We got a welcome break from blood and guts this week in an episode that was heavy on the humor and slice of life, with a dash of plot development thrown in at the end. It wasn’t the most eventful ep you could want but it solidified this series as a rather enjoyable one for me.
Things started out zany as Haruna had a rather amusing dream about her lost Masou Shoujo powers and battling a pudding, only to be awakened by one of the more bizarre alarm clocks this side of a Dali painting. For most of the episode she, Yuu and Sera are busily engaged in a series of contests to determine who gets the last pudding int he fridge – which should give you an idea of the lighter tone this week. These include Mah Jong, Twister (my favorite) and finally bowling. It’s at the bowling center where they cross paths with Ayumu, accompanying BFF Orito on a sort of pity man-date. Hi-jinks ensue as Ayumu tries with predictable results to keep his new living arrangements secret from Orito while the latter engages in increasingly lewd and preposterous fantasy sequences about the girls while drinking “Dr. Popper”.
Here’s where things begin to take a somewhat more serious turn. Orito brings Ayumu to the hospital to visit his younger friend Kyoko. Kyoko, as it turns out, knows Ayumu from middle school – though he doesn’t remember. She also pulls her hair into twintails at his request and he seems immediately smitten with her. What’s more, Kyoko was a victim of the serial killer – who killer her parents and wounded her badly. He gently prods her for a description, which to his horror sounds exactly like Yuu.
While at the surface this series is all about comedy, there’s some sort of hidden depth to it that hasn’t fully revealed itself to me – I can sense its presence at this point rather than quantify it. It seems to be having a good time poking fun at anime cliches, but the humor is always just a little bid meaner and more absurd than it needs to be. The violence is always just a little more disturbing than you expect. The scenes at the end of both the second and third eps – Yuu slapping Haruna and the hospital scene – seem quite out of place with the rest of the episodes tonally. I can’t help but feel that the show is going to get more serious as it goes forward and the true darkness lurking behind all these characters begins to reveal itself.
I’m reminded a bit of Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou at times watching this show, especially in terms of the comedy. That series could be dark too, but as violent as it got at times it still felt lighter than this one – this series seems to have a morose, brooding quality that only occasionally makes itself felt. As dressed up in absurdity as things are, if you really stop and consider the premise it’s extremely bleak and depressing. I suspect this is not the sort of fairy tale where justice prevails and everyone lives happily ever after.