Hot damn, is there any anime that doesn’t instantly get better by adding Tomatsu Haruka?
Yet another hard show to blog, this one. There’s really nothing fancy going on here – just very good comedy that gets the details right most of the time. Between the machine-gun pacing and the consistently hilarious sight gags every ep so far has been good for several big laughs, and a goodly measure of metahumor (the best of which this week was a scene where Tittyko’s class gradually turned into characters from First of the North Star) is the cherry on top. There’s just enough character-driven humor to keep Binbougami from turning into a gag show, too, which helps give it much more staying power.
Speaking of character humor, much of it this week comes from the newest addition to the cast, Rindou Ranmarou, played by the aforementioned Haruka-san. The range of characters she’s able to play convincingly never fails to amaze me (and though she’s only played a boy once that I know of, this performance indicates that she’d be one of the best at it) and this one is an over-the-top tomboy, the daughter of a karate master who never got the son he wanted to take over his dojo. Her path and Ichiko’s cross when Ichiko is falsely arrested for shoplifting and Rindou comes to her rescue – only to have Tittyko throw her under the bus and flee the scene (I loved the fact that her outline had a big rack).
Rindou seems set up to be Ichiko’s first real friend, but she could also be a potential lover rival for Keita – there’s certainly no question he’s caught her eye. In the beginning Ichiko and Momiji are primarily interested in Rindou as a weapon to use against the other, but the tide quickly turns and they end up giving the less than effeminate Rindou a makeover. This leads to a confrontation with her father which is probably the weakest part of the episode. It does, however, prove that Ichiko is continuing to soften her isolation to the rest of the world, as she actually goes to the trouble of confronting Rindou’s father without being asked – the subject of parents who don’t put their children’s happiness above their own being a sore point with her.
The first half of the episode was definitely stronger than the second (though I did love “Sukeno ga”) – this was a case where the madcap comedy easily trumped the character drama. Everything with Rindou and her father felt very rushed and a bit arbitrary – I never even felt Momiji and Tittyko’s motivation to work together was explained properly to the audience. But the most important element of the ep was the introduction of Rindou herself, because based on the first half she’s going to be a riot.