Working’!! – 07

[HorribleSubs] Working!! - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_04.59_[2011.11.12_10.52.57] [HorribleSubs] Working!! - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_08.20_[2011.11.12_11.00.28] [HorribleSubs] Working!! - 07 [720p].mkv_snapshot_21.59_[2011.11.12_11.13.37]

Inami hairclip meter this week: acorns, ship anchor, bunny (and one I didn’t recognize).  Maya dialogue meter: zero again.  Can we all chip in and send Kawase Akiko a check for rent money?

This was easily the best episode of this season (just look at all the caps I took), and has to rank among the very best Working episodes to date.  Pretty much wire to wire hilarity from start to finish, with lots of clever plot twists and excellent comedy drawn from verbal, physical and character sources.  I knew from the OP that we were going to be meeting a new character this week, which is a fairly unusual event for this series to begin with.  He’s Kirio Yamada (Satoshi Hino – interesting trivia, he was born in San Francisco), and it was obvious from the OP and his appearance that he’d be connected with Yamada.  He’s looking for his missing sister, and in true Yamada fashion decided the best way to do it is to hide in an alley and grope every passing girl to see if she’s the right one.  This is course brands him – I’m not so sure inaccurately – as a stalker.

Everything involving Kirio was a blast, starting with the fact that he and his sister both chose the same fake name.  There’s probably a story behind that, but it just goes to show how baka that family is, and when Souta declares that Yamada Aoi isn’t his sister because the Yamada in her name is undoubtedly fake, he’s short-changing the idiocy than runs in the family gene pool.  Kirio also provides a great showcase for Inami, who’s never been more charming than she was here.  Obviously I like her better when she’s not punching guys, but almost is good is when they – like Kirio – can block her punches.  It starts out funny when Inami’s friends send her into the alley to beat up the molester and just gets better from there, perhaps peaking with her hiding behind a light pole and trying to act scared.  Kirio may be immune to her punches but not her charms – the poor boy is smitten immediately.

The ep is full of great gags, and pretty much everybody gets a turn.  When a worried Popura sends Souta out to the alley to check on Inami, he witnesses her friendly interaction with Kirio, and this sends him into a funk that has all his co-workers very worried.  My favorite subtle moment here was when Souma pretended he knew what was going on with Souta, rather than see his reputation as a deviant information broker be tarnished, but the whole sequence was full of win.  Souta goes home and spends all night reading dog training books, trying to figure out why he’s so upset about all this (which is something of a continuation from last week in any case).  He even has the dreaded conversation with Nazuna about whether he’s an “M” – not realizing that she’s been assuming all along he was.  Of course my guess is that Souta is really worried he’s upset for another reason altogether, one even more terrifying than being a masochist.

As if all that comedy weren’t enough, there’s an extended post-credit sequence that puts a hilarious cap on the episode.  Kazue visits Wagnaria again and once Popura has plied her with enough beer, she takes it upon herself to dress all the waitresses in nekomimi and puppy costumes, arguing that it will provide the restaurant a distinctive element and a competitive advantage.  Obviously it’s a hoot to see Yamada and Popura – who look they were born to it – in their respective costumes, but the highlight is watching Souta and Satou react to Inami and Yachiyo in their outfits.  True to himself, Souta tells Inami that it’s cute – if she were ten years younger.

I’ve enjoyed every ep of Working this season, as they’ve all offered consistently amusing atmospherics and the occasional top-drawer gag.  It’s been good stuff, but this was the first time the series has shifted into a higher gear and delivered on every level.  The character pieces were spot-on, the pacing was perfect, and the sight-gags and verbal banter were flawless.  We even got what looks to be a very interesting new character added to the mix, and I think Kirio is going to change the dynamic in a way that’s full of possibilities.  How will Yamada react to her brother, for one thing?  And of course he looks to be a potential rival for Inami’s affections, forcing Souta to come clean with his feelings at the very least.  Kiro is definitely “Yamada” blood – he’s somewhat daft, cute and unfailingly earnest.  He’s also got the ability to block the falcon punch and judging by the preview, he’s apparently girl-crazy.  The madness should continue when he visits the restaurant next week.

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  1. M

    The walls, Souta, they come tumbling down…

    Glad to see some character development to go with the humor. It's definitely funny to see Souta short circuit and go into denial, but he still has a ways to go before he can let go of his biases… Or at least admit to himself that Inami is cute and likeable without adding the dog-trainer metaphor.

  2. k

    Yamada is a very plain and generic name, much like Smith, which is probably why it was chosen. For example, when identifying bodies in English we often use John/Jane Doe, in Japanese they use Yamada Tarō/Hanako, both quite generic names.
    That's why it's doubly obvious when both Kirio and Aoi lie about their name, both from their expressions and their chosen name.

  3. k

    Actually in regards to Souma, I believe he actually is in the loop in terms of knowing what's happening. He just finds it amazingly hilarious to watch things unfold. Man, I love how evil he is.

  4. M

    By the way, this episode has a nice sense of symmetry with the first season, as episode 7 was ALSO the episode Aoi was introduced, and look how her arrival shook the interpersonal dynamics in the restaurant.

  5. I disagree, kaydat – if you watch his response, he initially seems about to casually say he has no idea, then catches himself. And when have you ever seen Souma go over the top like that when he really knows something?

  6. d

    @Enzo: I disagree, he wanted to say he did not know (to enjoy the fun), but as he was saying it, he thought about all the fun and started laughing.

    Think the Yamadas are a rich family. Would explain girl naiveness and lack of common knowledge and boy very smart looking uniform and why he does not know social rules.
    Also explains why they hide their names.

  7. a

    This series has felt very lacking to me compared to last season. This episode things were picking up like you mentioned. They have used a lot of blank silent moments this season. But the Takanashi x Inami moments are stepping up again, which pleases me – shame its taken half a season to resume where last season left off.

  8. A

    I really love this episode. The chemistry of Kirio and Inami is so cute! ^^

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