Seitokai 11, Trapeze 10

Because of its lack of plot and predilection towards quick, meaningless gags, sometimes it’s hard to find anything to say about Seitokai no Ichizon. Ironically the girls in episode eleven have a hard time thinking up anything, too, because Ken is out with a fever. But they somehow manage get through an afternoon of silly talk, though it wears them out.

Let’s see, they talk part-time jobs, discuss what’s in Ken’s bag, but mainly they talk about how it’s not as fun with Ken around. So they decide to visit him. I’ve said before that the show doesn’t work as well when it gets serious or sentimental, but here’s an exception. In spite of Ken’s antics, they do worry about him. Their concern comes off as sweet and honest. Especially Mafuyu’s, even when they encounter two losers boys who knew Ken from middle school and rag on his past transgressions.

Which leads to a surprising confession by Mafuyu. Now, all episode they had been leading toward this, beginning with a confusing dual scene where Ken is either chatting online with someone named Snow or is comforted by Mafuyu IN the snow, but the “I love you” still comes as a shock, especially when there’s only one ep left. Seitokai being what it is they might just ignore it.

Not a bad episode, but the show indeed suffers when Ken isn’t around.

Well, I thought I had wrapped up the episode tens, but I still had Trapeze (and Fairy Tail).

Trapeze 10 is one of its best. Newspaper mogul and baseball owner Tanabe is suffering from panic disorder, possibly brought about by flashbulbs going off, an unavoidable occurance for a public figure like himself. The fact that he’s cured of it isn’t what’s amazing (well, in this show, it kind of is), it’s how it happens, and the fact that the whole show was leading me on.

Irabu starts by trying an experiment even he couldn’t screw up, turning off all the lights, and then, er, screwing it up. Even Mayumi is surprised.

The doctor at work.

As usual he follows Tanabe around in his ever-shifting guises, and I’m beginning to see the reason for this. I thought it was simply because he was weird, but actually he’s trying to present his patients with opportunities to help themselves. Most of the time it leads to nothing, but it only has to work once. He does this by helping Tanabe escape the press by driving him away in his convertible, rather than the dark threatening limo, and Tanabe sees a bit of Tokyo.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Tanabe is shown as young and vital, seeming not really needing that cane he walks with. Japan, he says, is not grown up. There are things he needs to do. Yet the memories that come with his attacks are of an older Japan, starting from just after the war. And here’s where the lovely bits start. As they drive along, seeing familiar sights, Tanabe remembers how things were before and the things he did. And I finally realized the deliberate disconnect between what we’re shown and how things actually are. It’s one of the series’ best sequences.

Disconnect.

In addition we get the usual wild attempts at therapy, the weird and funny imagery, and a ton of self-references. I caught: Bandooo!, Nomora, Ikeyama, the Yakuza guy, the Reporter, and that book appears again. And it’s all good.

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