Yumerio Patissiere 47 brings both the silliness and the sentimentality the show is capable of, but rarely has it been mixed together so well.
And it starts off oddly. The prologue gives us vignettes of Tennouji doing this, that, then looking shocked in a romantic Paris rain. Or maybe it was supposed to be depressing Paris rain. I’m sure Paris can do that as well. After the credits the show ignores her completely as we have an odd dream sequence (or is it a dream?) where loud chimes call drown out her grandmother’s advice over making the perfect strawberry tart recipe. I’m wondering what kind of episode this is going to be. An answer comes quickly: a silly one.
Only it’s not completely silly. Ichigo’s tart experiments are just missing the mark, even while making a crème frangipane without knowing such a thing existed. The girl is some kind of genius. Anyway, to skip ahead, Ichigo and Miya are sucked into a grandfather clock and wind up on a fairy train with the three jerks. Thanks to this fairy transportation system and Miya’s bankroll they can go to Japan in search of perfect strawberries. Then it’s off to grandmother’s garden. Here’s where they start working the sentimental in with the silly.
Ichigo is talking about putting smiles on people’s faces and the love that her grandmother gave to everything. Meanwhile Miya and Marron are acting like doofuses, jumping the fairy Kasshi (Kashino’s lookalike), whipping out her rich-girl laugh, imagining more and more elaborate love moments with Kashino. At one point (see above) Marron chases Miya around with a snake! For absolutely no reason! Any danger Ichigo’s sentimentality might have in overturning the episode’s flow is undercut by comedy. And while I’m a little tired of Miya I’ll admit that she (not to mention her voice actress) outdoes herself. Every little thing she does in this episode is turned up to eleven.
As for the plot, it turns out the mysterious strawberries are fraises de bois, not known for their looks but for their taste. Oh, huge plot twist at the end that turns everything upside-down.
The second Amagami SS Sae episode has the same basic weakness that the first one had. Sae’s too passive a character to make things happen; it’s up to Junichi and Miya (and the narrator) to do the work. On the other hand, Sae is apparently up for anything they throw at her. Anyway, the waitress interview training continues.
The first section, where Junichi has Sae strike up a conversation with a lunch lady, is saved from the embarrassing pauses we expect when Junichi tells her to think of the lady as a vending machine. Thus we get a nice hallucinatory moment. Then Junichi’s training regimen gets weirder and we all start wondering what the hell is going on in his head. So does the narrator. Well, we sort of do. Well, maybe we don’t.
I mean, I still can’t figure out if Junichi is having her change to various states of dress and undress because he’s an adolescent boy or because he’s just sort of weird. I mean, the last thing they’re going to ask Sae at the interview is “How quickly can you change your clothes?” Maybe he doesn’t know, either. He does, however, permit himself to ogle once or twice. In the next training they visit a foot pond full of fish that like to nibble on dead skin, so he gets to both see Sae in a swimsuit and listen to her near-erotic cries while the fish tickle her. Miya is good fun here, both supportive of her friend and sympathetic to whatever the hell her brother is up to, grinning when he’s not scratching her brother in the face.
We start to see why Sae gamely puts up with all of this with almost no complaint. Maybe it’s not that she can’t stand up for herself. She’s enjoying the company. At first I thought it’s coming from the sense of family that Junichi and Miya give her, but she gives an odd little confession at the very end, objecting when Junichi says he’d like to have her as a sister. Turns out she doesn’t think that way. I have a feeling that next episode Junichi’s going to get rather confused. That’s fine. In the last story arcs by now he was kissing knees and belly buttons. Here it’s not clear he’s thought of her as anything but a sweet girl with a great body. Let’s speed this up.