After a shocking opening bit, Watamote 10 settles down and becomes simply depressing. There’s a seating change and Tomoko suddenly finds herself stuck right in the middle of that group of chatty, flirty kids. I can sympathize with her. Being stuck with in with a group of people who are everything you’re not day in, day out, when you’ve already got social anxieties, that’s a lot of pressure. But it calms down when she finds an alternate place to eat her lunch, it’s pleasant to watch her enjoying her break in peace–until THAT gets taken away, too. That’s a problem with this series. Even when she isn’t being obnoxious about something, the comedy gods conspire to make her miserable anyway. All she wanted was a quiet place to eat lunch. It leads to the saddest scene yet, her eating lunch late, in an empty classroom, the other desks bunched around her like a fortress. The second part shows her deciding to form one of those useless Do Anything clubs you see people make in anime. You can see the punchline a mile away, but once again, she’s trying to do something on her own; the gods should at least toss her a bone. Of course, they ARE comedy gods, and the main reason she did it was to get out of helping her class with cultural festival work, but still … These scenes have two Tomoko fantasies about being in a club. I don’t really get the point of that. As I said, we knew the outcome way in advance. Were they trying to fool us by setting one up as the fantasy to make us believe the next one would be reality? We know this show too well for that.
Genshiken Nidaime 10 is another one where we get a look at a character’s unhappy high school experience, in order to reference the shock the character feels when old friends pop by. This time it’s Hato’s turn. It’s not so bad as far as Genshiken flashbacks go, certainly better than Ogiue’s. The three girls, Kon, Kaminaga, and, er, the tall buzz-cut girl, show up out of curiousity, and with a vague sense of guilt for what they pretty unintentionally did years ago. I’m not sure why Hato felt he had to read Kaminaga’s BL stuff in the john, but such triggers are what unfortunate fictional misunderstandings are made of. And it gets mostly straightened out, to the point where Kaminaga can suggest that Hato’s got a thing for his brother and Hato can calmly nod and say he understands where she’s coming from. Ogiue, who’s been trying to keep the peace up to now, adds fictional embellishments. They’re all rotten girls there, even if one of them is a guy.
Teekyuu 22, by my estimate, has a gag every five seconds, still way off their best. It didn’t help that the show felt it had to explain the rule about a batter intentionally getting hit in the strike zone. That took a dent out of it. They should have called in the Apaches sooner.