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)
In the first half, Chihaya plays and wins games against Touko and dresses her up in a cosplay outfit. Chihaya is frustrated with the lack of progress in her relationship with Ichimiya, and he apologizes for not knowing why she’s mad. In the second half, Miyoshi meet’s Tanaka’s grandson, who is very upright and seems very responible, but is also obsessed with Hasebe. Yamagami learns a little bit about Hasebe’s past with Tanaka, but he stops short of the whole story.
The more the characters of SxS interact, the more we learn about them as people. Touko’s friend Kanon stands in for us as fourth-party observer of the dynamic between Touko, her brother, and Chihaya (who Kanon instantly picks up as being Ichimiya’s girlfriend.) As she watches Chihaya, she initially suspects she’s just using Touko, but when she asks her straight-up, she learns that Chihaya actually likes both of the Ichimiyas.
It’s also been established that Chihaya is an exceedingly patient girlfriend, as Hasebe is an exceedingly timid boyfriend. They seem to have little or no physical contact with one another; he recoils when she makes an advance on him when the two are alone. Seriously, why bother having an interoffice relationship if you can’t have some fun in a storage room? We realize Japanese romances can sometimes be quite formal and conservative, but something’s gotta give here.
That brings us to Miyoshi’s Tanaka Situation, which also just got more complicated. We like how Tanaka’s personality is unveiled only a little bit at a time. Like Kanon with Chihaya and Touko, Miyoshi observes Tanaka’s behavior (as does Lucy) and her take on him evolves accordingly. As for our take, the show made it fairly clear that he may have a flame burning for Hasebe (though the BL angle is Chihaya’s). He certainly doesn’t seem that interested in Miyoshi.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
- Touko is terrible at games, from Old Maid to Jenga, Othello, and Life.
- On the Hasebe+Lucy front, Lucy likes learning more about Hasebe, but turns down dinner, not because she doesn’t want to, but because it isn’t payday yet. So practical!
- Tanaka’s grandson bears a passing resemblance to Tsubaki Sasuke from Sket Dance.
In the first half, the manager Momoi wants to interact more with the newcomers. He spends time individually with Hasebe, Yamagami and Miyoshi, who also meet his daughter Kanon. Hasebe is worried about Touko not having any friends, but Kanon is one such friend. In the second half, Miyoshi’s daily interactions with Mrs. Tanaka, Touko and Momoi wear her down into a beginner’s slump. Hasebe lets her vent, but she ends up depressing him. Tanaka asks her to marry her grandson, but after advising the others, she turns down the offer as tactfully as possible.
Among other things, this episode underlines how everyone ended up working as civil servants at the ward office for different reason. Yamagami, perhaps the simplest character due to her insufferable innocence, simply wanted to get a good job so she could afford as many books as possible (she loves to read). Hasebe’s father was in this business, and he had nothing else going on, so he ended up in it too. Miyoshi was in the middle of grad school, but her parents tricked her into coming home by lying about her father’s health. Considering how Miyoshi ended up at this job, and how stressful dealing with the people she has to deal with can be, we’re not surprised she was the first of the three newbies to consider quitting, if only for a moment.
She’s even given another reason: one of her clients wants her to quit so she can marry her responsible banker grandson, which might give her an opportunity to return to her studies. She politely refuses, but Mrs. Tanaka hasn’t given up. In addition to fleshing out Miyoshi’s situation and giving her a potential out, it also, strangely enough, shows that despite his surface sheen, he isn’t entirely happy with his situation either. Which means Yamagami is the only newbie totally happy with where she is and what she’s doing…though she’s also there to confront the one who allowed her ridiculous name pass…
Rating: 6 (Good)