You’ll have to forgive me for wondering just why Yashiro was necessary for this story. We seem to have plenty going on character-wise, especially with only two eps to go. But I guess that would be a question for the light-novel author, Hitoma Iruma. Maybe there’ll be something in these last two weeks that changes my mind.
Of course, the fundamental question whenever a new character is introduced is whether or not it’s a good character. For me, Yashiro doesn’t really pass the smell test. She’s like all the somewhat annoying things about Erio with none of the good things. The “spaceman” voice, first of all – ugh. Nails on a blackboard. In a series that survives on cute, you’re dancing on the edge in a big way – and generally, SHAFT has successfully done that, rarely crossing over into outright annoying. Yashiro may be the first major stumble to the wrong side of that line for me.
That question aside, there’s the question of what role the character serves – even in a series as formless as Denpa Onna. In that I have to give an “Incomplete” and not yet a fail, because a major plot point might turn on her. But as it stands, she’s vestigial – too similar to Erio for the joke not to seem derivative, not nearly as cute or charming. And there are times when even Erio isn’t completely charming to me, though she’s always cute.
On the bright side, there was a truly hilarious cosplay with my Goddess, Maekawa. Not only was the “Alien” a great sight gag – especially introduced in shadow the way it was – but it’s a very clever jibe given the themes of the series. Overall I would have liked to have seen more of her in the episode, though. This one was mostly given over to Yashiro and Erio, though there was a pretty important scene between Makoto and Ryuushi, their first phone call. It was a pretty convincing conversation, with Makoto being shyly clever and Ryuushi being… Well – Ryuushi.
There’s no mistaking the tenor of that call – Ryuushi did everything but confess to Makoto, though she did pull up just short at the end. He played dumb, but he clearly knows – and he gives a pretty good impression of a guy who’s also interested. She even told him (just in case he was worried) that Nakajima was a boy who had confessed to her, and been rejected. It kills me to admit it, but Ryuushi seems to be in the catbird seat relationship-wise. Not because I dislike her but because I wish Maekawa had jumped in earlier and stronger. But it seems likely that Makoto sees Erio as a kid sister, and Maekawa – while there’s some sexual tension – as more of an older sister. And with both of them sibling zoned, Ryuushi is the one he has the most obviously “shippy” relationship with.
As we get ready to wrap, baseball will be important – the winner of the final game between the city and the shopping town gets to run the Summer Matsuri. The matsuri that Ryuushi invited Makoto too, after he goes to watch her play basketball (if she gets into the game). Yashiro obviously wasn’t introduced to be ignored so she’ll be involved too – and the swimming pool scene generated a bit of spark between she and Makoto as well – though I suspect at this point we aren’t going to go for any kind of paranormal end with real aliens (though Yashiro’s water cannon was…odd). At least I hope not. An interesting question is whether Elliot will make any kind of an appearance, and that’s one I could see going either way.
As an aside, apparently there’s no Denpa Onna next week – the series will wrap with a double-header the following week.