「休日はゆかいな仲間とお野菜を」 (Kyuujitsu wa Yukai na Nakama to o Yasai o)
“Vegetables with your merry friends on your day off”

Any way you slice it, a high-school dude chasing after a girl shouting “Eat my fresh vegetable stick!” is just plain wrong.

It’s glorious to have Minami-ke back at the height of its powers again, because it’s a reminder that this is one of the titans of anime comedy. Frankly I wasn’t sure we’d ever see this level of brilliance with any consistency again, and certainly not without Ohta Masahiko directing. Watching Minami-ke at its best is a little like watching Michael Jordan in his prime – there’s the sense that it can succeed choosing whatever path it wants, because with this cast and this writing, no style of comedy is outside its reach.

I hardly know where to start in singing the praises of this episode, because it was hilarious pretty much from start to finish. Just a few highlights from the infinite list:

  • Hosaka and Hayami’s banter in the opener. “Before that. Not that insulting.” “I could really go for a few sauries…”
  • Bell peppers in the vending machine
  • Not one, but two Hosaka insert songs – one of them a duet with Chiaki
  • A rare appearance by Plain Yogurt Shuichi, introducing the vegetable-plot conspiracy
  • Big, scary pumpkin-head hypnosis
  • Kana’s “God of Fire” speech

Really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This was the sort of episode where you really had to watch scenes at least a couple of times because there was so much hilarity going on in the background. The BBQ is a perfect example: The front-end story, with Chiaki’s war with vegetables and Kana’s con job with the God of Fire, was funny on its own. But Touma’s dialogue with Maki and Atsuko was entirely in the background, but telling a story all its own – Touma acting like a spoiled little princess, except that Atsuko and Maki thought she was a boy (which shed a different light on her behavior, and references to Atsuko’s “cushioning”). Not only that, you had the lyrics to the “Barbecue Song” playing over everything.

Grill it up, and anything makes barbecue

Let’s make it a free and easy barbecue!

Maybe grill some udon , eat it up! Eat it up! Eat it all up!

Even if we’re having curry, it’s a barbecue

Even vegetables you hate are on the barbecue!

Little did we realize that was going to start an entire vegetable-themed show, the first hint of which was Makoto and Shuiichi doing their “Zun-ta-ta!” dance at school (Chiaki’s head-bob response was worth the price of admission). Turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg of a massive M.I.B. caliber conspiracy to get kids to eat vegetables, headed up by a truly terrifying pumpkin-head on TV singing about talking vegetables. Give all this points for absurdity, but perhaps the best joke of all isn’t apparent until later – only baka Kana is resistant to the hypnotic power of Pumpkin-head and his healthy weapons of terror.

I think the last segment’s brilliance pretty much speaks for itself. Anything that recalls the outrageous “Curry Fairy” episode (Okaeri, #2) is off on the right foot, but when a mind-altered Chiaki and Hosaka end up meeting in the supermarket and giving us a fell-fledged musical number complete with Shirley Temple-style dance moves from Chiaki, the level of service is almost too much for the heart to bear.

With vegetables all around, every day is like a dream

So let’s vegetable!

Thank goodness the healing power of fatty sausage is able to break the spell – but it’s too late for Haruka-neesama, who’s fallen under the nutrient-rich sway of the terrors that come from beneath the ground. For dessert, we finally get to see Hayami – who really, really deserves it – get a little taste of terror itself as Hosaka turns the tables on her at last. And thus ends what amounts to pretty much the perfect episode of Minami-ke – hell, maybe the perfect anime comedy episode. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a craving for a big plate of carrots and radishes.


Insert Song

Insert Song: “Let’s Vegetable!” by (Ono Daisuke and Chihara Minori)



  1. curse you mr. pumpkin for hypnotizing almost all the cast of Minami-ke! luckily the sausage lady saves the day. I still prefer the “curry song” rather than the “veggie song”. Kudos to Natsuki for winning over not only Haruka but also Chiaki.

    1. I’m not sure about Maki, but Atsuko definitely still thinks Touma is a boy. Minami-ke Okaeri 08 is when that started — Kana shoved Touma into Atsuko, whom Touma found comfy enough to take a nap on. This is why Atsuko gets embarrassed earlier this season when Haruka suggests that Touma make her some clothes.

  2. Somehow the hypnosis plot strikes me as odd for Minami-ke.
    Funny as hell, but odd.

    Other things I noticed:
    – Hayami has gotten more bold about stealing Hosaka’s bentou, now openly admitting it.
    – Among the guys who like Haruka, Natsuki currently seems to have the best chances.
    – Kana didn’t have any baka moments this time and both of her plots to make Chiaki eat vegetables worked.

    1. Somehow the hypnosis plot strikes me as odd for Minami-ke.
      Funny as hell, but odd.

      I agree. How much was in the original manga? Does it have the singing?

      BTW, I checked: the “Curry Fairy” episode is actually “Okaeri, #2”. Which reminds me: unlike many comedies, I’ve noticed that “Minami-ke” has good re-watch value — I’m still laughing the second time around. Any others that come to mind? For me, it’s “Azumanga” and “Potemayo”.

  3. Any way you slice it, a high-school dude chasing after a girl shouting “Eat my fresh vegetable stick!” is just plain wrong.

    I’m pissed that at the end they totally missed an opportunity to have him running down the hall shouting “Eat my tiny sausage!”

  4. Man this has got to be the most hilarious episode of this season…vegetable subliminal messaging? It certainly did its job in making people eat healthy and it was a nice change to see Hayami finally drawing the short end of the stick, karma comes for everyone!
    I think I need to refresh on my Minami ke knowledge though, can’t remember when Touma became so fond of Atsuko.

  5. – The people behind Hosaka’s songs deserve a raise.
    – Hypnosis was definitely the last thing I’d expect from a children’s show to make kids eat vegetables.
    – Powerful forces really don’t want Hosaka to come any closer to the Minami sisters. He just needed to accept Natsuki’s invitation.
    – Hosaka getting the last laugh on Hayami sounded about right. She definitely had it coming after the many times she messed with him.
    – It’s amazing how the sausage saleslady didn’t look creeped out by a guy with an unbuttoned shirt and exposing his chest.

  6. LOL randommm episode but Minamike really can pull it off <3

    The Barbeque song that Hosaka was singing was actually pretty good.haha
    At first I thought it was a character song that they'll come up w/ a CD but I heard "Baabequeee" and was like they made a song for this Barbeque?!?!?!

    Veggie, Veggie~ Chiaki is so adorable =D

  7. LET’S DESTINY !!! Oops! I meant LETS VEGETABLE!

    Seriously, this episode made me laugh so much I was crying. All those songs were amazing and that ‘Lets Vegetable’ song and dance routing was pure awesomeness!


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