「カイカイ, ラブクライマックス」 (Kaikai, rabu kuraimakkusu)
“Kaikai Love Climax”
This was a huge episode for Kaikai as he of all people built up the guts to confess his love to Miko. To think we’d get a love confession this early in the anime club show of all places is quite the accomplishment. Or at least, it would be if he was facing in the right direction! Kaikai botched his confession by facing directly towards the doorway where Kouki happened to be standing. Of course they wouldn’t go far enough to fully establish a couple that early. The misunderstanding did create a funny scenario though where Miko’s penchant for yaoi couldn’t stop her from getting excited about the prospect of shipping Kai and Kouki together.
Although it was all for naught, for the time being, it does show that Kaikai is a more dynamic character than his chuuni sorcerer shtick makes him out to be. Even in his most esoteric magic-speak, he is still sorting out his normal feelings about romance and affection, and is trying to get advice for how to handle the feelings he has bubbling up for the anime club girls. Other shows would just try to stick characters like him with their obsessions as one-note comic relief, but giving him the task of dealing with the first time he’s encountered love throughout the episode’s trip goes hand-in-hand with the “glasses off” scene as times that Animegataris is taking the initiative to give him more to work with. There’s also a wink at the audience about censoring in anime when his determination to have his feelings be revealed causes his clothes to burst, having him wear nothing but the famed “God Rays” that aid censors in blurring out genitals. As silly as it is shown, I’m skeptical about whether it’s just a joke or if they’re going to try to incorporate it when they eventually get to the supernatural stuff in the show.
Additionally, Miko gets some of the spotlight as well by giving us details on her other quirks. Admittedly, Miko is much more captivating when she’s gushing about light novels and their place in the anime world, but it was cute to see how ecstatic she got when she got creative with the potential Kaikai/Kouki ship. Kaikai’s perspective also made her look very attractive, but hopefully, they do as much for her character as they’ve done for Kaikai so far. She has a lot of potential for growth since she does reflect back on how Minoa helped her make up with Arisu after their first spat. There’s also a small funny tidbit when she’s one of the girls who peeps through her hands when Kaikai arrives in the forest wearing the “God Rays” other than Erika who makes no effort to cover her eyes. I am worried that there will be an implosion if Erika catches onto Kaikai crushing on Miko or Minoa given what we know about her friendship and glances at Kaikai, but that’ll be something to keep in the back of our minds as the episode reaches its second half.
While Kaikai’s affection is the most development we get of the cast in this episode, the remainder of the runtime is spent as a love letter to anime destinations. Their trip to the anime destinations in Girls Und Panzer is skimpy on other anime references save for a montage of other popular destinations like the forest from My Neighbor TotoroAnimegataris is also one of the few anime to show enough restraint to make their hot springs scene as tame as they can without guys trying to climb over the wall or the girls comparing boobs.
I am confused as to how Minoa got tied up that intricately when she got lost in the forest, and refuse to believe she just tripped over some vines, but I can’t say for sure whether they’re going for something beyond that. The anime has spent the last five episodes shying away from the weirdness that was hinted at in the first episode, but we’ve been getting small bread crumbs of something to come. I just hope they’ll start committing to it soon and won’t leave it to the last episode or two to get in motion.