「夏のこずえ」 (Natsu no Kozue)
“KOZUE in the summer”
Compared to previous weeks, this episode was a bit of a letdown in terms of plot and humor. I attribute that primarily to ditsy Kozue not being all that funny to me, but things did start off on an interesting note with the mention of Out-Of-Place Artifacts, a.k.a. OOPArts. It’s a bit of a shame that Kozue’s amateurish occult obsession didn’t take off in that area after Maya quickly shot her spoon theory down by mentioning the Iron pillar of Delhi, because most of the episode twaddled over rehashed jokes of Fumiaki getting intimidated by Maya in class, Chihiro preparing a bento of love for Fumiaki and stumbling upon his interest in Mikaze, and Kozue just doing dumb things such as secluding herself in the home economics storage area. Quite honestly, I wasn’t particularly amused by any of the above since they went back to each of them multiple times.
What I did get a good laugh out of was Fumiaki getting chewed out for losing his phone to Maya and trying to lie to the guys in the future that it broke and he’s using Number Five’s one as a spare. There was also him trying to get approval from Maya to let Mikaze sell bread on school grounds to help pay off the loan on her Porsche, which was funny because I was expecting Fumiaki to use the stamp of approval Maya put on his forehead before he actually did it. I gather the fact that it’s mirrored won’t be too suspicious, as that scene was more to reiterate the lengths that Fumiaki is willing to go to for Mikaze. I just love how he had to take an indirect shot at Maya in the process though, by saying he never thought of her in any lustful way before. It wasn’t all that surprising since Fumiaki never once looked like he enjoyed the abuse she gives him, but it came out so nonchalantly and made Maya’s reaction pretty priceless.
For the episode as a whole, it’s probably not a good thing that I took more notice to the mention of the five-second rule as a three-second one when Maya dropped her food and the disappearing lunch boxes when they were lounging around on the rooftop. In relation to the production in the latter, the exaggerated facial expressions were abundant as usual, but somehow seemed a bit off by the series’ standards. I purposely refrained from including screens of those cases, as even Maya didn’t look all that great when she was giving us strange looks — something that usually doesn’t hamper her appeal in my eyes. In any case, I still feel that this episode was rather aimless for the most part, but it did end on a very good note with a class experiment involving a near-death experience that Kozue volunteered for.
Somehow, getting possessed by a spirit and kidnapped by a Tengu wasn’t enough for Kozue to feel like she’s had a real occult experience, so she was pretty enthusiastic about being put into a state of cyropreservation for three minutes. It was trippy how she came out of it abruptly, leaving her ditsy occult-obsessed personality and need for her glasses behind. At first, it looked like she merely lost that part of herself, but the projection of her true self trapped in that other world seemed to indicate otherwise. It was a pretty eery finish to an otherwise uneventful episode, and it looks like Maya’s going in after Kozue next time. Flatliners anyone?