One day while Tsugumi is flipping through a shopping magazine on her bed, she gets a phone call from Jin. He asks her if she’d like to help him out by going shopping today, and if so please wait in front of the mall in a couple hours. Realizing she’s been inadvertently tricked, she curses Jin as only Nagi arrives ready to shop her heart out. Nagi wants to buy a year’s supply of clothes, makeup, and accessories with the incredible ￥10,000 she received from Jin. Quickly noticing that she can’t even afford a cheap looking purse for that amount, much less an entire wardrobe, she also curses Jin for leading her on.
Finding empathy for Nagi because of their shared anger at Jin, Tsugumi helps get her priorities straight by shopping for a bra first. Nagi finds a very feminine white bra that she likes a lot, only to discover that when she tries it on there’s several inches of spare room inside. Finally finding an area where she trumps Nagi, Tsugumi can’t stop herself from lying about her own superior bra size to rub salt in the wound. While looking at the smaller bra sizes, Nagi feels a sudden wave of depression. Suddenly the girls are distracted by a store clerk assisting a well-endowed 13-year old girl* who puts them both to shame. (You were warned.) Humiliated, Nagi spends nearly the entire ￥10,000 on a bra four times her size.
Afterwards, the girls eat lunch at the mall with what little change Nagi has left remaining after her single purchase, laughing about her plan to get revenge on Jin, and finally becoming pretty friendly. Nagi doesn’t want to borrow any more money from Jin, so an ad on the wall sparks her interest in finding a part time job.
At home, Jin can’t resist stealing glances at Nagi’s old bra laying in the laundry basket while he’s brushing his teeth. He almost gets caught but Nagi’s sudden change in appearance catches him slightly more than off-guard.
Later on at school, the art club president Kimura brings a poster of a maid café ad for their town, and she really wants to go because it’s the only acceptable place where she can freely stare at all the cute girls in cosplay (as long as she’s with other otaku). So obviously she asks the conveniently named Akiba to come along because she knows he likes manga, and he begins to talk at great length and high speeds about how real otaku are never like the stereotypes who grab the air suggestively while saying “moe” and things of that nature. She hit a sore point. Kimura schedules the date for Sunday and demands that the rest of the art club go, too. Jin is thinking that he’s glad Nagi’s not here since she’d definitely become addicted to this strange cultural phenomenon.
Meeting in front of the café on Sunday, Akiba calls Kimura a fujoshi in revenge for her constant teasing. Unaware of the less positive double meaning, she misinterprets him at first, but then realizes he’s hiding something from her after all. Once inside, they notice no one’s wearing maid outfits. Instead, they’re all in cosplay from “Pure Heart 2006.” Because of this slight setback, Kimura was incredibly hesitant to enjoy herself at first, but quickly brightened up after she laid her eyes on all the cute girls.
As their cute princess waitress comes to take their order, only Jin has the good sense to look up and realize it’s Nagi. Nagi, also only just realizing she’s standing in front of Jin in a cosplay outfit, makes a quick exit stage left and hides in the waitress’s work station area. Shortly afterwards, Tsugumi also spots Jin and runs for cover in the same hiding spot, and both girls have a moment of keen understanding pass between them. Nagi’s worried that Jin might kick her out if he found out that she got a job without asking him first, and Tsugumi is just embarrassed to be seen by anyone she knows at this kind of place.
Ushered out by the manager who wants them to get back to work, everyone finally notices their two school friends are working in the café, too. They’re both hugely popular, attracting attention from never-before-seen in real-life “looking gooo–” otaku with cameras. Everyone thinks that Nagi is working so hard to act like her clumsy moe cosplay role, but the likely truth is that it’s not an act. While explaining that she’s just filling in for a friend while serving Jin’s table in her own cute outfit, Tsugumi can’t help but notice Jin’s eyes are glued to Nagi across the room. Banging her head against the wall in defeat, she yells at him for being so dense.
Meanwhile, surfing the internet at home alone, Zange-chan is shocked to see how much popularity Nagi is gaining because of her part time job at that maid café. In an energetic and competitive spirit, she realizes she can pull a win out of this situation by joining the same company, since her maid-cosplay would obviously be way cuter.
Back at the restaurant, Nagi is receiving a lot of attention from different boys wanting to take her picture, and Jin’s face is slowly warming up to unstable levels. For some reason all the attention she’s receiving is starting to get to him. Kimura calls her over so Jin can have a better look instead of staring from across the room, but her close proximity starts to cause him to become irrational, and he begins to panic. Trying to apologize sweetly so she won’t kick kicked out of the house, Nagi gets too close for comfort, and Jin explodes in a bright red fit of perfect logic that could be heard all the way across town. He didn’t want her to come close because her outfit was way too flirtatious and sexy, it was making him uncomfortable. With this blunt (and loud) explanation, followed by a blanket of silence covering the entire restaurant, Nagi finally gets it and turns a shade of crimson herself.
Afterwards, Jin is suffering in embarrassed agony while Tsugumi is left cleaning up the table after her friends leave. She stops and stares at Jin’s cup on the table for awhile, thoroughly depressed. Meanwhile Jin is walking home along a river bank equally depressed, and Nagi catches up to him. She asks if he’s mad about her getting a part time job because of the money thing, but he doesn’t really care about that. She tells him she’ll quit if he wants her to, but he grumpily says he doesn’t think she needs to go that far. Stopping to collect his thoughts and/or courage, he says that the only thing that bothered him was all those boys taking her picture. Since it troubled him so much, she promises to quit anyway, and they walk home peacefully together.
The next day, Zange-chan arrives at the maid café for work only to find that Nagi has already quit. Now that she can’t face off with her older sister, Zange tries to walk out, too. But the manager has had enough of cute girls quitting and refuses to let her leave…
Unfortunately I can’t work backwards to fill in the missing episodes, but if you’re interested in catching up on at least episodes 1 and 2, check out Divine’s snapshots here and here. An unreasonably quick summary of episodes 3-5 is that Nagi’s little sister Zange-chan is borrowing the body of a student at Jin’s school, and is competitively vying for more adoring fans than Nagi-sama (who has also entered the school and has become a successful school-wide idol), because the more “fans” that believe in them, the more spiritual power they gain. Why, Nagi is now so powerful that she’s able to shine a light out of her magical-girl wand bright enough to rival one of those forever-last shake & go style flashlights.
Every time I see this show I’m simply in awe of how beautifully it’s animated, and the whole composition is really well produced overall. But then I wonder why I haven’t been pining for the next episode, and I realize it’s just because the plot is so silly and playful, that it’s more of a brilliant yet relaxed comedy than something more serious. Still, I really look forward to the rest of the season, and I’ll be watching happily every Saturday night when it airs.
I was expecting a filler episode crammed with fan-service, and while that’s somewhat true, they really developed the relationship between Nagi, Tsugumi, and Jin. Jin’s lurking crush on Nagi has only been hinted at and casually referenced, but today it came out in full force. Out of everyone, Tsugumi probably noticed the most, because what he said about Nagi contrasted so sharply to when she was standing in front of Jin herself. She’s pretty cute (kinda like a stray puppy), but she can’t help it if Nagi steals the spotlight in all her god-level glory. The childhood friend probably doesn’t stand a chance.
￥10,000 is slightly less than around $100, so I’m surprised that Jin even gave Nagi that much money. I wouldn’t complain! But it’s certainly true that you can’t buy much of a wardrobe with that amount. Still, I wonder what will happen to that useless bra that she wasted all the money on. I hate to talk about preferences here, but it’s true that cute slim girls like Nagi look better with a proportional size instead. This anime is going out of its way to prove that in a direct battle between the two sisters, cup size really might not sway the results.
Again we’re not left with a preview for next week’s episode, but there’s a new eyecatch at the end of the ED each week, so enjoy your maid fan-service! This week’s eyecatch is by Naruko Hanaharu [鳴子ハナハル]. Googling his name might produce NSFW pictures, so curious readers (aka those of you who aren’t already happily going to hell) beware.
*Thanks to Trifle for the catch.