Omnious Ominous music. In the dead of night, a thief sneaks into hilltop shrine and nabs an onigiri off the table. Apparently Machi is some kind of veteran at being lazy, as she gets up to check what the noise is, all while maintaining her sleep-bubble unpopped. osnap!
An onigiri was stolen! The mame daifuku might be next!! This calls for an emergency meeting of the High Urgency Gourmet Emergency – Airantou Special Services (HUGE-ASS)!!
Yes, I realize my jokes are terrible. Flame on, I deserve it.
Results of the HUGE-ASS meeting decided that Machi was the prime suspect in the crime. After all, her talents seem perfectly geared towards food:
Gathering: using darts to snipe apples off of trees
Scouting: having the recon to find the location of Kuma Kuma’s secret honey stash
Cold Blooded: has no qualms about eating the food right off an offering altar
Well, Machi says she didn’t do it, so HUGE-ASS enters phase 2: interrogation of the villagers. They find out that the attacks fall into a sort of pattern, and determine two of the next possible targets. This calls for an overnight HUGE-ASS sting operation!
HUGE-ASS splits into two cheeks and sets up their trap. Right when the Rin-Chikage-Ayane-Yukino foursome is able to doze off, the thief appears! Some slick lasso work by Rin nabs the thief’s head…and pulls it right off. KYAAA
No, actually, it was some big headgear. Like Nodame’s mongoose thing.
Meanwhile, Ikuto’s sting operation gets infiltrated by what appears to be a different thief – this one slips away due to bakaiku’s HUGE-ASS scream. I’ve always wondered about this – all those movies where the cops are about to nab the bad guy and they yell out “FREEZE” when they could have just shot the foo or tossed out a capture net or something… and the guy gets away. Probably got their police lessons at the Dr. Evil school of Evilism.
HUGE-ASS sighs and heads home. Ikuto and Suzu find their place trashed, and Ikuto busts into the bath – to find (what else!) a naked chick! Cue nosebleed. Cue girl fainting at the sight of blood. Just another day on merry Airantou.
Turns out the girl is some circus runaway that washed up on the island a few days prior. Mei-mei is wearing one of those super-high slip Chinese dresses and has the buns in her hair; her crimson eyes always seem to have a tear in the corner. And she sounds kinda like that Lao Zhi (?) chick in Negima, except instead of saying –aru at the end of every sentence she’s one of the –desu! users. Cute.
Apparently Mei^2 has lost her friend. Good thing the episode is almost over, so the friend is tracked down rather quickly. Machi seems to be rather fired up about hunting this dude down, considering she’s getting accused instead. So who’s the friend.
A dark silhouette emerges from underneath the water, its shiny head glistening in the sun, its round belly lofting through the air like a balloon. Its chubby green limbs look soft to the touch, and its beak…
Wait, beak? Kappa?
I don’t quite understand the Japanese fascination with kappa (those green water imps that traditionally abduct children but supposedly they’re cute now), but whatever, here’s one. Cue heartfelt reunion, cue background kung-fu showdown with Machi. Baba accepts the two as new members to the Airantou community.
ED: 「恋する天気図」 (Koisuru Tenkizu) by 堀江由衣 (Horie Yui)
A new girl and a new ED – in terms of stuff happening in this show, this is huge! It’s not clear if Mei^2 has any reason to hook up with Ikuto other than him being real nice to her, but her being another castaway means she could play her loneliness card quite easily should she choose to. Either way, her kappa friend is quite unsavory and way too big to be considered cute.
As for the new ED, the song is quite nice – one of Hocchan’s better offerings imo.