「大好きになっちゃった！」 (Daisuki ni Nacchatta!)
“I’ve Fallen in Love!”
Now now Jirou, I don’t have all those wild fetishes either, but when Kanade makes a strong case like she did, the least we can do is hear her out. She has some really creative ideas after all. There’s no reason to lose your appetite when honey is involved. Sweet sweet honey.
In case anyone’s wondering, I’m still undecided on whether I’ll be covering this (utterly awesome) romantic comedy for the rest of the season, but there’s no way I’d let this second episode with the girlish side of Subaru out in full force slip by without saying a word. I’d have to be crazy when there’s this, this, this, this, and even this care of Kanade’s kinky imagination (…bless her sadistic soul). It never hurts to have some of that or that either. I’m still loving the character designs in this adaptation, which capture quite beautifully in almost scene. Go feel studio.
I mentioned back in the first episode that I was completely set on watching this series just for Subaru, and after this second episode, I can confidently say that it’s her character’s unique combination of “submissive seductiveness” and “innocent cuteness” that I find so appealing. The former comes from her tough and seemingly cold exterior that she maintains because of her devotion to Kanade, which never wavers even under the most ridiculous orders she’s given just to entertain her master. In fact, there’s every indication to believe that if Jirou had used his “butler ticket” to give Subaru one of the wild and depraved orders that Kanade suggested, the poor girl would’ve obeyed it without question. So far, she’s shown some reluctance in her facial expressions but never in her actions, making her sense of servitude extremely alluring. Granted, she’ll kill you right after, but at you’d get your few moments of fun before you die. We can’t say that about many anime characters now can we?
The latter on the other hand comes from Subaru’s girlish side surfacing, often when she’s not entirely aware of it herself. She has this natural cuteness to her, which is brought about by becoming more comfortable around Jirou as her first real friend and unconsciously lowering her guard around him. It’s just too damn adorable at times. On paper, this suggests she has all the qualities of a typical tsundere, except she really isn’t your typical tsundere at all. She doesn’t seem to bear a grudge against Jirou even after the mishap last time, and is simply following Kanade’s orders. Also, it’s as if she realizes that it’s Kanade causing all her turmoil, so she doesn’t really badmouth or beat up Jirou for no apparent reason. Now that’s what I call a win toward fine-tuning the anime tsundere. (2D Banzai!)
From a viewer perspective, it’s easy to say that Jirou should’ve just licked or gotten licked by Subaru — or better yet, ordered her to become his girlfriend/lover — but I surprised even myself in that I don’t really want to see her taken advantage of since she may very well be the cutest character that Iguchi Yuka has ever played. She and Jirou actually make a pretty cute couple, and it’s fun watching Jirou slowly win her over by helping keep her secret during their physical examination — even at his own expense. In just two short episodes, Jirou’s already become the first person who Subaru can be herself around, so it should only be a matter of time before Subaru becomes the first girl who Jirou can be physically around. Throw in the radical S4 (Shooting Star Subaru Sama) and their more peaceful counterpart, Mimamorukai, and there should be ample outside interference to keep things interesting between them.
Of course, it’s going to be a lot more fun watching Kureha throw a wrench in their relatively smooth progress, now that she’s fallen for Subaru because of how strong “he” is. Where that’s going to take us I’m not sure, but just for the record, I am not the least bit opposed to hearing some Iguchi Yuka x Hanazawa Kana yuri action. Next time, it looks like we’re getting a pool episode, along with a traumatic kidnapping incident (?) to add an extra dimension to the inevitable fan-service.
* A commercial was shown for Kitamura Eri’s new “Be Starters!” single, which is slated to be released on August 10th. She looks pretty good in it too.
* Kanade’s chef Samejima Kosame is voiced by Sawashiro Miyuki, whereas her maid Saotome Ichigo is voiced by Chihara Minori. Both are great additions to the cast.