I’ll give this series credit – it knows exactly what the target audience is, and goes straight for the jugular. Yet another cross-dressing ep this week, as it’s culture festival time. KtB manages to get all but Yuki (who was himself dressed as Ketaro for the haunted house) in drag, with Shun in the impossibly on-the-money Little Red Riding Hood outfit. But the episode would have been worthwhile just to hear Irino Miyu’s laugh at Mary-chan for being a mouse. Chizuru continues to be the beating heart of the show, considering that he’s far more emotionally transparent than any male character in the cast. In fact, when you think about it really only Chizuru and Kaname (and Masaki) have gotten and development at all – Shun and the twins have gotten plenty of screen time and been involved in the plot, but they’re all to some extent caricatures rather than fully-fleshed characters. It definitely looks like Chizuru is fully crushing on Mary at this point, and frankly he seems like a better fit than Shun, even assuming Shun is interesting in girls. But we all know Masaki only has eyes for Shun, so we have the classic hopeless love triangle there. On balance it was a solidly entertaining episode, assuming you like Chizuru. Still not quite sure what the point of the extraneous cut-ins to Akira and Azuma is other than a nod to pissed-off manga fans for basically cutting them out of the anime.
Tamayura Hitotose – 10
I’d begun to despair that this series was never going to dig deeper into the connection between Fu and her father, the only storyline that seems to have the potential to reach beyond the pleasant meanderings that normally comprise an episode. But judging by the preview, it’s at least a possibility for next week – and desperately needed, because this ep was lightweight even by Tamayura standards. I certainly have no issues with Kaoru finally being at the center of an episode, as she’s the last of the fab four to be featured that way. And I was amused by Norie (usually the most amusing person here) referencing her not filling her usual straight man role. But honestly, the drama felt a bit contrived to me, a mountain out of a molehill for sure. In a way, this series is a lot like Seinfeld, if Seinfeld were about four high school girls who look 12, was set in rural Japan and was completely sweet rather than being jaded and satirical. I mean, you’ve got the 4 main cast members in a “show about nothing”, with a cast of eccentric side characters who occasionally appear to wreak havoc. I just wish Tamayura had a Soup Nazi or Crazy Joe Davola in town – that would really liven things up.