「愛と忠」 (Ai to Tadashi)
“Love and Kiss”
It’s true – every dog has its day, even the ones at the bottom of the food chain. Kanetsugu finally joins Muneakira’s harem as his new Master Samurai this week and the moment of truth was certainly well worth the wait. Hyakka Ryouran’s personalized version of Hatsune Miku has always been a riot to watch and it’s hard not to take a little delight in hearing Toyosaki Aki sink her teeth into such a snooty and audacious role. There could hardly be a person less suited to be an honorable samurai than Kanetsugu – she is clumsy, petty and extremely loud, just to put it mildly. Laughing at her misfortune is the root of many humors in this show and the self-proclaimed warrior of love is chiefly the subject of derision for the other female leads. Such a character does not always work in anime, but what makes Hyakka Ryouran ticks is its shameless humor (and mouthwatering fanservice), and Kanetsugu fits neatly into the box as the lead character that draws out the comedic moments of the show. She’s obviously a polarizing figure and I’m not at all surprised that the fan base is split about the portrayal of her character. As for me, I have always been extremely fond of Kanetsugu and clearly, I’m not the only one – she tops the list of the last Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls popularity poll, even Juubei was no match for her crackbrained charm!
This episode couldn’t have been simpler, but there’s a frenzied and happenstance-like atmosphere that makes the show such a blast to watch. The Shinkage Meido Café popularity contest screamed bad idea right from the very first moment and indeed, Kanetsugu’s plan backfired hilariously on herself. The comical effect was fantastic and similar to the pantsu-thief gag last week, this one played up the eccentricities of all the characters –the S&M relationship between Sen Hime and Hanzou, Sasuke’s moeblob allure and what I would describe as a very peculiar bond between Juubei and Musashi. It wouldn’t be Hyakka Ryouran without the usual nastiness and verbal abuse, but this show can also be guilefully sentimental at times and such warmth to the material is what we saw in Kanetsugu’s journey to “Master Samurai-hood”. For starters, it looks like we have a great friendship brewing in the backdrop as both Sasuke and Kanetsugu stood up for each other when they confronted a seemingly berserk Mataemon. In fact, I was ecstatic to see things not working against Kanetsugu this week – it’s not like the poor girl doesn’t try hard enough. It felt like a well-deserved reward to finally see Muneakira and Kanetsugu kiss, and the over-the-top action sequences that ensued were truly a remarkable sight to behold – especially Kanetsugu’s Naoe-Style Warhammer Technique!
With Muneakira locking lips left and right so frequently, I wouldn’t be completely taken aback if Matabe or Hanzou forms a kissing-pact with him sooner or later. They certainly seem to be interested in the idea, or maybe it’s just the frustration seeping through as they realized Kanetsugu has somehow leapfrog ahead of them. No question, I continue to be very impressed with this show and for my money, it’s probably the best comedy of the spring season. The Samurai Girl’s former foe, Yagyuu Gisen (Mizuhara Kaoru) will likely pay the Shinkage dojo a visit next week and judging from the sheer hilarity that she brought during season one, that can only be good news!
tl;dr: @SeishunRC – Kanetsugu has been added to Muneakira’s harem. I caught a #HatsuneMiku! #HyakkaRyouran #Anime
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