「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
- 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!
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.