Mayo Chiki! – 05
「アタシと付き合いなさい」 (Atashi to Sukiainasai)
“Go Out With Me”
It only seemed like a year or two ago that Ise Mariya wasn’t really on my seiyuu radar, and now I’m looking forward to just about every role she’s in. It never hurts when she voices a character who can kick high either, much like we have with Usami Masamune. The best part of it all is that Masamune wedges herself between Jirou and Subaru, giving us some drama that I’m more accustomed to seeing in romantic comedies. Granted, it’s nothing but a huge misunderstanding on Subaru’s part as Jirou is blackmailed into pretending to be Masamune’s boyfriend, but it’s already led to a fair bit of backlash on Subaru’s part. Common sense says that Jirou should just tell her that he has to break his promise of going around the school festival with her in order to protect her secret, but that’s evidently too easy of a solution when an all-out war between S4 and Mimamorukai is at stake.
I’ll be quick to admit that I’m often torn over these type of developments to spice things up. On one hand, it went from a very cute Subaru reluctantly asking Jirou for something to a tear-filled Subaru with the most sparkling eyes I’ve ever seen in an anime, providing more of her girlish side that I love seeing. On the other hand, it comes off as a very convenient (and cheap) way to do it, which one short explanation from Jirou could easily rectify but we won’t see until maybe an episode or two later. A lot of unnecessary angst will almost surely result between now and then, with Subaru getting even more depressed and Jirou getting smacked around. It’s an all-too-familiar formula that shows of this genre seem to bank on, so ultimately what it comes down to is the execution. If the enjoyment in the scenarios that result far outweigh the misunderstanding that led to them, then the latter will generally be forgotten before long. Luckily, Mayo Chiki has been doing just that.
Anything with regards to Subaru is always a plus in my book, especially when she gets into kissing misunderstandings without Kanade’s direct involvement, and Masamune is shaping out to be a mini-Kanade of sorts, albeit with much more glaring weaknesses. I see them as a case of tsundere meets unconventional tsundere, so in that sense, the entertainment value far exceeds the stupid misunderstanding that got us here. There’s very little doubt in my mind that Subaru will feel bad about giving Jirou a hard time when she finally learns that he had her best interests in mind. Until then, it’s all about reveling in Masamune’s swimsuit cafe (nice touch with the mirror in that shot) and Jirou/Subaru’s gender bender one. I’m quietly holding out for the sight of Subaru in some cute clothes again, and for her relationship with Jirou to grow stronger when this is all cleared up. It looks like we’ll be finally seeing more of Nakuru too, which is never a bad thing when she’s voiced by Asumi Kana.