「仕事さえすればいい.」 (Shigoto sae Sureba Ii.)
“As Long as You`re Working.”
Looks like I have a new favorite character… In this episode, we meet Ashley Oono (Numakura Manami), a 32 year old tax accountant with a sadistic streak and a gothic lolita outfit. Her introduction gives us an unexpected, but always appreciated, lesson about accounting and filing taxes as a freelance author. But because writing isn’t a cost-heavy occupation, Ashley is tasked to see what kinds of possessions can count towards work-related expenses.
Working with light novel authors is where Ashley’s creativity comes to the table in that she takes delight in digging through Itsuki’s hardcore erotic siscon novels and games to deduce that they’d be perfect to add as work-related expenses to put on his final return. While the episode name-drops real light novels and little sisters, his eroge collection is one of the most hilarious moments of the episode with the level of thought that went into some of the names of his favorite games. While Ashley’s musing on what a “sister wife” could possibly be, the betrayal Itsuki felt about a title where a little sister is killed by an anteater, and the supposedly sad ending to a short, vulgar title were funny, it’s the beat drop that came from her reading the title of his favorite imouto defecation consumption eroge that had me laughing til it hurt.
Ashley’s introduction also gave some long-awaited comedic relief to Haruto. It was a treat to see Haruto, who has otherwise been distant, fame-hungry, and slightly jealous of his peers, meet his match as Ashley recalls his massive collection of maid hentai. Because his maid fetish reoccurs in his work, she takes pleasure in reading the titles of everything that gets him off, and plays into his weaknesses by hinting the possibility of indulging in his lust for maids. A bulk of the fanservice came from her teasing Haruto with the temptation of putting on a maid costume to fulfill his desires, alongside the ED that mimics the American Beauty dream sequence, and the glorious end card. The last scene was a riot since we got to see how excited Itsuki was at the possibility of Ashley playing around with his imouto fetish, and outright declare that older age has nothing to do with how great of an imouto she would be.
The earlier Valentine’s Day segment was good fun as well with the gang bonding over some nice beer. One of the reasons why I’ve been head-over-heels with what this anime is trying to do are the the moments where the show pulls you aside to teach you about the types of beer that the characters enjoy. The beer in question is an Imperial Stout brewed by sponsor Sankt Gallen during the Valentine’s season to have the roasted malt replicate the flavor of chocolate. As a huge fan of stout, I can’t help, but love the representation the show has to stouts, and how they go into detail on how the emphasis on malt can give you notes of coffee and chocolate as opposed to lighter, crisper beers. Coffee’s where it’s at, so it’s torture to be incredibly far away from the stouts that the company and show have been peddling.
Valentine’s Day also gave the Editor some great screentime as we see him much looser than ever thanks to the healing power of beer. It’s very surreal to see him with such a wide, joyous smile after drinking with those who he’s been waiting to lay the hammer down on after traveling straight down to Hokkaido to force Setsuna to finish his illustrations. There’s also the instance where they shiptease Itsuki and Haruto as the former tries to get the beer from the latter’s hands. I do feel bad for Nayu considering that she sees Itsuki having a better time eating the chocolates that his fans sent him than the box that she personally gave him. We didn’t get to see as much of her this time around, but hopefully we’ll see more from her side with the next one.