「暇つぶし / 友情ゲーム / 魔女裁判 / ノンタイトルマッチ」 (Himatsubushi / Yuujou Game / Majo Saiban / Non-Title Match)
“Killing Time / Friendship Game / The Witch Trials / Non-Title Match”
As the Pastimers Club is ready to launch, one question remains: What does this club do? The student council president aims to answer as she rejects their bid for their legitimization, citing their inconsistent and self-centered goals whether it’s to find peace, achieve popularity, or ace English exams. Because of such concerns, the girls are on a mission to find solid foundation for their club to build off of, granting themselves a seat at the table alongside other clubs by clawing their way through disciplinary rules and gain vengeance on those around them. In the process, Asobi Asobase continues to pick up the pace with genuinely hilarious comedy and segments that play to the strengths of each of the three girls.
The timing that the show has with both its imagery and sound design are its greatest assets for setting just the right tone for the jokes’ punchlines to hit. Although facial expressions make up a bulk of the material behind their physical comedy, it’s effective in amplifying the humor behind numerous scenes such as the student council president’s VP endorsing her ticket through transforming into Sadako from The Ring, or one of the teachers’ horrified responses to seeing Hanako’s make-up that looked like she was mugged by her friends. Additionally, the sound design is spot-on for the series as the music and SFX are absolutely hilarious. The recorder rendition of America’s national anthem from the first episode was funny enough, but Episode 02 maintains its humor with party whistles, “Taps” playing in the distance, and the demonic voice that censored Hanako’s expletives towards the girls that she thinks would wear make-up.
Its cast was also very funny this time around, yet also developed a small bit as they have become more accustomed to be around each other in the Pastimers Club. Olivia was able to open up to Kasumi about not knowing as much English as she let on, yet also used her manipulation tactics to mislead Hanako into thinking her make-up bag was brought in to research popular girls. Hanako is mostly known for her many faces, but we learn about her obsession with an absurd school-life version of Yu-Gi-Oh and how easy she’ll fall into trickery if it means having a shot at living as popular girls would, shedding light on how much of her witch hunts against the popular girls would quickly dissipate if she were ever able to join the cool crowd at some point. Seeing Hanako’s face light up at the opportunity to get a make-over from Olivia was a nice surprise in relation to the witch-hunt that drew her one wrong word away from burning Olivia at the stake. Kasumi has made a larger change as a result of the Pastimers Club as she went out of her way to let Olivia know she would still be her friend regardless if she didn’t know English well despite still retaining her intimidating appearance. Her playing along with the tennis tournament as she tried to use her experience with calculating numbers and physics to chase after the ball.
The supporting cast carries their weight well too as they help amp up the funnier jokes with how well they respond to the Pastimers Club. The council president was humorous in how she is befuddled by the fight that they put up to be legitimized despite their confusing goals, determined to beat them in a game with the fate of their club in the balance, and how, in spite of her efforts, she really wants them to come visit her again as she has been rather lonely since she won the vote. As far as the teachers go, the disciplinary teacher brought some of the laughs, but it was the tennis coach who was the funniest in this episode. She made it depressing to see Hanako leave the Tennis Club considering that she viewed her as a shining star unparalleled in its brightness compared to the popular girls who consistently lose games on purpose so they don’t have to get sweaty before mixers. Thankfully, Episode 02 of Asobi Asobase is able to keep the momentum going for the comedy as it brings a lot of laughs to the table and creates a solid foundation for future moments with the Pastimers Club.