Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu Purezza – 02
「入れてください……」 (Irete Kudasai…)
“Please Put It In…”
Haruka and Yuuto head to a mini comiket to sell some “clean” Nocturne High School Lacrosse doujinshi. I could just sense the piercing glares from otaku as they wonder why a “normal” guy like Yuuto would bring a school idol to their holy ground.
In reality though, it wasn’t that bad (or at least they didn’t depict it as such). While I’m sure there are very nice anime fans out there who aren’t raging otakuholics, I still feel that this series is sugarcoating the matter a fair bit. Looking back, this is semi-related to my major gripe with this show. In their attempt to portray a relationship realistically with more sincerity and genuine emotions, they’ve sort of hit a middle ground where things aren’t terribly dramatic nor overly funny. In short, they’re sort of sitting on a fence between a J-drama and an ecchi high school anime. Both are entertaining for very different reasons, but when you’re caught in the middle, it’s not so much.
That said, I don’t think the heavy romance aspects of the series is what irked me so much in the first season. If anything, it’s probably the overly innocent, “omg would you just kiss already”, aspect in Haruka and Yuuto’s relationship. And by innocent, I mean it’s basically at the level of elementary school kids second guessing themselves about holding hands. While some people didn’t like the ecchi, fan-service-filled first episode, I think the show would be pretty damn boring if you removed all that. Can you imagine what this series would be like if Mika, Hazuki, and Nanami weren’t driving that form of comedy by pushing our two love birds towards their first sexual experience? We may as well watch paint dry.
Just for the record, I’m not going back on what I said about the first season. The premise is interesting and the direction they’re taking with things is drastically different from your usual stuff. However, I had twelve episodes of that and it honestly felt like it was enough. If you’ve ever had friends in relationships where they enjoy the most trivial, boring things together, you’ll probably have an idea of what I’m getting at. I mean, kudos to them for enjoying all the little things in life together. That’s awfully sweet. Just please don’t make me watch it thinking it’s entertaining. orz
Despite my fairly negative take on the series this week, I’m masochistically going to continue watching it. There are some upsides to the show, thanks to my saving grace Mika, plus Shiina seems to be getting back into the mix as I mentioned before. They’ve also brought back Haruka’s parents — Gentou and Akiho — for some extra comedic “umph”, albeit their scripted gag is pretty cookie cutter now. Sadly, one of the funnier things I found in this episode was the preview, where they talked about the term “tsundere” and had the tsundere queen Kugimiya Rie (Alice-chan) doing her Shana (Shakugan no Shana) and Taiga (Toradora!) voices. They even outlined their characters to indicate that it’s them.
* Note: Yomiuri TV‘s broadcast (which Crunchyroll’s simulcast is based on) went with the heavy censoring again. I’ll update the screens when I get my hands on Tokyo MX’s version. I’ve already delayed this post 12 hours waiting for it. -_-;
* Screens defogged. Now with a bit less steam.