I think I’ve figured out Arashiyama. She’s an idiot savant – OK, the focus is on the idiot, I admit. She’s incredibly dense about lots of things, guitars and computers being two prime examples this week. But she’s not a straight-up baka, either – she’s actually quite clever about detective stuff and gets good grades in everything but math. Problem is, she has no filter and no brakes – she’s a full-steam ahead locomotive of ideas, most of them bad.
I didn’t find this episode as winning as last week, but it definitely had its moments. I’m really enjoying the banter of the three shop owners who seem to be Seaside’s only customers, aside from Sanada. And we met a new character this week, the antique shop owner. Her skit involving the mask, the box and the birthday confusion wasn’t spectacular, but the second and third were better. In the second, Sanada got his most extended screen time since the first ep, as the girls descended on his house to use his PC. Poor Eroyuki deleted his virtual porn for no reason – Arashiayama never even used the computer – and she found the printed stash he’d so carefully hidden anyway. Best of all was the final sketch, where Hotori and Tatsuno go to visit a very ill Kon. We finally see the bass from the ED – Hotori hilariously mistakes it for a “beginner’s guitar”, and Tattsun-pon even more hilariously tells her she’s “an inch from being punched by every bassist on Earth!”. Kon gets better, but everyone else in town seems to be getting sick – except Hotori. Remembering the old Japanese adage about idiot’s not getting colds, she laments that “I feel so healthy it makes me sick!”
One last note from me is this – I think this might have been the most “Shinbo” of all the episodes so far. The “Poko” intercuts seemed more numerous and really annoyed rather than amused me for the first time – Shinbo’s too-cleverness interfering with the story. Yet the slow-mo shot in Kon’s room after Tatsuno flipped the amp on was pure genius – one of the great visual moments of the season. Forget Sanada’s “Dark side and Jedi” moment – that’s the dark side and Jedi of Shinbo right there.