Yumeiro 41, Occult Academy 4

After last episode’s splendid fairy abuse Yumeiro Patissiere 41 gets down to business. Time for the first round of the Grand Prix.

Fairy fangirl!

First we get more introductions. Rick’s team is introduced to Ichigo’s, one by one, so you think they’re all going to be important in some way, and indeed they’re a interesting team. Most interesting is Clara, from Germany, who naturally is a genius with numbers and calculations and organization. Her spirit is a snarky little number named Estragon. And she’s already researched every member of team Ichigo, except for Ichigo herself …

Since the first theme is “food truck” and the teams are expected to make money off their creations, a bean-counter such as Clara would seem to put Team Ichigo at a disadvantage, but once again luck smiles. After an encounter with the scary landlady about the oven they just blew up they learn that she used to run a gelato place. Ding-ding-ding! This is mixed in with scenes of the other teams planning, Miya sneakily planning to affect worldwide food costs so she can sell fancy fruits dirt-cheap, Rick’s team going with … donuts? And Tennouji wanders around, not having much fun in a city known for fun, wondering what’s wrong with herself. Nicely done, too, since it happens without her saying a word.

Sooner or later we have to get back to Ricky, and when we do he tries to whisk her off on a date, insults the boys and announces that if his team wins Ichigo will become his girlfriend. This is absolutely ludicrous but Ichigo seems to take it seriously. Like she doesn’t have any say in the matter. Maybe it’s the whole concept of boyfriends that’s freaking her out. Either way, it puts more pressure on Team Ichigo, to save their pride from this Ricky kid, and maybe to keep Ichigo out of the hands of this blue-haired masher.

Well well well, we learn a few things from Occult Academy 4, a very entertaining episode. The biggest thing being that Uchida is a spineless, cowardly creep. I never expected the show to go that route.

But we’ll start at the beginning, where I realize that in spite of the foreboding and present menace much of the show’s engine runs on comedy. Starting with the vice-principal, both plotting to do Maya in and falling girlishly in love with Uchida simply because he gave her a false compliment last episode. Both Maya and Kozue have gone missing, could he please find them? On the way he meets Mikaze and off they go looking. Old shrines, secret tunnels, and they’re separated or Uchida just runs off, I forget, and meets …

By the end of the episode we all felt that way about Uchida.

Now Uchida starts collapsing in earnest . While running from a tengu he admits that he lost his powers years ago, and that they abducted him and forced him to travel to the past. This explains a hell of a lot. All the cocky-Uchida scenes are from his own delusions of grandeur, or attempt to bolster himself up against people who are much more capable than him. However, even I didn’t expect him to stoop so low as he does later.

Actual heroes show up.

At the tengu hatching ground Maya rescues Kozue, Smile and JK show up and show determination and resourcefulness in battle worthy of the Highschool of the Dead gang, and Uchida … runs away in fear. Then he has the gall to tell Mikaze (whom he had obviously forgotten about) that he had done everything himself. I supposed I’m supposed to hate him now, but I can’t quite bring myself to do it. As I said, this show runs on comedy; Uchida is a slightly wimpier Shaggy and Scooby. And now that Maya’s knows what he’s really like he’ll fit into the proceedings appropriately, maybe wooing the vice principal to get Maya something she wants. Besides, his situation of being abducted and sent there against his will earns him a little sympathy.

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