Eizoken 3-4, Oshibudo 3, Rikekoi 3-4

DUNN DUNN!

In terms of the overall story Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! 3 continues the show’s slow pace–only a couple of scenes that have to do with getting recognized as a club, but at least this idea prompts them into actual anime production mode, which of course means more flights of animated fantasy as they work out an idea that satisfies Asakusa’s storyboarding abilities, Mizusaki’s character designs, and Kanamori’s practical monetary considerations (very useful here). At the end of it they have their idea–a girl with a machete fighting a tank. Dunn Dunn! We get to see the idea slowly grow as the girls walk through Asakusa’s landscapes, a lovely bit, I think the best merge of fantasy and reality the show’s given us yet, and it’s only episode 3. The first half, fixing the studio, is entertaining partly because it shows Asakusa and Tsubame being goofy before the presentation deadline gives them focus. Well, the rocket stuff was fun, too.

Episode 4 jumps right to crunch time. Once again, there is a lot of shop talk that didn’t really add much, but if the girls weren’t bickering it wouldn’t have seemed right. Here the bickering is over how much time they have and what they can do with that time, which means sacrificing some of the hand-drawn art, to Mizusaki’s dismay, and using computers for the in-between, I think, I couldn’t really follow. While they’re bickering, it’s bickering to do the best they can in what time they have, so that they’ll get a budget, or rather, it’s Kanamori laying out their choice of sacrifices and compromises. All to get it done for the student council proposal event.

The student has quite an effect on the audience.

I was pleasantly surprised that they then jumped right to the event. I was further pleasantly surprised that while the scene had the usual stern-faced SC types at the table, it also had riot police holding back angry students throwing rocks at a couple of boys who had some weird cafeteria dietary considerations. We get the expected staredown between stern Kanamori and an equally stern SC girl, but then Asakusa speaks up out of turn and they show the film. Partly what makes the following scene great is that we’ve seen much of this footage before in the girls’ group fantasies. What makes it even better is the visceral effect on the audience, papers blowing because of blasts, a smoking shell in the corner, and a tank bursting from the screen.

That part was also great, but what topped it off was everyone’s reaction. Astonishment from the SC and the crowd while the girls, who in their passion have forgotten there were others in the room, knowing they had produced a great thing, just sit there talking about the parts that worked, what didn’t work, and how to improve it.

Oshi ga Budoukan Itte Kuretara Shinu 3 shifts the possible relationship between Eripiyo and Maina a little further, but essentially stays in a holding pattern. The problem for both is their limited time together. They only have a few moments during the handshake events, and there both of them play mind games with themselves worthy of Tsurezure Children, afraid of saying the wrong thing and sensing rejection even when the other one manages to say anything beyond “Thank you for performing/attending.” Well, Eripiyo is partly to blame–her bizarre appearance at one event, on stilts with a fake mustache because Maina once said she likes tall guys with a mustache, was bound to put Maina on the defensive. But this episode had a magical moment, when both girls find themselves on the same train. The perfect opportunity! Alas, Eripiyo, afraid of invading Maina’s private life, apologizes and moves to the next car. What will it take? … Oh, and Maina has another fan, Motoi’s kid sister Rena. Now Eripiyo has to rethink her position. Does she want Maina to be loved by everyone, or does she want to be the only one?

The big date!

Rikei ga Koi ni Ochita no de Shoumei Shite Mita‘s characters are inching along too, but not because of lack of time together. We’ve rarely seen them NOT together. And in episode 3 we discover that they met as kids, with Yukimura inspiring Himuro not to be ashamed of her nerdy interests and hold her head up. The thing is, neither of them know (or will admit) that they had met back then. As for now, unlike Oshibura, the two are making some sort of progress, even if every single plan is swallowed up in analysis and calculations; this week we learn about the Traveling Salesman Problem while the two figure out what to do on a date. Frankly, I’m surprised they even got to the date part. Guiding the story along, as usual, is the sensible Kanade, the odd Ibarada, and a newcomer, the handsome Kosuke, who, being in love with a tsundere girl from a game, isn’t the best source for romance advice, not that that stops him. In fact, no one is hesitant this episode. We get three dating scenarios, each funnier than the one before. In fact, I found myself laughing throughout this episode. WIth more or less the full cast now assembled, the show has found a funny groove I hope they can keep up.

As for the date in episode 4, well, it was a date with a lot of data thrown in, thanks to handy phone apps where they can punch in physical and emotional responses to certain date-like situations, like choosing clothes (“Which shoes do you like better, Yukimura-kun?”). Poor Kanade and Kosuke are along for the ride and doing straight-men stuff. By now, all the numbers are getting a little tiresome, so it was a relief when a masher gets in the way and tries to pick up Himuro. It allows Yukimura to get angry, and even if his statistical explanations that the masher is not truly in love are in line with his character, his behavior is not. And Himuro reacts Kimura in a irrational way (“He’s so cool!”). It was a refreshing moment in an otherwise predictable episode. Well, at least the couple had a good time on their date.

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