「わかってもらおーなんて思ってないよ」 (Wakatte Morao Nante Omotte nai yo)
“I Don’t Expect You to Understand”
Okay, I have to admit, that was pretty clever. I imagine it was far less impressive for the manga readers here (except perhaps while they were reading it), but it was something of a surprise for me. Despite the multiple hints lying around (the OP, people mentioning that she would be introduced without her glasses, that said introduction would probably be in episode five) I somehow failed to associate the swim-team menace Kikaijima (Kayano Ai) with the stern-and-serious-looking final member of the student council (which means I was mistaken when I assumed she hadn’t appeared last episode!). There were plenty of hints throughout both episodes, not least her appearance (I blame the glasses… and that swimsuit…), her love for money (her position would be the treasurer of course) and the intelligence she showed beyond the two other members of her team.
Back to the swim team for a moment, I wonder whether they became monsters for the sake of money, or if they were monsters even before that. Each of the members suffered in the past due to a lack of money, which resulted in their unusually strong resolve to procure it no matter what the cost. I suppose on a certain level, it’s this determination that makes them seem like monsters to others – most of the feats they’ve performed are feasible, but pretty dangerous to execute. Most people wouldn’t even consider being so reckless, thus seeing the swim team put their lives in danger and succeed every time must seem like the actions of a monster.
We’re told that it’s unusual for the monsters of the special classes to team up in Sandbox Academy. But in reality, when you add a shared goal to the mix, it’s not unusual for even the wildest of beasts to form a temporary truce to accomplish it. That doesn’t seem so much the case for the swim team though – while they obviously share a goal, the affection they feel towards each other extends well beyond the bounds of a temporary truce. Perhaps it ties in to how people perceive them as monsters – unlike characters such as Medaka, the swim team members haven’t actually exhibited any superhuman abilities beyond their disregard for their own safety and strong teamwork. If they were not truly monsters, the supposed ‘rules’ wouldn’t apply to them. While they value money more than anything else, they still like each other more than money. It’s somewhat twisted, but it proves that they’re not entirely fixated on wealth and that makes me lean even more towards considering them normal people but with exceptional circumstances making them seem above the norm (for now at least – I still expect things to get weirder!).
The second and third events were… kind of strange, if fairly straightforward. An underwater three-legged race is definitely a fairly simple concept and this isn’t the first time I’ve seen eel catching in an anime. Event number four wasn’t entirely unusual either (even if I can’t claim to have participated in anything similar), though leaving it up to Shiranui definitely brought out an interesting idea. Awarding points differently depending on the rank of the team whose bandana you stole was definitely a stroke of genius when it came to evening out the odds for the final battle, even if it left the door open for Nekomi to swoop in and steal victory with her trademark underhanded tactics!
- With Akune and Zenkichi seemingly getting along so well, it was obvious that things would turn out badly… they still managed to do pretty well though!
- I really enjoy the larger-than-life imagery used when Medaka launches into one of her epic lectures. I only wish they’d use it more often.
- Oh Medaka… your animal issues are absurd… and I think Akune is actually enjoying that!
- Just how buoyant are those armbands? Was the student council under a special handicap, or was it the same for everyone? It would certainly explain why most of the males were unable to dive!
HNGGGWell… that was unexpected… sort of…