「初めての経験って恐怖と興味が共存… ライムだけどね. / 幼い頃に観たオカルト映画の恐怖は140%増しだよね.」 (Hajimete no Keikentte Kyoufu to Kyoumi ga Kyouzon… Rhyme Dakedo ne. / Osanai Koro ni Mita Occult Eiga no Kyoufu wa 140% Mashi Da yo ne.)
“First Experiences Are Scary and Fun All in One… Pardon the Rhyme. / Occult Movies You Watch as a Kid Are 140% Scarier.”
It always feels good to have episodes that coincide with the real life season. To balance out the Wintery holiday scenery of Sakura Quest, it was a relief to get back to the pool before the summer is 100% over. The public swimming pool was a great back-drop for learning about both how the main girls and Manami’s siblings interact and the standards that the world’s races have regarding swimming. Manami is a tough mother figure to her kitten sisters, the Chi-chans, largely because they’re the most keen on hanging out with everyone. Swimming at the deep-end or climbing all over everyone is an issue, but the episode handles everything calmly, and in good fun. The triplets are hurt, but Sassassul still pays them enough attention to offer them a fun time. Himeno’s little cousin Shino had a very cute moment with Manami’s youngest sister Sue as she helps her enjoy the pool despite being too delicate to get too wild in the water.
We also learn about how some of the races have an easier time swimming in deeper surfaces. Himeno and Shino weren’t able to swim on a decent level until they went in the deeper competitive swimming pool where the mermaids dive in. Speaking of mermaids, the episode revisted the mermaid/cat couple from Episode 2 in explaining how mermaids are able to get in and out of the water with assistance. Sassassul shone particularly in this segment as she won over Manami’s sisters who were fascinated with her mouth and got her on the first step to overcome her fear of water as a result of the water in Antarctica being a death trap. I was worried it would be a deeper issue for her, but her freaky feeling seemed to wash away as soon as she towered over the shallow end of the pool.
The horror story plot is to be continued in the next episode, but it isn’t as gripping to me because the AV club guy isn’t presented as likable. He’s shown as a creep that has to rely on others to help him get with a girl he likes through scary stories despite knowing she doesn’t care for anything other than realism. He also gets excited enough about Himeno’s help that he dives face-first into her breasts. He didn’t think any of this through, but it’s up in the air whether he’ll get a wake-up call in the next episode or if the girl he likes is secretly a fan of ghost stories. The most interesting part of it is the glasses guy in the corner who is more mysterious than he looks, but the second half was relatively weak compared to the first half’s cozy pool trip.