So Nami yo Kiitekure 4 introduces who might be the last of the regular characters, or at least the ones capable of making messes of lives. This week’s plot has the restaurant owner Takarada getting injured so Nakahara and Minare (rehired) run the place alone, the former treating it as a married couple situation and hitting on Minare again, so they make one of those long-term pledges. At the end of the episode Mato calls and arranges for Minare to do a 20-minute slot early that morning. But the rest of the episode is all about men hitting on women.
Not only Nakahara on Minare, but also Komoto the mixer on Mizuho, and finally Nakahara on the new character, the very strange Makie, who’s brother or someone was the cause of the accident and so volunteers to work at the restaurant, and is quietly creepy as hell, which doesn’t stop Nakahara from hitting on her later. What I find odd is that Makie pulls the “I don’t want to go home” line on Nakahara, who doesn’t at the time hit on her, and then reports the incident to Minare, who finds it odd that he DIDN’T take her home with him. I don’t really think Minare believed in that pledge she and Nakahara made, and it’s no business of hers what he does with creepy Makie (They’re making her cook, and I frankly don’t trust her with a knife), but for Minare to act so shocked when he catches the Nakahara and Makie conversation feels odd. All men are scum, after all.
In episode 5 Minare arrives at the station and we all celebrate Mizuho’s birthday then settle down for a meeting. There’s no announcement, no sponsor, no one knows the 20-minute thing is going to happen. It’s supposed to sound like the 3:30AM light music show has been hijacked by the woman who had appeared before, except she’s just killed her deadbeat ex, Mitsuo. There is a script but a lot of it is purely ad-lib, and you’re on in five minutes, Minare! It comes as no surprise that Minare manages to get her mojo going while tossing off complaints at the same time. One minute, and she’s on!
Meanwhile, in real life, this is going on …
At first I thought this was a fantasy setup showing Minare’s story, like the bear in episode 1, but no, in an absolutely ridiculous coincidence, the real Mitsuo is about to be murdered by his latest victim … but the radio’s on. We get Minare’s strong voice in a rampage of wild laughter and triumphant talk about the murder in our ears, while our eyes witness both Mitsuo and the girl slowly realizing who she’s talking about. It is impossible, and I haven’t laughed so hard in a while. I just hope the girl’s okay.
After that incident the audio script turns to space aliens and Mitsuo clones, we don’t get back to the near-murder, just an exhausted but exhilarated Minare after her bit, praise from Mato and Mizuho, a weird dream, and decisions Minare makes at the curry shop the next day after some customers recognize her voice. If last week’s episode was about men hitting on women, this one was the women’s reactions, from rants to bloody murder, to even quitting the curry shop because she’s on to Nakahara.
And I’d like to pronounce this show to be my favorite of the season.
Toaru Kagaku no Railgun T, I suppose in an effort to be helpful after a week off, or because they wanted to recycle some content to go easy on the animators, starts with a “story so far” narration which I actually enjoyed, one because the plot is everywhere and it’s hard to keep track, and because it’s narrated by Kuroko. That done we go back to the three scenes the show’s been juggling. Touma and Gunha make no progress in getting through to Misaka, who’s getting almost cosmic in her transformation, but there’s progress with Kuroko tracking down Kozaku, thanks to Uiharu’s hacking of a camera. When we see the seemingly dead Kuroko through the camera I thought “Whoops, production mistake. No bandages.” … Heh, that should have been a giveaway. Shame that Kuroko had to take a knife to her hand, but we do get the satisfaction of seeing her wallop Kozaku.
The third confrontation I thought was over, with Shokuho unable to outfox Gensei, but it turns out that like Kuroko, she sacrificed part of herself to set up a trap she didn’t even know she had made. It was also a nice contrast to the action of the other scenes. Gensei smirks, enters what he thinks is the unlock code and weird stuff happens that we think is bad, but is actually the opposite. No fighting, not really any conversation, just Shokuho’s self-monologue about the trap that the cunning Gensei had no way of seeing and erasing her own memories. Well done, girls, taking one for the team! Now it’s all up to Misaka, beginning to come around, and Touma, about to to something brave … but the episode ends. The first time I’ve cried “Oh, damn!” at an episode for a while.
The silly jokes in Kakushigoto are beginning to take second stage to what I’m finding more compelling now. Episode 4 starts with Hime searching the “other” house, where she finds more age-marked boxes, and we get the idea that her mother prepared them before she passed away. That’s a lovely thought, but still doesn’t explain the fact that there are two different houses at all, one of them decrepit, or where Kakushi went. When we get to the jokes the first segment doesn’t hold up too well, all about lucky names and why Kakushi has two names he goes by, with stuff about fortunetellers thrown in, though I like the idea of manga-ka going nuts and starting their own cults. The second one works better, maybe because it uses the father-daughter sweetness better. Hime has a drawing assignment and asks her dad for help, but if he shows he’s too good she might discover his secret. Luckily manga-ka aren’t necessarily great artists, and everything he draws look like, in Naru’s words “like they came from a manga.” The idea of the late mother watching over them was sweet, especially when it came from the eyes of a tiger Hime was trying to draw.