「ガチで愛してしょうがない！？」 (Gachi de Ai Shite Shouganai!?)
“Can’t Help Being Earnestly in Love!?”
Even with the school sports festival and Sakiko stripping down Yabecchi in his sleep, the humor felt a bit lacking last time. Luckily, this episode more than made up for it by going back to misunderstandings and finally bringing in the Gachi Rangers I mentioned back in the Summer 2010 Preview. The only glimpse of them thus far was the poster at Satoshi’s place back in episode two, so I was starting to wonder when we would see Hitoha’s favorite live-action superheroes. Admittedly, I had only read about how she’s a huge fan of them, making the vast majority of this episode a pleasant surprise.
Starting with how Hitoha caught a bit of the show on television and quickly fell in love with it, the skit with her trying to find people to talk to about it was absolute money. As soon as Yabecchi was caught in the confusion over whether they were talking about Gachi Rangers or seeing Hitoha’s underwear, I couldn’t stop laughing at every subsequent thing they said and misunderstood more. It was great material, though I’m inclined to believe such vastly different understandings only work as well as they do in Japanese. Unlike English, the language is highly contextual and doesn’t require the use of any sort of noun, pronoun, nor proper noun to form a complete sentence. With the sole requirement being a verb, a misunderstanding can go really out of whack if a conversation seems to fit it, much like it did here with Hitoha and Yabecchi. More often than not, something will usually give the misunderstanding away before it reaches that point, but I just love it when nothing does for amusement purposes.
For whatever reason, the whole misunderstanding approach on comedy always works for me, so I was amused to no end when that continued on with a sixth grade picture of the triplets’ father, back when he looked exactly like Shinya. There was also Mitsuba’s reaction to a high school picture of Soujirou when he was quite the stud, which was absolutely priceless because it was a new type of “trap” altogether. Not to be overshadowed though was the formal introduction of the three girls who are helplessly in love with the real Shinya, Ogata Airi (Chihara Minori), Itou Shiori (Iguchi Yuka), and Katou Mayumi (Uchida Aya). They sure got one hell of a trio to play these three obsessed girls, with Aya being a fairly new seiyuu whose starring role as Ascoeur in KIDDY GiRL-AND makes her fit the bill perfectly. Incidentally, Minorin’s voice of choice as a sixth grader happens to be less annoying that one she’s using for Mikaze in Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, which is unusual but a very welcome change-up.
At first glance, Airi’s misunderstanding over the photograph that landed her in the bath with Futaba’s father was pretty bad, but Shinya’s mix-up that put him in homosexual territory was much worse in my eyes. Between being labeled gay on top of a pervert and checking to see if Futaba’s underwear was visible during her kicks, I think Shinya was probably better off taking his chances against one of Futaba’s attacks. He just had to hold onto hope that he’d somehow survive it! With the way Yuudai’s willing to set up Shinya out of jealousy towards his popularity amongst the ladies, those two are easily becoming some of my favorites to watch though. Now that Airi, Shiori, and Mayumi have officially joined the antics, the comedy from them is even better. Yaoi fans, eat your heart out! However, it didn’t feel right with the way the Gachi Ranger misunderstanding left off with Yabecchi in a pool of his own tears after Hitoha called him a pervert who deserves the death penalty, so the last bit with the tables turned was like karma at its best. Yuki thinking that Hitoha has an stalker-like obsession with Yabecchi and a S&M type of relationship? That had me laughing more than the skirt one once the elbow was brought up.
Gachi Rangers and misunderstandings. That’s a recipe for good laughs no matter how many times they use it. Hopefully it carries on to next time, because this episode was a riot. Mitsudomoe!
* The opening sequence had added sound effects this time around, so I threw up a copy of it.