Natsuyuki 10, Imouto ga Iru 9, Chocolate 9

The big line in Natsuyuki Rendezvous 10 comes at the end, where Rokka asks Shimao (still in Ryuusuke’s body) where the Ryuusuke she fell in love with went. It’s a nonsensical question because while Shimao told her that it had been him and not Ryuusuke for some of the events, he hasn’t told her exactly when they switched. I’m not surprised he wouldn’t. This episode removes all of the remaining sympathy I had for him. We see him now as he’s always been–egotistical and selfish. Anyway, for all she knows he’s been Ryuusuke for months, even as far back as the time she said she loved him (Ryuusuke). But in terms of the story, unless Shimao is hinting at something when he talks a “last meal,” it’s an important one.

She loves Ryuusuke, and WE know she fell for him before Shimao’s devious body switching. Just like Ryuusuke can never erase the love she had for Shimao, or would want to (The show makes a point of having him say that he’s fine with that), Shimao can’t erase Ryuusuke. Nor can erase the fact that while she hasn’t been able to let him go, Rokka is doing just fine in running the shop on her own, doing things without him. It will be interesting to see how this pans out in the last episode or two. Meanwhile, this episode gets even more bizarre and chilling than before as Ryuusuke realizes he can’t return to his body now, and Shimao symbolically kills him. Then he has to watch the odd physical couple, one using his body, be all lovey-dovey while he floats about hopelessly. It looks bleak indeed for Syuusuke – until Rokka asks that question.

You see, this is how a REAL little sister behaves.

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! 9 throws out one good thing and one bad thing. The good thing is the new girl Yuzurina, who, right after moving next door to Shougo, tells him that she’s his sister. Nothing new there, but there’s a twist: she has no interest in marrying him. She’s actually a little sister, the type that worries about oniisan with no strings attached. Well, she listens in through the wall, but that’s acceptable in this sort of show, and might actually add to the show’s abysmally low comedy level. What’s more, they do a blood test and it’s positive, all in one episode! We’ll ignore that fact that she’s illegitimate and so it must be kept secret when the next thing you know she’s blabbing about it to all the other girls; an actual little sister overly worried about who he’s bringing home, complicating Shougo’s life won’t hurt the show at all. The bad thing is the formal party coming up, and he must choose one girl. And Miyabi later spots him getting ready to kiss Konoe. Who cares? Shougo, you got a sister now. Choose one girl and let’s end this thing.

Oosawa, of the infamous Oosawa incident.

Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate 9 has a fascinating bit at the end. They end with Shougo possibly being run over by a truck. This is after a few painful flashbacks where Chisato tries to wake up a dead boy named Daiki by offering him chocolate (thus revealing the origin of her choco-phobia). Yes, it’s incredibly trite, but it was how they went about it. One of those scene or episode-ending comical moments where the girls turn accusingly on a boy and he runs away. The camera is far away, as they often are when you’re ending a scene like this, and it looks for all the world like the episode is going to end right there … Yuuki yells “Run!” and runs … then the truck shows up. In other words they stuck a cliffhanger over a silly moment. The rest of the episode wasn’t bad either. We get the return of Yuina Oosawa, planning on making an elected Yuuki her puppet, and who got suspended for harassing a financial aid student, Yuuki wanting to add a platform plank abolishing just such a thing, leading Chisato to shout at him because it will cost him votes, but really because she’s afraid he’s leaving her behind like Daiki did. Election politics and romance, just like the title says.

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