BokuBen 2 – 01 – Chests and Tests

First thing to understand is that this is a continuation of a Spring 2019 series, so before diving into this I’d advise watching the first season, my mostly-glowing reviews for which you can find here.

For those who are all caught up, BokuBen 2 offers more of the same vibrant brand of ecchi-related misunderstandings between various girls and their well-meaning male tutor and friend which inherently get in the way of the tutoring, hence the English title We Never Learn!

This week, Yuiga Nariyuki spends the most one-on-one time with Ogata Rizu, in which the first such misunderstanding is a mix-up between test scores and cup sizes. Since the worst test score is an E and Rizu is well beyond E in cup size, the wording of Nariyuki’s earnest attempts to encourage her (“There’s room for growth!” “I know how you feel!” “Let’s both grasp what we want!”) only serve to reinforce Kominami Asumi’s claim that Nariyuki is a “secret horndog.”

Nonetheless, Rizu believes she’s the one being immature about this, and that there’s nothing wrong with a boy she likes admiring her chest. Nariyuki is a half-beat too late in their conversation to clear things up, as Rizu finally offers to let him touch them “for only a second” just as her beastly father arrives at their booth.

The next segment involves Nariyuki in a group study session at a cram camp called “the Getting Inn” (not suggestive at all!) with his three tutees plus Asumi, when Fumino accidentally slips up and calls him by his given name, like she did when they had to get a hotel room together and pretended to be siblings.

Rather than reprimand Fumino (or think a little longer about why she called him Nariyuki), Takemoto Uruka wants in, and won’t respond to Nariyuki until he calls her Uruka. She also insists Rizu start calling her Uruka. As with Fumino going back to Yuiga before slipping up here, who knows if the given name-calling will continue, but the fact it’s not an unthinkable concept shows growth among the friends.

Things get a lot more intimate between Nariyuki when his three primary tutees when they head into the hot spring bath early, just before the men and women signs are changed. When Nariyuki heads in, he believes, correctly, that he’s in the men’s bath when he encounters a nude Fumino washing her hair.

Once the three realize they’re in the wrong, they prepare to skink away, but are blocked by the arrival of three more boys who most certainly are horndogs. Thankfully, they’re sufficiently distracted by their own attempts to widen the bamboo in order see into the women’s bath that the girls are able to escape into the steam, while Asumi on the other side jabs her fingers into one of the peeping tom’s eyes.

Once everyone is dressed, the girls thank Nariyuki for being a gentleman about things, but he must torpedo the goodwill by presenting Fumino with the bra she left in the changing area. The implication is that he knew it was hers due to the cup size, expressed through a very unexpected but appreciated parody of the touching ending shot of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind.

Majimoji Rurumo – 02

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The book of magic tickets are Kouta’s life (something only he and Chiro know) so even when he desperately wants more female members in the Occult Research Club, he daren’t make any more reckless wishes. But the club quickly learns that their witch-summoning was successful, putting Kouta in the unusual position of having to stop his clubmates from stalking and peeping on Rurumo as she camps in the woods.

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So once again, Kouta uses the tickets to help Rurumo (to protect her honor, specifically). And by using her magic, he learned that that was what she and Chiro were doing camping in the first place: waiting for him to use it. She can’t go back to the Underworld until her training is complete, which I take to mean “until Kouta uses up all of his tickets.” In other words, she can return when he’s dead? Something to ponder going forward.

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But first things first: Kouta doesn’t think it’s right for a delicate little witch like Rurumo to live like a dirty hobo, so he invites her into his home. His family consists of his mother, who knows what kind of horndog he is and is constantly staring at him, as well as his little brother and his dad (whom we don’t see). Worried by how bringing a girl home might look to his mom, he tries his best to keep it a secret. Between Rurumo’s loud slipper-shuffling and Chiro yelling in the bath, his clandestine guests don’t make it easy.

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Indeed harboring a magical trainee is no cakewalk, physically or psychologically, as Kouta is so stress out about being discovered he neglects to realize that for three days he has, essentially, been “living with a girl not related to him in the same room before marriage”, which as it happens is the official SI definition of Living Together. In other words: he has arrived, at the “highest stage” of his life, almost by accident.

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The bliss of sharing his room with Rurumo is all too fleeting, however, as his mom storms in the room, and…it looks bad. The situation looks like exactly what she suspects: that he’s abducted a girl and is keeping her captive in his room. Kouta only saves his mom from committing filicide by expending more tickets to magically create a cover story for Rurumo, which is that she’s his sister.

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That means the whole family now accepts Rurumo’s existence in the house as perfectly normal, but it also means she gets a separate room, much to Kouta’s dismay. Still, he’s alive (and not in jail) and Rurumo is safe and secure, so he doesn’t have too much to complain about…though I wonder how many of those 666 tickets remain.

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Majimoji Rurumo – 01

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Sometimes you just have a smidgen of patience and see an episode through. I did with this episode, and it rewarded me by getting better and better as I watched it. Sure, Shibaki Kouta is a horndog, and bits with pantyless or braless girls can be tiresome. But Majimoji Rurumo makes it all work, when given a chance.

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Kouta is pervy, but it’s made clear he’s not entirely shameless, and that his behavior has thus far kept him from having relationships of any kind with members of the fairer sex, let along romantic relationships. It’s something he tries (perhaps not very hard, mind you) to keep in check, but when a first year drops flyers and bends over, well…the old instincts kick in.

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When he does a witch summoning ritual with his buds in the Occult Research Club (not an out-of-place club to have in a show with a witch in it, but thankfully its workings weren’t the focus of the episode), he can’t help but wish for a girls panties instead of a cute girlfriend. That being said, he was just messing around, and didn’t think it would actually work.

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It does, and he finds fruit-patterned panties on the desk in his room. Then a witch named Rurumo falls from the sky. She’s very cool-looking; not too overly detailed, but nicely stylized with her enormous hat. Her cat Chiro is also awesome with his huge pointy ears and little cat sounds he’s even better when it turns out he can talk—with a Kansai accent, no less!

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I was actually pretty surprised when Rurumo said the panties were her own. Kouta takes the whole “panties for your life” thing pretty well, even using his last walk around town as an excuse to try to catch a glimpse, taking him to the “highest level.” This is a game to him. But when he learn that the rules of that game mean Rurumo will be imprisoned for more than a century, he drops the perviness and steps in to save her from that fate.

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The success of the episode hinged on whether Kouta come off as an actual decent human being, and he did. The first and second halves of the episode were very self-contained, something I also enjoyed. The second half deepened their bond by giving him a book of 666 “magic tickets” which will no doubt imbue him with heretofore unimaginable power, but they also represent his life.

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So the stakes are there. It isn’t just a game. And yet he spends a ticket (albeit unknowingly) to heal Rurumo once she comes down to heaven, earning her bashful thanks in return. It would appear he owes his first real relationship with a girl to something that on the surface seems most likely to repel them: a perverse wish made during an occult club ritual.

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I really enjoyed Majimoji. The show had a clean, distinctive, nicely-detailed art style, a playful wit, and an above-average score that helped set the mood. Even its moments of fanservice were both justified and well-executed. I’m eager to see what kind of mischief Kouta gets into with his book of magic tickets. We already know from the ED that he taught Rurumo how to ride a bike, which is bloody adorable.

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