「迷い猫、笑った」 (Mayoi Neko, Waratta)
“Stray Cat, Laughed”
As much as I love AIC’s work here, I can’t help but feel they tried to cover a bit too much in one episode. Even with the formal introduction of Nozomi, there was just so much skipping around scene-wise that the humor never got to build up. For example, there was a pool scene to show the girls off in school bathing suits, but it didn’t even get so far as showing them getting into the water before jumping to the next scene. I won’t lie and say I didn’t enjoy it, but objectively speaking, it served absolutely no purpose whatsoever in the grand scheme of things. The saving grace for me this episode was Itou Kanae’s portrayal of Fumino in all her tsundere goodness, with everything from her Shimada Minami-like abusive nature to her dishonesty with herself. However, even Fumino’s antics weren’t enough and I had to look to Hocchan’s Minorin-like portrayal of classmate Naruko Kanae for a bit of comic relief.
To the episode’s credit, I did enjoy seeing more of Nozomi and how she’s soft-spoken, naive, yet incredibly smart and talented at the same time, plus the initial workings of a love triangle between her, Fumino, and Takumi. That was one area that showed a bit of promise, even though it’s highly unlikely relationships will get anywhere in a harem-esque series such as this. At only twelve episodes long, it risks falling to mindless levels akin to To LOVE-Ru (but shorter and without the ecchi-ness), which is one of the reasons why I felt it was difficult to recommend back in the Spring 2010 Preview. Still, as a patient viewer who’s not expecting too much depth to begin with, I have no problems sticking around in hopes of improvement. All I really want is some entertainment value, which shouldn’t be too difficult if the episodes don’t try do too much at time. With that said, here’s to hoping that the next episode will be better, as I like the quirky characters and feel this series has potential to better than it has been thus far.
Note: The CG animation of Satou and Suzuki in the previews isn’t too bad, but Satou Rina and Arai Satomi actually got their roles reversed in this scene.