I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever seen a clarinet used as part of an anime plot before, and nothing comes to mind. I suppose it’s only a matter of time before the sight of Fukune playing it enters directly into “The Best of Akutagawa Taketo’s Fantasies”.
For now, we’ll have to be satisfied knowing a drill is a man’s romance. I’m of two minds about this episode to some extent. I’m rather satisfied with the course of Taketo and Fukune’s relationship – it isn’t being exploited for cheap humiliation on the part of the hero. Each week has seem them take a step towards erasing the misunderstandings of the premiere, and he hasn’t been made to act like a jerk in her presence.
On the other, the presence of the two tormentors who have emerged here, the photographer Raika and Ran,who clearly lusts after Fukune, was a more pedestrian and uninspired development. This series is at its best, I’m finding, when it focuses heavily on Taketo and his internal conflicts. R-15’s best side is when Taketo is his own worst enemy, and these two are injecting a little too much mean-spiritidness into the proceedings. Why Raika is so intent on screwing him over is a little unclear still, though her release of the photographs was a really vile and vindictive thing to do.
For all that, the inventor, Tsuruku (Tsukimiya Midori, Hellscythe from Kore wa Zombie) made a much better impression than she did in the premiere. She’s definitely from the Lala-san school of invention – does the world really need a pigeon-wrench? – and Mr. Sticky-kun was a convenient plot device. But she was agreeably ditzy and silly without being obnoxious about it. I could see her being an ally before this is all done. The teacher is a fair-minded sort (and would probably be flattered if she knew of her starring role in Taketo’s other life) and plays the sexy sensei without being too outlandish. And Ritsu continues to be consistently amusing as the best friend who wants to be more.
One wonders how seriously Taketo’s affection for Utae will impact his thinking vis a vis Fukune. He thinks enough of her to lie about Fukune’s presence in his room, and really, she’s already at the place he’s trying so hard to get Fukune too – she knows his good nature and clearly has romantic feelings for him. Usually in these scenarios it’s “first past the post” so it seems unlikely she’ll end up as the primary love interest, but she’s an interesting option.