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Asobi Asobase – 09

「エセ外国人の悩み / ダッチなワイフ / 遺伝子操作」 (Ese Gaikokujin no Nayami / Dutch na Wife / Idenshisousa)
“Troubles of a Fake Foreigner / A Dutchey Wife / Genetic Engineering”

It’s Olivia’s time to shine in this week’s Asobi Asobase with each of the three segments covering her house of cards falling over as her clueless foreigner act begins to work against her. The first section highlights how both Hanako and Kasumi’s first interactions with her and consequent friendship have shaped their idea of whether Olivia would truly want to undo the damage she has done now that others think she’s proficient in English. Hanako’s sentimentality over wanting to fool around with Olivia have made her want to help her take back her reputation by claiming that she knows Japanese well. Kasumi, however, finds that a combination of Olivia putting dedication to her act as a clueless foreigner and the possibility that her knowing Japanese well could make her popular enough to quit the Pastimers Club cause Kasumi to actively sabotage the letter Hanako makes to give Olivia a helping hand. With the Always Sunny comparisons this anime gets, this section gets the spirit of that show achieves with how the personal interests invested in each member of the cast results in a pattern of sabotage that ends up working against everyone.

With the next two segments, the laughter comes less from the characters’ self-destructive antics and more from the craziness that’s thrust upon them because of the circumstances that others outside of their circle cause. In the second one, Olivia being forced into an English competition ends up with Maeda working on an android that can take her place. The problem is that the android is modeled after a Dutch wife that resembles Olivia that only spouts out the slang that Hanako’s grandfather is familiar with, resulting in a self-aware android that brags about sexual escapades, profusely swears like a sailor, and constantly throws up middle fingers. Although the easy solution they should have done came about in a matter of minutes, it would be like the Pastimers Club to gravitate towards the quickest solution no matter how outrageous it may be.

As if they couldn’t top the swearing sexbot, the last segment dives into Olivia’s family as we learn about her older brother. There are many upsides to her older brother from his high academic abilities to the positive impression he’s made on Olivia. From Hanako’s view, she’s already planning on trying to get with him under the idea that he looks like Leonardo DiCaprio. The inconvenient truth about Olivia’s brother, however, is that he is an overweight otaku who worships the series Mahou Shoujo Pretty Kiss and has a creepy obsession with “raw” middle school girls. His desperate pleas as he begs Olivia’s teacher for the manga with hopes of finding out if Frenchy Kiss is safe places it all into perspective as the illusion of him being surprisingly endearing is continuously shattered. Even the moment at the end where he texts supportive messages to Hanako that make him look cool are destroyed quickly by Olivia showing off her brother’s cosplay. With this week’s Olivia-centric episode, Asobi Asobase continues building up momentum towards being one of the funniest offerings of the year.

September 3, 2018 at 3:02 pm
  • September 3, 2018 at 5:17 pmHalfDemonInuyasha

    I just couldn’t stop watching MechaOlivia. XD

  • September 4, 2018 at 3:07 amPuffles

    Everything about that otaku stereotype was corny on the level of a trashy “how to spot an ota at a goukon” article in a women’s magazine, except for the fact that he’s a blue-eyed foreigner, and it’s that combination that really made the character work for me. He’s not just a dork, he must have tried hard to be that way.

  • September 4, 2018 at 6:48 amBROOKLYN otaku

    Good stuff, but i would be interested to see which show people find funnier.

    This or chio chan?

    • September 4, 2018 at 8:44 amPuffles

      Overall I’d say Asobi Asobase, but I find some episodes of Chio-chan no Tsuugakuro funnier than some eps of Asobi Asobase. I think Chio-chan ep 5 is funnier than all but my best three episodes of Asobi Asobase (eps 1, 3 and 8). Each show has a different vibe though so I don’t see them as being in direct competition.

  • September 4, 2018 at 2:46 pmTerrence Ng

    I couldn’t help laugh so hard when Hanako straight up asked the brother “So were you adopted from Akihabara?” and Kasumi just yells “Hanakoooo!!”, the straight up savagery these girls say with a straight face. xD

  • September 8, 2018 at 9:05 amNamaewoinai