「貴方の頭上に光が輝くでしょう」 (Anata no Zujou ni Hikari ga Kagayaku Deshou)
“A Light Probably Shines Over Your Head”
After getting a request to volunteer for the town festival, Shinkurou finds himself participating in a musical play, thanks to Tamaki and Yamie. Flaunting her supposed experience, Yamie says that she’ll probably steal the lead role since she used to be in a children’s choir, much to the surprise of the other two. At school, Ginko doesn’t recall the Marutomi Park festival ever having a play, but Shinkurou invites her to come take a look anyway. Shinkurou also mentions that Yamie will be singing.
Back in his room, Shinkurou along with Murasaki, Tamaki, and Yamie are going over the script and picking roles. The conversation then shifts to whether Yamie has more colourful clothing, but as soon as she starts talking about her mourning dress, Shinkurou quickly cuts her off saying the discussion is over. As for Murasaki, Shinkurou says she needs a role that won’t stand out too much, which leads to him calling Benika just to confirm whether or not she’s even allowed to participate. Yayoi cuts in on his phone call saying it’s dangerous, but after Shinkurou says it would make good memories for Murasaki, Benika gives the OK.
Later on, the four of them are rehearsing and find someone terribly out of tune, so they decide to take turns singing to see what’s wrong. Yamie turns out to be the root of the problem and Murasaki puts it bluntly by saying she sucks. Yamie takes offense and decides to quit, but Shinkurou suggests that the two of them practice alone, which causes Tamaki to laugh hysterically at their “supplementary lessons”. With them gone, Tamaki finds out that Murasaki’s mother taught her how to sing, so she tells her to invite her mother to the play. When Murasaki says that’s impossible, Tamaki questions as to why, but Murasaki changes the subject.
Outside in the hallway, Shinkurou finds it strange that Yamie sings so poorly when she used to be in a choir, but it all becomes clear when Yamie explains that she only played with her neighbourhood friend Jun-chan, who was in a choir. As for herself, Yamie says she wouldn’t waste her time joining a choir and starts going off on a tangent in her conversation, which frustrates Shinkurou to no end, so he decides to find someone else to take her role’s place. Out of desperation, he begs Yuuno to come help sing, which she agrees to.
Yuuno arrives and they start practicing again, but the others quickly find out that she’s even worse than Yamie. Yamie starts laughing sadistically at this point, saying that she’s better than that, while Shinkurou and Tamaki think about the grave they dug themselves into. Yuuno wonders what’s wrong so Murasaki tells her she sucks as well. Shinkurou however tells Yuuno that it’s just a difficult part of the song, to which Yamie comments on how differently she got treated for singing poorly. As things continue down the path of ruin, Shinkurou kicks everyone out of his room so he can help Yuuno improve her singing skills.
Outside, Yamie sees Yayoi spying on them and after finding out she’s not busy, asks her if she can sing. Yayoi boasts that her highest score at karaoke is 95, so Yamie pesters her to demonstrate. Yamie then shows her lack of skill, so she asks Yayoi to teach her. As they practice, Yayoi points out that there are problems with Yamie’s facial expressions too, let alone her singing ability. This causes Yamie to go off on a tangent about how she forgot how to smile, so Yayoi cuts her off just as Shinkurou did earlier. When Yayoi comments on her clothes, Yamie starts the same spiel again, but Yayoi surprises her by saying she knows the story about her clothes and the journalist.
Meanwhile, Tamaki and Murasaki are eavesdropping on Shinkurou and Yuuno, while discussing the differences between a man’s love and a woman’s love. The two of them think about how the current situation will get nowhere, so they decide to reassign roles amongst themselves. Inside Shinkurou’s room, he is literally being sung to death, so he tries to perform a duet with Yuuno to overcome this “obstacle”. Sometime later, Murasaki comes crashing through the door and the full-length musical begins. Having drastically improved sometime between then and now, their performance is shown to the committee members who approve, but then Shinkurou and the others put on a play with English names, which confuses them (…and me alike o_O).
During this time, Benika is trying to call Yayoi, who’s not picking up because she’s busy acting, so she rushes over to Shinkurou’s place. At the same time, Ginko has headed to the park, only to find out there’s no festival, so she rushes over to Shinkurou’s place as well. There, she runs into Benika and finds out that this was all setup by her, since this year’s festival is supposed to feature comedians. The two of them head inside and break the news to the others, who are all in dismay except for Yuuno, who is happy she got to be so close to Shinkurou. The others then start acting spontaneously, while Shinkurou is exhausted and wants to sleep.
Wow, this episode was nothing like I expected it would be considering the preview from last time, but boy was it ever epic. I couldn’t help but laugh through most of it, because the comedy was just so witty and well scripted. Even right from the get-go, Shinkurou was joking about whether the other tenants in his building could be categorized as girls or not. (“Are they girls…? Are they not girls…?”) With that said, this is undoubtedly my favorite episode of kurenai thus far, even though it’s more of a side story than anything else.
First off, the singing. Yamie and Yuuno’s singing was so horrid to the point where it was ridiculously hilarious. The scene where Shinkurou and the others found out that Yamie can’t sing a proper tune if her life depended on it was pretty funny to begin with, but revealing that Yuuno was much worse shortly after was such a perfect setup. Keep in mind that Yuuno is played by Shintani Ryouko though, who actually sings the ED song for kurenai. Given that, we know Ryouko can sing, but she does a darn good job pretending that she can’t. The inconsistent pitch, tone, vibration, etc. was everything you could imagine from a person who is terribly bad at singing, but thinks that they’re good. When you run into those people in real life and want to spare their feelings, you’re pretty much thrown into the situation Shinkurou was in. It’s awkward, uncomfortable, and most of all painful, but I’m not in his shoes this time, so I’m free to laugh all I want about it, which is what makes it so great to watch. XD
The honest and direct Murasaki never fails to amuse either, as watching her tell Yamie and Yuuno that they suck was pure gold. While it was pretty humorous watching Shinkurou try and restrain Murasaki to prevent her from telling Yamie what she felt about her singing, it was probably just as funny watching Yuuno quickly stare down Murasaki and freak her out so that she’d think twice before saying anyone sucks. Since we already know Murasaki’s scared of Yuuno, her initial reaction and subsequent pancking was absolutely priceless. Yamie on the other hand was pretty amusing to listen to as she talked about her clothes, but was cut off on two separate occassions because both Shinkurou and Yayoi could see where those conversations were going. In that regard, it was these well screenplayed reuse of jokes that made the episode so much better as a whole.
As for the actual musical part of the episode, it was sung fairly well. I found some of the lyrics pretty amusing too, but I’m not sure if that was simply due to the snowball effect from all earlier comedic scenes. (I mean, at that point, everything was pretty amusing.) The animation during the musical part was a bit strange though, with the characters moving in an almost fluidic manner. It actually looked alright to me, but when they all gathered in Shinkurou’s room, the overhead view animation scene was too weird. It’s just something you’ll have to see for yourself to know what I mean.
Next episode is titled “Woman” and it looks like Tamaki is taking Murasaki out somewhere. Given what happened this episode and the lack of narration during previews, I have no idea what to expect anymore, so I’m just going to stop making assumptions. =)
– Kurenai Shinkurou (紅真 九郎) / Sawashiro Miyuki (沢城 みゆき)
– Kuhouin Murasaki (九鳳 院紫) / Yuuki Aoi (悠木 碧)
– Juuzawa Benika (柔沢 紅香) / Ishige Sawa (石毛 佐和)
– Inuzuka Yayoi (犬塚 弥生) / Ookubo Aiko (大久保 藍子)
– Mutou Tamaki (武藤 環) / Sanada Asami (真田 アサミ)
– Yamie (闇絵) / Kimura Haruka (木村 はるか)
– Kuhouin Renjou (九鳳院 蓮丈) / Kuroda Takaya (黒田 崇矢)
– Houzuki Yuuno (崩月 夕乃) / Shintani Ryouko (新谷 良子)
– Murakami Ginko (村上 銀子) / Masu Nozomi (升 望)
– Benika’s subordinate (紅香の部下) / Ooyoshi Makoto (大好 誠)
– Committee man 1 (委員会の男１) / Ueda Youji (上田 燿司)
– Committee man 2 (委員会の男２) / Marutakara Yukiharu (丸宝 行晴)
– Committee man 3 (委員会の男３) / Toriyama Hiroshi (鳥山 浩)
– Preview narration (予告ナレーション) / Marumatsu Ken (村松 健)