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Nourin – 09

「学校の海パン」 (Gakkou no Kaipan)
“School Swim Trunks”

I’m late, but I’ll keep things brief, or should I say boxer. Depends on the guy.

It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a clever twist on the beach episode, especially one that turns the episode on its head. It’s almost as if the show is quietly mocking the concept of the beach episode itself and how every series with fanservice seems to be doomed to include one for tradition’s sake. It’s as if it mocks how it seems every character loses their personality entirely just so a beach episode can proceed as planned. Maybe that’s me over-analyzing the show, but if anything, it still was an enjoyable episode that actually tied well with the farming theme (which it has been doing better at lately) as well as made great lengths in advancing character development.

In fact, let’s talk about character development some more. As many of you have noticed, Ringo has upped her smiles and cheerfulness as compared to just a few episodes ago, as well as her general ability to express herself. It’s a bit more than subtle, but it’s a welcome change in Ringo’s character–hers is not a static type that stays quiet forever, but rather we’re seeing more of the Kusakabe Yuka that we were introduced to in the beginning of this show. She’s learning to smile once more, as well as put her heart into things that she enjoys, such as taking care of the plants that she’s growing ever more attached to. This point of the show is becoming a major reason to look forward to each week’s episode–while the comedy continues to improve, we are witnessing the healing power of farm life and the effects it has on our former idol. I’ll be a happy camper when we finally get to see Ringo in an ever-cheerful state, where her smile comes more often than her sadness.

Before we get there though, the episode drops a major hint as to the final roadblocks to come in Ringo’s happiness. Apparently everyone becomes concerned as soon as Ringo shows indifference to getting suspended, though I myself do not particularly know why. Is it because she’s too lightly weighing the importance of becoming a farmer? Or maybe it’s because it hinted at Ringo’s temporary position in staying at Nourin High, where she doesn’t actually intend to go into agriculture? Or maybe they were surprised at Ringo’s sudden indifference to the craft, as part of an overall observation of her changing character? All shall soon be revealed as we hit the home stretch that is the last few episodes.

However, considering how weakly comedies of a plot-like nature have been falling flat on their finales as of recent times, I don’t want to get my hopes too high up. Though I respect Nourin as a good comedy, it is always a challenge to wrap up a series without completely closing off a second season and without coming off as a total cliffhanger or awkwardly ambiguous moment. Maybe things will change for this show, but at the very least I hope they end upon a positive note for Ringo’s future.

March 11, 2014 at 12:58 am
12 comments »
  • March 11, 2014 at 1:17 amLGrey

    Why do I suddenly miss Ren-chon.

    (T T)

  • March 11, 2014 at 3:50 amTheLastIdiot

    i was actually surprised at the quick transition to a somehow serious scene of protecting the rice field, in the middle of the episode and yeah… ringo is more smiles now.

    i am just hoping though, they will show us some more serious plot in the next episode and a good conclusion at the end which is typical of an anime approaching its end because, if they don’t, they would run out of episodes to use to give us a good, (and OPEN if there are plans for season 2) conclusion given how this is an 1 cour , 12/13 episode anime.

    i want to ask goldcut because it seems, the recent episode skipped some parts from the adapted volume of the light novel and i want his/her confirmation for that.

    • March 11, 2014 at 6:18 amgoldcut

      At your service.
      Show Spoiler ▼

      Enjoy :)

      • March 11, 2014 at 7:07 amTheLastIdiot

        thank you very much for your reply goldcut… anyway, i cant actually call or classify your valuable information as spoiler because you only told me that i will see my much waited main story plot this coming next episode and NOT the complete main plot/details specific for that next episode.

        in short i still dont know what will happen in next episode because i wasn’t spoiled with the details but, all i know is next episode will be really good in terms of story which would make me really wait for that episode :D

        on the other hand, judging on your desire to see the main plot of LN vol 4 get animated, it seems that volume 4 got some real deal, YUMMY MAIN PLOT to indulge for folks like me who are always STORY PLOT HUNGRY. and no, you dont need to speak… i can feel it! ^_^

      • March 11, 2014 at 10:40 amgoldcut

        Well some people do not even want to know if next ep will be serious or not so I decided to be cautious.
        A second thought is that
        Show Spoiler ▼

        There are definitely enough material for a second season, and the skipped parts may make their way back as OVA or something. All depends on sales mostly, though.

  • March 11, 2014 at 4:58 amGiorno Giovanna

    So not only does panties exist inside of their hearts, but beaches exist inside their mind?
    This show only comes second place in insanity with Witchcraft Works.
    That entire show is made from distilled crack.
    Other series aside, this episode was a perfect example of letting not even typhoons and floods ruin your day. They didn’t even flinch when everything they tried to do completely failed and still had a blast. Who can deny that they’re living life to the fullest in their swimwear playing beach volleyball and having a barbecue in that kind of weather after all?

  • March 11, 2014 at 8:13 ammagoiichi

    ^I need my witch activity every week lol

    I liked that puzzle element of placing the bus in front of the field to block the wind. Ringo is able to naturally smile now, that’s what I call character development!

  • March 11, 2014 at 8:30 amzztop

    The title is a parody of the phrase ‘Gakkou no Kaidan(学校の怪談)’,’School Ghost Stories’.

  • March 11, 2014 at 11:25 amleatherhead333

    I quite honestly found this episode to be incredibly unfunny compared to past episodes. Every gag/joke just felt like it had weak execution. I think it doesn’t help when you can see a joke coming. Like when they tried to play volleyball and do other stuff during the storm I’m sure anyone with common sense knew things were going to end badly so when the show tries to make the situation funny it just doesn’t work. And no one in the this episode seemed to note how on earth the were able to keep that fire going considering the conditions (I’m not calling it unrealistic since this is a comedy based anime but it seems strange that everyone in the show thought it was normal).

    I’ve been pretty indifferent considering Ringo. I don’t really care that much for her character since it’s been the most boring out of the cast. I’ve never been fond of the silent type character trope because most of the time the their character development is so predictable. It basically amounts to the MC gradually making them grow out of their shell which is something i’m sure we’ve seen millions of times. And Nourin hasn’t made this cycle any less contrived. It doesn’t help that the overall plot progression hasn’t been very good either. Personally i think the show would have been better off without all the serious moments because they’ve fell quite flat for me so far.

    • March 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm~fineyristensen

      Agreed. This episode was so so, it did feel like something was missing. The things which made it enjoyable though were moments like the time Ringo whispered into Kosaku’s ear or when the fanservice was starting to break out in the middle of the storm lol.

      So yeah, I am hoping for a good ending of the series which would leave us a unique taste of the show, including, its own comedy, how serious agriculture can be and a fulfilling character development of Ringo aka Yuka.