「とんだお見合い騒動」 (Tonda Omiai Soudou)
“Unimaginable Marriage Interview Turmoil”
It’s probably safe to say that episodes where Junko is involved are loads better, but this one also made me realize that if Hikasa Youko said all her lines here in K-ON, Mio fans would be bursting out of their pants uncontrollably. From her one-person skits saying that the marriage interview day is set, asking for Akuto’s hand in marriage, confessing her love, and pleading for him to be her husband, you just needed to picture that voice with this face to see how it was all over for lonely otakus everywhere before they even got started. If that wasn’t enough, then the sight of Junko semi-reluctantly offering her pristine washed body with the implied thought, “Make me a woman, your woman”, should help in that regard. Just for good measure though they slipped in the heartbroken side of feeling unloved when Akuto figured she was being forced into this and stopped her advances. There was literally every flavor of Mi… err Junko’s temperament that anyone could have asked for, plus she looked and sounded so lovable in all of them. Whether she’s soothing our ears with some light music or just bringing all the tsundere goodness, Hikasa Youko is pure win.
I won’t deny that I could have easily watched a full twenty minutes of Junko wrestling with her feelings for Akuto, but the story that encompassed this marriage interview in her home village Iga actually turned out to be pretty interesting. To that end, learning that idol Hoshino Yuri is actually Junko’s younger sister Yuuko was a nice unexpected bonus, as she was looking pretty good in her ninja garbs. The only knock I have to make on the progression is that while it was interesting, it was pretty jarring at the same time. Yamato Bouichirou seen last time with Eiko fawning all over him turned out to be the head of the government’s magical secret service, CIMO8, whose goal is to use Keena as a vessel for the gods so that he can control them. That more or less came out of the blue and was pretty outlandish when I first heard it, much like the name of such a vessel, jidouritsu 「自同律」, which is known as the Law of Identity in English.
I’m not going to even bother trying to comprehend that aspect further for now, but the gist is that the god Suraha wants Keena killed because she’s one such vessel, the Teruya family monster-like assassins are sent in to do the dirty work, and Bouichirou comes in to save her for his own reasons. To top it all off, we have Akuto rebelling against god for real unlike some Afterworld War Front and using his demonic powers to do so. Not only can he regenerate his arm Namek-style after getting it sliced off, he’s also pretty proficient at releasing his Ki… err “mana” and leaping through time and space. As shown in the flashback, he’s quite the atheist too, making him the perfect candidate to take on the seemingly evil gods running the world. In light of this turn of events, there are still a lot of questions raised about Keena herself and how Bouichirou claims he gave her the hairpin she’s always wearing. On the less crucial side of things, watching her celebrate her birthday alone with onigiri was pretty sad to see and totally out of her usual bubbly character, so I think it’s about time Keena gets some much needed attention story-wise.
It’ll be interesting to see where Korone comes into play during all this as she works for the government but let herself get deactivated so that Akuto could rescue Keena. I pretty much expect our lovely Liladan android to leave the old geezers and their corrupt CIMO8 organization behind, but maybe not right away. There’s also Yuuko’s half-mixed demon blood which may come into play in some significant way before everything’s all said and done. In any case, it looks like we have some clear antagonists now, so hopefully things will be a bit more focused from here on in.