Mayo Chiki! – 03
「もちろん、ベッドの上で」 (Mochiron, Beddo no Ue de)
“In Bed Of Course”
I’m still not feeling the drama behind the Subaru’s sense of duty to server as Kanade’s butler, nor the “stand by me” encouragement by Kinjirou’s late father Jirou (Miyashita Eiji), yet I don’t seem to mind one bit while watching this series. Talk about some clear oversight of screenplay in favor of personal entertainment from the romantic comedy-like antics. I wasn’t kidding when I said I’d watch this show just for Subaru.
Subaru’s moments with Jirou are still a lot of fun to watch, as is Kanade’s meddling for her own amusement that doubles as my own. Unlike most romantic comedies, Mayo Chiki stands out simply because Subaru is quite different from our typical female lead. I mentioned last time that she’s not a typical tsundere, and this pool episode went on to reiterate that by showing how she doesn’t get all flustered and violent when Jirou touches her. In fact, she even initiates contact at times and regularly shows a lot of concern for his well-being, differentiating her from a tsundere even more. I’m admittedly not used to seeing a character like Subaru and find her forwardness with her feelings surprisingly awkward, making her difficult to classify as any of the standard archetypes. It’s as if she sees Jirou as her first friend even before she sees him as a guy, so she interacts with him in a much more indebted way. It’s also worth noting that she’s never hit Jirou after the first episode, even though she’s shown intent to do so, and that Jirou actually knocked her a second time already. She’s definitely an unconventional heroine for this type of anime.
In other areas, Mayo Chiki continues to be relatively generic, which includes switching to the tried and true lighthearted moment to break the sentimental mood at the very end. However, we did see the introduction of Subaru’s father/Kanade’s father’s personal butler, Nagare, who will go down as one of Fujiwara Keiji’s few fatherly roles where I’m not worried about him getting killed at some point. The sight of Nagare’s goofy doting side after he kicked Jirou’s ass was impressive though, in the sense that it was hard to even tell Keiji was voicing him. What makes him an amusing addition is the fact that he doesn’t like Jirou — not after he heard about him stripping his daughter and fondling her breasts anyway. It’s kind of unusual to have the father being more problematic than the girl in question, which adds a quirky twist to things. This includes the first time I’ve heard “yatsuzaki” (“rip limb from limb”) since Katanagatari, in a message passed along by Subaru.
So while the staged kidnapping to help Konoe overcome her fear of knives didn’t do much for me, I do like the fact that Kureha is actively involved in the mix but not showing any signs of stealing Subaru from Jirou. I really prefer the way things are now, where she acts as a catalyst of sorts between them — often from her own misunderstandings — and doubles as another potential target of Kanade’s games. In any case, the next episode looks like it’s going to trump this pool episode by a fair bit. I never thought I’d be saying that.