「きょぜつ色のクッキング」 (Kyozetsu-iro no Kukkingu)
Two episodes later, I’m not so much impressed by Manglobe’s adaptation of Mashiro-iro Symphony as I am intrigued by how it has all the makings of just another high school romantic comedy, yet always seems to stop a step short of actually becoming one. It’s very odd I must say, because as soon as it looks like things are going to fall into an overused trope, the characters prevent that from happening. It feels like there are abnormally long pauses in anticipation of moments that never come, as the progression breaks off in an unexpectedly civil manner shortly after.
The most prevalent case is with Airi, who’s very much like a typical tsundere except for the amount of restraint she’s shown when Shingo inadvertently walked in on her in the washroom, buried his head into her chest, and took a peek at her underwear. If this were any other show, Shingo would’ve been flying across the room or bruised and battered beyond recognition in at least one of those three cases if not them all. The fact that he got away unscathed with only his reputation tarnished a bit is like getting away with murder as far as romantic comedies are concerned. Heck, it’s even worse than that as he’s increasing his number of encounters with Airi, which Kami nomi’s Keima will tell us is fundamental to winning over an
eroge dating sim girl. When I take that into account, it’s pretty easy to see that the stuff Shingo gets away with here is absolutely criminal. Criminal I tell ya!
Now what amazes me is that I don’t particularly mind how the “laws of anime” are broken here. I don’t find it all that unbelievable that a diligent model student like Airi wouldn’t resort to violence. After all, she’s proven to be a lot stricter than her easygoing mother Ranka (and her psychotic Yuri-like laugh), plus her first meeting with Shingo was on very good terms. What’s more, Airi’s friends with Sakuno, who probably wouldn’t take well to any unnecessary abuse to her beloved stepbrother, and Kagamidai didn’t just send random students to Yuijo to poorly represent the school. (Hayata is the student council president for example.) Objectively speaking, there’s plenty of reason to believe that Airi wouldn’t lash out at every opportunity, yet at the same time, I’m completely astonished by the fact that she actually doesn’t. I’ve grown so accustomed to seeing how those scenarios play out (read: brainwashed) that it’s downright strange when they turn out rather normally. The same goes for the “special curriculum” cooking class, where all the guys were helpful with both preparing the chestnut rice and eating all the excess that Ange made so that their class wouldn’t get in trouble. It’s all so civil — TOO civil.
In any case, I am curious to see where things are headed now that Miu has formally introduced herself (with Pannya) and Shingo/Airi have been nominated as class representatives. I’m pretty set on watching this series just to see if it continues to avoid all the typical anime tropes (which are arguably the medium’s pitfalls too).