「相馬、さわやかすぎる青年」 (Souma, Sawayaka Sugiru Shounen)
“Souma, An Overly Refreshing Guy”
As much as this episode was about Hiroomi and how he’s a sly blackmailing machine underneath his cheery facade, some light was shed on the likely cause of Souta’s mini complex — his four sisters. With all of them taller than him, including his 12 year-old younger sister Nazuna who’s getting there, I can understand why Souta likes small and helpless girls like Popura. In his sisters’ cases, it doesn’t help when one’s an abusive lawyer, another is a creepy romance novelist, and a third is a drunkard self-defense instructor. Nazuna is the only one he gets along with normally for now, but he’s already wary of the female Takanashi gene taking its effect in her before long. While I can sort of feel for what Souta has to put up at home, I’m actually kind of envious how his sisters, Kazue, Izumi, Kozue, and Nazuna, are Shiraishi Ryoko, Hikasa Youko, Itou Shizuka, and Saitou Momoko respectively. I would’ve preferred Kugimiya Rie over Momoko in the last role as per the drama CD, but his three older sisters are an awesome bunch with their distinct personalities. It never hurts to have Shizuka playing a drunkard in an anime either, when you consider the fact she sort of is one in real life.
As for Hiroomi, I was a bit surprised at how he quickly digs up the dirt on all of the other Wagnaria employees in order to have them do his share of work. This of course includes how Souta had to wear hand-me-downs from his sisters when he was younger. It was somewhat disturbing how he searched the trash to get this hands on that photograph just so that he can use it against Souta, which is why I was pretty happy about seeing Jun take it to him with a frying pan. In Jun’s case, they’ve made it clear that he has a thing for Yachiyo now, even though Yachiyo herself is too dense to realize it despite Hiroomi’s insistence. Because of that, it’ll be interesting watching the Jun x Yachiyo interactions from now on, which the abrupt inclusion of a Valentine’s Day segment at the end of this episode already gave us a taste of. I found it a bit weird to have Valentine’s Day covered so briefly when that day alone generally warrants a dedicated episode, but hopefully this means they have some better stuff in store.
Now as for my personal highlight of this episode, it would have to Hiroomi’s ultimate weakness, Mahiru. Evidently, he can’t blackmail shit all when he doesn’t even get a chance to speak, so I really enjoyed watching her beat the crap out of him. At the same time, I like how they started hinted at some potential feelings Mahiru is developing for Souta ever since the compliment he gave her about her hairpin. Given the nature of this series, I don’t really see anything amounting from that, but it’s still fun to have some potential romance floating around to help drive the comedy.
* Note: I’m behind on my Sunday shows because I got sick yesterday. I’m trying my best to catch up between the extra rest I should be getting, but it hasn’t been easy.