「カメラと包子と野良猫と」 (Kamera to Paozu to Naraneko to)
“A Camera, Baozi, and a Stray Cat”
I wasn’t expecting anything on the more lighthearted side in this series, but watching Aoi and Kazura’s contrasting personalities try to work together proved to be just that. Simply enough, it all started off as a simple request from Fuu Lan (Fujita Saki) to have some pictures taken of her restaurant’s food so that her menu can compete with the competitor’s realistic replicas — a commonality at Japanese restaurants even today. While Kazura’s logical side was quick to kick in with him pointing out how difficult it is to capture the taste of food in a photograph, I was pretty amused by Aoi’s gung-ho nature taking on the request as a professional when in reality, he was only concerned about having Fuu Lan’s baozi to eat. As skilled as he is when it comes to covert operations, Aoi is still rather fickle in my opinion, which is why moments like that, along with his sudden loss of motivation when he saw what he was up against, are always fun to watch.
Much like the previous episode with the bombings at the Big Four, I was anticipating that the two of them would be inadvertently dragged into a mission-like scenario this week. After seeing Aoi’s pouch containing the film of both Fuu Lan’s food and one of their lieutenant’s family vacation suddenly go missing, it sure was looking like things would turn out that way. The fact that the two of them went to great lengths to gather information on who the culprit might be led me to think as such too, which is why I was completely surprised when it turned out to be a stray cat. This fake-out turned out to be a good one though, as Aoi and Kazura’s reactions were priceless when the cat nonchalantly strolled by them with the pouch in tow. Subsequently, watching Aoi be an idiot and chase the cat through all the high and narrow spaces while Kazura took a more humanly accessible paths was mildly amusing as well.
In the end, they were able to find the cat since Natsume happened to be rather knowledgeable about its whereabouts and how it has a thing for baozi — something that Fuu Lan is more than aware of. With the way things were so neatly wrapped up, this episode primarily came off as a bit of comic relief; however, it did emphasize how well Aoi and Kazura work together even though it doesn’t seem like they do. Or at least, that’s what Yukina thinks. Because of that, I actually enjoyed how this episode showcased the series in a slightly different light. Next time, it looks like things will be back on the more serious side of things, as it seems to focus on some of Kazura’s backstory.