「今、恋をはじめます」 (Ima, Koi o Hajimemasu)
“Now My Love Begins”
The more you watch Minami-ke, the more you realize this is one of those series where folks just aren’t destined to get together…
I’m just a little disappointed that we haven’t seen more of Makoto/-chan this season, though by the looks of the preview we’ll at least get one more appearance next week. But we did get just a little Hosaka this time, which is just a little bonus after his bonanza appearance last week. On balance this episode was just a little bit less stellar than that one, but I give the series just a little slack because that was one of the best episodes in nearly 4 seasons. While there was just a little Chiaki and Haruka this week, we did get just a little bonus by seeing some new potential pairings we haven’t seen before – though I’m not optimistic any of them will go anywhere. This is Minami-ke after all.
This is an area where the manga readers will have the advantage of me, because I’ve been reading it on-and-off over the years (I never found it quite as charming as the anime, though it can be hilarious) but even though Minami-ke is a series that offers impressive – almost frighteningly so – continuity, a couple of the developments this week seemed pretty much brand new.
- Hitomi x Fujioka (the boy, not the bear). As far as I know that’s completely out of left field, though there were flashbacks showing they’d interacted before.
- Maki x Hitomi. Is this yuri goggles in Minami-ke? I don’t see how Maki turning bright red and fainting can be anything less than unambiguous, but I didn’t have the slightest clue that was coming.
Again, this is one of those series where everyone seems destined to love the wrong person – that could even be argued to be the main joke, really. Even so, apart from the age difference (I’m guessing two years) Hitomi and Fujioka would seem like a good pair even if they didn’t eerily synch with each other right down to their bladders. They look like a matched set, first of all. They’re both neurotic, and both in love with someone utterly clueless. As for Maki, I don’t even know what to make of that development, but it’ll be interesting to see if it goes anywhere. In terms of pure neuroses, though, it would be hard to match up with Riko – she’s just a little bit of a mess, and her unrequited crush on Fujioka has her in quite a pinch.
As for the daisy-chain Haruka started with her movie tickets (I’d actually be much more curious to see "Spicyman") – well, I guess I should say Takeru started it – rather than bring anyone together all they seemed to do was angstify the situation even more. And in the end it looks like no one ended up using them anyway – Hosaka and Reiko surely paid their own way – but they did lead to the added bonus of Natsuki’s hilariously awkward attempt at parenting with Touma. I’d have loved to have seen how she responded if he’d gone through with what he was about to say. My money says Haruka knew exactly what she was doing when she gave those tickets away – once a banchou, always a banchou…