「綱手島事件」 (Tsunade-jima jiken)
“The Tsunade Island Incident”
Seven episodes in and you know what’s missing? The designated beach episode! Every week which passes by seems to return MnR to the standard romcom format in form and appearance, and this episode certainly continues the trend. Masamune keeps on trying, Aki keeps on falling, but the cruel princess always stops just before giving in to our resident Casanova. I’m somewhat disappointed Aki has yet to actually break romantically towards Masamune given the fantastic buildup so far, but at least solace can be taken in the path there.
This week showcases how fun the path can be by offering up all the components which made me enjoy MnR in the first place. We have Masamune perform some hilariously perfect maneuvers, Yoshino reinforce her masterly function, and Aki continue growing into a half decent character. Yuisaki, however, was the strange inclusion I felt, mostly for her love of Aki’s male hatred and desire to see the cruel princess reach her final form. She seems a better fit for the likes of Kuzu than MnR for me, but that’s probably because Yuisaki was largely relegated to comedy relief (and fan service) here, what between the stalking and facing off against
Jason Yoshino in a duel of the horrors. Plus it’s hard matching up against Futuba and Kojuurou when the BL jokes all but write themselves.
The one taking the cake for me though is Masamune with his aggressive, over the top proclamation of dating the cruel princess. Besides hilariously turning Aki into a sputtering mess, it’s also another wonderful example of pickup strategy. Masamune here embodies frame, or—in very general terms—taking the conversational initiative. By boldly declaring Aki his girlfriend, Masamune stopped Aki from defining their relationship, and therefore sets the foundation for all further interactions. Although Aki’s need for appearances synergized with Masamune’s idea, his audacious actions are what offset Aki and opened her up to further flirtation. As I’ve highlighted before, this is where Masamune functions best, when he must improvise on the fly—none of that excessive planning and overthought. Still doesn’t solve Masamune’s problems with follow through—seriously, tease the girl, don’t obey her commands!—but when secretaries and mysterious rivals keep interjecting themselves, it can be hard finding a moment.
For Masamune’s benefit though, at least he avoided Yoshino’s wrath this week. I was not expecting Yoshino to become impatient with Masamune’s progress, but this definitely throws a welcome wrench into the situation. Combine that with Neko’s growing boldness towards the Casanova and Masamune is quickly running out of time to put his plan into action. All else considered, a strict time limit might just be the thing required to get Masamune back in form. After all with lots of newly revealed risks floating around, it shouldn’t take much to break the seduction rut Masamune currently finds himself in.
Who knew that loving men was the sure fire way to increase breast size. Always trust anime to give the important life lessons.