Joukamachi no Dandelion – 05

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Despite having seen many good beach episodes, I always go into them with low expectations, but the multi-faceted, rapid-fire, detail-oriented nature of Dandelion is such that not only did the beach part only take up about a third of the total episode, but it was quite a novel and imaginative third at that.

Not only do we get Shiori communing with a very noble and dramatic watermelon (whom she digs a grave for after he’s split and eaten), but Akane, so happy that she’s free from the peering eyes of the public, discovers that the beach they’re at is really a Truman Show-style construct sans-cameras, which the siblings proceed to accidentally knock over, resulting in en even more embarrassing situation than had they actually gone to a real beach!

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The watermelon splitting is our way into the second son Haruka’s perspective; his power is to calculate probabilities, and prides himself on his accuracy. He was suprised Shiori had an 80% chance to win the watermelon splitting, but rooted for her nonetheless. In the next segment Akane barges into his room and catches him looking at pictures of her in her bikini on the web.

Naturally, Akane suspects Haruka has a thing for her, but it’s not that; he’s merely reporting inappropriate photos for deletion to keep things from getting out of hand. It’s a service he provides his big sister (who wasn’t even aware of the fansites) out of an awareness of her sensitivity and a desire to help her where he can. Still, to my delight, Haruka points out the obvious: Akane would get into less trouble if she stopped jumping around in a little skirt.

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The third and final segment focuses on Haruka’s slightly older sister, Misaki, who like him, we hadn’t yet gotten a profile of. The episode reminds us she can create seven clones of herself, each of which has their own special talents, hairstyle, eye color, and personality. They also each represent the seven deadly sins, sorta Fullmetal Alchemist-style.

Thanks to the clones, Misaki can participate—and excel—in seven different clubs at once, while she, the original, gets all the second-hand praise and is lauded for being a good “manager.” On top of already being often overlooked due to her also-talented and beautiful older sisters, Misaki comes to feel like she’s useless.

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When venting to Haruka doesn’t work, she summons her clones and vents to them. They all react in their typical ways (including one who always wanders off to eat something, one who’s always pawing the nearest guy, and one who’s always asleep), but the general consensus is she is being silly. They’re her clones; they are her and she is them. For all her fears she’s too “normal”, the fact remains she can summon those amazing parts of her whole; nothing normal about that.

Finally, Haruka admits he likes how Misaki is normal; she’s a calming, grounding presence and he’d be troubled if she arbitrarily tried to change. Thus the venting-turned-sulking-turned-cheering up session is a success. So was this episode; it was surprisingly chock-full of stuff, much of it creative and hilarious.

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Baby, Please Kill Me! – 04

It is summer. Yasuna buys an inordinate amount of ice cream in order to win one free one, but Sonya wins with her castoffs. The two go to the beach to break watermelons blindfolded; Sonya wins. Before exams, Yasuna tries to teach Sonya “yoga.” Other assassins target Sonya, including two Yasuna dopplegangers which Yasuna mixes with; Sonya defeats them all.

This series cannot seem to stop reiterating: Yasuna is dumb. Really really dumb. Inexplicable actions dumb. Gullible. Self-defeating. Self-punishing. And her face is never far from Sonya’s fist. And yet, for the life of us, we can’t find it in our hearts to hate her. Don’t get us wrong, if it were just Yasuna (or Yasuna and Agiri), this just plain wouldn’t be watchable, but with Sonya as the voice of reason and occasional hammer of justic, it’s a very pleasant, balanced time. This series also continues to benefit from a very cool soundtrack.

The trio of themes this week are ice cream, watermelons, and assassins. While the first two are introduced by Yasuna, there’s a slight change of pace with the assassin theme, as it’s the first that isn’t Yasuna’s doing. Typically Sonya is the passive party that must react to whatever Yasuna brings to her attention; this time, she’s the catalyst for action. But as this series doesn’t do real peril (much like Ika Musume), Yasuna ends up just playing along with the Yasuna clone-assassins until Sonya takes care of business with a nice coup-de-grace.


Rating: 3