「君のためのドッグファイト」 (Kimi no tame no Doggu Faito)
“A Dog Fight For You”
Well, this sure was an intense episode. From the way it began, with Mamiya Yumi’s (Gibu Yuko) stylish introduction, you would think that this would be a mere comedy episode dedicated to her. Instead, we took a completely different turn and picked up from where the story left off with Yuno’s trauma. It was definitely a nice follow up, with Tarou running off to challenge the punk pretty boy that hurt Yuno, giving a Kamijou Touma-like speech in the process and finishing up with a just as familiar Imagine Breaker. Needless to say, such heroic speeches and fights seemed a bit out of place in this series, given it’s art style, but nonetheless it was a very well done and executed scene. I must admit, my heart was swayed when Tarou was standing there giving his “why you suck” speech, and I felt the small jolt of excitement that I usually get when I see Touma deliver the same speeches in Index. Of course, his victory wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Mio, who sent a gift from god in only the way she could: a metal bat that should have broken his knee. I suppose we can take it as a sign that Mio knows not to get physically involved in a fight between men, but jeez, could she not have thought of a less painful way to help Tarou!? At least Tarou himself was grateful for the bean, as was obvious from his vision of Mio as an angel. This scene in particular actually makes me wonder if this anime will explore MioxTarou, as so far it’s been completely YunoxTarou. You see Mio alongside Yuno as a main heroine, so one would expect her to become a love interest at some point. Then again, this series has already betrayed my expectations more than once; in a good way of course.
Mio love flags aside, the girl who has actually become a love interest has developed well from her first appearance in episode one. When she was first introduced, I thought she was just a bitch who found Tarou disgusting because of his fetish. This initial characterization only serves to show how the story was set up to surprise viewers, and it certainly accomplished that with flying colors. Perhaps I’m just a sucker, but I find it quite refreshing to be this floured by a series which I didn’t have much expectations for other than ecchi comedy. Hell, XEBEC didn’t even ruin any of the moments after the fight by throwing in unneeded comedy. I’ve read that so far, XEBEC has remained fairly consistent in its adaptation of the light novel this is based on, and once again I commend them for not taking this and turning it inside-out. It appears that Yuno is well on her way to recovering from her Androphobia, even telling Tarou that he was walking too far away from her at one point. Speaking of which, that scene really made them look like a couple, and is miles apart from last episode at the train station. Yet, despite this stark turn in dynamic between the two, it doesn’t feel forced to me at all. Yet another example of excellent execution on the part of the creators.
Of course, I can’t end this post without commenting on our newest addition to the fetish family tree, Mamiya Yumi. This series continues to entertain me with it’s fetish laden characters. This time, we have a pseudo-lesbian (or bisexual?) who goes into a frenzy when she sees cute girls, wanting desperately to give them a massage and loosing all sense of self in the process. I can’t recall ever seeing such a fetish in anime or real life for that matter, but it certainly makes for shamelessly justified and well placed yuri scenes. According to Tarou, she has some history with Tatsukichi (who I thought was gay) which is what prompted my bisexual theory. You can also clearly see Chibi Yumi chasing down Chibi Tatsukichi in the OP, so it’ll be interesting, if not comedic, to watch where this connection goes.
*Note: If anyone knows a proper name for Yumi’s fetish, please let me know in the comments and I will immediately find someone similar and bring back pics.