Five Leaves 7, Yumeiro 32 (not 31, as I first thought)

House of Five Leaves 7 goes the way of the ones before it. We learn a little about Yaichi’s past, and that of Akitsu.

Some of this comes from Kaichi visiting the Elder, who recognizes him and warns him about the return of the Kuhei Bakuro. Akitsu is still curious about Kaichi’s past and he learns from the Elder that Kaichi used to belong to that gang. When these guys finally do show up I bet the show will liven up a bit … No, it won’t. But it looks like the past is going to come back to bother some people. With Durarara! going the way it’s been, this is a running theme in current anime.

Kaichi says he doesn’t care for the past, that the present is much better. Akitsu, thinking about his own past, wishes he could extricate it so easily.

He has his crippling fear of people, and we see him challenged by a samurai and running away. We’ve seen him capably handling his sword in the past. It’s not the fear of fighting. And there’s something about that in his past, that we only see in a vague flashback of his brother, not enough to come to any conclusions. Later, the lady who runs the brothel where he stays has him fight Yaichi, and he nearly panics when the girls run over to watch. What’s more, Yaichi’s presence intimidates him, one of the reasons why he’s so fascinated by he man. But he’s also befriended by Yagi, who offers to spar with him privately. Yagi has secrets of his own, probably, and he’s doing this not simply out of kindness. Everyone in this show is up to something. And considering he takes Akitsu on a visit to a grave belonging to someone named Yaichi, guess what his motives are. With all the interest Yaichi is stirring up it’ll be a relief to see what he does when his past starts catching up.

Yumeiro Patissiere 32 has an interlude in a sweets shop district, a tropical fruits shop, before getting back to the fun of the Grand Prix.

(By the way. The fansubbers mistakenly called this episode 31, a fact I discovered after watching this episode and wondering why it wasn’t like the previews. So I skipped an ep. Looking for a real 31 now.)

The first half is fun enough. Ichigo goes beserk and buys everything before meeting a girl named Natsuki, who tells them to come to a certain shop. There team Ichigo is presented with a lavish feast of prepared fruits that even impresses Kashino. It’s all happy-happy, Ichigo’s made a new friend, and we’re all wondering when the sucker punch is coming.

These girls are daughters of fruit plantation owners in Okinawa and have been doing things with fruit all their lives. And they’re two years above Ichigo and her team. And guess who Team Ichigo’s next opponent turns out to be? Right! And what is the theme? Right again! A plated fruit dessert! This is a fascinating dilemma for Ichigo’s team. Not only are they going against highly-trained specialists who are actually in high school, who could maybe beat Team Ichigo anyway, but they’re also new friends with absolutely no animosity towards them. Natsuki even offers to share their imported fruit (Ichigo kindly refuses), and at the end of the episode they even show Ichigo their planned dessert. Never in this show has an opposing team been that open. They must figure they’re that good, they don’t have to be secretive.

For Team Ichigo to win they shouldn’t use any tropical themes in their dessert, but that leaves them with no strategy whatsoever. They look to Ichigo for inspiration, and she doesn’t have any. Oh, there are little signs of a deepening relationship between Ichigo and Kashino, which kind of weirds me out.

One more mystery. WTF?

After they make some test desserts Ichigo has Vanilla shrink them all down to fairy size before eating. Why? For what purpose? For the hell of it? Sometimes I just don’t understand this show.

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