Bottled

My daughter and I have been intermittently watching Bottle Fairy – I’ve only seen episodes from the first disc, but she’s bounced around between both discs randomly. From what I gather, aside from the ending, there doesn’t seem to be much difference in the discs. However, the ending lends itself to a dark interpretation.

Steven comments that the interpretation of the series as about a little girl’s personality disorder takes all the fun out of the series, destroying its rewatchability. I have read his spoilers and not actually seen the final episode myself, so everything that follows is uninformed speculation.

But it strikes me the girl’s personality as expressed through her fairy avatars is very imaginative, inquisitive, social, and smart. She’s also got a healthy storehouse of pop culture references! And all the japanese pun-misinterpretations might actually be deliberate, suggesting linguistic talent.

This girl is no ordinary kid. In fact, she borders on hyper-intelligent. That’s why I think she’s autistic, not suffering from multiple personality disorder.

Autistic kids are characterized by several factors, most notably being withdrawn. But they also react very badly to intrusions – and the the girl’s reaction to the overwhelming experiences in the real world is fairly typical of a stimulus overload. Autistic kids like a controlled environment, one that doesn’t intrude on their personal space. Finally, autistic kids are often savants. I think it’s clear that the girl is not an average kid in the intelligence department, and she might well be exceptionally talented in language.

(aside: this particular entry from PubMed struck me as interesting in a tangentially related sort of way. I wonder whether autism is more common in Japan than here. If it is fairly common then that might better explain the writers’ motives in embedding an autism subplot into their kawaii. The title is certainly evocative of autism as well.)

I haven’t seen every episode yet and I especially have not yet seen the critical final episode, so it is entirely possible I am way off-base in my speculation. But with the spoiler interpretation in mind, the few episodes I have seen lend themselves to an autism case.

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