「これが経産婦だと」 (Kore ga Keisanpudato)
“The Woman Has Given Birth?”
A loli okaa-san who isn’t what she appears. Revelations all over the place! This show is burning through plot like it’s going out of style, and it’s great. This is the season’s dark horse for sure.
Dogakobo Is The Best Anime Studio Operating Today
How’s that for hyperbole for you? Okay, while I may not call them the best anime studio – in truth different studios are great at different things, and I don’t enjoy ranking things like that anyway – they are certainly among the best, and this episode shows why. Not only have their last few shows all been great – GJ-bu, Love Lab, and back into Yuruyuri – but there’s real artistry in how they adapt anime. Take this episode. This is only the fifth episode, but they didn’t run the OP because they had too much they wanted to get through.
From a strict financial perspective, this was probably a bad move. Replaying the OP is waaay cheaper than animating whole new sequences, especially when replaying the OP is assumed and therefore they wouldn’t be penalized by the fans for it. But they didn’t do that. Why? Because they want to tell the best story they possibly can. I can feel that in everything they do. They tell us the best story they can, and they assume they’ll be rewarded for it by the fans. Yes, they’re not creating new series nor are they venturing far outside the genres they specialize in, but there’s clear pride in what they do, and I see it in every series they produce. Compared to the corporate machine of studios like KyoAni, I’ll take those who adapt with artistry and pride like Dogakobo and SILVER LINK any day of the week.
Tangent over, back to the episode proper.
First things first: the jokes about Mashiro’s size and childish appearance never get old. From Benio sticking her in those cat pajamas to Mashiro turning around and actually liking the underwear Benio got her, it’s adorable and funny to watch her deny being the kid she is.
Which brings us to the second point: Mashiro’s age. I was struck by how normally Hakuya and Kobeni were talking when Kobeni asked about Mashiro’s age (more on that in a minute), but also how, when push came to shove, they fessed up and admitted that Mashiro is nine. They’re using the old tactic of keeping secrets up until when Kobeni asks the right question, at which time they’ll fess up. I feel like they really don’t want to keep anything from Kobeni, they just feel it’s necessary to ease into these things. Understandably so.
Hakuya & Kobeni – Talking Normally
Hakuya character development ga kiiitaaaa!! I said last episode that I wanted to see Hakuya trying more, and lo and behold, this episode he was. He was clearly more comfortable talking to Kobeni, which made for more progress in their relationship. This is good for two reason: 1) it’s easier to root for them when both sides are trying to make it work and have feelings for each other, and 2) it’s an accurate portrayal of how getting to know the seriously introverted works. People who tend towards introversion only seem to “come alive” once they warm up to you, and that’s what Hakuya is doing now. The problem is that most shows can’t afford the time to let one of their main characters warm up to the rest, so they tend to either A) already be familiar with some of the cast or B) are more extroverted. Mikakunin de Shinkoukei took the time to show how it works, and did it well.
The Loli Okaa-san of Plot Reveals!
The pace of the revelations in this show is blistering, but only because I keep assuming they’ll want to hold some back for later episodes. I did not expect for Mashiro and Hakuya’s mother, Mitsumine Shirayuki (Komagata Yuri), to start spilling their secrets left and right! Let’s take stock: They’re spirits of some sort, with Hakuya at least being a big dog, the secret can’t get out, their numbers are shrinking, Hakuya gave Kobeni half of his power which is why she sometimes falls ill aaaand Kobeni is down! In a single swoop they justified Kobeni’s sick spells, not to mention giving a good reason for the amnesia itself, though that wasn’t revealed yet. I think I’m dizzy too!
As for Shirayuki-san herself, she wasn’t what I expected. First of all, her voice. I expected her to have a more loli-like voice, but she didn’t. And you know what? Good. That’s another expectation defied, and it allowed her to be much more motherly without it seeming ridiculous. Which I liked, including how she so easily forgave Mashiro when she admitted she lied. Best of all were Kobeni’s reactions to meeting her and her casual groping Kobeni’s chest. Plot and comedy, all in one adorable (and bold!) package!
I get it, I so get it Hakuya! When you see a kawaii girl trying her best or being cute you just want to pat her on the head or poke her pouting cheeks! Though my reason is because I’m tall and cheeky, while Hakuya has a better one. I thought it was a nice touch that he pats Kobeni on the head because he liked it when she did that to him when they were younger. I’m waiting for her to do it while he’s in his human form, d’aaawww!
I wish loli mama had stayed longer, but oh well, I’m sure she’ll be back. For now I look forward to seeing Kobeni’s reaction to the whole “not human” thing, which I’m sure will be favorable. I mean, she’s practically Hakuya’s wife already!
tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Loli mama isn’t what she appears, & comes bearing massive revelations. The head pat & cheek poke, d’aaaww! #mikakunin 05
- Kobeni has no faults and is pretty much amazing. Sorry Mashiro. So blinding!
- “Are we in a manga?” No Benio, you’re in an anime.
- Ponytail Kobeni is nice too.
- The loli okaa-san got lost. Isumi, is that you!?
- This series’ English title is “Engaged to the Unidentified”. Well, that makes a lot more sense now.
- I traditionally don’t like it when characters randomly run into each other, but this time it works because Kobeni had a good reason to be out and where she was (near her own house), as did the loli okaa-san (who was trying to find said house). It’s when characters bump into each other at random places they’re hardly ever at that I start ranting. Another point for Mikakunin de Shinkoukei.
- Loli mama in neko pajamas, hnnnngg! It looks like Mashiro got her size and love of sweets honest. Hakuya must take after his father.
- I will never meet a girl who blushes like Kobeni. Zetsubou deshita!
Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Unexpected directions, The market has spoken, I can quit anytime, so I don’t have to, and Admiration & those who try. My current combo counter: 26 days long.