ATM! is best described as a show in which a lot of stuff happens. That stuff doesn’t always make sense or have any kind of narrative substance to it, but it does happen. There’s so much crammed into the show, apportioned a few scant minutes at a time, most everyone is bound to find something interesting. And I do, just about every time.
ATM! throws stuff out there and sees what sticks. The Alien-inspired “facehugger” scene is one of its funnier pop culture references, and it only takes up a few moments.
Less subtle is the lightsaber ‘duel’ between Tenchi and Momo, with ‘duel’ in quotes because they’re not really fighting; he’s trying to stabilize her physical form…or something.
Like Washuu’s Alienesque booby trap, there’s an attempt to repurpose well-known icons to fit the bizarre story.
Meanwhile, we’re meant to root for Washuu, even though she’s kinda guilty of murder on a mass scale…or crimes so diabolical there aren’t even laws in place for them. And in a nod to the show’s penchant for irrationality, Washuu is arrested by basically failing to account for Mihoshi’s utter lack of rationality. Airheads have baffled eggheads since time immemorial!
That brings us to the big finish: the entire world appears to be halved, or possibly split between two dimensions. Tenchi and Momo are dangling precariously over the fissure, from which spouts peach flower petals. It could just be my depraved mind, but I can’t get over the possibility this is all elaborate symbolism for a ‘girl entering womanhood’, with Momo’s protector Beni being unable to ‘stop nature’.