「謎の文化祭」 (Nazo no Bunkasai)
“Mysterious Culture Festival”

The greatest challenge in facing your enemy is to not see the enemy, but the person within.

Last post, I saw in the comments that many of you immediately made an enemy of Hayakawa, something that is both understandable…yet at the same time a little brash. To pass judgment quickly on a character that wants to get in the way of favored couples is a gut reaction which more often than not works, but as Urabe points out to us this episode, sometimes examining antagonists at face value makes us miss their true intentions.

That’s not to say that any of the negative feelings towards Hayakawa are unjustified. Quite the contrary. Even as Hayakawa apologized for her mistakes and walked away a more light-hearted individual, even as Urabe continues to be understanding and dull her emotions for the sake of stability, it is understandable if any of you still feel contempt for the girl that went to great lengths to steal Tsubaki’s heart. Heck, even some of you may be angry at Tsubaki for being a spineless and perverted kid, but let me try to reason with both of those emotions here.

Love is a crazy thing. It makes us do stupid things which completely go against our logic and even our own emotions. At its worst, we abandon any sensible thoughts about the well-being of others, honing only on that singular emotion, that amazing thirst for companionship and affirmation of intimacy. Hayakawa, having felt the companionship but never the affirmation of intimacy, probably felt devastated when she lost one half when hoping the other half would turn around. During the rebound, when she encountered Tsubaki, she thought maybe, just maybe if she could take the person who’d always given her affirmation but never a chance at companionship, then everything would work out, emotionally and socially.

Urabe showed her otherwise. Instead of terribly lashing out in a catfight of proportions, Urabe saw behind the desperation and instead went one step further. She decided to think, “Why is she in desperation?” I like Urabe. A lot. Although she may be dishonest about her emotions, that dishonesty and resilience to submit to them helps out at the right times. Like many of you said: Urabe could’ve pulled a Panty Scissors (well, she did) and quickly ended this fiasco assertively. However, for the sake of Hayakawa, she decided to set up a scenario where Hayakawa would have to be honest with herself and stop chasing the wrong means to the wrong end. I’ll admit, the means to get to that conclusion is weird to an epic level, but as with all the weird things in this series, if you put that aside, an honest message and moral about relationships is what’s left behind. That is what I truly admire about Urabe. It takes a lot of patience and control to deal with someone who just tried to steal away your boyfriend, something I’m sure most of us would deal with more…brashly. Hayakawa, instead of feeling defeated, ends up being relieved and optimistic, and Tsubaki ends up knocked out. Everyone wins, right?

Yes, even Tsubaki wins. As we’re all aware by now, Tsubaki is a kid. A perverted, spineless 90% of the time kid. Hell, even Tsubaki acknowledges that he’s a kid, a boy, an excitable piece of what could be a man. However, this acknowledgement, something that Tsubaki has been constant with throughout this series, makes him a semi-admirable lead as well. To be aware of your own faults is the first step to fixing them, and although Tsubaki is slow to change up any of his characteristics, the fact that he is at least aware of his faults is great in my books. He’s growing a little at a time along with Urabe, a needed trait in relationships today. Hence, he has potential to be a very good boyfriend as time passes on, and even now, considering the cloud of emotions from his crush that were impairing his judgment, he did an amazing job resisting temptation… comparatively of course :).

But alas, we are nearing the end of the line, and so finishes up the last major arc of this show’s season. It’s going to be hard writing out the final impressions for this show, but I’ll say this in advance: it was a real pleasure to cover it, and I hope they release a season two to continue this story. However, until then, see you next episode!

Note: since I am on a family vacation right now, alt-texts will not be immediately available. Also, thank BakaMochi for taking screencaps and linking the text for me! 😀
Mochi’s Note: I only did the caps – the content is all Zanibas’!

Full-length images: 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 31, 33, 34, 35.

 

Preview

31 Comments

  1. Dat meido Oka.
    Dat robot Urabe.
    Dat genderbender eyecatch.
    Dat full length hand with the (pink?) drool.
    Dem full length naked shots of Urabe and Hayakawa.
    Dat Urabe’s smile.

    *dies*

    belatkuro
  2. The writers did a good job of having Tsubaki avoid the conflict of licking Hayakawa’s spit and liking it. But I can’t help but think that that would have been an interesting route to explore. It can touch on how quickly a boy gets over a previous girl once he has gotten a new one.

    petitorenji
  3. OMG! That was a lot of fan service. Mind you, it was well integrated into the story but still… I wonder what it would look like on the BD without the shadows? *splurt* Uh, sorry, nose bleed.

    So I did not expect Urabe to one up Hayakawa so easily. She obviously had her suspicions but that was masterfully done. Urabe forced Hayakawa to confront her own feelings of inadequacies and as a result, I think Hayakawa can be more honest with herself. Urabe is a lot more mature and confident than a normal high school girl. She is mysterious indeed.

    bertman4
    1. Does it count as fan service if it’s present in the original?

      It was nice to hear Urabe’s (Ayako’s) joking and annoyed voice at the end of the ep, shows her as being able to show emotions. Can’t wait for the next ep… the last one 🙁

      TRWOV
  4. They set everything up so you’re expecting some sort of classic jealous confrontation, hurt feelings, etc…

    And instead we end up with a blindfolded Tsubaki, both his love interests naked and swapping spit and Oka wearing a maid outfit in the corner snapping pictures…

    Qwert
  5. Urabe confronting the issue like a boss . For someone who is very reluctant to show her feelings/ emotions, Urabe is extremely assertive when it comes to the bond between her and Tsubaki. I really like how Urabe didn’t just sit around passively, but went the great lengths to remind Tsubaki of their bond.

    Hayakawa was just evil last episode, but she wasn’t as bad in this one. Although I do question her taste in boys who tend to not reciprocate her feelings. I still don’t like her, but I don’t hate her as much as before. I’m just glad she pales in comparison to Urabe in every possible way.

    You can see Urabe walking in the robot suit near the beginning of the episode, in the shot where people are entering the school festival.

    Kentaiyoshimi
  6. Respect for Urabe for handling the situation. There is no bigger victory than to make enemy into friend!
    I hope Hayakawa will find a great BF soon. She is cute girl after all, (in fact I like her looks quite well) and yearning for true love.
    Tsubaki, he is truly human main character, with all his faults, but also underlying good nature.
    Oka, you mischevious little brat, thinking about getting some pics…

    ewok40k
  7. Who’s the more perverted one here? 😛
    Tsubaki for imagining Urabe and Hayakawa naked, or the girls who are getting a thrill out of being naked in front of him blindfolded?

    skizz
    1. According to Dr. Brown from Back To The Future, women are the “other great mystery” of the universe, with time travel being the other one.

      For Urabe: those dangerous, dangerous curves. I’m sure Tsubaki wasn’t the only one who had a nosebleed. XD

      For Hayakawa: I wish she kept her long hair

      For Oka: Meido + Glasses + self Breast Grabbing = win

      The_Magus_Killer
  8. This series is a jewel. This is one of those series that you can only see through the filter
    of your own experience(s). So, each viewer will have a different impression of the thoughts
    the writer is conveying. I hope a second season is coming…

    "All you have to do is tell us which one is sweeter..."

    There was a lot going on in this episode. I don’t think Hayakawa has given up completely
    on Tsubaki – “I think it’s time for me to let my hair grow out.” But, that aside, Urabe pulled out all
    of the stops against this real threat to protect to her relationship with Tsubaki: her sensual nudity,
    her smell (walking around in a hot box), and at the end, her visual appeal.

    I don’t know what she would’ve done if she lost the rock-paper-scissors draw. But she didn’t.
    That first strike (by going first) gave her the advantage.

    Urabe lied. We know from a previous episode that Urabe would have been crushed if Tsubaki had
    tasted Hayakawa’s drool. For her to tell Tsubaki that she didn’t mind was a lie, plain and simple.
    Urabe’s plan, which almost failed, was to, at all costs, prevent Tsubaki from tasting Hayakawa’s
    drool
    . It was never about him deciding which was sweeter. Never! Notice how Urabe began to
    relax when Hayakawa withdrew and began to cry. Urabe achieved her goal. Yeah, all of that girl
    talk was nice afterwards, but in the end, she stopped Tsubaki and saved their relationship.

    This next part may be unpopular. Both girls are deceptive. Both girls were selfish in their actions.
    And both girl’s drool is sweet. Which girl would you have picked? Damn right! In all honesty,
    I would have made the same choice.

    IMHO, what Urabe learned (or already understood) was that boys will always, weather or not
    they want to admit that to themselves, choose the girl who is most available and “sweetest”.
    In point of fact, a girl will loose respect for a boy if it is any other way, even if she is the one chosen.
    We’re not asexual beings; boys and girls each bring a unique aspect to a relationship. There’s a
    reason why there are nursery rhymes like “What Little Boys Are Made Of”. This series is built
    around those beliefs and so far, has done an excellent portrayal. Urabe understands her role.

    Urabe’s part in all of this was to make sure that the choice was never actually presented to Tsubaki.
    And she lovingly instructs Tsubaki with an anecdote about the depth of her feelings – and his role
    as a boy in this relationship – she’ll give herself and he has to do his part. Direct and elegant,
    as boys aren’t too clever about figuring their feelings out – or the best girl for them.

    Yes, given the choice I, too, would have chosen Hayakawa and regretted it for the rest of my life.

    mac65
  9. “That is what I truly admire about Urabe. It takes a lot of patience and control to deal with someone who just tried to steal away your boyfriend”

    I agree. my girlfriend would have stuck the scissors in my neck at 0.1 seconds..

    Selpheed
    1. Hence- advice for all the guys out there. Don’t ever ever ever ever do something that dumb.

      The likelihood of having an understanding girlfriend like that is 1 in 500,000 to 1 in 1,000,000.

      Banana Furikake
  10. Urabe throwing paper in a Janken-pun duel ? Blasphemy!!! She had to throw scissors. I don’t mind we didn’t get the cat fight or less brutal way out. What really upsets me is that Tsubaki got the best part of the deal. He managed to watch both girls naked even if for a second. That prize is worth the two slaps he got! I got some relif when Urabe teased him about a previous boyfirend, he deserve that and more; that comment even hurt me (baka memories). But he should have suffered more at least until next episode. Finally kudos to Oka, even in the heat of the moment (pictures great idea); she was going to interfere with Tsubaki’s “cheating” as a true friend will do for Urabe. Should I even dare say that Oka understand Urabe better than Tsubaki does?!. I really like how they relationship is growing in a non-yuri way.

    Yes!@
  11. Okay, I can’t hold back any longer – I love this series!

    But, for for extra credit, did anyone notice that the thought of seeing Urabe naked gave
    Tsubaki a strong nosebleed, but actually see Urabe and (bonus) Hayakawa naked – nothing?!

    Tsubaki’s the man with his amazing self-control. He’s not going to flinch and get noticed under
    those once-in-a-lifetime circumstances! It’s not like he untied it! Yes, he’s a boy with a man’s heart!

    I don’t blame Oka, as she’s only being a girl, too!

    mac65
  12. Yeah, like in the manga Urabe’s way of handling this was epic and original. Unfortunately it had to have the typical ‘boy accidentally sees girl naked, girl hits him’ event. That’s so much of a cliche at this point that it should be shelved in the back right next to ‘it was a dark and stormy night’ and ‘boy accidentally falls into giant mech but pilots it well enough to challenge enemy ace’.

    Grant
  13. I ended up reading 67 chapters of this between watching episode 10 and episode because I cannot get enough of this show. I already loved this show and now I consider it one of the best I’ve seen in a long long time.

    I’ve been watching anime for about 18 years now and this is the first time I had to “spoil” it for myself and read the manga after I started watching since I normally don’t read manga, but now that I did it isn’t taking away from the anime a bit.

    They really did a good job animating the story versus how other shows sometimes don’t follow the source material and since the Seiyū’s for Urabe (Yoshitani, Ayako) is so perfect for the role I really like reading the manga while hearing Urabe’s voice in my head as apposed to hearing my internal voice … lol

    I don’t think I’ve been more surprised (pleasantly so) by how good a anime turned out versus reading the synopsis since I started watching Naruto after reading something like “main character has a fox demon sealed in his soul” because I had originally read something like ” main character has a fetish based around tasting drool”. I’m really glad I didn’t let that through me off and I gave this series a chance.

    Now I really looking forward to the new season starting and hoping we get a few more really good series.

    woundup
  14. & yet i watch already 11eps in & turn out quite ok give i’m disturb/squick/brain bleach on whole saliva/drool issues give yet tell emotion & feeling did not see that coming.

    ep.11 ok then sure give bit WHAT & LMAO poor tsubaki get double slap punch ko from it at least it was not a “nice boat”.

    KLAC_OF_PERSONALITY

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