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Minami-ke Tadaima – 11

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「聖なる夜、神は舞い降りる」 (Seinaru Yoru Kami wa Maioriru)
“The Goddess Descends on the Holy Night

It seems as if you can always count on Christmas for an appearance by Hosaka.

After Makoto’s star turn last week, Minami-ke trotted out its other outlandish male supporting character this week, and two characters more different you could hardly find. Yet there are commonalities between the two of them – most obviously, I think, that they’re extremely susceptible to being trolled by mischievous females with their own agenda. In Mako-chan’s case I think there’s a core of affection underneath Kana’s admittedly cruel trolling, and to be honest the whole Mako-chan thing has taken on such a life of its own now that she really doesn’t need to do much of anything.

When it comes to Hosaka, though, I think Hayami is quite different. I like pretty much every character on this show and find all of them funny in their own ways, but she’s really the exception to that rule – I neither like her nor do I find her constant torture of Hosaka funny most of the time. The fact is that Hosaka is actually an innocent, for all his admittedly sometimes-creepy behavior – he’s a hopeless romantic who seems incapable of grasping the notion that anyone might lie to him. And Hayami constantly uses this not just to play with his emotions, but to her own advantage to boot. It’s really the only element of Minami-ke’s humor that I find sometimes crosses the line into genuine mean-spiritedness.

Another notable element of this week’s episode is that I think it probably had less Minami in it than any I can remember. It certainly had less Chiaki – I would guess she was on-screen for two minutes tops – and no Minami sisters at all until the 7-minute mark. Haruka fared better, naturally, as this episode focused on the high-school subset of the cast. But the real stars were the side characters – Maki, Atsuko, and of course Hosaka himself. Atsuko especially stood out, and she seems to have fully slipped into the hopelessly bewildered sensible member of the group. She’s just desperate for people to act in normal and predictable ways, but with a cast like this that’s pretty much always going to lead to disappointment.

Atsuko’s search for answers leads her to conclusion many anime characters have reached – "If there’s no point in thinking, maybe I shouldn’t think at all" – and to Haruka’s house, where Kana and Uchida (why are Kana and Uchida hanging out together without Chiaki? Perhaps baka-ness transcends age differences…) grill her about her success with guys. The irony of course is that she has no success with guys, but the two bakas manage to convince themselves that her advice about wearing a royal milk-tea colored coat will make them irresistible. Possibly the most interesting thing here for me is Kana’s intense interest in having "guys be all over me" – in fact, a few eps back she was intently grilling Haruka for info on her own tastes in boys. I really don’t think we’ve seen much awareness of the romance side of things from Kana’s perspective before this season, so this is an interesting turn, and she’s certainly the right age for it – but sadly it doesn’t seem to be doing Fujioka any good, as she seems completely oblivious to the possibility that he might be a potential dating partner.

Without question the funniest moment of the episode for me came in the aftermath of Natsuki and Hosaka’s conversation about the morning snowfall (I wish it snowed in Tokyo nearly as much as it does in anime Tokyo). Funny things always seem to happen when those two oddballs hook up, and here we have Hitomi running into Natsuki after just having left the nurse’s office without buttoning up her top after taking her temperature (the armpit method seems almost universal in Japan). Classic misunderstanding comedy follows as Natsuki talks about seeing the snow, and Hitomi thinks she’s talking about the cleavage: "It looked so fluffy and soft… If I were a little younger I would have jumped right in and felt it all around me. I only wish there had been a bit more volume." The funniest part of all this though is the fact that in truth, Natsuki’s reaction to Hitomi’s show is only "You might want to button that up" – yet as soon as Haruka accidentally offers him the same show, he immediately turns into a stammering schoolboy in embarrassment. Poor Hitomi.

The two final acts take us firs to the Minami household again, where Hayami has sent Atsuko and Maki to search for weaknesses in Haruka so that she can puncture Hosaka’s idealized image of her. All they really find of interest is that in 4th-grade Kana once climbed into Haruka’s futon and wet the bed (a story Kana is understandably not keen to share) and that anyone who says bad things about Haruka (Kana had shared the fact that she was lazy and impossible to get out of the kotatsu) will be cursed. It’s too late for Hosaka anyway – he’s fully convinced that she’s a Goddess, and goes on to offer up an entirely irreligious song about Christmas and his own object of worship. Maybe one day he’ll manage to evade Hayami’s machinations and actually communicate his feelings to her – but that seems about as likely as Fujioka really being Santa Claus. As I’ve said many times before, I get the feeling sometimes that Minami-ke is just one of those series that doesn’t want people to get together…

Full-length images: 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 16, 19, 23, 25, 30, 31, 32.

 

ED3 Sequence

Minami ke Tadaima   ED3   01 Minami ke Tadaima   ED3   02 Minami ke Tadaima   ED3   03
Minami ke Tadaima   ED3   04 Minami ke Tadaima   ED3   05 Minami ke Tadaima   ED3   06
Minami ke Tadaima   ED3   07 Minami ke Tadaima   ED3   08 Minami ke Tadaima   ED3   09

ED3: “A Song of Christmas” by (Ono Daisuke)

Preview

Minami ke Tadaima   11   Preview 01 Minami ke Tadaima   11   Preview 02 Minami ke Tadaima   11   Preview 03
March 18, 2013 at 7:11 am
23 comments »
  • March 18, 2013 at 7:33 amKF

    A fanservice episode eh?

  • March 18, 2013 at 7:38 amBlazzer

    Hilarious episode as always. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I approve of Hayami’s manipulation of the innocent(?) Hosaka, but I always found their relationship funny, if only for the irony that Hayami has as much trouble expressing herself to Hosaka as he does to Haruka. Lastly, on the subject of Haruka, does it seem this season that she may actually have an interest in Natsuki? Hmmm…

  • March 18, 2013 at 8:20 am*v*

    Natsuki is hilarious. I LOVE him.

  • March 18, 2013 at 9:23 amc2710

    bouncy and voluminous plot

  • March 18, 2013 at 9:48 amKyral

    It was interessting that Haruka was shocked when she heard that she might be “not young enough” (for Natsuki).
    It will never happen, but I love the Haruka x Natsuki ship. xD

    • March 18, 2013 at 9:57 amAndmeuths

      Hosaka would probably go yandere if that happens.

    • March 18, 2013 at 11:04 amseltzermx

      Yeah, I was actually surprised when it portrayed Haruka as being disappointed that Natsuki might not be interested in her. I’ve always liked that pairing.

    • March 18, 2013 at 2:18 pmRickyMack

      I think what points against the Harusuki ship is that she gave both the tickets to the romance movie to him, and she straight up did so without being flustered and shy.

      I mean it’s a cute pairing, but as likely to happen as a Kanioka pairing.

      • March 19, 2013 at 9:10 amKyral

        Don’t worry, I don’t think anyone here has the illusion that there will be any progress romantically.
        And if there is one, then only to put someone into the mix so that more misunderstandings can happen.

    • March 18, 2013 at 6:37 pmFishi

      +1 to the Haruka x Natsuki ship!

  • March 18, 2013 at 9:59 amFiShar

    Hosaka deserves his own series.

    • March 18, 2013 at 10:16 amjunglepenguin

      Singing his very own OP, ED and insert songs. It’ll be called “Cooking with the king”, and he’ll be launched to stardom as a celebrity chef/hopeless romantic.

  • March 18, 2013 at 12:10 pmAlec613

    They really ramped up the fanservice in this anime (don’t think there were these many back then)

    Not that it’s a bad thing or anything

  • March 18, 2013 at 4:33 pmgawrshness

    Hayami is the Minami-ke/girl version of Gin, same eyes, same hair style, same personality and equally conniving. Of course while you may not like her actions in this season of Minami-ke she has been repeatedly failing unlike the previous ones, last time she ended on the receiving end of the joke when Hosaka got hypnotized by the vegetable guy, and this time her plans to get a scarf failed
    My favorite moment of Hayami was back in season one when she became Kana’s karma and kissed her after getting drunk…that was priceless…

  • March 18, 2013 at 5:08 pmqwert

    I am truly disappointed at the lost chance of having Mako-chan in a santa dress…

  • March 18, 2013 at 5:28 pmWaffles

    4th grade Kana is really cute…

    I-it’s not like I’m a lolicon or anything!

  • March 18, 2013 at 5:50 pmZannafar

    How strange that Kana couldn’t think of Haruka’s biggest weakness… she even has it written down.

    Regarding Hayami, she’s one of my favourite characters in Minami-ke, partly because of her seiyuu, Chiba Saeko, but also because it’s kind of refreshing to see a character who is not as good natured as the rest of the cast.
    My least favourite characters is probably Touma’s eldest brother.

    This screenshot… yuri goggles on!

  • March 18, 2013 at 7:15 pmShinji

    You know that misunderstanding with the snowfall/breasts reminded me of Mitsudomoe and its misunderstanding about panties/Rangers.

  • March 18, 2013 at 8:43 pmCoburn

    I hhhnnggd at Hitomi’s “Bakaaaa~!”

  • March 18, 2013 at 9:59 pmZhinvu

    And with Hosaka a new religion of the god-desu Haruka begins. Oh and that knitting girl who ran away crying was pretty cute. Again you gotta hand it to Hosaka for making girls cry through blunt honesty.

  • March 19, 2013 at 7:44 pmKouji

    Maybe I’m thinking too much into this, but haven’t they gone through 4 Christmas(s) for the 4 seasons (I didn’t watch S2 or S3 so I may be wrong)?

    If so, wouldn’t that mean a minimal of 4 years have elapsed? Why are the Minamis still stuck in their respective schools? Wouldn’t Chiaki be a middle schooler, Kana a high schooler, and Haruka be in college by now?

    • March 19, 2013 at 8:31 pmguardian enzo

      Minami-ke is hardly the first anime to ignore the passage of time. I think this would be an interesting series if it did have continuity, especially from the romance standpoint, and the funny thing is that it does observe continuity in terms of events themselves. But as with many other series, the characters simply don’t age.

    • March 20, 2013 at 2:27 amhmong007

      Just think of it like The Simpsons. They have been on the air for years with multiple seasonal episodes but no one ever ages.