This may have been a character-oriented episode, focused on Nessa and her hide and seek pranks on board, but it was made much better with Phryne around. She’s still a marvel to me, given how blunt she was when she asked Clain if he loves her, and this time around she comes off as be a bit of a tomboy who doesn’t seem aware of how attractive she is. Her assertiveness and indifference to changing in front of people and having Clain on top of her were a refreshing change from the stereotypical embarrassed or screaming reaction I’ve come to expect, making her one of the coolest female characters of the season. She’ll just lay there and stare Clain down, until he blushes like a girl and gets off of her. That’s a win in my book.
Clain on the other hand I wanted to stuff a sock into for interrupting Phryne right when she was about to explain something about herself, Nessa, and the foolish cycle that the Monastery continues to repeat. The poor girl was ready to pour her heart out and spill out all the goods, and our dumb protagonist had to jump the gun on consoling her. There was plenty of time to do that after we got to be demystified about the Fractale System even further. I don’t doubt that was intended to be a plot-related tease and/or foreshadowing; however, it came off as a reason for me wanting to see Clain get smacked around a little.
I could have seriously done without the sight of his fundoshi, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to make a full-length shot of it to imprint it into the minds of everyone. I sort of reveled in his misfortune when Chikage and Tsunami “womanhandled” him and stripping him of his pants though. The first time was admittedly awkward, but the second time at the very end felt so warranted in light of how he interrupted Phryne. The same goes for Enri’s kick to the face at the dinner table. I thought I’d be sick of her abuse and perverted remarks by now, but I’m really not, especially when Takamy joins in to call Clain a pervert too. It’s become a running gag that works for me.
I was probably subconsciously expecting a bit more out of this episode after the one-week break, so it came off a bit uneventful in the grand scheme of things. While it did go on to emphasize that Moeran is taking the fight to the Granites family by showing how she’s spying on them, I can’t shake the feeling that the story has dumbed down to the Monastery versus Lost Millennium. Having two sides pitted against one another wasn’t really what I was expecting from this series, since it seems to simplify what could have been a lot more intricate than that. Of course, I do feel it’s too early to say that there won’t be interesting twists along to come, so I’m definitely not holding that impression against the remaining six episodes. There’s still plenty of time to “impress” as far as I’m concerned.
P.S. I doubt I’m the only one who got a laugh out of Clain pulling out his iPod-like device to “jailbreak” the ship’s pre-Fractale computer system. What do you know, it works with a click of a button too.