Minami-ke Okaeri – 02
Part 1: Me, too!
Touma stops by the Minami girls’ apartment with a souvenir box of snacks from “that” famous store. Kana wants to eat them immediately, but Chiaki makes her wait since Haruka isn’t home yet. Fujioka stops by, and listens to Kana’s selfish snack desires without complaint. Kana puts Chiaki in a precarious position with some dangerous portion math that unleashes a good and evil Chiaki over her shoulders to give her advice. While Chiaki is in a paralyzed state of indecision, Touma shakes her violently, and gets a slap in the face once Chiaki regains her senses. Fujioka watches in amazement as a friendly tickle fight erupts between the ‘girls.’ Fujioka realizes he desperately wants to improve his relationship with Kana using similar tactics, and gathers courage watching Kana tease Touma with even more friendly wrestling. After his own good and evil consciences appear behind him, he finally decides to jump enthusiastically towards Kana to join in on the silliness. Unfortunately, Kana’s fear of an (apparently) angry Fujioka outweighs her selfishness for snacks, and she relinquishes the cookies by slamming them in his face and running away.
Part 2: Thiiiiis big!
Even though they’re inside eating at the dinner table, Haruka and Chiaki communicate quite effectively using “over there” and “this place” along with pointing their fingers to express locations, but Kana appears left in the dark. Excitedly, Haruka starts flipping through coupons for the new supermarket that’s “thiiiiiis big!” After Chiaki returns home from school that day, she finds a note on the dry-erase board that Haruka left on the kotatsu, asking her to please buy mayo, eggs, and cream puffs (Choux à la Crème) if she has time. As Chiaki ponders the various and unsettling possible deep meanings behind this odd shopping list, good and evil Chiaki appear to help her think long and hard about why on earth Haruka would ask her to buy such a thing. Chiaki realizes the truth, and slams open the living room door to find Kana stalking behind her. As Kana begs for forgiveness, explaining how she accidentally erased it and had to fix it by guessing, Chiaki reminds Kana that her heart is in fact “thiiiiiiiiiis big,” and she hugs her big sister in forgiveness with a divine aura.
Part 3: Let’s become ‘close’ friends….
At high school, Hayami asks Maki if she hates Hosaka, but the truth is that she just thinks he’s incredibly creepy. Hayami begins contemplating her more or less innocent plot to bring her two troubled friends Hosaka and Hayami closer together, and convinces Hosaka that the path to Haruka’s heart begins by gaining the trust of her two best friends. As Hosaka walks away enraptured by thoughts about getting to Maki, Hayami wishes him luck and unleashes her classic evil smile. Hosaka finds Maki in the hallway, and with some disturbing hand motions he demands that they become very close friends, causing Maki to panic and run away in fear. Not to worry, there’s still one other club member. Hosaka deftly attracts Atsuko‘s attention in the library by whispering her name softly through the bookshelves. After they finally make eye contact through the stacks of books, Atsuko drops the books she was holding in her hands out of shock. Hosaka comes around the corner making the same frightening hand motions as before, demanding that he and Atsuko become very close friends. Atsuko is speechless in fright as Hosaka bends down to pick up her books, but by the time he looks up again she’s long gone. Having failed at both missions, Hosaka appears abruptly behind Hayami for a final act of desperation and once again makes creepy hand motions while demanding he and Hayami become very close friends. Before he can finish his sentence she slaps him in the face extremely hard, and asks him what he wants while he looks up at her from where she knocked him down.
Part 4: The Curry-Fairy
Haruka copies down a list of ingredients for curry from a cooking program on TV while all three sisters sit around the kotatsu together. Chiaki offers to go grocery shopping for dinner, so Haruka hands her what she thought was the shopping list. When Chiaki arrives at the store she is stunned by the odd list of ingredients she’s never heard of before, not realizing Haruka gave her the curry spice list by mistake. While Chiaki walks around at a loss for what to do, she passes by Hosaka. Hosaka overhears Chiaki’s list of exotic ingredients and starts fantasizing wildly about making curry and playing piano on stage while Haruka stands by and cries at his heartfelt performance. He catches Chiaki’s attention with his creepy piano pantomimes, but his catchy tune is not lost on her and it dawns on her that the ingredients on her list are curry spices. Wondering if he was the Curry-Fairy, she returns home with the impressive and complete list of spices in her shopping bag, humming along to the tune Hosaka was singing out loud in the supermarket. Despite the mistaken shopping list, the girls make the best of it and Haruka prepares a delicious batch of curry-rice for dinner. The next day at school, Hayami asks Hosaka if he prepared another bento for Haruka (as usual), and he pulls out the box of curry-rice. Hayami tries her best to stop him from opening the box or giving it to Haruka (because the strong smell would wreak havoc in several ways), but no one can stop the Curry-Fairy.
They eat a lot of mayo in this family. At first I thought one of Chiaki’s angels was evil Haruka, but then I saw the weird blob of hair on top of her head. Apparently adult Chiaki will rival Haruka in beauty and endowments. Fujioka’s evil conscience was also incredibly disturbing, but if you take into consideration that bright purple feathers and a bare stomach with leather pants probably doesn’t insinuate anything about your sexual preferences in Japan, things will take on a less frightening tone. I also enjoyed Hayami’s complete and opposite reaction to Hosaka’s weirdness as compared to the other two girls he almost molested. Apparently Hayami’s strict hand is the only thing that Hosaka responds to. He got a lot of funny screen time this week, and I really like the tone the studio is building around his character, even though I thought he looked better in the first season.
I giggled several times during this episode, and even though it wasn’t strictly genius I still had a good time. I like that the studio is showing both sides of Chiaki. By that I am not referring to the somewhat scary and superficial concept of good and evil Chiaki, but I mean this sequel is giving more care to Chiaki’s childlike and forgiving side in comparison to the very adult and strict side which dominated the previous two seasons. I think they’re putting a lot of thought into the characters’ personalities, which leaves me with a good feeling.
Speaking of which, next week’s preview has me excited to finally see the Minami brothers again, because apparently Touma will be getting into some trouble with Natsuki over something in the refrigerator – possibly pudding related. It looks she’ll be spending the night with her sister family after a fight of some kind, so I’m really looking forward to the good times to come.