Episode dump: Komi-san, Healer Girl, Rikekoi, Paripi

As part of my episode dump I am going to do Komi-san the same injustice I did some of the shows last post, that is, do a quick look at three episodes of a series that deserves more. Anyway, like Kawaii Dake last post, Komi-san 4-6 has a seasonal theme, winter break. Those looking for progression in a possible romance will be disappointed. What we get are the same type of slightly hysterical scenes (especially when the gang’s all there) we usually get. First it’s a Christmas party at Komi’s, the best bit, apart from where to sit, is the big stuffed cat they give her. Naturally there’s snow later so we get some scenes of that. New Year visits to Komi’s folks’ house to re-meet those characters, a visit to a shrine, naturally, some ice skating with Makoto, making it the weakest scene, Makoto being a one-joke character. And finally, in the sweetest scene, Tadano falls ill and Komi comes over to take care of him. All done with the show’s excellent use of characters and timing, as usual. … It’s not only that I have to catch up with the series, but I really don’t have anything more to say about the three episodes except they’re as great as the others.

Taking care of themes for Healer Girl too. Well the first half of episode 6 doesn’t count. The girls go to help out at the clinic Sonya works for, so we get a lot of Sonia telling them they’re her assistants and talking about her great talent and one day besting Karasama-senpai, like she always does. My favorite bit is Reimi’s obsession with the clinic’s huge music library. I know where she’s coming from … The rest of 6 and all of 7 is about the school cultural festival. It’s sort of a mashup of all the festival scenes from all the anime we’ve watched, except for the bon dance. We get extensive prep scenes with Sonia again leading the way, volunteering Kana for her Russian cuisine booth. Elsewhere we get maid cafes, endless eating, girls covering so that classmates can enjoy the festival, and naturally the girls are dragged onstage to perform a number or two when a band fails to show, and it’s a highlight. Again, the show does a good job of imagery during the music. Strangely for this show, it’s about the only time they sing in either episode. Okay, Sonia busts out a tune here and there, but nothing comes of it.

After all that silly fun at the festival the show decides to get serious for a while, not life-and-death serious, but a conflict between Reimi and Aoi, her maid. Aoi is an old friend of the family, a gifted pianist who has received invitations from a professor to study in Europe, but she doesn’t want to leave Reimi alone. Reimi’s parents are already missing most of the time, being fabulous on singing tours. So we have Aoi not willing to desert Reimi, and Reimi who doesn’t want Aoi to shut away her dreams, and plus she’d feel guilty. This is heavy stuff for a mostly silly show, and I’m frankly glad to see Reimi acting so unselfishly, normally being the spoiled one of the group. Well it works out; with her friends at the clinic Reimi isn’t alone anymore, and that’s the point she drives home, naturally in a song. And there’s a twist ending which is nice, I suppose, but they could have left it as it was, with Reimi recovering, supported by Kana and the clinic.

So THAT’S settled …

Episode 6 of Rikekoi felt so much like a finale that Rikekuma the Science Bear had to come on and point out that there were still half the season to go, a nice touch, especially when he started plugging the manga. For the first half our scientific lovebirds reach a reasonable definition of love: rather than looking for common traits in the general populace, they decide that person A is in love with person B if A is cognizant of it. Now, as both Akane and Kosuke point out, this was incredibly obvious from the start, but that’s part of the comedy. Besides, something appearing to be something is not proof that it does. Nevertheless, the new definition leads Yukimura to quantify his feelings in an absurd scene where he makes up the pluses and minuses himself–and still winds up with +8942, therefore, he loves Himuro. Hooray! Celebrations! The assistants are happy. And I figure the show is going to turn to Kosuke and Ibarada next, not to mention Akane. However, Himuro and Yukimura have found a loophole that they “need” to investigate–the type of love they feel. Not that they are worried about their initial conclusions (well, who knows with Yukimura), but because it will allow them to continue their research together. Aww! But as the Bear reminds us, there’s still plenty of the season to go, and I’ve got the next two queued up.

Kanade gets surprisingly serious.

Episode 7 is amusing enough, with Yukimura and Himuro, and nine other couples, follow Kanade on her date with what’s-his-name, for further research (the Kanade-love scale!), meaning we see how the Sui-Chris relationship is holding up (same as usual–weird), and a new couple, nice guy and tsundere. But the big scene comes in episode 8. Kanade is sat down and tells our main couple about the tragic experience of her first love, that with a HS teacher. Their fun, innocent date is ruined by Kanade’s dojo training, and the teacher winds up in the hospital. No, he didn’t do anything untoward. But since then the traumatized Kanade has devoted herself to being “normal.” This makes her an excellent straight man in a lab full of weirdos, but suggests that she has sealed off part of herself and will never find love or any sort of happiness. Even the dense Yukimura can see that. This business, though with comic overtones, after all, she shoulder-threw her beloved teacher, is a little unsettling in this comedic show, especially since the scene comes at the end, so we don’t have a conclusion yet.

I didn’t know rap battles could be so good to look at.

Paripi Koumei 6 has the expected rap battle, but I didn’t expect for it to go on for as long as it did, but that’s fine. Even though I’m not a rap fan I had a good time trying to figure out the words and the meanings, especially Kongming’s. What I got from him was a desire to diss Kabe, this being a battle and all, and to encourage him at the same time, not easy to do, but it’s Kongming after all. And naturally there’s a lot of imagery flying about to make it more fun. We get the expected result–Kabe finds his love of rapping rekindled, he agrees to join forces with Kongming and Eiko, and everyone is happy. However, while Kongming as usual has stratagems at work, picking out a song important to Kabe for Eiko to sing, etc., I wonder about the stomach-soothing mixture he had put in Kabe’s drink. That will wear off in time and he’ll be back to his old anxious self. Oh, but a nice touch to bring Kabe’s rival Sekitoba to the event to add commentary for the oblivious Eiko.

Eiko searches for what’s missing with a new friend.

Eps 7 has Eiko and Kabe … not really experiencing setbacks, but unsure where to go next. Kongming unveils his World Domination, er, Bring Peace to the World plan, or Let’s get 100,000 views and get to SummerSonia. Sometimes his strategies seem well-thought out, as in getting Eiko to bring puddings to the studio to inspire Kido, the big-shot producer. This works, but Kido says, while Eiko is extremely talented, she hasn’t found her voice, and so sends her off to find it. More interesting is getting Eiko a street permit, where she meets another talented singer, Nanami. Kongming couldn’t have known about this bit of fate, I believe, though that sneaky kid with the glasses suggests otherwise. And so we have the last member of the team (Nanami’s in the OP and ED), though no one knows it yet. And there’s the fact that Nanami is the lead singer for Azalea, the biggest rival for the SummerSonia gig. No one knows that either, save for Nanami herself, and maybe Kongming. Who knows with him?

So does Kabe, with an old friend.

Meanwhile Kabe, who’s been told to accept Sekitoba’s challenge to get his mind clear, lacks confidence in his current skills. He walks around his old neighborhood and gets chatted up by fans, who marvel that a guy so wimpy looking can be such a cool rapper. He considers this a diss, but we remember Kongming’s statement that obvious strength is not true strength. Also fateful is encountering and old friend Sasatcho, who still raps to a pitifully small audience on Youtube, but what the hell, he’s enjoying himself. Once Kabe learns this lesson and remembers Kongming’s words he’ll be all right. Meanwhile the story as a whole is getting more complex, and has split in two stories, with maybe more to come once Nanami does her big reveal.

Meanwhile Kabe, who’s been told to accept Sekitoba’s challenge to get his mind clear, lacks confidence in his current skills. He walks around his old neighborhood and gets chatted up by fans, who marvel that a guy so wimpy looking can be such a cool rapper. He considers this a diss, but we remember Kongming’s statement that obvious strength is not true strength. Also fateful is encountering and old friend Sasatcho, who still raps to a pitifully small audience on Youtube, but what the hell, he’s enjoying himself. Once Kabe learns this lesson and remembers Kongming’s words he’ll be all right. Meanwhile the story as a whole is getting more complex, and has split in two stories, with maybe more to come once Nanami does her big reveal.

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