Servant X Service – 07

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For this viewer, Servant X Service is developing a bit of a split personality.

I must confess this week’s episode of S x S fell a bit flat for me.  I didn’t hate it or anything, but it just didn’t have the comedic firepower of the series’ better episodes.  It seems as if there are two basic orbits in this series – the one that features Lucy x Hasebe, and the one featuring the trio of Chihaya and the Ichimiya siblings – with Miyoshi acting as a sort of bridge/accessory storyline.  And how much I enjoy the episodes is depending at least in part on which orbit the episode travels in that week.

In a sense this shouldn’t be too surprising, because it’s not entirely dissimilar to Working!.  There were definitely some major gaps in my affection for the characters that had an impact on how much a specific ep appealed to me, but it seemed as if the various threads were somewhat more integrated than they are with S x S.  I think this show is at its best in two modes – the first when it focuses on Hasebe and Lucy, and the second when the dynamic features all the main cast members interacting with each other.  Step outside that, and the quality drops considerably.

I’ll say this much, Touko hasn’t been nearly as annoying the last couple of appearances as she was in her first (as if that would be possible anyway).  The problem is, now she’s just kind of boring.  And my dominant thought with Ichimiya and Chihaya is that I can’t understand what either of them sees in the other – which is a pretty bad basis on which to build buy-in to a fictional relationship.  Ichimiya is a nice guy but such a complete spineless loser that it’s hard to understand why Chihaya would put up with his nonsense at all, unless it’s for straight-up “S” gratification.  And Chihaya isn’t all that nice a person, and doesn’t treat Ichimiya especially kindly – so the only reason for his attraction which makes sense is that she’s the only girl who’d have him.  Any way you slice it, watching the three of them can be a bit of a chore.

The Saya storyline and the other pair was better, but hardly top-shelf S x S comic material.  The introduction of the Tanaka grandson, Jouji (the unmistakable Kakihara Tetsuya) does add an interesting wrinkle, and seems to tie Saya into the main couple’s plot.  I don’t think it’s quite as simple as the BL explanation Chihaya offers, but there can be no question the junior Tanaka is obsessed with Hasebe.  We know there the rival/hates-to-lose element which Hasebe admits to, but there’s another angle which he won’t admit to Lucy.  For now it seems as if it’s a bit of a bromance – Tanaka a bit awkward and ordinary, and both envious and enamoured of the easy dexterity with which Hasebe lives his life.  I like seeing Hasebe with Lucy because his attraction to her is an element he can’t easily control, and he’s a guy that loves control – their chemistry is definitely the best part of the show so far.  As to what happens with Tanaka, whatever the mystery angle is I doubt he’s seriously in love with Hasebe or anything – and I can’t help but wonder if in spite of the odds, something might just ironically brew between he and Saya.

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  1. i

    I never disliked Toka, except for that scar like cross mark on her face. The problem most viewers probably have with her relates to her domination of Ichiyama – he should be called ichiana, a mountain is too good to be used for his name.

    But its him that I find annoying. Chihaya may not be very nice but I suspect that is more due to her frustration than anything with him. As to why she puts up with it – the editor said she had to because girls are the ones that do all the hard work and keep relations alive in most popular manga these days. So she has to be so in love with the spineless wimp because he's nice. Another annoying Otaku fantasy where alpha males don't get girls.

    Ichiana, I hope this sticks, is a far more annoying archetype than Toka for me. Because I'm a guy I cannot accept that another guy can both hold a job, scold his junior and not want to have the kinkiest of sex, office sex. Chihaya certainly did and yet as the pathetic male archetype Ichiana stuck to his guns and kept them in his pants while whimpering like he was being assaulted.

    I do hope there's less of him x Chihaya in the future. It's not real and not funny.

    The Tanaka grandson was foreshadowed as knowing Hasebe and this being from the creator of Working it was going to be quite a meeting so not really surprised. It at least adds another character that can take the story away from the wimp x Chihaya story.

    Still funnier than Blood lad but now miles behing WataMote

  2. M

    I'll admit, seeing Chihaya play Touka like a fiddle is sort of cathartic, but that was really all I could say. And I guess, while not particularly likable, Chihaya at least has the virtue of being patient with Ichimiya's spinelessness.

    But seriously, it's still airing and Free! is already being parodied! My lord!

  3. M

    For the time being,I'm trying to hold my breath on the Ichimiya x Chihaya couple.If we'll get to see some interesting & believable developments in their relationship(hopefully the sooner,the better) and eventually some sort of conclusion then I'll probably consider their moments so far as being worthwhile.If not,I'll just look at them as wasted screentime.

    I'm really hoping for the former,since at the very least,I find Chihaya's character to be quite interesting & amusing.

  4. R

    I absolutely love how Kanon thinks of her father as a rabbit even in her head :p

  5. Yeah, and it makes you wonder….

  6. T

    For some reason I will find it hilarious if tanaka manages to get Lucy number very casually while hasebe still has not gotten her number ^_^ I think it will be the end of him.

  7. T

    It will also be funny to find what tanaka issue is with hasebe.

  8. R

    That end card is awesome, and even manager-san is wearing a speedo…! I never find Chihaya that interesting although I like how she can totally take Touko under control. Ichimiya is unbelievable — it's starting to become boring just watching him.

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