It’s been mostly smiles rather than laughs with Working this season, but the smiles have been pretty much non-stop for me so I’m not complaining.
While the fourth episode certainly took the time to give the cast members who’ve been a little scarce this season their time to shine, the headliner was the first appearance of the mythical wife of Otoo. She’s Haruna (Iwao Junko) and she literally pops up about five minutes into the episode as Yachiyo and Kyouko are on the way to the store to pick up cream (an irony I’m sure was intentional). Our wayward wife appears from a manhole cover and announces herself as lost, and it doesn’t take long for Yachiyo to put the pieces together as to her identity. But as she deliberates the implications of what Haruna’s reappearance would mean for her own courtship with Kyouko, Haruna disappears yet again, leaving Yachiyo riddled with guilt.
It was interesting seeing characters like Souma and Popura fall into their familiar roles, while others like Souta and Satou were definitely put off their game by the comedy of romantic errors that follows. Inami hears Souma talking about Satou’s unrequited love for Yachiyo, and spends most of the rest of the episode gazing at Satou with pity. Interestingly, this causes Souta to think that she has a crush on him – and even more interestingly, this upsets him. Souma – cast in his usual observer/troublemaker role – seems genuinely delighted at the possibility that Souta might have developed feelings for Inami, but alas, he’s only upset that he’s thinks his repeated beatings at her hands have cured her Androphobia, only to have another man swoop in to reap the benefits.
It really does seem as if Wagnaria! is destined to be a complete non-starter in the romance department, as everyone is in love with the wrong person. Even Yamada isn’t immune, as it’s her father crush on Otoo-san that keep driving him away after he’s only been back for a few minutes. Not even a Yamada doll Popura made and a “Come back!” – in English, no less – is enough to keep him from fleeing again to search for his wife, not realizing that she’s literally right underfoot. About the only one who seems immune is normal girl Maya, who makes yet another appearance without earning Kawase Akiko a check.