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Mikakunin de Shinkoukei – 08

「妹の悲しみをいやすのは、妹」 (Imouto no Kanashimi o Iyasu no wa, Imouto)
“Only a Little Sister Can Sooth Sadness Over a Little Sister”

More Mayura, more Nadeshiko, more rebellious Kobeni, more broken Benio, more jealous Suetsugi, and–wait, did she say marriage!?

Nadeshiko & Mayura – The Rise of the Rest

This show has a lot of good characters, but I very much appreciate the strong supporting cast in Mayura and Nadeshiko. And here I mean supporting literally – so many shows lack basic things like existing friends for their characters, but here we have them. As for these two in particular, this was the first time I felt we got some serious time with Nadeshiko, and it’s a treat to see her deadpan tsukkomi for Benio. She kind of reminds me of characters like Hinagiku and Chiharu from Hayate no Gotoku (I’ve been catching up on the manga recently), characters who are responsible and dependable and therefore cannot support the comedy at all, but which are great support for their more bonkers friends.

As for Mayura, she just surprised me, even though maybe she shouldn’t have. From telling Niko-chan off (and following it up with some great gratuitous English) to being surprisingly perceptive about Mashiro and Suetsugi – I don’t think she truly suspects they’re more than human, but she’s definitely more insightful than most – she’s solid support for Kobeni and comes out with some good laughs at unexpected times. More Mayura please!

Rebellious Kobeni, Broken Benio

“It’s a secret!” HAH! As I’ve often said, talking about comedy is hard because it’s a subjective experience – plus you threaten to ruin the joke – but Kobeni’s rebellious stage + Benio’s brokenness really amused me. Part of it was the much-needed comeuppance – after how much Benio has harassed Kobeni and Mashiro, it was nice seeing her get an emotional beatdown, even if Kobeni delivered it by accident. Plus I thought it was funny, so points there.

Suetsugi vs Mashiro

More solid comedic writing! Something as simple as the wind on the roof howling too much to hear each other is a small detail that most writers would gloss right over, but here it was mined for delicious comedy. I also enjoyed them pointlessly racing to the roof, because it’s just the kind of useless fighting that I can imagine two teenage girls indulging in. (Well, one teenage girl and however old Mashiro is.) They also nicely intertwined the whole point of those scenes, them discussing how they’re both shapeshifters/youkai/whatever-they-are, with that jump off the roof. And then another gag! Beautiful.

Good Onii-chan Hakuya

Imoutos are so fetishized in anime that it’s nice to see a big brother just acting like a good big brother. Hakuya did that here, calming Mashiro down and giving her some chocolate (not to mention simply revealing himself when she was crying rather than staying hidden like he said he would). I liken this to all the terrible, dirtbag parents (especially fathers) in…well, all media, but definitely including anime, and then seeing fathers like Yanagi from Blood Lad. I still want to give him a damn medal, and Hakuya may deserve one too.

Looking Ahead – Did She say Marriage!?

Well color me surprised, Suetsugi ended up being a rival for Hakuya after all! I actually like how this was done, because while she clearly has little interest in Hakuya himself, it fits with the started-with-an-arrange-marriage vibe of this series. It just fits, in the same way that if Suetsugi was a boy you could imagine her trying to go all Hikaru Genji (trope!) on Mashiro, that hypothetical pervert. (Okay, she’s an actual pervert too.) But the real point is to see what Kobeni does about this, and that will be interesting to see. She gets along well with Hakuya and they seem to have good compatibility, but will she fight for him? It is an arrange marriage after all, and it’s not like she’s in love with him…yet. Maybe. I guess we’ll find out!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – The supporting characters rise while Kobeni breaks Benio & Suetsugi proposes to Hakuya. Did not see that coming! #mikakunin 08

Random thoughts:

  • The animation in this continues to be nicer than it needs to be, from when Mashiro broke free of Benio’s grasp to Suetsugi’s mad gymnast skills. Swiftly approved!
  • Mean girl Kobeni is kind of nice too.
  • Gendo Benio, run away!!
  • I agree Hakuya. There’s nothing wrong with Kobeni’s chest or butt. Viva la kyonyuu & child-bearing hips!
  • Fatality!

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Critical flaw, Sometimes, the fluff is everything, Mental domination, and I never get to read my own work.

 

Preview

February 27, 2014 at 11:53 am
38 comments »
  • February 27, 2014 at 12:02 pmHelvetica Standard

    Hmmmm… I still don’t get why the first frames of the opening are so pointlessly sexy.

    • February 27, 2014 at 12:06 pmStealth

      Because men exist

      • February 27, 2014 at 12:11 pmStilts

        Because if you’re going to put fanservice in a show where it doesn’t belong, the best place to put it is the non-canon OP. I think it’s brilliant. (Also, Kobeni’s kyonyuu are amazing)

    • February 28, 2014 at 12:49 amKF

      Because it works?

    • February 28, 2014 at 7:12 amK.Alm

      I kinda see the OP photos as ones from Benio’s collection/album. What other pictures would she have? \o/

    • February 28, 2014 at 3:04 pmAxe Armor

      I agree that it’s weird, but I’m far too into Kobeni to engage the topic critically. Formulating this response turned into an excuse to watch the op another five times.

  • February 27, 2014 at 12:13 pmFabio

    Ponytail Kobeni is the best Kobeni. :)

  • February 27, 2014 at 12:22 pmJ_the_Man

    Everything is so right with this show.

  • February 27, 2014 at 12:36 pmPancakes

    Loled at how much discussion was placed on Kobeni’s big a*s. Gets the thumbs up from finally moving the stereotype away from embarrassment about small breasts to embarrassment over hips fit for child bearing :P

    There is nothing really groundbreaking here in terms of story or comedy, yet somehow it’s still so damn funny. Already confirmed as this season’s dark horse, seriously doubt it’s going to crash and burn now.

  • February 27, 2014 at 1:24 pmAltherion

    Two things:

    I’m really enjoying the way they work Hakuya into things. It hits home just how good he is at blending in when he’s standing there at home quietly stirring a pot while the girls chat and banter around him. I like it because the studio is doing a really good job of making him a subtle presence (but still more than someone the girls just talk about)–the first time through the scene I was…”Wait! Hakuya was there the whole time?” Rewatched it and caught the disembodied spoon stirring the pot and was like…”Yep.”
    ——
    @Fabio: All I can do is agree…and blame Fumoffu for my obsession with ponytails.

    • February 28, 2014 at 9:44 amStilts

      True, true! I liked how they subtly had him there, even when he isn’t always talking. It’s good conservation of detail. He’s really coming alive more that he’s gotten comfortable enough with Kobeni and the others to be around them consistently, even if he’s still quiet.

    • February 28, 2014 at 11:43 amCybersteel

      Kuroko

    • February 28, 2014 at 12:34 pmFabio

      I blame Kimagure Orange Road.
      Madoka and her ponytail….hnnnnnnnnng.

  • February 27, 2014 at 1:35 pmSoliloquy

    I have no idea how they managed it but still strong character dynamics as ever. In my opinion all the episodes for this anime had something to offer.

  • February 27, 2014 at 1:39 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Next thing you know…

    *Mayura* People die when they are killed!

    lol

  • February 27, 2014 at 1:59 pmP Ko

    http://randomc.net/image/Mikakunin%20de%20Shinkoukei/Mikakunin%20de%20Shinkoukei%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2038.jpg

    Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww……

    That entire scene about butts and boobs was hilarious.

  • February 27, 2014 at 2:05 pmAnonymosity

    Although this whole episode was all kinds of awesome on several fronts, I found myself enjoying Mayura the most this time.

    She caught my interest before as the supporting character who seemed to have something going for her (something else than just being there I mean), and now that we saw what she’s capable of, it was great. Also, broken English always cracks me up.

    And the ending comic was pretty hilarious in its simplicity. “Zisu isu E kappu”, “Zisu isu rabu-komu”.

    • March 1, 2014 at 8:45 amStilts

      Agreed! And her engrish isn’t even that bad :D

  • February 27, 2014 at 2:29 pmewok40k

    Mayura definitely surprised me with her level-headed putting the nosy reporter girl into her place. Her bluntness is a fresh wind in the usual japanese “too polite for own good” routine.
    Anyway this show if brilliant again with one misunderstanding between characters A and B creating waves of further misunderstandings affecting C and B, C and A, an even possibly starting a war between C and D, plus jumpstarting a rival ship of C x E…
    So Benio mistakes Kobeni keeping Hakuya’s and Mashiro’s species secret for rejecting her (way too strong!) sisterly love. This makes Suetsugi believe Benio has learned of her “disgraceful” conduct, and then think Kobeni is blackmailing her, and leads to confrontation between Suetsugi and Mashiro, with Suetsugi mistaking Mashiro for a rival to the graces of Benio-sama, then getting the same idea for Hakuya, only to switch for a marriage idea.

  • February 27, 2014 at 2:30 pmWanderer

    One thing I like about this is that we can see that Konoha isn’t a bad girl. Yes, she’s kind of dense, and a little perverted, and she keeps getting into situations that put her in conflict with our main characters, but we’ve seen her thought processes, and we know she isn’t a bad person.

    On another note, I was glad to see Kobeni tell Benio to go mind her own business, even if it was completely by accident. Amusing as Benio can be, she’s been overdue to have someone who she’ll actually listen to smack her down a bit.

    • March 1, 2014 at 8:49 amStilts

      Agreed. Suetsugi may currently be “opposed” to the main cast in ways, but they’re not pointlessly painting her as evil. That means she can come back to the light side later on! \o/ (When she gives up on Hakuya dammit.)

  • February 27, 2014 at 2:48 pmCatsrofl

    Good episode overall but I definitely enjoyed the dynamic between Benio and Kobeni the most though. Also is it just me or was that seventh sense thing a saint seiya reference? Since if I remember correctly they do achieve seventh much later in the series.

    • February 28, 2014 at 4:42 amReverseTales

      She’s already mastered Hakuya’s instant movement. Funny how no one mentioned it though (the scene where she spots Kobeni in the hallway).

      • February 28, 2014 at 10:07 amlol

        when you have a siscon level over 9000, you can pretty much defies reality, lol

      • March 1, 2014 at 8:49 amStilts

        The Onee-chan Warp is a fearsome skill indeed

  • February 27, 2014 at 6:01 pm*v*

    THIS IS E CUP!

  • February 27, 2014 at 8:00 pmLonghaul

    Niko means well but that paparazzi style reporting, Kobeni or Hakuya are gonna have to be a bit more forceful for her to get a clue.

  • February 27, 2014 at 9:01 pmhjerry

    There are two things that I’m most still looking forward to, in this series: possible couples going on dates (probably with half the cast spying on them, I’d bet), and actually seeing what powers Hakuya and company actually have. This show has been so goo, so far, though, that I can wait.

  • February 27, 2014 at 9:59 pmTrapMaster

    Ahhhh so much HGNs in this episode with mashiro-tan~!

    I love how Benio thought Kobeni hated her just because she kept a thing or two away from her, but watching her break down was quite funny, and I love how Kobeni makes things worse by saying things in such a misleading way.

    The animations, it’s flawless, it’s so nice and it flows so nicely. Kepp it up, Dogakobo!

    And of course, we all love Kobeni’s kyonyuu and awesome child bearing hip. It’s ok Kobeni, even if you mind, I absolutely will never judge your butts, Hakuya took the words right out of my mouth, “It’s not a bad thing” words of a wise man!

    Man this series is just never getting dull, each episode, it has something fresh and I just can’t stop laughing at each of the gags in this series, and Kobeni is best waifu, so of course this show is so awesome :3

  • February 27, 2014 at 10:09 pminfo600

    You know what I think? I think Benio needs a “Bright Slap” ASAP, just to get her mind straight.

    That and Hakuya needs to make a more flashy move on Kobeni just to send a message to Suetsugi.

    At least Kobeni’s self consciousness is still cute after all those weeks. (makes up for all the drama around her)

    • March 1, 2014 at 8:51 amStilts

      Hakuya, flashy moves? I doubt it!

  • February 28, 2014 at 9:02 ammac65

    I kinda knew something like this was going to happen. I mean,
    I didn’t really believe that Kobeni x Hakuya was ever going to go all the way
    to the alter, and this provides an out, even if it’s not the other girl, for
    each to reconsider.

    Funny so far, definitely one of the better this season!

    • March 1, 2014 at 8:53 amStilts

      I think Kobeni and Hakuya are still a destined item, this was just give Kobeni an opportunity to actually choose that instead of going with the flow like she has been.

  • February 28, 2014 at 12:02 pmGiorno Giovanna

    Benio is my idol.
    I can’t get enough of super perfect and super perverted lolicon girls.
    Especially admiring them when they’re so deep in thought.
    Both her and Kurugaya seem to have a bad habit of teleporting to grope little girls.

  • February 28, 2014 at 2:57 pmZannafar

    Did Benio tell Nadeshiko about Hakuya and Kobeni’s engagement before and I just forgot about it or did Nadeshiko just suddenly know about it this episode.

  • March 1, 2014 at 2:52 amActus

    …and a second ship sets sail in the distant waters…

  • March 2, 2014 at 6:39 amKulticose

    I hope this brightens everyone’s day: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s4tpF-AtXzs

  • March 27, 2014 at 4:20 pmBrittany

    Is the Manga in English?
    Will there be a second season?
    ._.