「天津甕星 金星」 (Amatsu Mikahoshi -Kanaboshi-)
I’m not necessarily huge on the whole anime pilgrimage thing, but Nanao seems like it’d be a great one. I had no idea until Rob pointed it out in the comments on LiA last week, but Game Center Betty is a real place – Ojiro Makoto didn’t even change the name or the logo. They’re famous among “rhythm game” aficionados, and indeed they have cats on-site. The ramen place name-dropped this week is real too (and famous for the “8” narutomaki) and the area just generally looks beautiful. Maybe I’d even do some astrophotography…
This was the level-up episode for Ganta and Isaki’s couple status, to be sure. I love how each of this season’s romances knows how to highlight their couple in just the right way, and these two have their own charm which can hold its own with any of them. There’s an awful lot of staring at each other here – especially Isaki at Ganta, and she seems totally un-self conscious about it (unlike him). They’re both coming off a bit befuddled by this development in their lives, as if romance isn’t something either had ever remotely considered.
Isaki’s friends are a different matter. They talk a lot above love, but they don’t seem to especially know anything about it – it’s mostly schoolgirl whimsy like that “seven bridges” poppycock. They’re still in the “what’s the deal with Nakami?” stage at this point, with some clues it could become more combative if they knew the truth (which Isaki may or may not have admitted to herself at this point, but is undeniably clear for us to see).
Ganta, meanwhile, is struggling with the whole stellar photography thing – which, guess what, is actually pretty hard. He’s obviously quite a perfectionist and is growing increasingly irritated with his struggles to master this skill which he thinks he should take to naturally. Another outing to Betty is arranged, with Ukegawa inviting himself along, and Shiromaru-san dispenses some more advice along with instructions on how to set up a tent (which depending on the tent can be pretty damn tricky).
The big upcoming event at school is the seaside camping trip, which Ganta tries to get permission to bring a camera for but is denied. Which obviously means he’s just going to do it covertly but the weather has turned rainy, with no signs of improvement in the forecast. That leaves Ganta and Isaki with plenty of time to bond and waste time together, as she tries to impart some of her positivity on him. He proffers an invitation to the local fireworks festival – just because it’s good practice for the stars, you understand. And she extracts a promise to sneak out and meet on the beach at midnight should the weather on the camping trip decide to cut them a break.
The one wrinkle is that their classmate Haida Rui (Karino Shou), who’s sort of the anti-Ganta personality-wise, spots him on one of his late-night photo sojourns. Just what his original plan for this information was isn’t clear – as he says himself, he can’t rat Ganta out because he’d be implicating himself. That’s mooted, though, when their homeroom teacher eavesdrops on their conversation about it from a stall in the boy’s room (in actually teachers have their own washrooms in Japanese schools, usually with washlets, but I won’t quibble). Unfortunately, his “gaman” attitude towards “soft” illnesses like insomnia is all too common in Japan, and I don’t blame Ganta a bit for popping his top there…