Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge seems to realize that in order to have a successful series with a listless protagonist, they better bring in some interesting side characters. Miyano is a great start. A small, genki girl who is determined to emulate Tanaka’s languid personality, and she’ll work to her utmost to achieve it! Yet she is completely oblivious to the contradiction there. With her genki, utter cuteness and Natsumi Takamori’s splendid voice work, she makes every scene she’s in fun to watch, even when she unconsciously gets the behavior right and gets all quiet and dreamy (nice music for those scenes too). Let’s hope the next new character can keep up the momentum.
Echizen is the next one, and while she can’t match Miyano (who steals every scene the two have together), she’s a good contrast to the existing group. She starts by coming off as a delinquent and challenging Tanaka to a fight, but her childhood friend Ohta cuts through her pretense quickly. She loves cute things, for one, refusing to eat a cookie Miyano lovingly made for her because it was too cute (the bit where they superimposed Miyano’s head on the cookie gave me the biggest laugh of the season so far), prompting the falling-out that covers the second half of the episode. She also bonds with Tanaka without much trouble, and gives us the rough character the show didn’t know it needed. I expect the next new character will be the class rep who’s always passing by …
There are various adventures in Haifuri 2-3. First, they are attacked by the Admiral Spee, and Akeno has to use Miho-style sneaky thinking to keep the bigger and more powerful ship befuddled until they can disable it and escape. Meanwhile the world is treating it all as a mutiny, so they can’t go anywhere. Then a boy’s school submarine bothers them for a while. This part was the most ridiculous, a bunch of lucky shots and some cables to put it out of action. I’m frankly more interested in the mysteries. Why are they being chased, anyway? Why did Mimi, rescued by Akeno, desert the Spee? What was the now-forgotten crisis aboard the Mushishi, Moka’s ship? They’re setting up the mysterious parts well. Too bad we have to put up with a few annoying personalities, like that scaredy-cat girl at the wheel. Though I like Doctor Girl’s weird quotations.
Flying Witch 2-3 breezed by as quickly and easily as episode one did. In #2, Makoto is visited by a scary masked guy who’s actually a harbinger of spring and a decent enough guy. However, Chinatsu is freaked out. Then Kei picks butterbur shoots and makes tempura with them. … And that’s about it. In #3 they prepare a garden and chase a pheasant, we meet Mako’s sister Akane, in town to check up on her, and we learn how to summon crows, also that Makoto hasn’t been practicing her spells recently, but that it’s okay. In the meantime, the show makes clear that it’s a slice-of-life show as much as a magical one, and that’s fine with me, especially since it’s a rural one and we need more rural shows.