「迷い猫、割れた」 (Mayoi Neko, Wareta)
“Stray Cat, Exposed”
Put the director of SEKIREI and Asura Cryin’ with the key animator from various of episodes of those two series, Toradora, STRIKE WITCHES, and CODE GEASS and we have Fumino unleashing the power of Lelouch Lamperouge on the masses! It wasn’t quite like rebelling against an entire empire, but Fumino’s attempt to fend off Chise’s insistence that the school sports festival theme be bloomers for all the girls did result in a school-wide uproar. During all this, I couldn’t help but picture what Chise would’ve sounded like if she were played by Kugimiya Rie, who’s no stranger to portraying a spoiled rich girl that pushes her weight around with her family’s money. However, Iguchi Yuka has proven to be “annoyingly funny” in her own right every time she clashes with Itou Kanae here. What a riot of a combination, and over wearing bloomers or tights of all things.
With all the guys siding with Chise before they even fathomed a tights option, Ieyasu proved to be pretty damn hilarious leading the campaign against Fumino and the girls. On the flip side, class rep Naruko Kanae encouraging Fumino to get back into the fight was fun to see too, simply because Horie Yui brought out her fiery and energetic Minori in Kanae. The whole back and forth trash talking and scuffles between the Bloomer faction and the Tights faction got pretty out of hand with theme songs coming into the fray, but it was still in good fun as Takumi got caught in between Fumino and Chise yet again. In Fumino’s case, it’s somewhat sad that all she cared to admit is that she was fighting to win the right to participate in the three-legged race with Takumi, whereas Chise at least said she wanted to make him part of her “family”.
So it turns out Fumino didn’t have it in her to confess in front of everyone when presented with the opportunity, but it was still a weak argument against the ton of money Chise dished out to build a stadium for the sports festival and bring in cameramen and equipment to capture the event in high definition. Ultimately, the bloomer theme obsession turned out to be nothing more than her vision of what an ideal sports festival should entail and how she was too embarrassed to wear one alone. Not exactly the most sensible reason for trying to get Takumi to support her cause, but it was still better than the three-legged race one Fumino chalked up when put on the spot about why she wants him on her side. Evidently though, there was some truth behind Fumino’s words, seeing how jealous she got when Otome insisted she was going to take part with Takumi.
In any case, I still found the whole ordeal a lot funnier than I’m probably letting off, along with the narration parodies reminiscent of those in Senkou no Night Raid. Next time, it looks like we’ll see a follow-up episode during the sports festival rehearsal where the public doesn’t get dragged into their quarreling, better known as the “Light Music Club Agreement” thanks to “K-ON” club president and senior classmate Fujino Tamao‘s (Nanri Yuuka) suggestion to settle their disagreement in the spirit of competition. (Who would’ve thunk there would be a light music club in this series too.) On that note, Tamao’s sudden introduction in the second to last episode was just as surprising as Murasame Shimako‘s (Noto Mamiko), except it looks like that latter will help make up the drama portion of the ending. After catching sight of the Stray Cats Association’s latest piece of work on Nico Nico Douga, Murasame’s finally figured out where Nozomi’s run off to.
While everyone was busy messing around this episode, Nozomi was visually depressed over what appeared to be a lack of food for the stray cats they take care of, but I get the feeling she was alluding to her involvement with Shimako’s research facility in some way. The finale next week will likely revolve around her being taken away as well, so it looks like we should have a nice mix of comedy and drama to wrap things up. Production-wise, the art style by key animator Sasaki Takahiro was refreshingly different this episode and kind of rough around the edges, but I found it one of the nicer looking styles featured in this series. Also, it’s not quite flying panties like Sora no Otoshimono‘s second ending sequence, but a bloomers song is noteworthy nonetheless. That’s AIC studios for you.