Today’s Inami hairclip meter: shooting star, clockwork mouse. And this is me fainting from seeing Popura in her sailor school uniform. Please – give me more!
Without further ado, here’s the weekly recap of Working signature moments:
“I’m off to tell everyone!”
“Get back to work, Idiot!”
“I doubted Sato-san and I’m very small.”
“She’s just a normal girl when she’s asleep. An old one.”
No question, the show has been on a serious roll for the last month. It’s as good a stretch of episodes as any in the two seasons, with lots of interesting and funny storylines and a pretty good mix of stuff for all of the cast (though still not enough Popura). There has been more focus on Inami and/or her relationship with Souta than earlier in the season, but it’s been handled so well that I find it much more charming and humorous than I did during the first season. In short it’s been good, solid character-driven character comedy of the sort that made Working a hit in the first place.
I think one of the differences between Inami’s persona from year to year is that she seems much more genuinely contrite now than she did before. I’m seeing a serious desire to stop being an androphobe, and while most of that bomes from having her first real crush it’s still legitimate growth. The scene with Satou in the breakroom was interesting in that we haven’t see much interaction between those two, and Satou’s method of dealing with her was so totally in character. He just sat there smoking and ignoring her weak attempts at small talk while inside he was terrified on being pummeled. I was reminded of someone talking a jumper down off a ledge, and it worked – he managed to use his calm presentation to extract himself from the breakroom with no harm done.
New ground was broken when Souta actually worked up the nerve to touch Inami when she was asleep, traumatized by the incident caused by Kyoko’s incompetent box stacking. The psychological permutations are subject to endless interpretation there of course, though I do think there was a genuine scientific curiosity on his part to see what would happen. But that cuts both ways when it comes to her reaction on finding out. What I expected, quite frankly, was for her to punch him big-time right then and there. But instead she fled the scene and confined herself to bed. The interesting question for my part is, would she have reacted that way if any man had touched her, or was her reaction specifically because Souta touched her?
While Inami was brooding in bed the spotlight briefly shone on my two favorite characters, Popura and Yamada. Now that Yachiyo is such a cell-phone veteran, it’s Yamada who’s distraught at not having one of her own. She even bemoans the fact that she “wants a family” – which makes me wonder if Souma was listening in on that conversation with the guilt he should be feeling. Of course Yamada’s interests seem rather shallow on the whole, and she just wants what everybody else has, so Yachiyo devises the hilarious idea of having a space on the whiteboard where the crew can “text message” Yamada. This prompts Satou’s message (referenced above) to which Yamada replies that he “sucks at text messaging”. Not satisfied with the arrangement Yamada takes to carrying one of the restaurant’s cordless phones around and pretending it’s a cell (seriously, could she be more of a child?) and this makes her feel so mature that she responsibly closes the freezer door – which unfortunately locks the hapless Popura inside and leads to the hilarious “I doubted!” exchange with Satou. Needs more Popura-chan.
Of course, for the residents of Otome Road and fujoshi everywhere the climax was the return of Kotori-chan, Souta’s worryingly fetching trap alter-ego. With Inami confined to bed as a result of Souta’s petting, he saw that it was his responsibility to try and cheer her up – but he could hardly visit her father’s house as himself, and Yamada was only too ready with his change of identity. That visit and exchange of addresses and numbers, while driving Inami’s fever dangerously high, was just the ticket to break her out of her funk. But the most fascinating part was when Inami’s mother (Suzuki Masami) revealed that she’d known “Kotori’s” identity all along (which I rather suspected). Yet another nail in Souta’s coffin – I don’t think he’s getting out of this one without a romantic relationship.