「迷い猫、脱いだ」 (Mayoi Neko, Nuida)
“Stray Cat, Undressed”
I can’t say I remember the last time I’ve seen an episode where every single character, guys and girls alike, were naked 90% of the time, but AIC sure knows how to bring the fan-service with this gag-filled one. At first, it felt like a curse having to take in all the male ass with the naked female mannequin bodies, but the former actually proved to be pretty damn hilarious when Daigorou offered to warm up Ieyasu’s body with his own. Needless to say, Ieyasu got the hella short end of the stick there, when you consider how Takumi wound up with a beautiful girl named Chikumaen Kaho (Tamura Yukari), who was quick to undress in front of him when he suggested she should dry her clothes as well. If that wasn’t enough, we also got quite a treat from what started as a laid back table tennis match between Fumino and Chise and continued on in slow motion with breasts popping out of their yukatas like no tomorrow as soon as things picked up Super Saiyan style.
The screen caps above will probably have you believe that this was all about boobs and homoeroticism, but things actually played out much differently than the stills indicate. By that, I mean the comedic timing of everything along with all the outbursts made it pretty evident that the screenwriters knew this was a cliché hot spring episode and weren’t going to hold back on any chance they had to poke fun at it. Quite honestly, there wasn’t a moment to get excited about 2-D girls here, as it felt more awkward than anything else with the amount of T&A and moaning shown for twenty full minutes. For that very reason however, the humor from all the stupidity was able to center stage in what was supposed to be a hot spring outing for Chise to show off what her circle (i.e. club) has to offer.
Conveniently enough, it turns out this trip was Chise’s response to Ieyasu talking smack about how she doesn’t seem very lady-like despite being a member of the wealthy Umenomori family. With a quick explanation on that from Takumi as he soared naked through the sky after Ieyasu set off an anti-peeping tom trap, this episode literally ended up being a roller coaster ride of fast speech and quirky comedy from start to finish. For a moment, I thought I was watching something that resulted from To LOVE-Ru clashing with Sora no Otoshimono, which was completely out of my expectations for this series but surprisingly entertaining. To top it off, they even subtly slipped in some development with the introduction of Kaho and her interest in Takumi, along with the disappointment seen in Chise when she found out that her parents couldn’t come by to meet all her new friends. Not too shabby for an episode that was heavily fan-service-oriented.
For now, I’m curious as to whether or not things will settle back down and focus on the various romantic pairings in Takumi’s harem next time. With the way AIC followed up last week’s somewhat touching episode involving orphans with this over-the-top hot spring one, I really don’t know what to expect anymore. That’s not to say I’m not enjoying it though, so I’m looking forward to what they’ll surprise me with next.