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Mikakunin de Shinkoukei – 09

「くつじょくです、はずかしめをうけました」 (Kutsuji Yokudesu, Hazukashime o Ukemashita)
“How Humiliating, I’m So Embarrassed”

Thank you Suetsugi! Thanks to you we have entered the lovey-dovey phase, and the lovey-dovey phase is the best phase of them all.

Clumsy On Command

I don’t criticize this show a lot because I haven’t seen a lot of things I felt deserved criticism, but here’s one: When Kobeni tripped out into the open at the beginning, I facepalmed a bit. I get that she was really surprised, but it felt like they were trying to splice dojikko into her character without it really working. Kobeni is just way too competent the rest of the time, so while her being flustered about love totally works, the tripping thing strained a bit. It’s a relatively minor complaint, but I thought I’d get it out there so no one can accuse me of being totally biased about this show. Just mostly biased.

Marriage Misunderstandings

Misunderstandings are delicate things; they’re staple comedic tools, but they can turn sour in a hurry. So far, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei has handled them well, and they were handled fairly well this episode as well. The misunderstandings were rampant – Suetsugi didn’t know Hakuya and Kobeni were engaged, then she thought it was an unwilling arranged marriage (and was half right), Kobeni thought Suetsugi actually liked Hakuya, Benio thought Mashiro actually liked her…

To be honest, the whole thing felt less clean than previous situations, where the misunderstanding was thrown out there, we had fun with it for a while, and then it was disposed of (Ex: the Valentine’s episode). These lingered, and some haven’t even been fully expunged yet. I think this is a sign that this is the point in the source material where the original author began trying to stretch this out a little bit, but with misunderstandings still being dealt with at a decent pace, I really can’t complain.

Shocked Kobeni

This episode was all about Kobeni x Hakuya, courtesy of Suetsugi’s meddling and Niko’s hounding. First was shocked Kobeni. Hakuya once again proved himself a good guy by vehemently denying that he and Kobeni were dating since he was trying to maintain the secret like she asked. There was no misunderstanding here (thankfully), but that twinge was enough to set the rest into motion.

Crying Kobeni

Then Suetsugi picked at the scab. She was right, of course – if Kobeni really didn’t want to be engaged to Hakuya, it would be unfair of her to string him along. If that were the case that is, and it’s clearly not, not anymore. Personally, I’m not a fan of arranged marriages – I think we should all have an opportunity to figure out who we love on our own. Yet sometimes these things just work out, and both Hakuya and Kobeni have been given the choice of breaking it off if they want to. If it works, it works, right? And these two work, as Kobeni has finally realized.

Lovey-Dovey Kobeni

This ushered in the best part of the episode: The lovey-dovey phase! I would scold Mashiro for outing Kobeni’s love for Hakuya for her, but when it leads to lightly tsundere blushing Kobeni, all is well! The lovey-dovey phase is what I’ve been looking forward to this whole time, so BRING ON THE HNGS~!

No Means No, Benio!

The other big misunderstanding of the episode was Benio thinking that Mashiro actually likes her, in face of all the evidence to the contrary. Benio’s reality distortion field is powerful enough for her to assemble a cult, so it should be no surprise, but I still had to laugh when I realized how dense she truly is! Bonus points for her proposing to Mashiro. They could get hitched at the same time as their siblings! (Never going to happen. From their side, I mean)

But Mashiro really screwed up. Now she gave Benio an actual reason to believe Mashiro likes her! That adds some nice flavor to the old jokes, just like Kobeni unwittingly wounding Benio has been livening up their interactions for the past two episodes. Keep it coming, Dogakobo. You’re doing great.

Looking Ahead – Benio Declares War

With Kobeni and Hakuya officially entering the lovey-dovey phase, I expected more lovey-dovey moments like what the upcoming White Day promises to give us, but the real surprise was that Benio has declared war. I guess I always assumed she would remain largely civil because she felt like she didn’t have a choice, but now that Kobeni is returning Hakuya’s feelings, it appears she’s out to expunge him for good. Between her looking like she was going to execute Suetsugi for making Kobeni cry (nice save, Kobeni!) and this, Benio is turning into one scary high school girl. Not that she wasn’t always scary. Stalker, molester, cult leader… No means no, Benio!

tl;dr: @StiltsOutLoud – Suetsugi pokes at Kobeni long enough to make her realize her feelings for Hakuya. Lovey-dovey time is here! #mikakunin 09

Random thoughts:

  • Loved Mashiro taunting Suetsugi. It’s nice to see her butt heads with someone who actually listens somewhat. Mashiro vs Benio really just isn’t fair.
  • Mashiro-tan x Suetsugi? I’m in.
  • Niko-chan sure knows how to cheer up her friend.
  • It felt a bit odd that Kobeni learned in passing why Suetsugi proposed to Hakuya, but she didn’t react to it. I wonder if that’ll come back up later on.
  • I can totally believe that both Benio and Hakuya believed Kobeni’s “There was something in my eye” lie. I wonder if dealing with Benio for so long will make it easier for Kobeni to deal with Hakuya’s protective tendencies?
  • Happy Hakuya is moe. Nom nom nom~

Check out my blog about storytelling and the fantasy novel I’m writing at stiltsoutloud.com. The last four posts: Combat scenes – Blocking & initiative order, Critical flaw, Sometimes, the fluff is everything, and Mental domination.

 

Preview

March 6, 2014 at 1:56 pm
34 comments »
  • March 6, 2014 at 2:10 pmFabio

    More ponytail Kobeni is good. :)

    • March 6, 2014 at 11:45 pmretsurai

      someone can tell me if hakuya will start act? i mean act at all? he doesnt do shit and the girl is falling in love with him. Sorry kobeni but until hakuya do something beside breathing your love is non-sense i say NON-SENSE!!!!

      • March 7, 2014 at 2:09 amCrook

        How does your rant relate to pony-tail Kobeni?

    • March 7, 2014 at 3:24 pmVaguelyOdd

      For some reason I find Benio’s insanity fascinating.

      She’s not as hyper-delusional as so many other anime characters who float off into protracted daydreams.

      She’s not as actively perverted as every other male protagonist side-kick from any harem rom-com.

      And she plays so close to over aggressive, as you both say, but has not yet camped on the other side of the line.

      Still – at least at a gut level for me – she come across as one of the more insane characters of the last few years.

      I think I started feeling this way after Benio reacted to the loli-mama’s reveal about their true nature with a bright “Sure, this works for me too.”

      • March 7, 2014 at 3:27 pmVaguelyOdd

        Oops, replied to the wrong comment.

        Still, kinda works here as this seems to be the random response section. :)

  • March 6, 2014 at 2:11 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    Just wanted to huggle Kobeni the whole episode.

  • March 6, 2014 at 2:34 pmAnonymosity

    Le gasp, Stilts criticizing Mikakunin!? I agree though.
    It’s kind of funny that the first thing that wasn’t done so well in this series was Kobeni tripping.
    The silly “that’s when I remembered I’m not athletic” monologue and its spoofed version at the end made me think even the author and/or the anime staff realized this, and tried to add in some comedic flavor.

    This just might be the first time I’ve seen that “I had something in my eye” one work.
    Although Kobeni almost doomed everyone in school for eternal cleaning duty with that line.
    I was kind of expecting to see Hakuya do extra cleaning at home.

    Hakuya’s face was awesome to watch as what Mashiro said sank in!

    And Benio totally entered the final boss mode right there at the end.

    Mashiro-tan x Suetsugi? I’m in.
    Stilts’ Yuri Curse(?) continues, although Mikakunin’s awesomeness kept the effect to the minimum (for now)

  • March 6, 2014 at 3:04 pmP Ko

    The crying is breaking my heart D: First Mashiro and now Kobeni… ;<

    I did enjoy the whole killing dirt scene just after though.

  • March 6, 2014 at 3:07 pmWanderer

    I figured the “I remembered I’m not athletic” was nothing more than an excuse for Kobeni being so shocked that she fell over.

    It’s kind of crazy how much “everyone’s thinking everyone else is thinking something other than they’re actually thinking” was happening in this episode.

    Now… Benio, I warned you before that there’s a fine line between “pervert” and “attempted rapist” that can’t be crossed if you expect to still be amusing rather than disturbing, but there is also a line between “siscon” and “yandere” that can’t be crossed for the same reason.

    • March 6, 2014 at 4:40 pmStilts

      I feel like Benio keeps edging up to that line and occasionally crossing it, though she usually crosses back before I really realize what happened. They’re balancing her comedic insanity well.

  • March 6, 2014 at 3:37 pmPancakes

    Personally I thought this was one of the stronger episodes, carried along the hilarious wave of misunderstandings featured this week. It shows the relative strength of this series that the only criticism which can be levelled at it remains minor and–in effect–highly subjective.

    Further adding to Mikakunin’s luster is how the series has not yet grown stale. The wonderful focus on character-character interactions is what carrying Mikakunin forward. As you mentioned Stilts the first signs of plot stretching are now popping up, but with three episodes to go and the humour unrelenting I cannot help but imagine this dark horse is going to go out with a bang.

    Best part though was Mashiro trying to be paparazzi snapping pics at Benio and firmly stating “I can blend in and be invisible!”, only to have Benio catch her, both times (albeit in the act only the second time). Then to have Benio completely delude herself into believing Mashiro is just a confused tsundere who needs some additional “tweaking”. My sides are still recovering.

    • March 6, 2014 at 4:39 pmStilts

      On the plot stretching-

      True, true. It feels like, were they to keep up the pace they had before, this may have needed to be a 10 or 11 episode series instead of 12 episodes, but since they had plenty of jokes to flesh out the full 12 they went for it. If these are the only signs of stretching then I’l be a happy Stilts, because that too is objective.

  • March 6, 2014 at 3:51 pmmagoiichi

    Hakuya is willing to kill dirt, what do you think he’d do to Benio if she tries to get inbetween his lovey dovey phase with Kobeni >:D? Benio is the final boss so he’d have to transform to go all out lol.

    • March 6, 2014 at 5:44 pmJ_the_Man

      We need more Male Leads in Romances of Hakuyo’s ilk. Loyal and competent. Straight to the point.

      • March 7, 2014 at 9:34 amAltherion

        I just really like Hakuya–originally, I thought he was going to just be a bland, lifeless husk. He’s not even anything remotely like that. I loved the whole…”I’ll kill it!” He seems so…normal and reasonable compared to the rest of the cast, then stuff like that happens.

  • March 6, 2014 at 5:13 pmFlareKnight

    I kind of liked how they used the clumsiness for a bit of humor. Kobeni’s memory has been big at times and this time it was just for a pun. Her falling was totally odd, but at least they tried to throw a joke in there.

    Kobeni was just the star for me this episode. She’s shown signs of becoming more interested in Hakuya, but “lovey-dovey time” has indeed arrived. Realizing her own feelings and being overwhelmed at times by that. Konoha has been key for some nice developments and pushing things along. Even a rival that honestly stands no chance (“tell me why I need to stay in 100 words or less”) can still trigger some development.

    This was really an episode I enjoyed a lot. Mashiro hurting herself there with the pictures, Benio being the truly alien being with her school cult, etc. I thought this episode also did a nice job with Hakuya. Not a vocal person normally, but when he does speak up it stands out. Wasn’t sure about him at the start, but now I’m pretty happy with his character.

  • March 6, 2014 at 5:43 pmJ_the_Man

    KILL THE DIRT! KILL IT WITH FIRE HAKUYO!

    Dat celebration goin’ on inside Hakuyo’s head. He clearly knows it’s game time now!

  • March 6, 2014 at 5:57 pminfo600

    Speaking of Valentines, White day rolls into Mikakuin next week (coincidentally, White day’s next week too). I wonder how much chocolate Hakuya’s going to buy…

  • March 6, 2014 at 6:29 pmmac65

    tripping thing strained a bit. It’s a relatively minor complaint…

    Not if she was holding her breath. Yeah, it’s minor, but I could definitely see someone become
    so unsettled that they literally forget to breath. I actually think they played this well in the episode.

    But as funny as this series has been, I honestly don’t see a hard conclusion to really anything happening.
    It’s just that kind of Anime, at least IMHO.

    Great post as always, Stilts!

    • March 7, 2014 at 12:29 pmStilts

      Thank you kindly!

      As for a hard conclusion, I wouldn’t be so sure. I think they’ll at least get closer to one, though I don’t think we’ll see their wedding & children in the next three episodes.

    • March 8, 2014 at 6:43 amBear

      I think they made a number of references (such as gym class) that Mashiro was rather un-atheltic and down right clumsy at times. Her tripping while she was upset isn’t really a stretch.

      • March 8, 2014 at 6:55 amBear

        Rats, I meant Kobeni not Mashiro!

  • March 6, 2014 at 9:01 pmGiorno Giovanna

    Death to Hakuya!
    How dare he attempt to steal Benio’s waifu!
    Omake: Nyantype Megami

  • March 6, 2014 at 9:37 pmTrapMaster

    Yes let the HGNNNN commence! The legendary lovey dovey phase, where 99% of the series fail because they just leave the epic finale kiss at the end and never go into the unexplored area of the actual lovey dovey phase, but mikakunin de shinkoukei has proven it wrong! All of my yeses, and light tsundere Kobeni is also fine :3

    BTW, Benio this episode is still ass funny as ever, love her 2 reactions with Kobeni, man, that was some awesome comedic materials right there!

    Mahiro-tan has the same taste as Benio, it only proves more why they should be together!!

    And again, loevey dovery phase, yes yes yes, I can’t wait, come on Hakuya, you can do it, only a few more steps before she’ll completely fall for you! I’m rooting for you buddy!! XD

  • March 6, 2014 at 9:44 pmCarVac

    I love the animation.

    This studio occasionally throws in a bump in animation quality.

    • March 7, 2014 at 12:30 pmStilts

      Agreed. Most studios don’t seem to take pride in their animation like Dogakobo does. They toss in awesome animation just because they can.

  • March 6, 2014 at 10:24 pmewok40k

    Comedy of misunderstanding finally enters dere-dere zone.
    We need Suetsugi to come thru with her feeligs for Benio and sacrifice herself to become her imouto, otherwise neither Kobenio nor Mashiro will be ever safe.

  • March 6, 2014 at 10:29 pm.Mero

  • March 6, 2014 at 11:22 pmKF

    Reality distortion field! I guess Steve Jobs inspired Benio somehow… and yes I find her being jealous of Hakuya to be adorable.

  • March 8, 2014 at 6:54 amBear

    One thing with Kobeni is that she is somewhat of a passive person. They’ve made it clear that grandpa pretty much ruled the family and since he made the engagement she has a hard time not going along regardless of her real feelings. Things do change however.

    The thing is Hakuya is, huh, not the smartest pup in the the litter if you get my drift. Can his species actually interbreed with humans? Then again didn’t his mom say something about having given part of his power (whatever that is) to Kobeni to save her. Does that make her a hybrid?

    • March 8, 2014 at 7:06 pmStilts

      I think they probably can, and I think Kobeni is a hybrid of sorts now. Maybe that’s the only reason she possibly can – I seem to remember Mashiro mentioning something like “it needed to be Kobeni” once – but if so that could easily be set up for any other of their species too.

  • March 8, 2014 at 9:04 pmbolton

    mikakunin does so many things at once but what makes it different from other shows that try to do the same is that it SUCCEEDS. the comedy mixes seamlessly with the tension that is starting to become more and more relevant in the development of kobeni and hakuya’s relationship. mashiro’s lament over benio does not seem to tire me, and suetsugi’s self-conscious ramblings are a very amusing addition to the show. benio gets more and more insane with each passing episode yet it is also undeniable that she retains all the wisdom an older sister can impart to her imouto.

    this cast of characters is very well made. while the plot slowly creeps on at a snail’s pace, you can hardly say there is any frustration because the comedy fills it out really nicely which makes it so that when the plot does actually come in, it’s an instantly gratifying experience that gets your heart pumping. watching kobeni squirm under the pressure of suetsugi and the engagement is a lot of fun and i eagerly await the “lovey-dovey phase” described in this episode.