Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru – 3

This one is really growing on me. Sometimes oddball shows – especially comedies – kind of chip at your resistance until you let yourself enter their universe completely. The somewhat demented sense of humor here is working better for me every week. It’s SHAFT – and Shinbo – so you know it’s going to look interesting, but this is one of those SHAFT series like Natsu no Arashi that keeps the visual gimmicks to a minimum. The result is a show that’s always fun to look at, with jarring imagery and detailed backgrounds that you don’t always notice until they factor into the plot.

The Eyes Have it

This week’s theme was “Eyes” – starting with a shot of Van Gogh’s self-portrait. Arashiyama’s math teacher Moriaka – upon whom she’s seriously crushing, of course – has become a regular at Seaside, and this time he brings a pair of paintings left by his grandfather. Despite his confirmed belief that she’s a baka, he knows Arashiyama loves mystery novels – and tasks her with determining the story behind the art. She does, much to her maid colleagues surprise. Then, another hilarious shopping trip for carrots and onions – complete with fruitless visual aids to jog her memory – gets sidetracked by a “boy” trying to lure a cat out of a narrow alley. Turns out the boy is a girl, the fourth maid from the ED – Kon Futaba is her name, and she’s Arashiyama’s senpai. That’s a problem as Arashiyama thought she was a 12 year-old bishounen and said a bunch of things you don’t say to your senpai in Japan. The most memorable thing she said during their encounter, though, was one of the worst puns of modern history – “Squid pro quo”. Ugh – it hurts so good. Things wrap up at school when Arashiyama realized the truth about Futaba, who promises to be a major character in weeks to come.

Oniorrot

Though the last ep didn’t necessarily make the deepest impression on me as I was watching it, I confess I found myself looking forward to the next episode of this series as much as almost any this season. Arashiyama is one of my favorite characters for a while, a tour de force comedic performance by Omigawa-chan. She’s surrounded by a winning cast of oddballs – Moriaka, the cop, her fellow maids, Futaba, Sanada, her siblings – all of them have made an impression with limited screen-time. That’s reminiscent of Shinbo’s Natasu no Arashi too – and though the source material is totally unrelated I can’t help but think of this as lighter, more cynical cousin of that hugely underrated series.

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