a jerk he's been, he really does feel sorry, and then Jimsy proves his worth as a friend and a hard worker. Once again, Hayao Miyazaki teaches the redemptive value of a strong work ethic. These characters are tested by fire, and they rise above through their determination and drive. Those who hustle the hardest and push the furthest will succeed - that's the credo of any person who grew up during difficult times, whether it's the Great Depression or World War II.
Speaking of jerks, I also think Dyce and the sailors are all a bunch of jerks in this episode. I guess there has to be one episode where they're tough and dangerous, and I'm reminded a lot of Captain Silver and his pirates in Animal Treasure Island. Pretty quickly, they're going to become a bunch of nice guys and a bit clownish, so they're getting their moment here. Notice how Conan does win the crew's respect by taking the paddling. Another Miyazaki trait. Also, for the record, I don't buy for a second that Dyce and crew were serious about hanging Conan and Jimsy. They were totally committed to the frat-house paddlings.
And what's the deal with Jimsy always peeking at Conan's butt? It's funny and slightly creepy at the same time, heh heh. That definitely surprised me the first time I saw it. I made sure to snap a screenshot of Conan glowing pink. I also laughed at Jimsy running around in circles, so drunk he can't even see straight. Ah, that takes us back to the college days, right? And then there's that terrific bit near the end, where Conan and Jimsy knock the first mate Dongoroth off the top mast and into the ocean. That's worth a big laugh. This episode has a lot of slapstick, mostly a comedy respite before the action revs up again in the next few episodes.
Why is this ship piling up with so much plastic? You wouldn't think of the Barracuda as a salvage ship, but maybe that's their story. Why does Captain Dyce wear that outfit? Doesn't it come off as a front? And how long do they practice those goofy arm movements with the robots, like saluting or wiping the hands? I'm sure we'll have some answers once they get to Industria in the next episode. Or maybe not. The upcoming episodes are going to be a big, I can tell. I can't quite recall the details, since it's been so long, so this is a fun trip for me and you alike. I don't think we're going to see Lana for another episode or two, but don't quote me on that.