「恋に焦がれる六重奏」 (Koi ni Kogareru Rokujuusou)
“Sextet Yearning for Love”
If the finale back in spring didn’t seem conclusive enough on who won the harem war over Ichika’s heart, then this OVA should definitely clear up any confusion. To that end, this “Encore” OVA episode quickly reminded me of all their character nuances and just how much I enjoyed this “high-speed” romantic comedy, despite the fact that it’s “just” another harem anime. It takes place after the TV series’ conclusion and involves the girls not-so-coincidentally paying a visit to Ichika’s house, hoping to spend some time alone with him. Charlotte acts first with Cecilia not too far behind, and with everyone thinking the same thing, the whole gang shows up before long. Unlikely alliances are formed when it comes to having Ichiki feed them cake and envious stares result over Laura’s confidence, but the best moment during the visit had to be everyone’s dismay over Ichika’s married couple-like relationship with Chifuyu. That was a follow-up to episode ten when Chifuyu staked her claim on her younger brother (for taking care of house chores) and oh-so-fun to watch because of their reaction back then.
Once Chifuyu let the girls fight amongst themselves, their attempt to win over Ichika’s heart through his stomach proved to be more cute than anything else. While they were all secretly competing with one another — and trying their darnedest to prevent Cecilia from cooking anything — it came off as a friendly competition with the “SUPER STREAM” ending theme playing and the sight of them helping one another out. Save for Cecilia’s, the rest of the dishes turned out pretty well and led to a surprisingly normal meal too. Houki’s soy sauce-boiled fish and Charlotte’s assorted deep-fried dish looked pretty darn tasty, as did Rin’s meat and potato stew that she finally got to make for Ichika. Laura’s oden was lol-worthy though, simply because of how she chose to skewer the ingredients together. All in all, the dinner itself felt very epilogue-ish, so it’s almost as if we were given the option to stop watching at the two-thirds mark. Not a bad choice for some viewers, especially if you’re not a Houki fan.
I say that in hindsight of course, as I wasn’t even anticipating they’d push Houki as Ichika’s girl of choice as much as they did. Granted, I can’t really blame the guy after seeing Houki perform the Shinto dance at her “aunt” Yukiko’s (Okamura Akemi) shrine. The setup was perfect too, with Ichika actually complimenting Houki on how pretty she looks and causing poor girl to think she’s just dreaming. From that point on, it was all Hou… err… Ran (!?). I’ll admit that I like Ran just as much as the next person after the “strong” first impression she left, but I was rooting for Houki here after she finally got a bit of a green light from Ichika. Still, it was good to see Ran again and funny how both she and Houki instantly saw the other as a love rival. More importantly, Ran’s appearance seemed to give Houki that last push to make her confess to Ichika. It’s just too bad our dense protagonist didn’t hear it. At least Houki’s happy about growing closer to him and the ending sequence featuring her “Best Partner” song from the ending single — plenty to suggest that she has an edge over the competition. Suffice to say, the Houki ship has sailed.
* In case anyone’s forgotten, I was always on the Houki ship and not the Char one, even though I like all the heroines.
* It’s not quite nudity, but there’s clearly a nip slip in this scene.
* Full-length images: 05, 11, 31, 32.
* Update: See below for live performances from the “Infinite Stratos: One-Off Festival”, where Uchiyama Kouki was in the company of five lovely ladies.
ED: 「ベストパートナー」 (Best Partner) by 日笠陽子 (Hikasa Youko)
Watch the OVA ED!: Streaming ▼