Believe it or not, I think the restroom serves a purpose (beyond just being a collection-and-disposal facility for bodily waste) when it comes to anime and fiction in general.
In fact, I can think of 5 possible reasons why bathroom scenes are included. There are probably even more, but I was already having enough of a bowl writing this one.
Alright, enough stalling. Here goes!
There May Be Gossip
Sometimes lips will move and words will run (in addition to the usual movement of matter associated with restrooms) within these personal hygiene stations. A character may waltz in and will hear others talking about someone the character knows or was wondering about.
This happens primarily because the bathroom is, to some degree, considered to be a private place. On that basis, these busybodies hold a conversation while handling their business since they believe they can be discreet.
And for the most part it is except for potential hidden cameras or awkward characters hiding in bathroom stalls to avoid confrontation and interaction.
A Place for Reflection
At times, a character will go into a bathroom and stare at the mirror. This usually signifies that said character is experiencing self-doubt or is troubled. Whether or not the individual overcomes such feelings before leaving the bathroom depends on the series and on the character.
Other times a character will go into a stall and just let loose with his or her or their true feelings. Again, this happens because said individual believes the stall offers a degree of anonymity.
Fateful Encounters May Occur
In some cases, a character will be curious or thinking about another character. And then the former ends up running into the latter at the bathroom because coincidences happen in fiction and in real life.
On that note, these chance meetings will sometimes reveal a bit about these characters. After all, the restroom is a place where people are vulnerable. By definition you become partially naked and thus end up being exposed. As such, scars or injuries are thus momentarily visible.
Enabling One to Eat Lunch in Solitude
There are a few lonely characters who eat lunch while sitting in the bathroom stall. They’re never dropping deposits while consuming matter, at least, which makes sense since holding a bento and chopsticks is an activity that requires two hands.
Well, I suppose a character can place the bento across his or her or their lap or could just eat an onigiri, but I digress.
Showcasing a Fear of the Dark
If there’s a child character or a childish character or a character with a (hidden) childish side, then the individual may ask for someone to come along for a late night bathroom trip. After all, it’s scary to be by yourself at night, right?
Alright, now it’s your turn. Do you agree with what I’ve written here? Disagree? Agree to disagree? Have you any other ideas? Please let me know in the comments section down below!
Thank you for reading.