Ookami 6, Kimi ni Todoke 18, Yumeiro 17

With Ookami Kakushi 6, it’s become clear that the hassaku the town grows has some sort of control over people who are afflicted with some sort of supernatural disease, but it’s a bad crop this year. There’s a drug that might help, but there’s intrigue there that hasn’t been revealed yet. In terms of the story, people start falling to pieces in front of Hiroshi. Kaori, the violin teacher, has some sort of spell during Mana’s lesson. And then there’s Isuzu.

This is where it gets interesting. We’ve seen other people taken down by scythe girl and her minions who declare that all they’ve done is fall in love. Isuzu’s had a thing for Hiroshi from the beginning, so you would think she’d be treated the same, but scythe girl offers to spare her if she lets Hiroshi go, and when she doesn’t scythe girl still doesn’t kill her, but just tells Hiroshi not to follow. Why was she spared? Isuzu’s what? Fourteen? Still very young, so perhaps what she thinks of love is simply her first crush and she hasn’t the emotional experience to recognize that feeling.

We still don’t know what’s really going on, or who the various entities in this town are. And neither does Hiroshi. But at least he’s trying. We get a scene after the fight where he demands answers from the formidable scythe-girl, oh, right, she was outed as Nemeru this episode. As if anyone hadn’t already guessed. Anyway, seeing him stand up to her and demand answers made me happy for him. He’s mainly been a victim and witness so far, and he’s not the fighting type, but he’s a decent person stuck in a sick community, and he wants to know what’s going on, dammit! Too bad Nemeru’s answer is to knock him unconscious. I wonder what his reaction will be next episode …

Last time I looked at Kimi ni Todoke I wondered when they would get to the Ryuu/Yoshida story. Someone must have heard me.

Sawako's overwrought imagination at work.

There are a couple of reasons why this episode works well. First, we pull away from Sawako for a while and concentrate on Yoshida, though we don’t get into her head like we do Sawako (Frankly, I don’t know if I could handle seeing what’s in Yoshida’s head). But just viewing from outside is just fine. She’s fun enough to watch that it’s no trouble if the show follows her, especially this episode, spazzing out over dresses, of all things! Add to this the fact that Yano isn’t around (more on that later), meaning Sawako has Yoshida to herself. Sawako’s basking in Yoshida’s obvious happiness is almost as fun.

Of course the story is more complicated than first appears. Yoshida isn’t in love with Ryuu, but with his older brother, Tooru, who only comes to town a couple times a year. It’s always been like this. Meanwhile, we know that Ryuu is in love with Yoshida, which must make those family get-togethers excruciating for him. Ryuu isn’t the type to let his feelings show (a refreshing contrast in this series). He tries to tell her, but it frankly looks hopeless for him. Yoshida sees him like a younger brother and that’s probably the way it will stay. They’re so comfortable in those roles that she can walk in while he is changing and no one reacts. Love sucks sometimes.

Love sucking is perhaps the theme of this episode, because the other story involves worldly Yano, who is in a relationship with an over-obsessed college student, or WAS. I wouldn’t date anyone who hit me, that’s for sure, especially if they did it because I wanted to break up. We don’t see much of this, so we only get Yano’s report, and that’s probably the last we’ll hear of it. And finally we get an unknown character who confesses to a girl and gets shot down, just for the hell of it. Yeah, love sucks sometimes.

Yumeiro Patissiere 17 apparently isn’t quite ready to dive into round two of the contest yet, so instead concentrates on a classmate named Hayame, who wants to drop out. A tragic story enfolds, where this promising talent got a fever on the day of finals and got dropped to the lowest level—F.

Hayame works, her teammates goof off.

I’m reminded of Baka to Test here … Anyway, her teammates are first class slackers and she’s grown frustrated, not to mention jealous of Ichigo, who, with no experience, was placed into Group-A, home of the Princes of Sweets. When Ichigo reaches out (as you knew she would) the response is always the same.

A bit rude, but I’m sympathetic. Anyone can be who is working hard but surrounded by people who won’t. But Ichigo and the princes set her straight, forcing her to participate in a chiffon cake showdown with Ichigo. The outcome comes as no surprise, but that’s not the point. Hayame learns she’s not alone and shouldn’t give up, blah blah, and the point is made that it wasn’t her teammates alone that made Ichigo improve; she worked very hard. A rejuvenated Hayame returns to Group-F and starts bossing them around. A nice enough episode, livened up as usual by Kashino’s stabs at Ichigo:

Note how the others aren't disagreeing.

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