「宗太の憂鬱、小鳥遊家の女達」 (Souta no Yuuutsu, Takanashi-ke no Onna-tachi)
“The Melancholy of Souta, the Women of the Takanashi Family”
While it’s undeniable that Jun has his own melancholic struggles with Yachiyo on White Day, it still isn’t quite as bad as what Souta has to put up with at home on a daily basis. However, I can’t say I feel too bad for Souta outside of the fact that he had to wear hand-me-downs from his sisters while growing up. As the eldest son in the family, it sucks to be remembered as a cute little girl with tons of video evidence, but he has some pretty interesting sisters at the very least. I may not feel that way if they were actually my sisters, but I sure get a great deal of enjoyment from watching the likes of Izumi’s 24/7 lethargic self from my vantage point.
In Izumi’s case, it’s even better when she’s about to break down and cry at Kazue’s scolding for being a no good 28 year-old romance novelist. Given her soft-spoken and literally sluggish behavior as she crawls along the ground, I’m still hoping for the day I get to see her out of those black funeral-like clothes with that ink wiped off her face. I won’t deny that her current attire suits her though, since she’s usually weeping over something, such as Kazue pulling on her hair for inadvertently taking a shot at how she’s a woman’s who got divorced and moved back home. It was fun watching what a handful those two were and how Souta had to be the mediator between them, but then there’s also Kozue, who’s probably as bipolar as they come thanks to her constant, never-ending intake of alcohol to cope with all her failed relationships. I guess an emotional drunk would be the better way of describing her, but with Itou Shizuka voicing her in what I perceive as an anime version of herself, she’s just too fun to watch. Last but not least is Nazuna, the absolute sleeper female of the family who may just turn out to be the one that rules them all. I got a good laugh out of how all her efforts to help out Souta may be what turns her to the side of evil.
As for the follow-up to Valentine’s Day on Souta’s part, I thought the “magic hand” he had to distance himself from Mahiru was absolutely brilliant. Not only did it make sense from a safety point of view, it also reiterating how one needs tools to deal with the beast within her. The comedic highlight that resulted from Souta’s magic hand interactions with Mahiru had to be her telling Kazue that she assaults her little brother on a regular basis, with the connotation that it’s done sexually. The misunderstanding was particularly funny because she ended up admitting that she does indeed assault Souta, getting him into some trouble with Kazue. Once that was cleared up though, it looked like Mahiru felt bad about what Souta has to put up with at home in addition to her abuse at work. It wasn’t an androphobia curing moment for her, but it did feel like a turning point towards it. Given how Souta went out and picked up a thoughtful return gift for her (various hairpins), it was nice to see that she was really appreciative of it.
Overall, this wasn’t a terribly hilarious episode, but I really enjoyed seeing more of the Takanashi women regardless. Next time, it looks like the restaurant’s fatherly figure Otoo is back in town and he’s brought a new girl with him, Yamada Aoi. She was played by Ueda Kana in the drama CDs, but given the cast shakeup, I get the feeling another seiyuu will be doing the anime.