Servant x Service – 09

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Chihaya looks back to two years ago when she first started working at the office, which led to her meeting and falling for Ichimiya. She then takes Yamagami out to buy a skirt, telling her not to look down on herself. Kaoru stops by and invites Yamagami and Miyoshi out to dinner, where she discusses what she knows about Jyogi and his rivalry with Yutaka. The next day Hasebe gets the wrong impression, believing Yamagami is getting married. It turns out to be Kaoru. but the shock leads to him telling Yamagami she’s the only girl he needs.

In her increasingly frequent dealings with Yamagami, Chihaya isn’t just reminded of how plainly she herself used to dress when she first started her job, she also sees the same tentativeness and tendency to look down on oneself that also plagues her boyfriend. Yamgami and Ichimiya both put others’ wants and needs before their own because they’re always devaluing themselves. Chihaya points out to Yamagami that such an act gets old when it’s becoming more clear that Hasebe’s pursuit of her isn’t a joke. It’s trickier with Ichimiya, as Chihaya is resigned to getting annoyed no matter what he says.

Meanwhile, as he looks forward to his date with Yamagami, Hasebe is compelled to impress upon her just how much he values her, once he’s spooked by the false news she got engaged behind his back. Hasebe is at his least smug and most vulnerable this week. Yamagami’s commitment to take the date seriously is still more a matter of duty than romantic interest to her, but Hasebe is phone-breakingly, contact list-deletingly serious about dating her. His challenge isn’t just to win her over, but to get her into the state of mind where she can even start to consider being won over.

He would have had an easier time with any other girl, just like Chihaya could have had an easier time with virtually any guy other than Ichimiya. But we can’t choose who we love.

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Rating:7 (Very Good)

Stray Observations:

  • Baby Chihaya (well, Two-Years-Younger Chihaya) is so cute!
  • Also cute? Her kissing of Ichimiya, followed by a slap; her reaction to his not-scolding her about cosplaying.
  • Yamagami’s total inability to even try on an even modest skirt vexes us mightily.
  • After talking with Kaoru, Miyoshi comes away liking Ryoji more, but only infinitesimally so.
  • Kaoru’s gettin’ married! Does this put more pressure on Hasebe to hook Yamagami?
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Ao no Exorcist 12

The gang of esquires is given a seemingly innocuous mission to extract a harmless ghost from the ridiculous “MepphyLand” amusement park, in which the most dramatic development could be Shiemi switching from her bulky kimono to an ordinary school uniform, complete with short skirt; but it turns into far more than that quite quickly. One of Mephisto’s brothers, Amaimon, shows up, takes Rin’s sword, and unsheaths it, releasing Rin’s demon side. Then he proceeds to mop the floor with him.

This underscores just how vulnerable not only Rin is, but also how fragile his grip on (relatively) ordinary life is. One minute, he’s arranging a date with Shiemi, the next, he’s transformed into a vicious monster through no fault of his own, and almost loses himself in the process. It’s only through the intervention of Shura – a “High Inspector, Upper First Class Exorcist” – that he’s able regain his humanity. Shura was disguised as the member of the gang always obscured by his hoodie. “He” is also a she.

My immediate first impression of Shura is, sadly, “stupid-looking”; Yoruichi-san looked sexy enough in a glorified tracksuit; why this person has to walk around in a tiny bikini top is beyond me. Still, it opens up a new can of worms regarding Rin: his identity as a son of satan is revealed to a very high-ranking exorcist, and that can’t be good. Not only that, but Amaimon will be back, and he may not be as playful next time. Are Rin’s hopes of living a normal life as a human exorcist toast? Rating: 3.5