Houki is deredere, Madoka is angry, and Sarashiki imouto is finally here.
Oh Houki, your principles are so flexible. I enjoyed how quickly she abandoned her supposed principles – though I think it was more of being embarrassed, not seeing the point, and not giving a fuck – in order to get a daito with Ichika. A maiden in love, eh? (Though Golden Time proves this can cut both ways). Better yet was how thoroughly delusional she was. Ichika wants to protect his nakama, and she mentally inserts her own name? Of course he does mean her as well, but you’re getting ahead of yourself, Houki-chan. Well, maybe…
What the photo shoot drove home to me is that Ichika really only reacts to Houki. (Bonus points for whoever guesses the manga I stole that line from. No worries if no one gets it, it’s a bit obscure). Maybe this is just Friday margaritas talking, but I don’t remember Ichika ever reacting to any girl – no, not even Char or Laura, though Char comes closest – as much as he does with Houki. He gets flustered by the ecchi, sure, but it never feels romantic unless it’s with Houki.
Now this may surprise you, but Houki being ahead actually doesn’t annoy me. I don’t hate her – she’s very cute when she goes into deredere mode, and I love how strong she is – I just prefer Char myself. It’s hard to escape the fact that Ichika seems to prefer Houki though. Not a bad choice, even if he’s passing up the frankly superior Char (fight me, other ships!!). One gripe though: her suddenly falling asleep and basically sleep-confessing to Ichika? So convenient. What high schooler falls asleep that quickly while being carried on he crush’s back? Mind the details, storytellers. They’re important.
It’s not just Houki, but all these girls are delusional. They know that at least five girls are angling for Ichika (and if you add in Tatenashi and, you know, the rest of the student body, the number shoots higher), but they all assume Ichika is going to pick them? Even had Tatenashi not thrown a wrench in things I don’t even think current favorite Houki should have expected to get the nod. Honestly I would have put my money on Laura, who if Tatenasi didn’t beat her to the punch would probably be Ichika’s partner now. You really ought to lay off on the pointless yandere antics though, Laura. Chifuyu doesn’t want a baka onna as a sister-in-law.
Special points do go to Char and Rin for trying to go after Ichika via his stomache. Even as a guy who can cook quite well and does so frequently, I can tell you that a woman cooking for me is very much appreciated, because not only will it probably be delicious (or I’m going to damn well say it does! The first few times, at least) but it shows they’re putting in time and effort for me. How great is that? They just screwed up when they didn’t ask Ichika to be their partner right then. The thing I liked was how believable the scene was constructed – it seemed natural that Char would wait until Ichika had enjoyed her food a bit, and also that Rin would intrude during their short lunch period. Uncommonly good storytelling for this series, that. You’ve gotta make a move, girls!
P.S. You’re still at the bottom of the rankings, Cecilia. Keep dreaming.
Sarashiki Imouto Appears
So Sarashiki Kanzashi (Mimori Suzuko) has finally been officially introduced, and she’s a mixed bag for me so far. First of all I like that she’s an obviously socially awkward introvert who likes to watch anime, because that’s something familiar to a lot of us, plus the show she was watching made me think of Samumenco, which is appreciated. What I didn’t like is that she’s passively waiting for a hero. I understand that passive women are attractive to a lot of guys and maybe in Japanese culture at large, but sitting around hoping someone will save her is not something I like. If this weren’t a harem story there’d be no one coming to save you. Save yourself, girl!
While I’m not sure how Tatenashi expects her imouto to not figure out she sent Ichika when he’s, you know, her roommate, what I liked is there actually being a reason for Kanzashi to be annoyed at Ichika. Sure, it’s not really his fault that building Byakushiki knocked her personal IS behind on development – it’s not like Ichika maliciously decided to screw her over – but it’s both reasonable and there’s finally a girl who’s not instantly smitten with the King of Dense. I’m sure she’ll get over that though. They all do. Lucky bastard.
This is half a sidebar, but I love tournament arcs. I’m not sure if I’ve ever written a post on this alone – though if so I need to – but what I like about both tournament arcs and sports anime is that the protagonists can lose. Unlike the main plot, where the stakes are often too high and defeat means death or worse, with a good tournament the protagonists can easily lose, and in fact a lot of them are required to lose since only one (or in this tag team tournament, two) can win. To me the quintessential tournament arc – or really just the one that made me love them so much – comes from the Negima manga. I’ll enclose my thoughts in spoilers since this is so tangential, and also awesome.
Looking Ahead – M Is For Medicine
So clearly it’s the upcoming tag team tournament that has me most excited. There is that whole thing with Madoka though, particularly those pill cases she had around her bed. That combined with Chifuyu-nee’s very specific reply to Ichika’s question and the physical similarity scream “clone” even louder to me. We’ll see, though hopefully after some tournament shenanigans!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Houki ship gets a boost as Sarashiki imouto finally enters the stage #is_anime 07
- The interviewer/camerawoman was awesome. Sure, I would have preferred Char, but she put Ichika and Houki in some delicious poses. At least someone is pushing one of these relationships forward!
- You want someone quick-witted, Char? So then not Ichika I guess. If Houki is going to win the harem express, I guess I oughta just start shipping Char with Laura instead. Franco-German relations go!
- I haven’t referred to this since it came out, but the promised Infinite Stratos 2 OVA has been released, and I have seen it. I’m not going to be making a special post on it because frankly I can’t be bothered, but here are my impressions in short: Cheaters never prosper Cecilia; Ichika got to hold & grope Char, DIE!; Houki is more manly than Ichika, and yet so womanly; Char feeding Houki!? HNG~; Laura is so kawaii when she’s happy about her prize; and the Ep1 preview of Tatenashi giggling is still amazing. Best preview ever. There, the OVA (really just an extension of Ep1) is commented upon! Feel free to join me in the comments and give your thoughts.
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Writing challenge – one short story, one week, Novel update: editing & short stories, My stance on piracy, and The three main rules of storytelling.
Full-length images: 11.