「スランプの理由」 (Suranp no Wake)
“Cause of the Slump”
Ah, the Takanashi women. I still remember how they were first introduced in episode four of season one and could’ve easily turned the show into a household sitcom. However, things turned out even better when Souta’s elementary school sister Nazuna (Saitou Momoka) started volunteering at Wagnaria and misunderstood her brother’s relationship with Mahiru. The natural extension of that seems to be passing on a different misunderstanding to the always lethargic Izumi (Hikasa Youko), who just for the record, is amazingly cute when she’s dressed in white.
I’ve heard Youko in a fair amount of roles since the first season aired in spring 2010, so I couldn’t shake the feeling that she voiced Izumi a little different than before. It could’ve simply been the amount of focus on Izumi this episode, but she seemed to have a lot more expression in her voice than I remember. In any case, she was a lot of fun to watch after she mistook Popura as Souta’s girlfriend and thought her brother’s as a pedophile. It was fun seeing a very different side to her, much like it was with Kazue (Shiraishi Ryouko) when she failed to hide her concern about Izumi running away from home. In Izumi’s case, it doesn’t look like anyone’s going to clear up her confusion anytime soon either, seeing as Nazuna still thinks Souta’s in a masochistic relationship with Mahiru, so I’m really looking forward to the moment she steps into Wagnaria and misunderstands everything first-hand. I really hope that’s in store this season, because I already got a good laugh from her conversation with Kozue (Itou Shizuka).
As for Aoi, her misery almost always results in my enjoyment, so when she complains about how she still has to wear an “in training” badge when Nazuna doesn’t, you can be sure that I’m reveling in every minute of it. Aoi’s great for comedic relief when someone gets the better of her and there was plenty of that to go around this episode. Both her and Popura are so simple-minded that’s it’s not only funny but cute to watch. It’s kind of crazy how Nazuna’s more perceptive to people’s feelings than even Souta, who will be forever blinded by his traumatically-induced mini complex. Because of her perfect ways, I definitely want to see her make more appearances at the restaurant, as I do with all of Souta’s sisters. Judging from the preview, the next episode looks like it’ll have some Jun x Yachiyo moments, plus a chance encounter with Otoo-san’s wife, which I’m all for as well.