(Teru Teru Bouzu Janai ka? / Sukaranai ka? / Yakyuu Shina ka?)
“Isn’t that a Teru Teru Bouzu? / Aren’t I Liked? / Won’t You Play Baseball?”
Ika may draw like a two year-old with her hands, but it’s a completely different story when her tentacles grab hold of a pencil and she churns out masterpiece after masterpiece. Best of all, her drawings were in “squid vision” and gave us an inside look at how she perceived everyone. Eiko and Chizuru’s amazement over her artistry combined with their shock from her perception of them as a killer robot and demon respectively resulted in some priceless reactions. That was nicely led into by Ika claiming that they’re complicated to draw, whereas Takeru is simple (read: plain) with no distinguishing features. Ika’s way of insulting everyone without even trying to had me amused to no end, especially with her zombie interpretation of Sanae that Eiko befittingly called “Sanae of the Dead”. And here I thought this first skit was going to be about teru teru bouzu.
Well, I guess this explains the traumatic-like fear Ika has of Chizuru and why there was a one-eyed robot version of Eiko back in episode eight. I just love how Gorou’s defining feature to Ika is his swim cap, since it’s reminiscent of when she couldn’t discern Takeru from a fellow squid person when he had a paper hat on. Nagisa on the other hand will forever be an angel in her eyes, which is pretty ironic considering that she just wants to prey on her fear. As for Sanae, I can see the whole creepy clingy part of her resembling zombies, but she also capable of booking it at high speeds after Ika. Last time I checked, those kind of undead abominations don’t come flying at you like Sanae does.
The self portrait portion of this skit could have been a standalone one on its own, so it felt like a bonus one of sorts when the teru teru bouzu portion of it turned out to be just as hilarious, if not more so. I probably laughed more than I should have when Ika got fed up from being an ineffective life-size teru teru bouzu and gave into the idea that the whole hanging aspect was essential to make it work.
I actually thought Sanae was doing really well maintaining a respectable behavior around Ika after Eiko suggested that this would actually improved her opinion of her. That is, until I saw how those suppressed urges were eating her up from the inside as if she were going through a severe withdrawal like a drug addict. Part of me felt sorry for her after she deleted all her Ika pictures from her computer and burned all the cosplay costumes she dressed her up in. However, the other part of me enjoyed watching the impeccable screenplay of her mental breakdown that I couldn’t help but laugh at the humor they were going for with that semi-serious ambiance. Between seeing Sanae in this state and having her back as her usual Ika-obsessed self, I dare say the latter is much healthier for her.
While baseball isn’t my sport of choice, I always look forward to how it’s portrayed in anime since it’s absolutely huge in Japan. The preview from last time had me really looking forward to this skit, and it delivered when Ika offered to fill in on Kiyomi’s club and found herself at odds with the opposing team’s ace Tanaka (Komatsu Mikako). Much like the first skit, Ika’s true potential wasn’t realized until she let her tentacles come into play, after which it was a completely different ball game.
It doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to see Ika steal the game in the late innings, but it was a lot of fun seeing her invader-like confidence kick in when she took over for Kiyomi as the pitcher. After seeing how quirky this baseball game played out, I’d definitely like to see how Ika handles some other sports. It’s doubtful there will be time for that with only two episode to go; however, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of seeing a sequel in the future given how popular this series has become among Japanese audiences. It’s probably going to go down as the surprise hit of the season.