Finales: Tsurezure and PP, plus Abyss 12

Some of the couples are right back where they started.

The finale of Tsurezure Children has basically two scenes, the first being a comedy-ridden sports festival soccer tournament where we see most of the couples we’ve been following interacting on the pitch and on the sidelines. Sort of touching base with them one more time. Most of the relationships don’t change, but we get a good deal of Chiaki/Kana’s complicated situation as the latter insults the former until he saves her from an errant ball, more “hmphs”, then she cheers him in a strange way and he gets inspired. After that we turn to the sweet, heartwarming part, the last class before summer break and everyone wants to go to the beach, except Takano doesn’t want to go if Sugawara isn’t, and vice-versa. Who’s going to break through this? Let me just say I was pumping my fists over the outcome. Happy about Chiaka/Kana, too, but really those two ought to take better care of their phones.

So not every couple got to the finish line, and there’s no indication we’ll be getting a season two, which is a damn shame. This was a consistently funny and sweet show throughout, and, with Made in Abyss, a highlight of my weekly viewing. It juggled countless relationships and made them all interesting and fresh to watch, partly because, while every couple’s issues were different (an amazing feat right there), they were always recognizable. And while this show was a comedy, it wasn’t cruel to any character. The kids are new at this, they are awkward, they make mistakes, and I rooted for them to push through that and to get what they want, and I’ll say it again, it’s a damn shame we won’t get to watch them succeed. I want a second season!

One more of Takano, who finally took a step forward.
And one more of Kana, nicely summing up.
Reg’s revenge.

Which leads me to Made in Abyss 12, and while this one has another episode to go, a long one, I hear, it too will end and have me sobbing in frustration. Back up on the surface there’s a strange curse that kills off children on their birthday, except Kiyui recovers, to the shock of Jiruo. So this is the “True nature of the curse” that the episode title is named after, not the nature of the abyss curse, well, they’re probably related. The episode jumped from this scene to others. until a shocking request from Nanachi at the very end, which I won’t spoil. Every one its own was effective, but didn’t work with the other scenes as well as they could have.

The creepiest scene of the episode for me.

Anyway, we jump to Nanachi explaining the latter curse to Reg in ways I really didn’t understand, except a cloth covers you. Then more confusion as Nanachi has Reg take on that orb piercer by thinking something weird and jumping sideways. … Wait, if he used his blaster, why didn’t he fall asleep? And a very odd vision (flashback) at something distorted looking through an eye-hole. With hindsight it was the scariest moment of the episode. All of these things, topped by Nanachi’s request at the end, didn’t mix well, but at the very least there’s more weird things about the abyss for us to ponder, and there’s what Nanachi asked at the end.

Princess Principal finishes with a stumbling episode where we learn that the revolutionaries’ plot is to drop the cathedral ceiling on the queen, and then Princess will, I guess, assume power and start the big changes, or the plot fails but causes enough unrest that the Republic invades. Not sure of the logic of either, really. Meanwhile, the other girls regroup and even Ange makes it back, only to have Dorothy trick her in some way that matters to no one. Anyway, the girls provide just enough trouble that the ceiling dropping (done with a key in a lock) doesn’t happen, everyone escapes, Ange and Princess reconcile, L returns for unexplained reasons and kicks the general out of his chair, and the girls hang out in Casablanca. But what about the revolution now? The rebels Princess talks to seem unsure whether to rebel or to obey her orders. In other words, it’s a half-baked episode full of missed opportunities for fun (the ceiling, for example) and unexplained details.

No, just episodes.

I bet they’re angling for a second season, but I’m not sure the show deserves one. Most of the episodes were stand-alones that didn’t do much for the big story arc, such as it was. And when they finally came up with one, it was a mess. It’s too bad because this was a potentially rich world full of possible story ideas and an excellent steampunk aesthetic, and I rather liked all the characters in it. If they had worked on a bigger overall arc, and they had two unfriendly nations to work with, it could have been much more interesting. Instead, they chose to focus on the girls themselves. As I said, I liked them, but they weren’t enough to carry the series. This show was a regrettable miss.

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Finales: Re:Creators and Isekai Shokudou, and PP 11

There wasn’t much for Re:Creators 22 to do once they got rid of the threat. Everybody says wise words to their creator or creation, the latter insisting that their god will give them the justice or boyfriend they want, and off they go, except for Meteora, partly because she can’t cast the portal spell and use it herself, and partly because she likes it here. Now powerless, she gets a new identity and proceeds to do what she admired about the creators, that is, create something. We see billboards and posters advertising their further adventures (Aliceteria and Mamika in a crossover full of flowers and stuff). I wonder if the stories will get deadly dull since the creators might not have the will to kill their darlings anymore. Suruga is the only one to tell her creation that his life will continue to be nasty. Apart from a couple nice bits (Selesia appearing in an ad on Souta’s phone) it was just as dull as I expected.

The show managed some good self-referential lines up to the end.

What about Magane? The finale completely ignores her. I partly don’t mind because I never liked the character, but to not have her show up, unless she sneaked in somewhere I didn’t notice, felt wrong. The creators in this show seemed to lose control or interest the farther the series went. The first few episodes weren’t like that. The idea of fictional characters entering or own isn’t new, but they managed to do interesting things with it. The different genres duking it out on more or less equal terms was good, and they asked solid questions about what the creators and the creations would do in the situation. I’ve always liked the father/daughter relationship between Matsubura and Selesia, and the bonding that boy pilot Rui and delinquent Yuya do. The setup was fascinating and the show strode confidently forward, tossing out ideas each episode.

But after that they seemed to find themselves in a hole. Meteora, the most eloquent of the creations, was stuck in that booth chanting cult-babble and casting spells. Altair, while full of murderous intent throughout, wound up doing little more than muttering evil things and snickering. The other creations all became more and more irrelevant (apart from the nice twist for Blitz). What was Hikayu supposed to be doing there, anyway, apart from comic relief? Why did Matsubura show so little shock at Selesia’s death, well, until it was all over? It’s a shame. The show had a lot of promise and often lived up to it, but by the end I was indifferent.

One more of Selesia, alive somewhere.
Wait, but YOU’RE Princess, well, not really anymore, but …

Princess Principal had spent most of its time dilly-dallying in little spy games, stealing plans here, offing people there, none of it of much consequence to the overall conflict between East and West, but I’ll admit that the two-parter that will close the season is a tasty one. We already know that the girls are to kill the princess, and suddenly Ange finds that all of her comrades have been transferred, or have just vanished (chilling reference to the spy school last episode), and Control is now run by the military. Ange makes plans to run off with Princess, but the latter refuses, accuses Ange of trying to run her life for her, and escapes, leaving Ange locked on that airship going to Casablanca, I assume. She reappears as Ange disguised as Princess, mission accomplished, and meets some colony soldiers who are going to revolt.

Except, you aren’t, but you are, but … oh, forget it. Like the glasses though.

It’s a fun twist. First, the plotters think they’re talking to a girl who is pretending to be Princess, when actually, this is the Princess everyone knows, except, Princess from the start is actually a girl pretending to be Princess! Good thing they didn’t have DNA tests in 1872 (though they DO have cars …). I’m also pleased that this bunch of soldiers will actually escalate the war the way I was hoping the series would from the start. But how are they going to polish this off in one episode? Well, the other girls might be gone, but I can’t believe they’re not going to appear again, especially Dorothy. Chise gets some info that might be useful, maybe, somehow, perhaps. And what is Princess going to do? The other problem is that her mother the Queen’s life is now in danger (okay, not her real mother …). Is she going to follow along with the revolt, become queen, and then act as a figurehead for those men and have THEM run her life? And of course, what about Ange and her relationship with Princess? No, too much to fit into one episode. They should have started sooner.

There’s a bit of mystery solved, in case anyone cares.

Isekai Shokudou finishes the season without fanfare, no special episode or plot twists that put the restaurant in danger or anything like that, and I’m relieved about that. We do learn that the chef is the great-grandson of a great warrior who was hurled onto this world after an epic battle, something Altorious alone knew. That bit’s a bit clumsy, especially with Alexander the elf’s family connections thrown in. Never mind, it’s just a little surprise that changes nothing. Far more important is the complementary pork soup (It’s Meat Day!) that just about every patron tries and loves, of course. The customers love everything the chef puts out for them, and rarely do they stray from the foods they eat when they first visit. Lack of imagination there, but I’ll let it slide because this show was about people eating food; everything else, including the equally unimaginative fantasy setting, was secondary. The only other quibble I have is that they could have brought the politics of that world into the restaurant more than they did. I would have liked to see some enemies or rivals share a meal of croquettes or whatever. Sadly, the various customers didn’t often chat up any of the other, strange people there. Well, as I said, it was a nice little show about the pleasures of eating, and it was a pleasant way to spend a half hour.

One more of Aletta, who’s actually happier than she looks.

Abyss 11, Princess 10, Tsurezure 11

I didn’t expect Made in Abyss 11 to be as intense, unrelenting, and painful as #10, and so it wasn’t. I’m also happy that the whole episode wasn’t simply a long infodump by Nanachi. We got a little information, sure, but the show continues to do a very good job at slipping the necessary info (and not more) when we actually need it. Instead we got a lot of treatment for Riko, and while some of it was kind of disgusting (I didn’t need to know about the butthole, thanks), it really wasn’t so bad. What bugged me the most was Reg’s persistent pleas for Nanachi to save Riko, even though, all the while, she’s been doing just that, not to mention his endless apologies and thank yous. When she sent him off to find things for Riko (heh) I think it was partly to get him out of her fur. And she saved them probably because Reg wouldn’t shut up.

That aside, we get to see more wonders of the abyss, none of it deadly this time, and more of its grotesqueries. The parasitic mushrooms (now sewn into Riko’s arm) I could handle, but I almost lost it when we meet Mitty, Nanachi’s roommate, and living proof of the damage ascending from the sixth level will cause you. But Mitty might be more than an object lesson, as it gets very interested in the resting Riko at the episode’s end. When you consider the episode’s other big event, the flashback for Reg that suggests he not only knew Lyza but perhaps buried her, and his hallucination of the “grave” ozen mentioned, you get the chilling thought that Mitty could be Lyza, and if not that, Lyza might look like that now, anyway. Oh, not to forget the flashback we get from Nanachi–wonder whose whistle that is? And so, a sort-of respite episode fascinates us with more hints, and no one had to cut off an arm.

Princess Principal 10, at the very end, with two episodes to go, gives us a story arc that lives up to the premise of the series. Their boss, L, has been replaced by a guy with medals they call the General, and he orders the to assassinate Princess. It’s an excellent idea–I can’t think how they’ll get out of it, and we have to consider just where the hell L went, and why General, a spy, wears all those metals. Also, which Princess? Say they get rid of the blonde girl. Ange can just step in, since she’s actually her, but that would really mess things up for Princess, even if they faked her death. Yeah, a lot of things to chew on. As for today’s episode, a former classmate at spy school turned double-agent, one of the better episodes, but I’ve had trouble caring once I realized there wasn’t going to be a big story arc in this series. I had more fun looking at the art and enjoying the steampunky atmosphere, as I usually do.

It was hard to say which part of Tsurezure Children 12 was the best, that is, until the final scene, with Kyouko taking an important test and actually trying to pass for once. If she could focus she could probably pass, but part of her is embarrassed by what the other kids are thinking of her, and another has esteem issues. It helps that Akagi stays out of the way for once. This scene stole the episode for me, but all the other bits were strong, too. There’s more mingling of couples as Takano gets details about how Kamine did it (Kamine/Gouda is the the model couple that others try to emulate), and it might FINALLY be getting through her thick skull that she likes Sugawara. It helps that she learns the vice-versa as well. Chiaki take possibly another step backward, while Takase and Kanda slowly advance,

Tsurezure and Abyss 9, Re:Creators 20, Princess P 9

A lot of these kinds of looks in this episode.

Tsurezure Children 9 feels like a letdown though the content is perhaps the purest display of how kids can over-analyze every single thing their prospective sweethearts say and screw up any progress they’ve made, or say the wrong thing and regret it immediately. The best example is the Kanda/Takase scene, where both kids, desperate to get back on track with the other, almost mind-game themselves out of a relationship for good. She thinks he might not like her anymore, while he’s trying to find a way to confess. It’s a miracle they agreed to be friends after all. No wonder the episode was called “Square One.” Meanwhile, Kamine and Gouda, after that kiss, talk themselves out of another one, though they both clearly want to. Takano, the queen of fooling oneself, might slowly be getting it through her thick skull that she likes Takurou, but now HE’S playing mind games on HIMself. Meanwhile, Minagawa, who delights in mind games on other people, has more fun at Jun’s expense, and now I begin to see why he’s hesitating. It’s next to impossible to know when she’s serious. So, basically, no progress is made anywhere, not even Kanda/Takase, and that couple have been the best so far at overcoming their mind games and going for the lips, well, up to now.

You know what this means …

Made in Abyss 9 has all the frights and excitement I thought we would get in the survival training. More or less the first thing that happens, apart from using cute furry things to lure away a madokajack, is encounter the lair of another one. Reg has no choice but to blast it, and you know what that means. Now it’s up to Riko to drag Reg’s body around while she tries to survive without his help. They’re chased by another monster, then fall into the trap of a amakagame and wind up in its stomach! Then they’re chased by cute furry critters because they smell like fruit, because of the amakagame, you see, then, perhaps the worst of all, Riko has to ascend for a while, vomit, hallucinations, and ANOTHER monster at the end! But Reg finally wakes up.

After all that fun the point is made that Riko could not have made it this far without Reg, which we already knew, and Riko already knew. Ironic, then, that this episode is all about Riko doing exactly that, and dragging an unconscious and thus useless Reg with her to boot. For me, it was also satisfying. I had sometimes thought that Reg was doing all the heavy lifting in this journey. I’m very happy to see Riko act brave and resourceful, and survive, on her own.

Well, there’s two episodes left …

Re:Creators 20 had one good thing going for it: we finally got to see Altair taken aback, a couple of times actually. And there’s the long-awaited reappearance of you-know-who (not Mamika), thanks to Souta, and Magane’s illogic. Did you really think she wouldn’t show up somehow? On the other hand, the other parts of the episode were mostly downers. Sure, it looked like creating another version of Altair was going to work, but it was too early in the episode, so you know Altair would come back and make some more boring speeches about her fan-based power and the end of the world as she killed more people off. What’s her bullshit point about heroes all dying, anyway? It doesn’t work like that. … I’m curious as to what Blitz will do at this point. Surely they’ve kept him around because he was a sort-of father figure to Altair. What is he going to add at this point? Also, with two episodes to go, how are they going to pace it? I suspect that we’re in for a lot of long, emotional speeches next week.

Princess Principal 9 gives us a letter from Chise to her big sister back in Japan, and tells her that she’s a spy. Considering her connections and proximity to secret stuff, I’m not sure she should be writing that. Maybe the letter will be sent by private courier. Anyway, we have an amusing series of clash of cultures scenes to begin with, then a confrontation with some asshole, which leads to a duel. Not sure what the point of it all is. We didn’t really learn anything new about Chise. However, I enjoyed the ignorance that both sides have about each other and the scenes where one side refuses to learn anything, as opposed to the scenes where one side tries awkwardly to learn, summed up by that ridiculous dance the other girls do for Chise at the end. Also, that this is a Japanese show, but its one Japanese character is more of a western stereotype.

Re:Creators 19, PP 8, Shokudou 9

Well, actually …

Last week’s Re:Creators was too happy and optimistic for a show that already killed off a popular character, so I figured this week would make up for it in the depressing department. First, Aliceteria goes, after being goaded by Altair, who also makes evil speeches to the audience on the joys of tragedy, I think. Alice’s death is the noble end of a pure knight, I suppose (having not changed or matured at all since she came here). Altair says the same between giggles and smirks. Going out a hero, while seeing things through to the end, is the theme this week. A lot of talk about heroes. Sadly, heroes die a lot.

Bye bye.

The hero talk goes on between Selesia, Charon, her comrade and love interest, with Rui making his presence felt in the argument and the battle. They start by trying to talk Charon into stopping, but it turns out he wants Altair’s way out, because he’s grown tired of fighting, something Matsubara gave him. So the argument turns to what heroes do and don’t do, straightforward, but adding in the complications and the changes this world forces on you. That doesn’t work either. So Selesia makes her decision, and, I suppose, goes out a hero, taking Charon with her. So that’s TWO down, and we don’t really know what happened to Hikayu, though I suspect she’s alive. … Now, I wonder if it’s possible for the creators (of the various characters, not the Re:Creators staff, though they technicall did, er, you know what I mean) to go back and draw up new versions of those who fell. Suruga brought back Blitz’s daughter, didn’t she? More likely, however, it’s Souta’s time at bat.

Princess Principal 8, though technically another stand-alone episode, is given some depth from its unraveling of what the deal is between Ange and Princess, or Charlotte and Princess, or whoever is whom at a given time. It’s hinted at early when Princess asks Ange why she calls her Princess, and then we get the whole story, within a story Ange tells to a little pickpocket girl she befriends while on stakeout (once again, the story this week is just to give the episode something to do while it exhibits the characters). In spite of its retelling for a small girl, it’s so obviously the truth that I can’t figure out why the show didn’t just tell us, but I suppose a straight infodump would be dull. Now that we know what happened, I’ll never be able to figure out if the girl I’m looking at is Princess or Ange, and I suspect I won’t much care. This show is beginning to wear on me.

Sorry about the wait, no that’s Aletta’s line, anyway, Isekai Shokudou 9, while better than last week’s, isn’t up to much. Part one has two dwarves who come in, talk too loudly, and act jolly a lot. Then, to be assholes, they put a metal door over the restaurant door so that no one else can get in. Who cares if the little rest house Guilheim built around the door has attracted travelers? Why can’t they eat delicious food, too. The second story actually introduces some international politics, as Prince Shareef has a crush on Princess Adelheid and is preparing to normalize relations (with her country, not the princess) so he can get a chance to marry her, but that, unlike the various parfaits and soft creme soda treats, is left unfinished at the episode’s end. Wonder if the show will ever get back to it …

Abyss 7, Re:Creators 18, PP 7

Made in Abyss 7, when not giving Riko horrific news, or pounding Reg to shit, is all about Ozen the Immovable, who is so delightfully twisted that when she later is shown to be not quite THAT bad (but bad enough) I was disappointed.

I don’t like the sound of that.

After we get a quick scene of Habo hoping that Ozen doesn’t tell Riko about the vessel, Ozen does exactly that, and we learn something about Riko’s past that made me say “Ohhh shit!” in a way that I haven’t much done since Madoka MagiKa. Instead the concept of being in the Abyss making you become less human and more … well, look at Ozen for example (with concepts of god and death thrown in), returns in a more personal way than before, and we have to wonder, considering the other experiments Ozen tried with the curse-repelling vessel (which is NOT what it does, heh), just how human Riko is.

Don’t like the sound of that, either.

Not to mention Reg, who’s next on Ozen’s torture list, though this time it’s physical rather than emotional. Ozen tells them both that she despises them and is going to kill them. Reg, naturally, fights back and doesn’t get very far, and at one point I thought he had actually died until I remembered he had fired his ray gun. Not that it matters to Ozen the Immovable, who beats him up some more. Throughout all this pain and suffering Ozen seems to be having a wonderful time. Again we have to wonder if Riko is going to wind up as strange as Ozen, though probably not as, er, dark.

As I said, I was a little disappointed by what happened next, Reg waking up and finding other people there with Ozen, the whole unpleasant experience being sort of a test to see if they could survive on lower levels (apart from the punishment Reg got, where Ozen admits she got a little carried away), though the dark lines she mutters throughout made more sense–Ozen was genuinely curious about them. She also admits she lied a little, and she actually gives Riko some good news. By now the mood has lifted a good deal. We watch flashbacks of Ozen and Lyza, then her apprentice, in bright sunlight, the latter not letting Ozen’s appearance or reputation deter her. It’ll get dark again soon, now that Riko and Reg are about to undergo Ozen’s survival training. Heh.

Speaking of “heh” …

I thought that Re:Creators 18 would be an episode where Altair gets the upper hand and everything gets dismal for a while. Instead, nearly the opposite happens. Magane spouts some nonsense at Souta, with an occasional decent line that often reflects whatever scene they cut to next, or maybe it’s coincidence, since much of it has to do with the ability to do anything–cut to Blitz meeting his daughter. Back to Magane/Souta, where the latter admits that he will do just about anything, good or evil, for the sake of … he just doesn’t know. Magane seems to like this answer, or its amorality, and goes off on another verbal bender about making value out of fool’s gold for the sake of fan-approval which Souta rejects, which apparently triggers something we don’t see yet. And Yuya gets his spectre-thing back as well, because it will be more fun. So basically this whole giant event is for the benefit of Magane, I think. And all of that is for the benefit of us, the viewers at home.

I don’t know what Magane is on about now, but it seems to be working.

Anyway, the rest is a series of gratifying scenes. Yuya, Blitz, and, er, Extreme Final Legend Martial Artist Hikayu (and by “gratifying” I didn’t mean her outfit) defeat Shou in comical fashion–Hikayu’s grand entrance was the funniest thing I’ve seen in a while. Then it’s on to Rui, Selesia, and Aliceteria, with some help from Meteora, going up against Altair, remember her? Time to bring out Charon, from Selisia’s world, and now things are more even, but what can he bring? Can he throw Selesia into doubt? I don’t believe it. In fact, I wonder how they’re going to extend things further. Everyone has defected from Altair’s camp except for Charon. Well, as long as everyone in the audience has a good time. If it doesn’t, if they have more time, maybe the characters will resort to a little kayfabe action to entertain them. And we’ve seen that the fangirls would like some hot Yuya/Shou action, maybe with Hikayu watching.

Princess Principal 7 is a major letdown from the cruel ironies stacked atop ep6. In it, the team infiltrate a laundry to track down a lone killer who goes after Commonwealth sympathizers, because he would send his nerve-gas stained clothes to the laundry to clean, right? So the good guys think. I was rather pleased to discover that the killer actually did not do this, and that their discovering his jacket, thus his identity, was an incredible coincidence for the sake of the story. Why he actually wore his military jacket in the first place doesn’t enter into the minds of the killer nor the show’s creators.

But the plot is secondary to what the show wanted to give us–a look at poor women laborers in nineteenth-century London and the appalling conditions they worked in. Of course, the girls buying and reorganizing the laundry to increase efficiency and worker safety wasn’t realistic, but this is a 21st-century anime series, after all. Silly bits aside, they did an okay job with it, with the help of the show’s consistent vision of what London at the time actually looked like, with steampunk trappings. But once again I wonder when they will come up with a long-term story arc, if ever.

Princess Principal 6, Tsurezure 6-7

Fortunately, we won’t see the man again after this episode.

In the middle of Princess Principal 6, Princess bemoans the fact that many people were torn apart by the wall, lovers, families, etc. The irony here is that the wall changed Dorothy’s life for the better. It separated her from her father, Danny McBean, a decent man who lost his hand and became a violent, child-beating wretch. Now she has to work with him in a morgue to find some ciphers stuck in a corpse’s tooth. He’s doing it for Normandy and she’s doing it for the Commonwealth, but whatever. We spend a lot of time observing Danny be nasty to everyone around him, except Dorothy, but there are maybe hints of reconciliation, though Dorothy probably doesn’t want her dad back in her life, at least not full-time. It ends tragically, with Dorothy and Beatrice (it’s usually Beatrice who does side-kick duties) waiting for Danny at a pub, not knowing that he has been killed for doing something stupid and completely in-character. I would say it’s a cruel ending, but I don’t think Dorothy has a strong emotional connection to Danny anymore. And, as Beatrice says, she wouldn’t have become friends with Dorothy if her father had been a decent father, not to mention the wall. So it ends with Beatrice singing Dorothy and Danny’s favorite song. A lot of irony this week. Not to mention the fact that this is the second week in a row where a character’s father got offed. If you include episode 1, this show is deadly for fathers.

Another week of Aho girl, where she ruins everyone’s time at the beach, tries to ruin Akuru’s peaceful time at home, but partly fails, and then ruins the city’s bon dance. And I’m tired of it. Much as I like Aoi Yuuki, the constant tone on a character who’s not going to show any depth, because she’s designed not to, has worn me down. I accidentally deleted the screenshot, too. Really.

It’s sibling on the 15-minute show plate, Tsurezure Children, is ironically one of my favorite shows of the season, even if this episode started with Akagi/Ryouko, my least favorite couple. Not Ryouko’s fault, but Akagi comes off as so damn manipulative that it’s hard for me to stomach. And Ryouko, showing she has a soft side, is falling prey to it. Moving on, we get Kana/Chiaka, trying to work kisses into their comedy routines, but a kiss is, you know, a kiss. I like this couple a lot because they’re old friends who pretty much know what the other one’s up to inside, that is, until this love business started to complicate things. After that, a not great bit between Yamane and his otaku bud Motoyama, the result being Motoyama’s been invited to Yamane’s date with Chiyo, and I wonder if this isn’t actually the most manipulative person on the show. Or maybe it’s Katori, charming up a girl who’s name I didn’t get, but he’s all flirt and nothing else, doesn’t really want to be, I think. So the girl will have her heart broken soon. At least she gave him a good elbow.

Yuki messes with Hotaru’s mind again.

Okay, Katori comes back in episode 7, but this time he gives his advice to a guy, Takane, of “bad timing with phone messages” fame. So maybe Katori isn’t so bad after all. Too bad we don’t get to see Takane try out the advice this week. But we start with Hotaru, the jealous imouto, trying to mess with Yuki via Jun’s cell phone, only it’s Hotaru who gets played. I don’t know if Jun-Yuki is my favorite couple, but I think Yuki is my favorite character. She doesn’t seem to care that the collateral damage from her charade is going to make Jun’s home life a little more complicated. Elsewhere, Takeru tries his best to act like a boyfriend, only Kamine inadvertently nearly screws it up. Still, the direct approach is the best. Finally, Chizuru is faced with a dilemma. She’s hot and blushing a lot, so it must be a fever, right, but she takes her temperature and finds she doesn’t have one. Could it be ..? Nah!