「秋葉生態系狂騒曲! メイドの萌え登り!!」 (Akiba Seitaikei Kyousou Kyoku! Maid no Moe Nobori!!)
“Akiba Creatures Go Wild! Let the Moe Festivities Begin!!”
Episode 09 of Akiba Maid Sensou is the first time I felt real fear for the girls in Ton Tokoton as they won the Lady Omoe Climb at the Akiba Maid Festival without being told what the ramifications of their victory would be. As they plan to make their victory lap, however, the gravity of the situation builds up enough tension at the venue to cut with a knife.
As mentioned earlier, this is the scariest episode we’ve seen yet because of how reckless their victory was. The Manager neglecting to tell the girls about the guidelines made it so that they were left without any information about whether competing would upset Akihabara’s entire balance.
The Manager has been starting to grate on me ever since she was willing to risk Nerura’s life to save her own hide, but she actively keeps throwing her girls into danger from one self-serving act after another. Abandoning them to spend the entire day at the city fishing pond is yet another scumbag example of her abandoning her cafe because she’d rather let the other girls lead for her. She only runs back when she gets a sign that Nagomi is in danger, but if she really wanted to save Nagomi, she would’ve told them that holding the line and taking the loss would ensure their survival.
But because the Manager was asleep at the wheel once again, lost the guideline, and never bothered to read it to the girls, Nagomi and Ranko took it upon themselves to lead with only the promise of getting more funding in the back of their minds. They were lucky that the only thing mindblowing about their victory was the Debt Collector’s head because the plot keeps on taking it out on the people holding Ton Tokoton back rather than anyone that actually works for the cafe.
I have no doubt that they’ll have Nagi share the same impulses that got Manami killed by the end of the show, especially since Ranko took her “be ruthless” advice to tell Nagi to take her ecosystem and shove it. But for now, we’re supposed to believe that there was a grand scheme to rely on the Festival to maintain the status quo they enjoyed until Ton Tokoton’s victory supposedly ruined it all.
AND I’LL RACE
I do have to give the episode credit though for building up the tension throughout the episode. Because they’re not relying on all the information they need to survive, we watch them risk an almost certain death as the other maids are horrified that Ton Tokoton went against the guidelines.
As if the lion and bear maids weren’t scary enough, it felt as if there was a loaded gun at the side of the girls that was itching to go off. It was thrilling and intense to see how Ton Tokoton threw caution to the wind to completely ignore what everyone else was saying to dive headfirst into danger without even knowing it. While we won’t know the repercussions until the next episode, the knowledge that they absolutely weren’t meant to win and that their victory would screw everyone over made for an intense relay race.
And then, there’s the winner’s podium scene, which was also incredibly intense. Knowing that Ton Tokoton screwed up badly for everyone in Creatureland, they are obliviously happy that they won as if they don’t realize that they were in danger the entire time. With all of the other Creatureland maids scared out of their wits about the ecosystem being disturbed by their victory, Ton Tokoton is left nervously wondering why you could hear a pin drop when Nagi went over to congratulate Nagomi.
With this in mind, I’d have to say I’m more than pleased with how the anime managed to pull off a company-wide relay race and give overwhelming gravity to the deep crap Ton Tokoton just landed themselves in. Compared to some of the other episodes that give Ton Tokoton a “Get Out of Jail Free” card to avoid any dire consequences, they make it abundantly clear that Ton Tokoton will have to fight through more harrowing obstacles than a couple of petty cafes.