3D Kanojo: Real Girl – 04 – Your Understanding Is Not Necessary

The Ezomichi-chan in Hikari’s head tells him to stop feeling guilty about being happy, and he decides to take her advice and agrees to tutor Iroha in math. Being one-on-one with her is a bit much, however, as the vibes quickly turn from studious to romantic…until Hikari’s mom and brother are caught very blatantly snooping.

Up until this point it’s been pretty smooth sailing for Hikari. He’s gained a girlfriend, another friend who happens to be a girl, and his worst enemy seems to be himself and his own lack of self-esteem. He’s just waiting for something to come along and take all this stuff he thinks he doesn’t “deserve” to have.

The universe obliges: Takanashi Mitsuya lures him out after school with a fake love letter (one Hikari knew would be a trap), and tells him to surrender Iroha so he can date her, or else. Takanashi is bigger, stronger, more handsome, more popular, and more blonde than Hikari, who has no clear answer ready for why Iroha is with him.

After getting punched, Hikari feigns a cold to go home early, but ends up in the same playground as a little girl who turns out to be Takanashi’s little sister Anzu. When Hikari brings up the possibility of his only recourse against Takanashi would be spreading false rumors online, Takanashi decides to use that, ordering Anzu to scream as a policeman cycles past, then claiming Hikari tried to take her home with him.

Takanashi snaps pics of the incident and posts them on the chalkboard at school, and within a day everyone has been convinced that Hikari is a creepy lolicon and shuns him even more than they used to. Itou knows the rumors aren’t true, as does Iroha, but Hikari doesn’t want them to get too close to him lest it make life difficult for them (Ishino, however, believes the rumors and expresses her disappointment).

As perfectly as Takanashi’s plan to toss Hikari’s already shaky rep in the dumpster, the reason he did it in the first place—to steal Iroha—ends in abject failure, when Iroha won’t even let him talk to her. Hikari is enough for her, and she’ll certainly take a kind boy like him over someone who spreads such harmful rumors for his own gain. Takanashi is flabbergasted, but perhaps it’s a teachable moment for him.

Meanwhile, Hikari’s brother Kaoru turns out to be very good friends with Anzu, who learns that Kaoru’s brother was wrongly accused of being a lolicon. Hikari’s mother (who is always a hoot in her loving yet frank disposition) can’t help but go with what makes sense, and Hikari can’t really argue with her; he’s never gotten along with people in general; for a misunderstanding like this to spiral out of control was always a distinct possibility.

Still, Hikari is lonely enough to still reach out to Iroha over the phone, surprising her. Unfortunately, it’s to tell her she should stop wasting her time with someone like him. She ain’t hearing it, and won’t listen to another word of his self-loathing nonsense.

She says what he couldn’t say to Takanashi: why she’s with him. He’s a nice person who cares about his friends and awkward yet loving. There’s no one she’d rather be with, so he can dispense with further attempts to convince her to leave him.

Iroha is on fire this week, between shutting Takanashi the fuck down with immediate effect, and making it clear to Hikari that she’s going to go out with the person she wants, and that’s him, damnit! If he likes her like she likes him, she’ll let her be by his side, in good times and bad.

The next day, Iroha is the one who encounters Anzu, and helps her up after she trips racing to her brother’s school. Takanashi tries to start up another talk with Iroha, but Anzu insists he hear her out: Kaoru’s brother is in trouble because he told her to scream when the policeman was nearby.

Hopefully Takanashi’s love for his sister and realization that he was a gargantuan ass will spur him into correcting his mistakes, setting the record straight about Hikari at school, and accepting defeat.

Working’!! – 12

Inami has gone a record number of days without hitting a guy, but Yamada wants to challenge her further. She gets her a guys uniform – later revealed as Takenashi’s – so she can look at herself in the mirror, but it has no effect. Takenashi goes home and eagerly awaits a text from Inami saying she’s home while his sister observes him. Yamada is locked out of the restaurant, but Sato helps her. In another effort to challenge Inami, they put her in proximity to Sato, then Soma, and nearly punches him when he slips and gets too close. Sato saves him by sacrificing Yamada’s teddy.

When Yamada’s brother hears the chronology of Takenashi’s exploits with Inami Mahiru, he reacts like anyone would to the other guy’s ignorance of who she likes. She likes him. He even comments to himself that with all this progress being made – no punching, exchanging texts – what is Inami becoming to him? Of course, it’s understood he may not be capable of fully reciprocating her feelings for him, since he only cares about young, tiny, cute things.

Still, we’re liking the very gradual but noticable development explored here. The only time Inami throws a punch is when Soma nearly falls on her as a result of Yamada tripping him; an accident. But what if a guy came too close to her on purpose – like Takenashi, for whatever reason? It would probably require Yamada’s teddy to take another one for the team…


Rating: 3.5

Working’!! – 10

To save her from a stack of boxes, Takanashi has to get dangerously close to Inami; he’s only saved by her being knocked unconscious. The next day, she’s more nervous than usual because of the encounter, and Yachiyo makes her take a nap in the break room. Takanashi enters and sees her asleep, and pats her head until she wakes up, and runs out of the room screaming. She stays home sick until he pays her a visit as Kotori and they both apologize and exchange phone numbers for future contact.

So, after all that androphobia training, after all those walks home, after all that interaction, Inami and Takanashi have never exchanged numbers? Inconceivable! Still, that’s remedied this week, after a series of extraordinarily close encounters send Inami packing, not out of fear of Takanashi, but out of fear of punching him to death. Their interactions are nothing new, but regardless of the lack of progress made, Inami seems quite happy to finally have Takanashi’s digits.

We’ve always harbored a fear of walk-in freezers. Alongside kitchen burns or slippery floors, they’re a genuine potential threat to one’s life if disrespected. While the ones we’ve always dealt with had releases on the inside, it always worried us that while we’re in there, such a release could malfunction or break, and there we’d be, stuck in a mini-Antarctica with no coat and a ticking clock. Of course, we’d last longer, as we’re bigger than Popura, but still…


Rating: 3

Working’!! – 08

Nazuna has grown to the same height as Takanashi, so he hires Popura to be his Cute Little Sister for a day. A jealous Inami tries to get him to call her cute as well, and succeeds by showing him a picture of her as a little girl. She records his voice on her phone to listen to it over and over again. Kirio arrives at Wagnaria to search for Aoi. Takanashi considers him a threat, and Souma artfully keeps Aoi away from him.

Souma can be a cruel, ruthless guy. He loves nothing else but the look of humiliation on the faces of others, after all. Yet After a whole day of teasing his coworkers, Souma does something nice for Aoi; she keeps her blissfully unaware that she’s being hunted. Even if it isn’t the right thing to do, it’s to make her happy, not to humiliate her. This works great in concert with everyone’s standoffishness vis-a-vis Kirio. They’re not trying to protect Aoi, but they don’t seem to like the guy either. He gets too close to people; he’s a disruptive element.

Last week, we were made to believe that Kirio is stronger than Takanashi, and perhaps a more suitible suitor to Inami, because he can stop her punches, while Takanashi takes every one. Hilariously, it turns out not only could Takanashi stop her punches if he tried, he can pacify Kirio as easily as he swats a fly. This fits his background as a kid with many older sisters; Kozue whaled on him and in so doing, toughened him and taught him self-defense. But the fact he doesn’t resist Inami’s blows because doing so would hurt her is a very romantic sentiment, even if unconscious.


Rating: 3.5

Working’!! – 06

Satou and Popura catch colds when Yamada trips and drenches them with water, so Kyoko enlists the aid of her gang underlings, Yohei and his twin sister Mitsuki. They constantly bicker at each other but obey her every order to the letter. In order to show her gratitude for his hard work, Kyoko relieves Takanashi of his Inami-training duties. Inami’s wishy-washy response leads to a row between the two, which is eventually cleared up when she admits she was just looking out for him.

You know what’s really annoying? That the show decides that one…just one worker at the restaurant gets absolutely zero lines or characterization whatsoever. She’s just there in transitional scenes or in the background, like Ann Veal. Who the heck is she? Why doesn’t she get a name or anything to say? We keep thinking she’ll be introduced, but six episodes in; nothing. If they’re not going to do anything with her, why is she there at all?

That’s the end of the mystery girl rant. Our next beef: we’ve already tread upon the Takenashi/Inami relationship over and over again. The closest thing to progress we see this week is Inami being forward with her displeasure at Takanashi no longer taking care of her. But then all that sentiment and progress is thrown out the window for a cheap gag: giving Takenashi a long-built-up punch in the face. We know, we know: their dynamic will never change; this show isn’t about people changing. But c’maaahn, throw us a bone.


Rating: 2.5

Working’!! – 05

Takanashi and Satou are both sick of manager Kyoko never working and stuffing her face with the restaurant’s food. After they convene with Souma, he agrees to tell Kyoko she’s cut off by feigning an ordering flub. Kyoko is quickly struck by intense food withdrawal, which isn’t helped when Takanashi leaves a lost kid in her care. The girl, possibly sensing Kyoko’s despair, even offers her some of her dessert, but Kyoko declines, showing progress.

So Working’!! keeps chugging along with nice, pleasant, airy slice-of-life in the limited setting of a restaurant, as its predecessor did. Previous episodes of both have touched upon the question of whether Kyoko pulled her weight around Wagnaria, but things came to a head this week. If we were Takanashi, we certainly wouldn’t stand for our manager dropping potato chip crumbs over where we had just cleaned. It’s one thing to be lazy and not doing anything, it’s another to make other peoples’ jobs harder by making messes and eating food meant for customers and not paying for it. Yachiyo has been her chief enabler, but when all is said and done, nobody who works at the restaurant can consider themselves blameless for letting Kyoko continue as she has.

As Takanashi says, someone her age is set in her ways (he should know, having two grown sisters who act like children). But we like Kyoko’s simple philosophy: she likes anyone who gives her food. That’s a girl we can get behind right there. She even shows a little perceptiveness by telling Satou she doesn’t like him as much as Yachiyo does (though he continues to be lame about that) – and we really thought she’d take the kid’s pastry, but she didn’t! She may not do much and she may eat a lot, but her presence is still crucial to Wagnaria’s success. Why, we don’t know. But it just wouldn’t be the same without her.


Rating: 3

Working’!! – 04

While returning from the store with Kyoko, Yachiyo finds Otoo’s long-lost wife, but is too slow to catch her, and she vanishes again. She becomes very sullen, which everyone notices. She asks Satou if he likes her while Mahiru is listening, and she becomes aware of the love triangle. Satou makes her promise not to tell everyone, but she feels so bad for Satou, Takanashi starts to think Mahiru likes him. Satou takes Yachiyo aside and promises her no one will ever hate him, including him, and she tells Otoo, who shrugs it off. Takanashi confronts Mahiru as well, and she allays his fear she likes Satou.

Yachiyo, Satou, and Mahiru act a little off this week, and it’s a testament to how well the staff knows each other that they almost instantly sense when they are off (Well, aside from that one waitress we still haven’t met…we wonder what the deal is with her.) Yachiyo, as usual, has the lowest possible opinion of herself, just over some little thing completely out of her control (a wife emerging from a manhole cover than vanishing as if she had disapparated, for instance). Her sudden inquiry to Satou was surprising though, she’s not the most forward person, after all. The ridiculously long pause was classic Satou.

Satou’s an interesting case: on one hand, you could say he’s a fool for not making his feelings perfectly clear to Yachiyo, who is so socially inept anyway. Whatever subtle signals he’s thrown out (and there haven’t been a lot), she’s not going to pick them up; he has to be firm and clear; loud and proud. But his reservations don’t just lie in his fear of rejection or his own shyness, but consideration for his boss, Kyoko. He feels like Yachiyo is off-limits. And in any case, falling in love with someone at work is tricky enough. Actually trying to have a relationship where you see each other all day and work with each other is trickier still.


Rating: 3

Working’!! – 03

Souta’s youngest sister Nazuna starts working at Wagnaria, and upstages Aoi. She also gets the wrong idea, telling her writer sister Izume that Popura is his love interest. After seeing a photo, Izume thinks Popura is underage. When Nazuna learns Yamada feels threatened, she breaks a plate and asks for help, boosting Yamada’s confidence.

When it comes down to it, Working!! is a show about nothing, but that nothing is very well-presented. Things happen, certainly, but rarely anything of lasting consequence. No huge conflicts. No villains. No ultimate goal. It’s all about the in-between; the minutiae; the creamy middle. And the details. And so far, Working’s second season has all that down. This week was as pleasant as Nazuna is tall for her age.

This episode focuses a lot on Takanashi’s four sisters, particularly Nazuna and Izume. It’s pretty obvious there are two camps in the Takanashi household: the givers and the takers. Souta, Nazuna and the eldest, Kazue, are the former; while Kozue the flirt and Izume the struggling author are the latter…it’s just interesting how each sibling makes use of their energies, and how the family manages to stick together just fine. Everyone has their role; just like at Wagnaria.

Rating: 3

Working’!! – 01

This pre-air episode follows Takanashi, Inami, Popura, Aoi, and all the other employees around at a typical day at Wagnaria family restaurant. Jokes are told, tiny things are declared cute, punches are thrown, and dishes are broken. Like I said, typical.

From the looks of it, the new, aprostrophe’d Working’!! will not diverge considerably, or at all, from the original Working!!, but will be a vehicle for new material in the same setting with the same ensemble cast – and perhaps a new face here or there (a girl with Leia-like buns in her hair is glimpsed only for a moment but not heard). That’s okay, as the first season was very watchable, lightweight slice-of-life in which the quirkiness of the characters lent spice to the proceedings.

We’ll have to wait until October to see if new material will indeed be infused in the formerly successful recipe of the Spring 2010 series. If things get too repetitive vis-a-vis Takanashi and Inami, or too tedious vis-a-vis Yamada (the former new kid) and the new new kid (whoever she is), well, there are potentially a lot of series more worthy of RABUJOI’s undivided attention. But from what was seen in this sneak peek, we’ll probably be watching.


Rating: 3