Mitsudomoe is well and truly back this week. The brief but hilarious full-length Gachi detour behind us we’re treated to our first “real” episode of the second season, along with the new OP and ED. Loved the OP, ED was decent, and the ep itself, while not flawless, picked up where the first season ended up pretty seamlessly.
The format of the show hasn’t changed much, although this week it seemed like the skits were a bit shorter than most of the first season ones, if more closely linked together – could be a trick of memory. In any case things picked up almost literally where they left off, with the Marui triplets showing off their pictures of their amusement park trip with Shin-chan. Hitoha treasures her picture with Gachi Red, but alas Matsuoka (the occult-obsessed girl) gets involved and Hitoha correctly sees her precious as being in extreme peril. We also get quite a few jokes about how fat Mitsuba is, and I really think if I were her I would just avoid department stores from now on. After that it’s a Python-esque string of Christmas-themed sketches. Poor Yabechi has what most surely be the lamest Christmas ever – alone in his apartment after having been rejected an invitation to the kids’ “mixer” (more on that in a minute) he dressed up a mannequin as Kuriyama-sensei (in a Santa suit, as he is as well) and proceeds to set her on fire. And that’s the good part of his Christmas Eve (more on that in a minute).
|Touch my nipples!|
Without doubt the highlight of the ep is the kids’ Christmas party. Romance-obsessed Yuki isn’t content at a mere party, but decided to have a mixer with six boys and six girls. Visions of romance and kinky party games dance like sugarplums in her head, but Yuki’s mistake is holding the party at the Sugisaki house (more on that in a minute). Only one boy hangs around for the “King Game” a kind of cross between “spin the bottle” and “truth or dare” – naturally, it’s Chiba – and when he finally gets his turn to give orders, gets a humongous laugh (from me, anyway) by ordering his two victims to “Point to my nipples!”. Talk about a twist on the expected. Meanwhile Shin-can is happily playing Gachi video games with Futaba on the 200″ plasma and the other four boys are unabashedly vying for the attention of the resident MILF, the Sugisaki okaa-san (remember her from the department store?). Yes, she’s not just a MILF but a perv, too – and she takes a fancy to the dog-faced boy in a moment that dances on the knife’s edge between hilarity and depravity as only Mitsudomoe can. Finally, we get the best “trapped under the kotatsu” scene since Makoto in Minami-ke episode 10 as poor Yabechin’s Christmas Eve impossibly gets worse.
In a show that brings on the gags as fast and furious as this one does, inevitably not all of them will hit – and this episode was no exception to that rule. But most of them did, enough to make this a solid success as this series ranks. And the big laughs were really, really big (thanks, Chiba). There are many things I really love about this show, one of which is the fine attention to detail. Anything that happens is as likely to show up in a gag later as not, and no character is without humorous quirks. I liked how the ending of the first season slotted right into the start of this one, and how Ryuuta was quite naturally a part of the scene at the Sugisaki home (asleep on Mom’s lap) despite not being strictly needed for the joke. I loved how there was no effort whatsoever to explain why Chiba was wearing a fake nose and glasses. Those little details make all the difference and give real depth to the humor. I also loved the fact that Masahiko Ohta directed that great episode of Minami-ke, and I wonder if this kotatsu sketch was a bit of self-referential humor.
In short, Mitsudomoe is back, and thank goodness – this shameless and fearless comedy is like nothing else airing now or for a long time past. The comedic rhythms are still intact and everyone is just as lovably inappropriate as ever. Sure, maybe Mitsuba is even fatter than before, but hey – she’s had a full season to eat while the show was on hiatus and she is a **** pig after all…