「ギザギザハートの子守唄」 (Gizagiza Haato no Komoriuta)
“Jagged Heart Lullaby”
The quest for the legendary tasting cold noodles begins! With everyone trying to recreate the taste that Arashi’s raving about, we’re set up for the destruction of a lot of taste buds. Better yet, time slipping into the past to retrieve the good tasting one that Jun supposedly created sheds some humorous light on its actual origins.
That said, I don’t know how many of you have had cold noodles, but they’re surprisingly good when seasoned right. In fact, I could really go for a bowl or two of it right now. Anyway, the quest to create a Hakubune original cold noodle dish, based on the taste Arashi remembers from long ago, stems from our Master Sayaka’s personal craving for some. (Isn’t she always the cause?) To get the gang motivated, she suggests naming the dish after Arashi; they’re not going to be “hiyashi chuuka” 「冷やし中華」 but “Arashi chuuka”. While enthralled to have a dish named after her, Arashi can’t remember the recipe nor does anyone really have experience making cold noodles. Kanako and Yayoi in particular haven’t even eaten them before, leading to some pretty experimental dishes that don’t meet Arashi’s expectations. After several attempts, including a random run of nagashi soumen 「流しそうめん」, Jun decides to take things into her own hands and makes her own concoction.
Surprisingly, this is just the taste that Arashi was looking for, so she runs off to get Hajime to try it out too. Upon their return though, Kanako, Yayoi, Sayaka, and even Kaya have modified the dish according to their own interpretation of the “Sa-Shi-Su-Se-So” cooking guidelines. Needless to say, they fail miserably and almost kill Hajime in the process, prompting Arashi to travel back in time to find the one she ate. After going through several mutated iterations, they find the one they’re after and take it back to the present so that everyone can try it out. Unfortunately, it’s not the right one either since it tastes like crap, forcing everyone to give up on serving Hakubune original cold noodles. Unbeknownst to them, those were actually the noodles that Jun created, and the ones that Arashi originally ate were instant cold noodles dropped off and neatly prepared by Hideo (at Sayaka’s original request).
So obviously this wouldn’t have worked so well if the instant noodles didn’t resemble Jun’s version so perfectly; however, it’s what allowed Arashi and Hajime’s time slip to go completely unnoticed. The arrival of Hideo’s instant cold noodles conveniently coincided with the disappearance of Jun’s to the future. Consequently, the dish that everyone butchered afterwards happened to be the good-tasting instant one. Overall, this was yet another nonsensical, somewhat irrelevant episode, but it did emphasize the single continuous timeline theory they have in place. It was by no means extremely funny, but it was pretty quirky at the end when you looked back and saw how everything dismally unfolded. What can I say except that time travel is serious business, even when it’s just noodles involved.
Production-wise, the quality seems to be steadily improving over the weeks, but I still don’t like how SHAFT relies on this one particular shot over and over again. It’s an obvious use of the same background image so that they don’t have to draw anything new.