Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun 8 manages to get stuff done amongst some silly scenes, to my surprise. And it made me think too: just how long is Shizuku going to put up with this?
I think it’s the show’s lighthearted atmosphere of the school festival that threw me off. Starting off with Shizuku as a haunted nurse with a face ala Black Jack, I expected not much of importance was going to happen. When such stuff did happen I really didn’t take it seriously, well, until Haru accidentally slugged Shizuku again, setting off another outburst. Or maybe I couldn’t take it seriously because Shizuku was feeling bad about being pissed off–after getting slugged. Not to mention Kenji insisting that it was all his fault, when, uh, guys, it’s Haru’s fault. I don’t know what goes on in these characters’ minds. But something here gets accomplished amid all the inner monologues of a nurse-zombie, not to mention all the other craziness. Kenji hangs out with Shizuku and to her surprise turns out to be a perceptive guy (that bullshit line about loneliness being impossible without other people around aside) who doesn’t seem interested in making a move on her–except if it pissed off Haru, that is, .
And Haru has another, much more serious lapse, which came out of the blue because it was one of those “people needing to be alone or hide from other people find themselves all in the same classroom” type of thing. Since it was coming off of an amusing conversation between Oshima and Haru (apart from the “using force” line, a precursor as it turned out), it looked like a comedy topper; Shizuku and Kenji eavesdropping on Haru and Oshima when Yazun walks in. I was getting ready for an entertaining confrontation between Haru and Yuzan, with Kenji as an added bonus. Instead, Haru gets truly frightening for the first time since episode one, and poor Oshima is the near-victim.
I understand that he feels bad afterwards and Shizuku knows it and all that, but a lot of messed up people know that after they mess up. There’s plenty of guilt and then it starts right up again. Then again, Shizuku seems to think her reaction to his antics is somehow a problem, too. She does indeed have a problem. Asana didn’t deserve to be talked to like that. But getting hit, even accidentally, and having to talk Haru down from what’s basically a hostage situation, and not seriously reevaluating her involvement with him, is an act of stupidity. Okay, at the end she does say she needs to think about it, but that’s just because her heart gets all thumpity when she’s trying to study. It’s a shame because the episode (and the series) otherwise can be great fun to watch, but those moments stick out so much it yanks me right out of watching.
Just like Sukitte, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo 7 starts lighthearted, but it stays this way. No plot advancement. No Misaki/Jin angst, no Sorata angst, no Aoyama despair. Sorata doesn’t even hear back about his game proposal. Maybe the creators thought for this episode “Man, it’s too soon for the new story arc, so let’s throw in all the spare gags we had lying around.” So they get Sorata’s little sister Yuuko to visit and do all the things anime little sisters tend to do …wait, she doesn’t clean his room or find any porn. But she does meet the girls at the dorm and get led into believing the usual things about big brothers and evil, lascivious older women who want to corrupt them.
And it’s pretty funny. Yuuko is especially inspired with the little sister tropes and establishes a lot of ways to be angry when Aoyama goes in denial mode about something misconstrued but innocent, and all Mashiro has to do is open her mouth to cause sibling shock. To help out we get some different artistic styles when Sonata’s desperately calling home, including a live-action puppet thing. Not only that, but the Mashiro breaks the bath so we get a public bath fanservice scene. And now and then they cut to Misaki taking driving lessons. You can imagine how those turn out. It slows down a bit when Sorata takes all the girls on a “date,” though it didn’t get any weaker. Yeah, it was a predictable episode but well-done, and a nice break from sentiment. Just sit back an watch the jokes fly by.
The battle in Girls und Panzer 6 gets a little confusing in spite of the fun of watching the characters react and over-or-under-react, depending on the temperament. We got Oorai leading the Saunders Shermans off to nowhere and then stumbling upon (and chasing) their flag tank, a coincidence that masks its silliness by having the tank commanders not believing it, either. So our gals can win if they can take out that one tank, but when the Shermans come back they seem to forget this strategy and have to be reminded of it. Well, we got the usual from both the heroes and adversaries. Loved the sneaky Saunders commander suddenly babbling about how some guy doesn’t love him. And apart from for battle confusion and the too-long “we’re doomed” bit in the middle, it’s fun to watch as usual. Too bad they have to invent a new crisis at the end, involving Meko’s grandma. But next week, we’re promised Anzio! Don’t know if that’s good or bad …