「しあわせへの回り道」 (Shiawase he no Mawarimichi)
“A Detour to Happiness”
Wedding dresses, wedding dresses, and more wedding dresses. The focus may have been a wild goose chase centering on the angelic Azusa, but I know who I had my eyes on. As usual, it only took a few moments in front of the camera for Miki to make her mark on an episode, which proved to be a nice bit of playful fan-service amidst the oil magnate’s (Onosaka Masaya) hunt for his reluctant bride to be (Shouji Umeka). I honesty didn’t think the entire episode would revolve around Azusa trying to get back to the chapel for the photo shoot and the Producer/Makoto chasing after her “kidnappers”, but after the second good deed by our wandering bride, it became pretty evident that they were going to take that formula and run with it. Not that I minded or anything, as Asuza’s slightly air-headed yet genuinely goodhearted nature is infectious. If the series is going to have an episode about Azusa making the world a better place by just being herself, I’d have to be a really jaded jackass to shun it for doing so.
Like with most of the IM@S episodes before, there was never a real sense of urgency, yet the semi-resemblance of a plot worked well in further highlighting some of the girls’ appeal. Makoto was pretty awesome in that regard, getting stuck with the groom role and demonstrating her fighting ability in a surprisingly well-choreographed fight scene that popped up out of nowhere. In addition to promoting Makoto’s boyish charm, scenes like that make me even more appreciative of the animation that A-1 Pictures is churning out each and every episode. I also have to give credit to the oil magnate’s SPs, who quickly established themselves as serious yet goofy extras to maintain the lighthearted feel that I’ve come to expect from this series. The only thing I would’ve liked to see is some more screen time between Makoto and the nameless bride, after the latter showed some interest in our cross-dressing idol, but I realize that would’ve taken away from the huge wedding-like gathering when Azusa was finally able to return the ring. With the sunset in the background, it would’ve killed the mood if Makoto stole the spotlight away from the formal proposal.
Anyway, this proved to be a fun change-up to the family-oriented episode last time and left me wondering what angle the series will tackle the Futami twins next time. I presume they’re the focus judging from the preview, giving even more limelight to the Ryuuguu Komachi members.
INS7: 「晴れ色」 (Hare-iro) by たかはし智秋 (Takahashi Chiaki)
Watch the 7th INS!: Streaming ▼
ED8: 「ハニカミ！ファーストバイト」 (Honey Kami! First Bite) by 竜宮小町 (水瀬伊織, 三浦あずさ, 双海亜美) (Ryuuguu Komachi (Minase Iori, Miura Azusa, Futami Ami))
Watch the 8th ED!: Streaming ▼