「アニケン, ヤットハイブ」 (Aniken, Yatto Haibu)
“Anime Club Finally Falls”
As it seems, the Principal’s decision to end the anime club was a red herring towards the real mystery behind his behavior; his role as the creator of Minoa’s favorite anime! Minoa tripping through the crawl space to his office began with the Principal being openly offended by the anime short, but as their conversation continues, he slowly unravels until the truth is out. This episode was very effective in how it revealed the Principal’s motivations and identity as he kept leaving a trail for Minoa and the club to track down the anime he directed, beginning from his familiarity with what Minoa was talking about via his other inspirations (If you wanna feel old, RahXephon was one of the anime that inspired the show Minoa loved as a toddler). I enjoyed how his taste in anime matches the shows he grew up with as Macross, Sailor Moon, and Urusei Yatsura appear in his thoughts.
It was pleasant to see how they establish quickly that the Principal isn’t outright malicious, and from his perspective, he was just a hardcore anime fan who happened to become disillusioned when the show he directed was cancelled in its first episode. His pain is relatable, at least to Miko, and his willingness to talk with Minoa about his passion for anime and have her take notes on how to look at it from a different angle make him extremely likable. He does leave by the end of the episode, but it would’ve been nice to see him helm the school being the passionate anime fan he is, especially since he regains his positivity after seeing that there were other people than Minoa who were huge fans of his cult classic.
Whereas the Principal is going along with everything merely because he wasn’t a fan of the anime short, Kouki is the real mastermind holding the reins towards the anime club’s demise. Even after the anime club falls for his obviously fake sob story to rejoin the club, he continued to look as sketch as possible about any development to find out the anime the Principal made (Kudos to the show for having 2chan save the day). However, their alliance looks like it won’t last so long knowing that Minoa just found out that a boy that looks like the split image of Kouki was one of the Principal’s classmates when he was a part of that anime club. What this means for the anime club, and how we’ll find out how Kouki kept his looks all these years will hopefully be reveled by the next ep. And if the OP is of any indicator, I’m wondering if Yui will have a deeper role in the future of the show, or if her memetic status as the show’s choice for tasteful fanservice will continue carrying on the tradition.