Chizuru is one weird kid. Of course they’re all sort of weird with this show, but he’s the weirdest – and also remains the only really interesting character on the show. I’ve seen the Matsuri episode done a hundred times, of course, and there was nothing especially outstanding about this one, but I’ve seen worse. The one thing I’d speak to as a true positive is that the guys (except Shun, of course) are starting, as a group, to act a little more like guys and less like ungendered NPCs. I’m not exactly crazy about Kaori as a character either, but she does seem to have somehow nudged the others somewhat in that direction. The irony of course is that the one she’s interested in doesn’t seem especially interested in girls, but I suppose it’s too early to say – and of course, it looks as if Chizuru has decided to take a shot there as well, which looks like the first potential true conflict the series has offered.
Majikoi – 05
We seem to have regressed to the random aspects of the first episode, which leads me to doubt that there’s any chance of a rational plot structure poking it’s head into the Majikoi experience. If you give up on that and sort of embrace the nonsensical, I still find the show fairly funny and sort of enjoyably, though I continue to get the sense it’s really mostly for the hardcore fans. This episode focused on Fushikawa Kokoro (Mizuhashi Kaori) the ojou-sama Yamato gave a spanking to in the premiere, but I continue to enjoy Mayuzumi most – alas, she was only a brief presence here. I admit that’s mostly because I think it’s pretty much impossible for Goto Yuko not to be funny, but in a show whose entire appeal to me is comedy that’s a pretty important consideration. None of this is memorable but I always get at least a couple of laughs out of every episode.
Tamayura Hitotose – 05
No question this is the most interesting show of this digest group for me, though my feelings about it are largely unchanged from what they were after the premiere. It’s not an easy show to talk about – it’s just nicely executed atmospherics, lots of moe and scenery and food porn (I’ve eaten okonomiyaki in Hiroshima, and it really is an experience). I’m not a fan of Chihiro – compulsive criers have been a pet peeve of mine since Stellvia of the Universe – but she was better here than in the premiere. Most of the laughs this week came from Kaoru’s sister Sayumi (Ohara Sayaka) who dragged the girls (and Kou) on an endless hike just to reach the beginning of the trail they were supposed to be hiking. I do enjoy the fact that Kou is always tagging along on these outings – it’s unusual in anime to see the younger siblings incorporated into the plot (such as it is) that way. It also gives a chance for Norie to vamp over him endlessly, which is probably the closest thing to an edgy element to the humor. I enjoy Iguchi Yuka’s work and she’s very funny here. I’m disappointed that Fu’s father has largely disappeared as a factor in the story, because I thought there was a nice potential to add some bittersweet elements to a series that’s altogether way too nice to be taken seriously as anything other than a pleasant diversion. Maybe that will change in upcoming eps.