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Minami-ke Tadaima – 07 »« Minami-ke Tadaima – 05

Minami-ke Tadaima – 06

「隠し切れない日焼けと乙女心」 (Kakushi Kirenai Hiyake to Otomekokoro)
“A Girl Cannot Hide her Suntan, nor her Heart”

Wait a minute – just where did Kana pull that second sea cucumber from?

Ho-hum – another week, another sterling example of Minami-ke Tadaima. I wasn’t sure anything could make me laugh as hard as the whiteboard scene in Zetsuen to Tempest, but this ep came pretty darn close. And it was much needed too, after this week’s Psycho-Pass, Robotics;Notes and Shin Sekai Yori.

You could have told me that episode featured the following and I would have been pretty convinced it was going to be great:

  • Moe-kyun Kana-chan
  • Takusan Mako-chan

I’ve said it before, but I really think many of Minami-ke’s best moments come when Mako-chan is involved. He’s a singular creation of comic genius, and among anime traps I think Makoto/-chan is the most interesting take on the psychology of the trope – and he brings out the best in Kana’s baka genius, too. One of the most interesting elements of the character is that Makoto/-chan’s best and worst days tend to be the same days – we saw it in earlier seasons (Haruka tuning in Tokyo in the changing room comes to mind) and we saw it here again this week.

Before that, though, we had some another thoroughly delightful spectacle – Kana-san the bishoujo. The premise: Uchida and Yoshino are over and the subject of Maki and Atsuko having part-time jobs – an exotic and fascinating topic to grade-schoolers – comes up. Kana decides it’s time for interview practice, but Chiaki intervenes and says she needs to interview Kana to see if she’s fit to be an interviewer. Kana’s only answer when I’m about herself: “I’m a bishoujo!”. She then proceeds to change into a dress, let her hair down and become a sort of mini-Haruka with dark hair and extra sugar. Maybe it’s just me, but Kana seems cuter than ever this year – she’s always been hilarious, but I don’t ever recall her being this kawaii and frankly, this pretty. While this act confuses the heck out of the visiting Fujioka, he reacts by finally confessing (again) that he loves the “real” Kana. Sadly, though, even in bishoujo mode Kana is still clueless, and Fujioka’s effort is a swing and miss.

That skit plays directly off one featuring Kana’s circle, and the topic of horoscopes. Riko’s warns her to steer clear of water, which is a problem as the gang are going to the pool – and this is another opportunity to note that Kana definitely doesn’t share Haruka’s fear of the two-piece (which we’ll discover later she seems to have overcome at last). Especially as there’s no one in blue around, and someone in blue is supposed to protect Libras that day. Fortunately Fujioka shows up here too, though this time it’s a coincidence, and shows remarkable composure as Kana and Keiko spend the better part of 30 seconds staring at the crotch of his blue swimsuit from close range. It’s Riko’s lucky day after all – thought it’s also another example of everyone in this series being in love with the person who isn’t in love with them.

The main event, certainly, is the beach trip featuring all three sisters and all of Chiaki’s close circle (apart from Touma, who may have been getting a little overexposed anyway). This is a shining example of all the pleasures and perils of being this particular shougakusei cross-dresser. Kana has told Makoto to wear a swimsuit but not that a beach trip is planned, so he’s quite peeved at not having a chance to “prepare for these things”. Things begin to take on the air of a spoof of 70’s porn flicks (which I’ve only heard about) as Mako-chan wistfully (perhaps the funniest facial expression in anime this season) watches Kana and Chiaki splashing in the water, before Haruka calls her over and offers in a husky voice to “Rub suntan oil on you, if you like.” There are times I wonder if Haruka is in banchou-mode and knows Makoto’s secret, and tortures him on purpose. I suppose not, but there are certain things boys that age simply aren’t qualified to endure – as the results prove clear. The best days are the worst indeed, and vice-versa.

There’s a very interesting dynamic between Makoto, Mako-chan, Haruka and Chiaki. Yeah, Makoto has a huge crush on Haruka – who wouldn’t – but he also says “I’ll never take this off as long as I live!” when Chiaki puts a band-aid on Makoto’s boo-boo at school. For all her hostility towards Makoto, I see it more as the kind of grade-school distraction that boys and girls resort to with kids they like, to cover up the fact that they like them. There can be no question whatsoever that she adores Mako-chan – she positively dotes on her and follows her like a puppy, the slightly “older” girl who’s so feminine and capable. Somewhat more seriously than with Haruka I wonder if Chiaki knows the truth, except on a subconscious level – perhaps her affection for Makoto finds a much safer outlet in Mako-chan. In any event in scenes like the one where Mako-chan teaches Chiaki to swim (incidentally, it’s fascinating how Makoto’s personality really changes when he’s Mako-chan – he goes from the hyper-genki grade-school boy to the responsible and sober middle-school girl) it’s hard not to see a real connection between them, even if he is in disguise – and when he has to give her a massive “Pose of Denial!” later on to hide the fact that Mako-chan is wearing Makoto’s band-aid in the exact same spot, she’s absolutely crushed.

In any event, that’s the sort of discussion that goes deeper than Minami-ke itself is ever likely to go – the manga is even less relationship-focused than the mangaka’s other series, “Kyou no Go no Ni”. Instead we get a reminder of just what a mixed blessing being Mako-chan is – Makoto now has a tan-line with shoulder straps. I hope getting to second-base with Haruka – for the second time – was worth it…

Full-length images: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21, 23, 26, 27, 29, 31, 32, 33.




February 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm
  • February 11, 2013 at 5:18 pmbillng

    Moe Kana neeed MORE! That was so disgustingly cute

    • February 12, 2013 at 6:23 amMrRei

      I think you can get them here.

    • February 12, 2013 at 12:32 pmKF

      Kana was suppose to be the middle, unattractive one … how did they make her so cute????


      • February 14, 2013 at 7:40 amguardian enzo

        I never considered Kana unattractive – she always seemed cute as a bug to me. It’s just that this series she seems a lot more…

  • February 11, 2013 at 6:10 pmergZay

    Something appears to have gone wrong when the images were posted. Starting from image 32 the thumbnails don’t line up with the images you get when you click on them. Also the final image (before the preview images) itself goes to a 404 page.

  • February 11, 2013 at 6:24 pmoliviaven

    Riko wearing swimming trunks (2nd picture of rows 2 and 3)

  • February 11, 2013 at 8:56 pmFrau Kojiro

    Kana and Keiko are totally checking out Fujoika’s body and who wouldn’t? While he doesn’t have Hosaka’s yummy chocolate abs, his boyish body does look pretty lean and well-defined. Give him a few more years of soccer training and I bet he’ll have the meanest one in the series.
    I’m totally shipping Shuuichi x Mako-chan but I’m still undecided on Fujioka’s ship, Hosaka x Fujioka or Fujioka x Akira? I can see Fujioka both as a seme and uke so I’m kinda torn \(>.<)/

    • February 11, 2013 at 10:04 pmrufe

      Wut the…..

      Anyway, I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed they were staring right at his crotch. Amazing he didn’t react more.

      • February 11, 2013 at 10:06 pmrufe

        It should be HosakaxNatsuki and AkiraxFujioka of course. =P

  • February 11, 2013 at 9:30 pmc2710

  • February 11, 2013 at 11:57 pmLeena

    You know what they say Fujioka,the third time is the one!

  • February 12, 2013 at 1:38 amgawrshness

    hey man just wanted to say image 31 shows the same picture as 32 when enlarged.

  • February 12, 2013 at 2:51 ambaseone

    so many HHNNGG moments.

  • February 12, 2013 at 3:16 amPatsuan

    Haruka looks like a total boss after she did god knows what to Mako-chan

    Great episode!!

  • February 12, 2013 at 5:52 amSeedStriker

    This one was odd, in the sense of having a moe Kana around. God, what a change! I dare to say that she was on a level even higher than Haruka in the interview sketch. Moreover, back to normal, she outsmarted Haruka after trolling Chiaki in the beach without receiving the standard-issue punishment later. That wasn’t normal… but still, this is Minami-ke: expect the unexpected sometimes.
    Mako-chan, Mako-chan, I don’t know if you’re a lucky bastard or an idiot even higher than normal-mode Kana. Only God knows what kind of massage Haruka did to him (lucky bastard), but making the denial pose for Chiaki was truly a pitiful mistake (idiot higher than normal-mode Kana)
    Honorable mention to Fujioka who hold Kana and Keiko’s glances without boner and for Riko who could glady have drowned that day for the chance to hold Fujioka’s hand. Adorable unlucky folks galore!

  • February 12, 2013 at 6:40 amxephx

    Well this was the point that I dropped both the second and third seasons and right now this is one of my favorite shows of the season. That makes me happy.

  • February 12, 2013 at 8:59 amAlec

    Can’t believe I haven’t watched this anime yet.

    Was excited when I heard it will get an anime again. But when it finally aired, I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it

  • February 12, 2013 at 11:39 amhmong007

    Best season so far since the season one.

  • February 13, 2013 at 1:27 pmZannafar

    It took until the fourth season, but we finally have the proof…

    Kana is really the same person as Miu.

  • February 14, 2013 at 8:11 amName (required)

    thanks to sea cucumber, kana is bishoujo now