Koi to Uso – 04

Lilina comes over to Yukari’s for dinner, much to the joy of his giddy parents, who openly talk of how quickly they became intimate. Strange how the imminent threat of cultural extinction changes what is and isn’t proper dinnertime conversation!

Lilina also cleans up Yukari’s room, which is a bad look for Yukari, though in his defense he became engrossed in a book about burial mounds (as you do). I half-expected Lilina to discover his porn stash, only to find it’s all just burial mound magazines.

Lilina happily help cleans up though, not just because she can’t stand to sit around in squalor, but because the cleanup is an opportunity to dig up some more details on her new BFF Misaki, as well as get more out of Yukari about when he fell in love and how it felt.

Yukari’s pretty good at expressing this, especially how the very scenery in one’s everyday life changed after he fell for her.

Then two suits from “The Ministry of Love” show up to basically ask how the soon-to-be-happy couple is getting on, then giving them a speech about how great the Yukari Law is and how it’s way more precise and less prone to failed pairings than the arrange marriage laws of yore.

And while such a system might be admirable in theory, its complete and total disregard for actual love between non-paired people almost makes the medicine worse than the disease…if the disease weren’t the death of Japan due to no one making babies.

But the spooks say the same things others (including Misaki herself later!) have said, and something on which I agree: Yukari and Lilina do seem to make a good couple. Obviously that came down to the science determining that these two peoples’ personalities would be compatible, and there’s a slight temptation to say “well, what would be so wrong with them just getting married?”

Wellsir, that would be fine except for the fact Yukari loves someone else…and she loves him back. Lilina not only remains totally okay with Yukari kissing Misaki daily, she basically orders him to, not for his sake, but for that of Misaki’s happiness.


When Yukari tells Lilina he thinks it’s “weird” his assigned wife is telling him to kiss another girl, she promptly returns his volley with deadly accuracy: “it’s even weirder that the world forbids you from kissing the person you like.” Amen, sister!

So Yukari has his orders: he’s not to give up so soon, even though he believes Misaki has received her marriage notice. Which is odd, because I thought she already received it, and her assigned husband is Nisaka, and has been keeping it a big secret.

But even her odd little argument with Nisaka that Yukari gets a glimpse of could be anything. It could be Nisaka told her how he feels about Yukari, but Misaki remains firm that he’s her’s. When Yukari works with Misaki after school, he congratulates her, but he’s off base: she didn’t receive her notice.

Another titular lie? If not, why did the suits visit? And was it sheer coincidence such a science-y ministry asked Yukari where Misaki lives? Do they not have Google Maps? In any case, Misaki adds that no matter who was chosen to be her husband, Yukari will be “the only person who’ll ever be special to me,” before leaning in to kiss him.

Lilina, it would seem, was right: Misaki isn’t giving up, so neither should Yukari. Lilina doesn’t feel she has adequate skin in the game, and so doesn’t want to be yet another impediment to Real Love in a world that’s already turned against it. That’s noble, but I do hope, as seems to be the case, that she starts to grow closer to Yukari despite that.

For now, she’s still far more focused on Yukari and Misaki, to the point she invites Misaki to their two families’ camping trip, and she says yes. Not sure he’d be able to deal with the stress being in a triangle during the trip, he invites (and eventually bribes) Nisaki to come along too.

And so there you have it: an arranged couple on a camping trip, each bringing along a person in love with Yukari. Should be interesting!

Advertisements

Servant x Service – 12

serv12

Chihaya is takes three days off to make clothes, including Yamagami’s dress for her date with Hasebe. By the end of the stretch she’s exhausted, but Ichimiya takes care of her. The day of Hasebe and Yamagami’s date arrives, and he is smitten by her outfit. He takes her to a used bookstore she’s never heard of and a restaurant, but he’s called away by family business, so Yamagami suggests they have another date at a later time.The next day Hasebe is out of sorts, and when Chihaya, Miyoshi and Ichimiya ask him what’s up, he tells them the one who approved Yamagami’s name is his father.

It’s finally date time! And it went…fine. Other than ending early due to Hasebe’s family meeting Kaoru’s fiancee, things go off without a hitch. It’s a real shock to see Lucy not only wearing a dress and heels, but not wearing glasses; in any case she’s positively adorable, as we knew she would be. This isn’t a comedy of errors: this may Yamagami’s first date, but she’s an adult, and she acts like one throughout…mostly. Her only wig-out is when she’s overthinking things regarding Hasebe holding her bag. Hasebe pretty much a perfect gentleman, taking care of her at every turn. And in the end, they agree to do it again. Progress! Development!…in a slice-of-life! Good stuff.

Speaking of progress, Chihaya didn’t really make any in her mission to tell Touko that she’s dating her brother, though she does learn that Touko wouldnt mind her brother having a girlfriend, and that she’s studying and working hard to get out of her brother’s way. We also appreciate that Chihaya doesn’t do anything to sabotage the date – she even retreats with Touko when Lucy and Hasebe end up at the same cafe. She does warn Lucy to be on her guard, still convinced Hasebe is messing with her. But Hasebe acts exactly like Chihaya’s ideal of a decent man, and Lucy learns he’s serious about liking her. The only hurdle that remains is the rather unfortunate fact that Hasebe’s dad is the one Yamagami wants to punch…

8_great
Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • We’re glad Ichimiya disobeyed orders to stay away and check in on Chihaya. Their scene together is very cute, especially when she tries to get something going, only to fall asleep on him (though he does have to spend the night because of this.)
  • If you’re on a date with a bookish girl like Yamagami, you’d better damn well take that girl to an awesome used bookstore she didn’t know about.
  • To her credit, when Hasebe suddenly takes Yamagami’s hand, she doesn’t go all spastic and panicky, but hears him out.
  • We hope the fact Hasebe’s dad allowed Yamagami’s name doesn’t make her hate or reject Hasebe. But he should tell her.
  • After having her shirt lifted up last week, Yamagami is on her guard next to Chihaya during the final episode preview.

Servant x Service – 11

ser11

Worried that things could get awkward between them, Yamagami searches for Hasebe with the Chief, who ends up getting accidentally sold at the bazaar outside the office. Yamagami gets him back by offering a plaid bunny the girl thinks is cuter. Miyoshi decides to head into the city to clear her head, but ends up encountering every single person from work, and getting depressed. Her date with Tanaka doesn’t go as badly as she feared, and even agrees to go on another one.

Hasebe may have caught on something quite profound: he’s been living a carefree life, being good at many things but hardly making an effort as he’s sailed through it. It’s cruel yet appropriate, then, that he finds himself now paying for all that…carefreeness by falling for a girl with absolutely no notion of or experience with romance, who may never, no matter what Hasebe does, fully grasp the concept of a guy liking her in that way, as opposed to any other girl on earth. Yamagami is exceedingly adorable, but she’s a tough nut to crack, and it doesn’t bode well that Hasebe still hasn’t impressed upon her just how special she is to him. Realizing that wooing her will take far more effort than he’s ever put into anything has Hasebe feeling more outwardly gloomy than ever before, and it’s sweet that Yamagami admits she doesn’t mind that side of him.

But enough about them, the balance of this episode was about Miyoshi, finally! Her aimless day off – and all the aimless days off her co-workers and acquaintances are having depiction of the average office workers’ average day off. Tired from the week, but also faced with a sudden period devoid of structure, no one engages in particularly thrilling activities, instead ending up in a bookstore, at an arcade, or simply sitting on a bench in the park. Still…it’s not work, right? And once you get past the fact that Tanaka talked about Hasebe for an inordinate amount of time, had nothing else interesting to say, and let Miyoshi pass out from a sip of wine, the date actually didn’t go that bad! We can only hope Hasebe’s date with Lucy goes so smoothly…


Rating: 6 (Good)

Servant x Service – 10

serv10

Chihaya tries to tell Toko about her and Taishi, but Toko mishears and then falls asleep. Miyoshi gets tangled in a conversation about regrets with Tanaka and ends up agreeing to go out to dinner with him later. Kanon comes to the office to meet up with Toko, and has strange interactions with Hasebe, Yamagami and Miyoshi, while Toko discovers the Section Chief is a stuffed rabbit.

An important thing to remember about slice-of-life series like this is that sometimes things that seem like they’ll be promptly addressed…aren’t. The Yamagami-Hasebe storyline is placed on the back burner this week, presumably to give Chihaya an episode in which to let Toko know she’s Taishi’s boyfriend…but that doesn’t happen either. Instead we get an awful lot of Toko and Kanon, two high school girls who are not civil servants. Or remotely interesting.

Have we mentioned we don’t really care for Toko? Well we don’t, and there was nothing in this episode that would cause us to change that stance. She’s shrill, clingy, inconsiderate, rude, and generally drags down the show with her presence. Her friend Kanon isn’t much better. This week she’s ostensibly the straight man to the antics of the office workers, but she’s as dull as Yamagami’s plain pasta. Whenever these girls become the focus of an episode, the series feels like it’s slacking off…like Hasebe.


Rating: 5 (Average)

Servant x Service – 08

serv8

Hasebe takes Yamagami out to dinner, where she details her goal to complain to the civil servant who allowed her name. The next day, Tanaka, waiting outside the office, also invites her out to eat at the same restaurant. There, he complains about Hasebe and never being able to beat him, but thinks he can beat him by going out with her, the girl he’s hitting on. Hasebe rescues Yamagami. The next day his behavior has changed slightly. When asked by Yamagami what she can do to repay him for all his help, he asks that she go on a date, neutralizing Chihaya by assigning her to put Yamagami’s outfit together.

More and more, Hasebe and Yamagami are starting to remind me of a slightly older Takanashi and Inami from Working!!. Yamagami isn’t afraid of men, but she is afraid of going out on a date or wearing a skirt, and has never even given either much thought. While we’re not sure about the latter fear, the former is due to her long name, which she feels would make dating someone impossible. But she’s gradually warming up to Hasebe, and Hasebe, who initially hit on her as a joke, is really starting to like her the more time he spends on her, which is affecting his work.

While Yamagami’s name haunts her (and she’s too deferential to her nice parents to have it changed), Hasebe’s past and potential haunts him. Tanaka is a remnant from that past, who saw the greatness and laments that it was never harnessed. But like Yamagami is content to buy and read books (only leaving enough money to buy the most utilitarian of food), Hasebe is content to sail through life on a breeze of ease…at least up to this point. Now he has a goal, and a laudable one: to date Yamagami. That’s not something that can be achieved easily, but he’s still pursuing it.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Yamagami is able to enjoy a beer (or at least part of one) without passing out  and waking up next to a female version of Hasebe. Progress!
  • Tanaka knocks back like six bottles of red wine, and is still able to hobble home. Though he’s kind of a mean drunk.
  • Chihaya was ready to shut Hasebe down, but he was saved by his quick thinking: making his date an opportunity for her to dress Yamagami up.

Servant x Service – 02

serv2

Constantly attracting elderly people who converse with her at great length, Miyoshi has taken to hiding under her desk. Her predicament is put on hold when “Touko-sama” arrives; an abrasive high school girl who coaches the newbies, only to get exacerbated by their quirks. Taishi coaxes Touko off, and the newbies learn she’s his little sister. Chihaya decides to use Touko to train Miyoshi to speak her mind and draw the line with clients. Her words get Touko upset, and Taishi has to shoo her away again, but Miyoshi assures her she’s welcome back (every second or third day) to continue their “counselling.”

After the first episode showed us a lot of clients, there were almost none this week, aside from the tiny old lady who is always rambling to Miyoshi. This was ostensibly to focus on what goes on with the servants in between the stretches of civil drudgery. Or, we should say, instead of them. Chihaya takes the day off and we learn that no only is she an otaku, but their line of work is very otaku-friendly, due to the holidays and such. It’s a neat little detail, and we like how a lot of her suggestions involve dressing up her not unattractive co-workers in cosplay.

As for Yamagami, Miyoshi, Hasebe, and Taishi, a lot of their time is taken up by the imperious Touko, your classic tsundere sister. It doesn’t take long for everyone to notice what Taishi doesn’t: Touko is always hanging around the ward office because she wants to be with Taishi. Her encyclopedic knowledge of welfare code and procedures is both a pretense and side-effect to that. We’ll admit though, we were a little annoyed that a kid showed up to steal time away from the adults, and like Miyoshi, we hope she doesn’t dominate too many more episodes like she did this one.


Rating: 6 (Good)

Stray Observations:

  • We’re not familiar with Touko’s seiyu, but does a good job with both sides of Touko; she sounds like a mix of Taketatsu Ayane and Kugimiya Rie.
  • Yamagami seems to have led a sheltered life, at least where video games, manga, anime, and fashion are concerned. Perhaps she dresses plainly (and sees herself as plain) as a possibly subconscious revolt against her space cadet parents who gave her a dozen names.
  • Miyoshi may have started to learn to draw the line, but Hasebe crossed a different one by asking Yamagami to disrobe not once, bit twice. Yeah, it was a joke, in an office environment, there’s another term for it: sexual harrassment. 
  • As for getting Touko’s email? A bit creepy.
  • Another true-to-life office moment: the “random meeting” that Chihaya called. Those do happen!

Car Cameos:

Servant x Service – 01

serv1

Newcomers Yamagami Lucy Kimiko Akie Airi Shiori Rinne Yoshiho Ayano Tomika Chitose Sanae…, Hasebe Yukata, and Miyoshi Saya start their new positions as civil servants in the health and welfare section of the city ward office, where Ichimiya Taishi and Chihaya Megumi have already been working for years. Lucy is hardworking but tense and easily distracted by Hasebe’s teasing of her name and sensitive to scolding, Saya attracts older women with rambling stories, and Hasebe slacks off every chance he gets. They help bail each other out when they get into tight spots with clients, but learn that ultimately the job is essentially to get scolded and being able to absorb the abuse without cracking is vital.

As we said in the season preview, we love slice-of-life series involving adults (or at least older teens) working and going about their normal lives, such as Working!!. This series takes us out of the familiar restaurant setting and into an expansive city office where the servants serve the citizens, and also serve as punching bags. Lucy, Yukata and Saya are thrown right into the arena, but comport themselves well, though in different ways. Lucy (whose name is actually much longer thanks to new-agey parents) is actually there for revenge, but turns out to have a knack for civil service, even if she herself hates it (and that’s, again, mostly because of her name.)

Yukata is a third-gen servant, and a highly intelligent, sociable, talented young man to boot. The thing is, while he’s stellar when he applies himself, he rarely intentionally applies himself, preferring to glide through life with this cushy job. Of course, we see firsthand that it can be particularly un-cushy. A lot of the clients are taking time off work and don’t want to be there, so they’re understandably impatient, but there’s also a stigma about Lucy, Yukata, and Saya’s line of work: they’re paid with taxes, so the taxpayers not only resent them, but demand perfection. Still, when the second day ends, Lucy & Co. get thanks from the same clients who were difficult earlier, it’s clear that properly dealing with them has its rewards.

7_very_good
Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • The OP is the coolest this season so far, combining live action shots of an office with CGI and animation, along with a very peppy, Working!!-like theme song.
  • We find it kinda funny that Lucy is so self-conscious about her name. Sure, all the other names are extraneous, but “Lucy” is not a bad name from where we’re from!
  • Lucy’s ahoge is kinda outta control, innit?
  • When the workday is over, “From the New World” plays on the P.A. Weird…
  • We love the ED too, which shows the three ladies relaxing at home after work, pouring themselves three beverages and chillaxing.