When I hear a phrase like “Road of Aspiration” I always think there must be no proper English translation for what was intended in the original Japanese. In any case, the matter in question is a local festival in Takehara, not dissimilar to other matsuri we’ve seen in anime, where lanterns containing wishes are lit and the town has a sort of overall “light up” (Kyoto has a similar festival every March, though it’d actually quite a new one). While this was pretty much the Tamayura anyone should expect this point – lots of heart-tugging, smiling and strings – it did at least loop back to the notion of Fu connecting with her father, who’d promised to take her to the festival again after she slept through it. The best moments of this series have all been the bittersweet ones recalling the painful loss of Fu and Kou’s father, but there’s a tendency to undercut the bitter with a little too much sweet and this ep was no exception. I actually found myself hoping that – teruterubozu notwithstanding – the rain wouldn’t stop, and there would be a slightly painful moment leavened with a lesson about how it’s sometimes the expectation that’s important, not the realization. But no, this being Tamayura the sky cleared and everyone was happy. The one note this show hits is a pleasant one, but I do wish it would try out a few others a little more often – it’d be much the better for it.
Kimi to Boku – 07
The first thing I want to know is whether Yuki really said “sausage fest” or whether that was a liberal translation by the subbers, because if he did that would count as one of the more authentically funny moments in the series so far. Things continue to be extremely low-key, as the seventh episode of KtB featured one of the least dramatic first date scenarios in anime history. Undramatic isn’t necessarily a bad thing – I think it’s integral to this show’s very nature, and I’d take it over falsely dramatic any day – and the interaction between Yuta and Takahashi (shockingly enough, Kayano Ai) was refreshingly straightforward in its depiction of two kids utterly clueless about romantic relationships and not very good at verbal communication. Also enjoyable was the thoroughly inept attempts the others made at tailing the new couple. The relationship was over almost before it started, seemingly, though there was a little hint at the end that it might not be so simple. It was hard to figure out just what was happening between those two, but that’s fairly realistic too.
Maji de Watashi ni Koishinasai – 07
I definitely prefer Majikoi when it’s going for out and out comedy – the serious bits just don’t have much traction. It’s awfully hard to be as relentlessly silly and random as this show is 95% of the time and expect new viewers to really buy in when it tries to get serious. Frankly, I’d totally forgotten about the family of criminals from the lost dog sketch, led by Shakadou (Fujiwara Keiji). I’m sure their smuggling weapons in crates of porn will somehow tie-in with Yamato’s absent father and Norio Wakamoto’s tough-guy/spy, but I’m not too engaged with that. Also relatively bland was the half of the episode that focused on Momoyo’s frustration that the other girls were making it impossible for her to torture Yamato by glomming onto him at inopportune moments. She’s also bored and itching for a fight, and the only guy who can really give her one, the headmaster, is unwilling to do so for longer then three seconds for fear of collateral damage. Fortunately Shakadou’s gang appears to be working with Momoyo’s arch-rival, so that ought to at least let her stretch her legs next week. Hopefully that ep will feature a lot more screwball comedy, sexual innuendo and Mayuchi.