Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu! – 7

There are times when I truly wonder how Mitsudomoe could not be the most popular show in the universe, and watching the penultimate episode is definitely one of those times. This one had me laughing out loud from the moment the first skit kicked in and, with few interruptions, kept me going until the episode-specific end credits. I laugh more during one ep of this show than during entire seasons of some pretty good comedies.

Our parade of holidays continues with the big one – Christmas. The Santa skit at the Sugisaki mansion was pretty much legendary from start to finish, but I’m glad it finished the right way – with Chiba as Santa Claus. It was a steady build, starting as it should, with Mitsuba – and a parade of disasters that showcased everyone’s deepest fears.But you could see Chiba was a natural for the role – a role which required a man with no shame. And it takes a real man – a shameless one – to put on a pair of sexy panties (why does a sixth-grader own panties like that anyway?) to impress a six year-old boy. And an even more shameless one to flaunt them, strip them off and make their owner wear them – and thank him. That may just – though the competition is intense – be Chiba’s finest hour.

It’s always hilarious watching Miyawhatever-san haplessly struggle to win Youngest’s heart – always with disastrous results. I’m really not sure what the source of this obsession is, but she probably went to new lengths this week. I guess getting pantsed and having a girl slip them on was Chiba’s punishment for the Sugisaki-panties affair, but it didn’t work on Hitoha – only Yabechi’s nether regions can soothe her frazzled nerves. “I’m gonna study the secrets of your lower body up close!” was probably the biggest LOL here – along with Yabechi’s response.

Up next we had the “Thirty” of the title – a bitter teacher named Kaeida filling in for an ill Yabechi. She gets a taste of the legendary terror that is Class 6-3 – complete with a larangytic Futaba writing notes on her sketch pad. Kaeida, alas, thinks they’re cure cards and the girl is trying to help her, and in a vintage “Mitusdomoe misunderstanding moment” she ends up running 50 laps around the schoolyard and saying “Itedakimasu!” as she wraps her body around poor Shin-chan. This leads to the line of the episode – “Oh, it’s on, Leftovers!”

The fourth sketch – the heat wave and Mitsuba’s sweat – was the weakest and not especially memorable, though it was funny enough – my favorite moments being the background shots of Futaba and the fan. But the ep ends on a big high with the “pool curling” bit. Mitsuba’s plotting gets her into trouble, as usual, and the bodies start flying everywhere. Poor Yabechi just about packs it in at the end and we’re treated to another episode-original OP reminiscent of the “Blue Danube Waltz” Ed from season 1.

It’s a criminal shame that this is only eight episodes (plus a DVD ep) but the impact seems to be that the staff are concentrating on the very best chapters from the manga. This has led to a breakneck pace of one or two holidays every week, with the calendar flying by almost as fast and furious as the laughs. The last few eps have just been relentlessly, exhaustingly funny – packed with hilarious dialogue and sight gags and giving each character a chance to shine. If you’re going out you may as well go in style, dammit – and the gang at Mitsudomoe and giving us a big-bang final run that’s raising the bar for tasteless and ingenious comedy.

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