Rail Wars! – 07

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Things could scarcely get worse than last week’s fiasco, so this week I reveled in the fact the episode was at least partially about actual trains and advanced training, as well as the fact no one was acting like a crazy person.

Sure, a (simulated) train is derailed, there’s a pointless bath scene, and we get perhaps far more Haruka camel toe than we needed, but at least she’s not running around naked while Aoi fires wildly across city streets. More than anything though, by the end of this episode it’s clear the show has laid the tracks for a Naoto-centered harem of generous proportions, and that’s exactly what we get.

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Mind you, it’s not terrible. Naoto may have some weak qualities about him, but I’m not going to sit here and say he doesn’t deserve the affection of any individual girl who is presently pursuing him at this time, be it Aoi, Mari, Haruka, or Aoi (he’s had the most time and contact with the latter). But to all go after him at once…it’s just a little exhausting.

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However, I do like how it affects their training. During the Usui Pass simulator run, which D4 thinks is the real thing, Aoi is upset about Naoto saying he wants to be a driver, which is another way of saying “I don’t want to be a public safety officer”, which she interprets as “I don’t want to be with you; you smell.” So she’s understandably upset, and they don’t go over anything before they set off with her in the rear locomotive and Naoto up front.

Because they never worked out the signals, Aoi increases speed when he signals for brakes, and I guess she’s either unwilling or unable to use the phone Shou and Haruka use to keep in contact with Naoto. So they end up derailing magnificently. If it were a real train, that would have been more than enough for them to wash out of the JNR entirely.

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It’s kind of a perfect storm of Naoto being coy about being a driver because he doesn’t want to upset Aoi, while Aoi lets herself be blissfully unaware that Naoto might want to be a driver, despite the fact he’s constantly geeking out about the engines. It all blows up in their faces, and then they blow up a train, which is thankfully fake, but they’ll have to work that much harder to gain back the trust of their instructor.

As for why Naoto wants to be a driver (beyond loving the engines), that’s a bit thin. I’m not sure how he ended up by a mountain railway “starving and alone out in the cold”, yet he has a camera and tripod. Were his parents that neglectful? Also, he wants to be a driver to “cherish lives”…but isn’t that more a public safety officer’s job? How often is he realistically going to have to pull his train over to rescue urchins?

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In any case, Naoto still isn’t quite sure what he should do, but his good friend (who wouldn’t mind being more, natch) Mari is there to cheer him up, while Aoi slips an apology in his door. And then, the next day, we have this huge harem explosion, with Iida ordering Naoto to a chapel in the woods, Aoi meets him there, Haruka shows up feeling betrayed, and then Noa pops out of the confession booth.

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I was kind of hoping Naoto would eventually settle down with someone—Aoi (holy crap she’s adorbs at the end of this episode) or Mari, preferably—but that’s looking far less likely, unless he gathers the agency to sort through all these girls and pick the one he wants, a task arduous enough to be deemed the Usui Pass of character development. With all that pushing and pulling, things can go off the rails fast.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

4 thoughts on “Rail Wars! – 07”

  1. while not the fiasco last ep was, i still find this series to be hilarious in just how off the rails it is……pun intended. Koumi has become more aggressive in her efforts to be with Naoto in contrast with past eps where it just seemed like it was being nice to him. Aoi’s character type kind of grates on my nerves but i get that there is a certain attractiveness to her hard ass, confident yet vulnerable demeanor. Still, there is more about her tsundere side that i cant stand which outweighs the positives. Mari continues to be the breathe of fresh air in this series as she is the sensible, carefree, and down-to-earth character who is perceptive and doesnt blow things out of proportion Mari, preferably indeed)..such a shame the show is setting up for a NaotoXAoi end or them as being the couple that sticks out in a possible harem end(which that coupling just sort of feels like that’s what the show wants rather than it feeling natural)

    1. Totally agree about Mari. The fact she exists shows that RW! can do down-to-earth romance, it just chooses not to most of the time.

      Were I to remove my sakura-colored lenses and stop going with the NaotoXAoi flow, I’d definitely root for Mari. But we all know Mari ain’t gonna happen!

      1. Mari reminds me a lot of of Tamura Manami from Oreimo.

        • Sensible? Check.
        • Down-to-earth? Check.
        • Dependable? Check.
        • Devoted? Check.
        • Known the guy the longest (aside from his sister)? Check.
        • Cute as a button? Check.

        ….Doesn’t have a chance in hell of getting the guy? Check Mate.

      2. Sigh…exactly; Mari doesnt have a chance in hell- the correct choice in anime usually never does haha. But like i said i get the appeal with Aoi (i have to admit she was adorable in her outfit in the church scene).

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