Manabi Straight! – 04
When she was in elementary school, Mei’s class held class representative elections, but no one wanted to run. Her classmates had forced her into the role by volunteering her, and Mei was left with all the grunt work, including cleaning up the classroom. At that time, the only person who helped Mei was Mucchii after she walked in on Mei crying. Back in the present, the girls are coming up with concepts for their school festival. After going outside to run and subsequently falling flat on her face, Manabi comes up with the idea that they should get the entire student body to help them think of concepts. Mei suggests that they make a promotional video to get people interested in the festival, and since Manabi decides to go with it, Mei sets up lot of computer equipment. She’s easily able to handle Manabi’s thoughts on how the video should look and turns them into a computer animation. At the end of the day, Manabi suggests that they all go out for ramen and drags Mei along. Manabi and Mikan lather praise onto her, but they go too far when they say that they’re not needed in the student council if they have someone like her. Mei starts to remember her experiences in elementary school and looks as if she’s about to throw up. When she slams down her money for the ramen and storms out, Mucchii is the one who keeps Manabi from chasing her. Mucchii then explains what happened back in elementary school, causing Manabi and Mikan feel bad for what they said.
Because of this incident, Mei doesn’t go back to the student council room and instead spends all of her time lying in bed at home. Manabi knows that they have to continue the work on the promotional video without her, and the girls proceed to struggle with figuring out the workings of the computer system. With time running out, Manabi isn’t willing to quit, so Mucchii decides to pay Mei a visit. Mei is caught off guard when Mucchii shows up, but their conversation steers clear of the promotional video until Mei herself brings it up. Mucchii doesn’t give away that they’re having a hard time and instead portrays it as being very impressive. After Mucchii leaves, a curious Mei remotely logs onto the computer at school to check up on what’s going on. She thinks that the others can’t do it and will embarrass themselves at the school assembly, but is surprised to see on the webcam that Mikan and Manabi are hard at work. Deciding that it has nothing to do with her, Mei goes to bed and falls asleep. Waking up several hours later in the middle of the night, Mei checks the webcam again and is again surprised that everyone is still there. She listens in as Mucchii suddenly asks Manabi why she’s so fixated on Mei. Mucchii thinks it’s because Manabi wants Mei in the student council, but Manabi reveals that she actually feels Mei is looking for something by attending school. What Manabi really wants is to become Mei’s friend so that they can eat together, study together, and play together – she wants to spend these three irreplaceable years with Mei. And then, some day, she’ll be able to hear that Mei found what she was looking for.
Moved to tears by these words, Mei also wants to be together with them and feels that she has already found what she was looking for. She works through the night and by the time Manabi and the others wake up in the morning after having accidentally fallen asleep, there is a video ready for them. Manabi and Mucchii immediately figure out that Mei was the one who did it, and they bring the video to the school assembly. The video goes smoothly at first, but partway through, it glitches. Just when things are looking bad, Mei enters the gymnasium and starts barking out orders. It is thanks to her help that the problem gets fixed and the students are able to be impressed by the promotional video. With the assembly a success, there was one other good thing that came of all this: Mei joined the student council and the girls threw a party for her.
There were plenty of parts in this episode – such as Mei’s entrance during the assembly – that were so over-the-top dramatic that I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. I’d even call the scene of Mei going through her computer and arriving at the student council room surreal. Don’t take that the wrong way though – it was sill a good episode. We’ve seen that Mei has had her problems fitting in, and this episode would seem to explain why. Once again, it is largely due to Manabi that Mei joins the student council. I’m beginning to think that if she keeps giving speeches like that, then she’ll be able to solve the world’s problems.