「伊波、はじめて？のお・で・か・け！」 (Inami, Hajimete? no O-de-ka-ka!)
“Inami, First(?) O-u-ting!”
I think I should file a complaint to A-1 Pictures. For a series that revolves around a family restaurant almost entirely, it’s highway robbery to have a hot spring episode and change up the scenery, only to leave out the actual bath scene! It’s not disappointing so much as unusual though, given how the “onsen” word was used. I realize I shouldn’t immediately assume there will be a bath scene at the mere mention of “hot spring”, but in anime, who are we fooling by suggesting such a blasphemy? When Popura suggested to Aoi that they go to the hot spring after Wagnaria unexpectedly shut down due to a blown sewer pipe, that should mean naked bodies and towels for the sake of having naked bodies and towels!
For the most part, things revolved primarily around Mahiru’s first trip out to a hot spring and Souta giving up on a perfect day off to dry umeboshi to come along and protect innocent males. To that end, this episode blew by with all the quirky humor around how many times Souta got hit by Mahiru in a day, Hiroomi teasing Jun about Yachiyo and getting a good ass-kicking for it (literally), Jun being swayed by Yachiyo into driving them to the hot spring when Kyouko sleeps in, and Aoi continuing to build her “family” by adding Hiroomi as her brother. I completely lost track of how much time went by so I was thinking things would even get better once they all hit up the baths, until I saw the credits start rolling and was left stunned and thinking, “Um, didn’t they forget something here?”
Despite missing the essential requirement of a hot spring episode — even a brief and meager one — I did get a good laugh out of Jun’s kicking Hiroomi, simply because the latter deserves it with his Ohihara Izaya-like information broker ways. Aoi face-planting herself onto Jun’s windshield was almost as good too, simply because Jun doesn’t seem to react to anything vocally. He does however react in other ways, like when he was completely startled by Yachiyo offering him gum right to his mouth, but I wasn’t sure if I should feel sorry about how he’s in love with such an incredibly dense “lesbian” or just take enjoyment out of his misfortune at that point. I like Jun, if for nothing else than being another level-headed person at Wagnaria outside the thing he has for Yachiyo. The fact that he’ll beat down Hiroomi with frying pans and leave him behind are of course bonuses.
As for Mahiru, she has shown improvement in how she’ll show some restraint with Souta, provided that he stays at least a good meter and a half out of her personal space. The Magic Hand sure comes handy in that regard, but if the Kappa statue has any say in things, her fear of men will never be cured. Oddly, her uncontrollable behavior didn’t bother me that much this time, but that was probably due to signs she’s shown of wanting to improve her condition. It doesn’t seem to have helped too much though, since we have the appearance of Kotori-chan next time — better known as Souta cross-dressing…?