I’ll give Kimi to Boku credit for worming its way into my brain a little – I’m going to miss it when it goes on hiatus for a season, which I would have seriously doubted after three or four episodes. It’s a show that wastes time agreeably, and since wasting time agreeably was one of my favorites pastimes in high school, that has a certain appeal. This week the black hole of time is Yuuki’s obsession with collecting stickers from the packaged bread (“AnPanda”) he buys for lunch everyday, in order to win a collectible plate he’ll never use. That’s the sort of thing kids do get hung up on, so I can buy the premise – and Chizuru’s scheme to help out with rotating daily ‘bready duty” when the guys start eating lunch in the cafeteria (which has way better food than the one in my high school) fits right in with he and Yuuki’s growing baka rangers friendship. The twist this time is “Cinderella” the cute young adult who works with her cougar Mom at the cafeteria – while Mom shamelessly vamps for the youngsters, Yuuki is fascinated by the slightly-older girl with the crescent-moon hair who also collects stickers. As well, Chizuru gets his confirmation from Shun that he’s not romantically interested in Mary-saki, but he seems to have a long way to go before he can begin to get her to re-direct her attention his way.
Tamyura Hitotose – 11
Mao-tan becomes the first side character to have a second full episode dedicated to her, and proves she can carry it off. Last week’s too languid – even for Tamayura – ep showed Kaoru is best served as a side dish, but Mao’s tale brought some much needed intensity to affairs this time. What starts out as a small idea – test out her recitation for the girls’ planned “exposition” at Tamayura by performing at her parents’ ryokan in front of a few people, goes viral and all of a sudden she’s performing in the village hall in front of a a huge (well, relatively) crowd. I felt for Mao here – for a shy teenager getting up on stage in front of people is one of the hardest things you can do, yet there’s nothing better to force you to open up – I forced myself to do drama in HS to that effect. When it becomes clear that Mao’s recitation about a bird who couldn’t sing was really about herself, the series reached one of its highest emotional pitches so far. I especially loved the way she singled out Norie and her parents during the recitation for helping her through her shyness – it’s rare to see that kind of parental love expressed in anime. Of course, Sato-sensei does give in to his excesses at the end – the episode really should have ended in the hall when Mao finished her recitation, but he emotionally overplayed his hand a bit with yet another bonding scene on the mountaintop. That’s a minor quibble in the larger picture though, and this was a very good episode all around.