Anne Happy♪ – 02

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Hibari, Hanako and Botan are joined by Thomas, the… school’s sentient robot bunny, who’s been tasked to observe and record the misfortunes of these particularly unfortunate girls. Despite his over the top bunny in a tuxedo design, Thomas is fairly neutral by anime conventions: he’s not especially mean, nor nice, nor does he have lazer eyes or any special powers. (except for being impossible for Hanako to catch and pet)

Because I find the android cutsey character type annoying and often inexplicably anachronistic, I am thankful for his tame presentation. That said, there’s really no real reason for the character to be a robot bunny at all if he has no powers or weirdness…

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Anyway, our girls’ unluckiness continues to be measured. First they answer basic questions about hobbies and skills, then they take a physical examine. Each mini segment reinforces the unfortunate traits we learned last week.

Hibari is relatively unaffected by misfortune, except for her self-imposed romantic obsession with the construction sign Botan isn’t really unfortunate either, beyond her constantly breaking bones, poor musicale strength and lack of flexibility; and Hanako is absurdly unlucky, as she can’t even order items from a vending machine without absurdity happening.

And, of course, she’s the only girl with no boobs!

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Later, the girls explore the school’s clubs. Hibari does well in the cooking club, Botan is repeatedly damaged by the athletics club, and Hanako is almost devoured by a mob of evil pets from the pet society.

The importance here being Hibari’s relative normalness could pull her away from the other girls, the only friends she’s ever had and who accept her for her mild weirdness. In the end, Hibari chooses ‘go home together club’ and everyone lives happily ever after.

Roll credits…

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You should watch this because: As before, episode 2 is charming. The world is weird — and the jokes aren’t always so much funny as just weird — but pleasant, because the characters all like each other and there are really no stakes yet. The bright colors and occasional transparency give it a dream like quality too.

You may not be hooked because: Anne Happy plays it safe. Weirdness aside, the characters are simple and the formula is obviously ‘something weird will happen to them each week.’ Also, that something will probably be Botan being injured, Hanako being attacked by animals, and Hibari coming to the rescue.

It is, by definition, a 3 note show. If you are okay with that, join me. There are far worse comfort foods to snack on!

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Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? – 02

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This second episode of NetoYome didn’t cover quite as much ground as the first, and seemed to lag at times, but didn’t do any harm to my impression that this is one of the better school comedies airing this Spring. There’s an inscrutable exhilaration from watching Nishimura suddenly find himself among the real-world equivalents of his game comrades.

They seem just as exhilarated…even Segawa. As for Ako, she barely acts any differently in real life, professing her steadfast love for Rusian, and being elated to hear he chose her irregardless of what age or gender she was in the real world.

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It’s interesting, then, that throughout the scenes in which Nishimura is gaming, his mind’s eye no longer sees Apricot and Schwein as exclusively men, which he assumed they were. That makes Apricot’s garb suddenly extremely racy, but he can’t help it. He’s met the real Apricot, Schwein, and Ako, and there’s no going back.

What’s interesting is that both Nishimura and Segawa are determined to go back to their normal high school lives after the real-world meetup, and they have no reason to suspect they couldn’t. Segawa doesn’t help matters by greeting Nishimura, something I doubt she did before they met.

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But the most doom befalls the two when Ako enters the classroom, refers to them by their game names and calls Rusian her husband in front of the entire class. The class is more bemused than anything else, but Segawa in particular finds this whole situation a serious breach of what she considers a sacrosanct barrier between the game and reality.

But here’s the thing: Ako knows of no such barrier, which is why she floats right over it. Rusian is Rusian, even when Rusian is named Nishimura Hideki. Same with Schew-chan. This ‘condition’ of not being able to discern between their real and in-game personalities troubles both Segawa and Nishimura…but I wasn’t as quick to condemn her.

Initially, I thought, people fall in love sight unseen all the time, and I was backed up by Ako asserting that her and Nishimura’s hearts connected through their in-game chatting. The difference is, Nishimura and Segawa were attempting to affect personas distinct from who they really are, while Ako was doing everything she could to be herself.

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Ako is firm in her belief that that doesn’t matter. I think the answer is in the middle, and Ako’s very different mindset from Segawa and Nishimura makes for an enticing character dynamic going forward, not just as a matter of debating these matters, but the fact Nishimura is closer to Segawa on this issue, despite Ako being his waifu.

One thing I’ll say is that while Ako is usually all over Nishimura, neither Segawa or the Prez seem intent on rocking that boat, at least not for the moment. As to Goshouin, she sets up a club where their game and real selves will be in the same place at the same time, which, if Real Nishimura’s as good a person as Ako already believes, is a gesture not so much tailored to ‘curing’ her of her inability to separate games from reality, as much as it could only confirm to Ako that she’s right.

No matter wha airs the others put on in the game, they remain essentially who they are, and those are the people Ako wants to be friends with in both worlds.

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