Mitsudomoe continues its hot streak with another rock-solid episode, this week revolving around the “Sports Day” theme, and looping back in some earlier moments from the series.
We start out with what must surely be the least subversive and cynical scene of the series so far, as Soujirou and Futaba rehearse for Sports Day on the empty athletic field the night before the event. Dare I say it, the scene is almost sweet – Futaba is certainly a Daddy’s Girl (and freakishly strong – carrying him on her back!) and Soujirou is certainly willing to do anything for her. This segues into the festival itself, and we return to more familiar tonal territory as Futaba shows her beastly side during the horseback event. Mitsuba has collected most of the hats, and seems to be using the event as an excuse to inflict pain – but Futaba wants those hats. Meanwhile, Hitoha has unwisely been placed into the jockey role and she’s terrified of heights. She’s unwittingly drawn into the battle between her sisters, who are ironically on the same team. More panty hilarity as Sugisaki, desperate to humiliate Mitsuba, reveals to the class that Eldest is wearing teddy bear panties. Alas for Sugisaki, this is old news – and to defend her position she‘s forced to back up her claim that she wears sexy adult undies. This, of course, drawn the intense interest of the boys, who begin to gather in a scene that could have come from “Middle School of the Dead” – to which poor Sugisaki responds by saying she’ll only show her panties to Mitsuba, which only makes her look more like the loser. Finally we have a skit where Yabe is ill and Hitoha – purely for selfish reasons, as in his absence the room is too loud for her to read – goes to the nurse’s office to aid his recovery. There she finds our nutty occult freak Sakiko painting sutras all over his soon-to-be-naked body. But at least Sakiko learns – this time she uses water-based ink, which promptly rubs off all over Hitoha, who uses herself as a human cushion to keep Yabe from falling on his head.
This ep wasn’t as uproariously funny as the last one, but still very clever and probably the most heartfelt one so far. There were some nice insights into each of the sisters’ characters. Hitoha remains wonderfully dismissive of humanity – her reference to Miyashita as “Miyawhatever-san” was probably the funniest moment of the episode. She’s utterly selfish but the most sensible of the triplets, often finding herself drawn into bizarre situations to try and cover up for others’ insanity. Futaba is, of course, utterly clueless, intensely competitive but devoted to her father. And Mitsuba, while superficially cruel, again shows her softer side here – in a nice nod to an earlier episode she’s the only one who still has the pencil case that Futaba made for the each sister from her own clothing. The supporting cast continues to be mined for great comic effect too, with Sakiko and Sugisaki in the spotlight this time. And it looks like we’re going to finally see Shinya’s groupies next week, which should prove an interesting addition to the cast.