Soredemo continues to evade the trap of predictability through 10 episodes. While last week featured time travel and a focus on a minor character, this week showcased space aliens, ghosts and starred a character who wasn’t a character at all until this week.
While the episode did in fact feature gibberish-spouting aliens (the translation code is in the manga) the best word I can ascribe to it it “low-key”. While certainly a slice-of-life show, more or less, the ground rules are now laid and it’s obvious that anything goes here, reality-wise. So we have Hotori stressing out over a news story about mysterious holes appearing on a building site – because she created them with a raygun (apparently) accidentally dropped by a space alien. The chapter is mostly an excuse for Kon to show off her brash, brassy personality. It’s not one of my favorite chapters from the manga and not one of the strongest in the anime either, as the humor feels a little forced. I would have preferred to see the much funnier “Space Adventure Romance” chapter animated if they were going to go the alien route.
Second story was a home run for me, starring that new character I mentioned. Grandpa is the husband of the Obaa-san from Seaside, but the catch is this – he’s a ghost, and only (most) animals can see him. Due to some sort of mixup he was never escorted to the afterlife and spends his time roaming around town and hanging close to his wife. I thought this bit did a wonderful job establishing the interior life of a ghost in an incredibly mundane existence – talking to cats (Kon’s, that is), talking to his wife and getting no answers, hanging around his old house or the cafe. It was almost poignant without being saccharine and it totally worked for me.
Running through this we had Sanada praying rather earnestly at the local shrine to get “closer” to Arashiyama, but having a damned hard time figuring out how to put it without offending the jobs. We also got our first glimpse of Josephine outside the eyecatches – she walks but doesn’t like to run, and is totally oblivious to Grandpa’s ghost. We also had a couple of short anime-original cut-ins with Takeru, which were most welcome as every interaction between he and Hotori is win. There was even a brief mention of the budding romance with Ebi-chan, which I hope will have one more turn in the spotlight before the show wraps.