Koi to Uso – 11

With Yukari, Ririna, and Misaki making little progress in discerning who’s going to end up marrying whom, the three (plus Nisaka) end up at…a wedding. Subtle. Ririna and Misaki are also recruited by the ceremonial hall’s marketing rep to model wedding dresses. Also subtle.

The wedding itself is highly scripted and a bit stiff, with all the usual traditions and nothing in the way of really breaking the mold. The individuals actually getting married seem a bit lost in the procedure of the thing.

Still, a wedding is a wedding, and Misaki and Ririna have a blast, and are glad they were able to attend together. Misaki echos Arisa’s assertion that Ririna has become more open and easier to talk to, and Riri attributes this to her time with Misaki and Yukari.

Misaki also says she’d love to see Ririna’s wedding, all but surrendering Yukari to her. But Ririna can probably sense the lack of conviction in those words, especially when she peeks in on Yukari comforting a crying Misaki with a big long kiss.

I’m sorry, but at this stage, Yukari is being a big fat jerk here. I’m sure Yukari didn’t like seeing Misaki cry, but kissing her will only provide the briefest relief if he ends up marrying Ririna, which, that’s the case, he shouldn’t be kissing other girls. Get your fucking shit together, man!

Ririna seeing Yukari kiss Misaki casts a pall over the rest of the episode, as Ririna and Yukari’s families join forces to mudge their betrothed kids a little closer together at a splendid hot springs inn, even putting them in the same room together.

Their tour of the town demonstrates their easy chemistry with one another, and the fact they both genuinely enjoy each other’s company. They’re not exactly setting the world on fire with their romantic passion, but who cares? They’re a nice, cute couple!

So after witnessing Yukari and Misaki kiss, and Yukari telling her how he’s the person he is today because he followed Misaki and admired her from afar like a goddess…in the night, Ririna decides to tell Yukari she thinks he should choose Misaki over her.

If Ririna and Misaki weren’t such good people and good friends, they wouldn’t be falling over each other trying to sacrifice their happiness for that of the other’s, but Yukari’s persistent indecision—and his appalling indiscretion where Misaki is concerned—has also led us to this point.

The only satisfying way Yukari can respond to this by either accepting or rejecting Ririna’s concession. I’m fine with both, honestly. I may have sounded like a Ririna x Yukari shipper of late, but I’m fine with either girl “winning.” As long as someone wins, dammit!

Oh, and throughout all of this, why haven’t Misaki and Nisaka received their notices? Are Yukari and Ririna really that much older than them? The fact we have no idea who their assigned spouses are leaves me worried the show’s withholding that info for a last-episode cliffhanger—perhaps even a prelude to a second season I neither want nor need.

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Denki-gai no Honya-san – 09

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Denki-gai no Honya-san is the funniest, most creative anime series no one is watching this season. While episode 9 suffered a similar fate to Amagi Brilliant Park 9 (they were both about making fun of being cliched but were still just too cliche), it was still funny, touching and a pervy good time.

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Unfortunately, the technical nature of DgnHs’s humor is difficult to write about and time consuming. Given how much time I’m losing to holiday events and family this season, I can’t justify the effort. Not for 1% of the readership my Fate/Stay Night reviews are getting.

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Don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to understand why DgnHs is low on everyone’s list. It’s not very pretty, the intelligence of the structure requires digging, and it really does lean towards girl-love (and nerd girl love at that) as it’s core perspective.

Tough sell!

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This week’s episode was about summer colds… and Christmas. Again.

Why have we had two christmas episodes in the first half of this show’s season?

I have no idea but the unhinged brutality of the humor in the second arc was heart warming. I mean, what can I say that these screen caps aren’t telling you?

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So, with a sad heart, I bid good bye to my funny little love here.

No! I’m still watching the randy girls of Tokyo’s perviest comic shop each week but, like Shirobako, I won’t be writing about it.

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Denki-gai no Honya-san – 08

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Denki-gai no Honya-san 8 is another Sensei-focused, breaking into the manga industry episode and… well it’s not very interesting. There’s no way this show can sell me on the struggles of an artist’s struggle to become a professional in a show this intentionally goofy. More importantly, while DgnHs is actually very funny, it’s jokes about making manga aren’t the funny part and it can not and will not ever escape the long shadow of Nozaki-kun’s humor about the same topic last season.

Fortunately, DgnHs gets me laughing in other areas and the episode wasn’t an entire wash.

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For one thing, we got TWO black and white Lime Cat movies this week. I have no idea what they are parodying, unless DgnHs is just making fun of art house movies in general, but these are just bizarrely funny.

This week’s Lime Cat is from Fu-chan’s perspective. Except there is no cat… that cat is a zombie! Obviously Fu slaughters it with the full length baseball bat she hides in her brazier. The second episode sees Fu following a lone zombie to a grave yard where a host of zombies try to scare her dressed up as ghosts. Obviously Fu slaughters them too.

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The real meat and potatoes of this week’s episode happened in the final arc where Sensei accidentally invites Umio-kun on a movie date and then completely freaks out over what to wear, her lack of girl power, etc.

With the not very helpful help of Hiotan and the girls, it’s ultimately decided that none of them know, at all, what boys want other than big boobs and that the only way they will make any head way is to invite an actual boy over and ask him.

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This being Hiotan that is helping, she invites none other than Umio-kun himself. Sensei is terrified since none of this was ever meant to be brought to his attention. However, the results are positive: after a lengthy rant about glasses, Umio admits he doesn’t care how she’s dressed, since her glasses make her cute, and thus he thinks she’s cute all the time.

D’awwwwwww!

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Some of this week’s best moments were during the ‘what do boys want, anyway’ scenes. My personal favorite was Sensei-chan stepping into her manga mind to pretend to be a guy. She evaluates each of her friends in a hilarious way and ends up getting all weird with Fu-chan before giving up.

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Laughter aside, this scene reinforces my opinion that DgnHs is a show for girls and about girls in fandom, rather than a typical will he like me? slice of life romcom. We spend so much time with their perspectives, seeing how they see us and our wants and when we do actually see a guy and hear his feedback, it’s all affirmative: nerd girls are desirable for their nerdiness — for the sincerity of their part in fandom — as much if not more than for their looks.

I mean, Umio fell for Sensei over Hiotan (the girls with the biggest boobs) as soon as he learned that Sensei creates manga.

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Denki-gai no Honya-san – 07

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Denki-Gai no Honya-san 7 is a ‘hot spring’ (onsen) episode and, as you would imagine, that means we got skin, boob grabbing and some embarrassing moments. We also got some decent character development and a few inches of plot advancement.

Did DGnHs do anything interesting with this cliché of a clichéd setting or was it all just more fan service?

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I’m not sure, in all honesty?

DGnHs is always knowingly funny and this week pinned that on Sensei and Hiotan, who’ve never been to hot springs before. DGnHs very aggressively shows that their expectations, based on manage and anime, are way off. So off that they end up happily running into a co-ed waiting area, totally naked.

Even though the facial expressions, the long pause, slow reverse zoom shot is hilarious AND is the source for the show’s best joke via a call-back later in the episode,  Director, Ex-chan, and Hiotan could’ve exposed their true romantic feelings for each other anywhere.

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Likewise, Umi-kun and Sensei-chan’s romance goes nowhere, which is odd since Sensei received extensive screen time early in the episode. The result was… repetitive: She’s embarrassed and doesn’t know how to act feminine. We get it!

And yeah… yeah I’m trying to avoid talking about the “Now it’s time to feel your breasts” scene. I can’t think of a reason why that’s in there for anything other than fan service.

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The best scene, and most representative of DGnHs’ knowing, genre-poking style, came at the end, when Hiotan ineffectively confronts director about his feelings for her. In it, he admits to not having seen her boobs very clearly, because of some very awkward lighting.

Hence, the very strange ‘light line’ that censored her boobs in the first place.

It’s clever, pokes fun at convention, Has lots of energy. (both characters are standing on the back room tables, they are so wrapped up in what they are saying)

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But was it good?

Welllllll… a little more plot development would have been desirable. Additionally, ep 7 gave us some great laughs, it strangely didn’t give many.

So I can’t help but feel like this is exactly what it seems like it is: mid season ‘filler,’ to designed to give us just enough to hang on to the big relationship push, failure, and bounce back cycle that usually develops around episode 9.

I guess that’s what a hot spring episode is for. So its successful enough, which is good enough for me.

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Kimi no Iru Machi – 02

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While Haruto is telling Rin she can’t dissuade him from meeting with Yuzuki to learn how she really feels, the episode flashes back to when Yuzuki first moved in with him. He was starting high school with all his middle school friends, including his crush Kanzaki Nanami, andd rumors about him and Yuzuki spread fast. At first Haruto sees Yuzuki as selfish, but her actions, which bring Haruto and Nanami closer together, prove she’s always thinking of others, even at the cost of her own.

Haruto’s relationship with Eba Yuzuki, the girl he’s uprooted his life just for the slightest chance of another shot at, had a rough, modest start. Her dad knew his dad, so suddenly she was in his house, on his bike, and at his school. Had she never entered his life, he’d have probably been fine, as there no evidence his life was any the worse for wear before she entered it. However, she did enter it, at the best possible time to create unwanted complication for Haruto. This episode efficiently laid out the conditions under which Haruto eventually fell for Yuzuki; and when he learned of her tendency to go out of her own way for others, putting their needs before hers.

Haruto may not be aware of it, but the minute Yuzuki meets Nanami and knew Haruto liked her, she began to sublimate herself for their sake. Ironically, that humility only ingratiated her more to Haruto, solidifying the triangle she created by showing up in the first place. Back in the present, Haruto thinks her behavior is an attempt to retreat from the battlefield and break that triangle, something Haruto isn’t cool with. In any case, he’s here to settle the matter once and for all (assuming it can be settled). Even if Yuzuki won’t answer texts, and even if she has a boyfriend as Rin claims, if Haruto is right, there’s still hope for them.

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Rating: 8 
(Great)

Stray Observations:

  • We realize Haruto is being both self-righteous and a little pretentious with his presumption Yuzuki really loves him but is sacrificing her feelings so she isn’t in the way of his other prospects, i.e. Nanami.
  • Along those lines, no one can dictate how someone else decides to back out of something as Yuzuki has, but Haruto seems to think she still owes her further explanation, so it’s a battle of wills.
  • Clever camera angles and placement of limbs hid nudity (instead of blur or bloom censoring), suggesting this wasn’t meant to show anything, which is fine, as nudity’s not that important to the story. Suffice it to say, none of the girls in Haruto’s life are what you would call homely.
  • It is pretty funny how Haruto believes for an extended period of time that Yuzuki is going commando, when it turns out that wasn’t the case. An early sign they’ll experience difficulty communicating clearly in the future.
  • Fewer cats this week, which is good, because the animation of the one incidental kitten in Free! kicked the ass of all the cats we’ve seen in this or Railgun thus far.
  • We felt she was perfect for Ranka Lee, and we maintain our love for Nakajima Megami in her role as Yuzuki, bringing a similar vulnerable ebulliance subtly tinged with repressed pathos.
  • Every proper bathhouse or hotspring had sure as heck better offer fruit milk!
  • We love talking into fans. Who wouldn’t want to sound like an advanced A.I.?!

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai – 10

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Sasami finds out Edogawa Jou has a penis. Edogawa invites her entire class to a hot spring retreat at the Kuzuryuu (nine-headed dragon) Shrine. Sasami gets the flu and can’t go, so she disguises Tama as herself and shares all of her senses on the trip. On many occasions she helps Edogawa out, but Edogawa tells her they can never be friends because one day she’ll kill her.

Of all the series we’re currently watching, we’re just going to come out and say this may be the toughest to review. That’s not because it’s bad – most of the time it’s ver,y very good – but because it has such a unique style and intricate, esoteric presentation. Everything and everyone exists more for its own sake, but also represents some part of Japan’s rich mythology. But this week things are a bit simpler: Sasami is trying to make a friend. Ever since Edogawa Jou expressed her desire to be friends with Sasami last week, it’s been on.

Regardless of Jou’s true motives, and no matter how haughty or conceited or condescending she acts, Sasami wants to be her friend, feeding of that first encounter. She doesn’t even let the flu stop her, and uses Tama as her instrument to forge a friendship with Jou through kind deeds…and keeping her penile secret. Jou, the consummate tsundere, reject’s Sasami’s outstretched hand, mindful of her mission as her sworn enemy, but charmed nevertheless. Oh yeah, and Tsurugi sexually harassed pretty much everyone. She belongs behind bars.


Rating: 7 
(Very Good)

P.S. The “tele-divine channel” Sasami uses to stay in contact with Tama and the Yagami sisters is pretty nifty concept, combining divine powers with modern social media.