Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru – 7

Episode 7 of Soredemo is all sorts of win. This is a series that has continued to grow in my esteem after a fairly slow start, to the point where it’s now one of the shows I most look forward to every week.

Sanada (heretofore known as “Eroyuki”) proves that last week’s star performance was not a one-off. We got some real development in his relationship with Arashiyama this week, and an opportunity for Irinu Miyu to show why he’s one of the best seiyuu in the business, drama or comedy. The entire first sketch was a joy to listen to as he and Chiaki Omigawa played off each other beautifully. That he’s hot for her is obviously to everyone in town – including her 4th-grade brother Takeru (more from him later) – except Arashiyama. When she falls asleep on his shoulder on the bus, Sanada proves he’s got some cajones by heeding his horoscope and taking a journey, intentionally missing their school stop and riding to the outskirts of town. He and Arashiyama then have a fun day cutting classes, as Sanada revels in a little hand-holding and Arashiyama reminds him why they stopped being playmates in the first place.

A great SHAFT moment

All that is just an appetizer, really, as the main course is another great mini-episode featuring Takeru. Kids on fun outings is the theme of the episode, as this chunk of it finds Takeru unable to sleep due to a disgusting energy drink Arashiyama gives him after dinner. Showing again that she really is a good sister who loves her younger sibs dearly, Arashiyama takes Takeru for a midnight stroll to burn off his energy so he can sleep. What follows is going to be familiar to anyone who remembers being a kid and realizing just how cool it was to have snuck out late at night, seeing a different side of the town you live in. Hotori affectionately shows her brother the town at night – Seaside as a hangout for the local merchants (complete with warning to stay away from it at that time of night), the ramen stand at the station, the convenience store, reveling in the awe these small things inspire in the lad. She even takes time to blow his mind with the concept of midnight (“It’s zero o-clock! How can zero be a time?”). Finally, they sneak back into the house and share a bath before bed, the clever Takeru having figured out that Hotori has clearly done this before…

Honestly, for all the things I like about this show – which is a lot – the sibling moments are my favorite. The relationship between Hotori and Takeru is just right – adorable but not unnecessarily saccharine. She just simply, quietly loves him – becoming a different person in her “Onee-chan” role than she is the rest of the day. He annoys her sometimes and she him, but there’s an acceptance and mutual dependence that’s perfectly portrayed. Clearly Hotori takes her role as guide and teacher to her younger siblings very seriously, and that’s a side of her character I really like. As for Takeru, he’s one of the most interesting juvenile males this side of Prince Chagum – he’s clever but patently innocent, energetic without being annoyingly hyperactive, caught up in the narrow fascinations of boyhood but slowly becoming aware of the strange world his older sister and the adults around him live in. It’s a slightly idealized relationship between he and Hotori – as a guy with two older sisters I can attest to that – but it captures the feelings attached to the happier side of our relationship with eerie accuracy.


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