They moved Servant X Service again? I can’t remember another recent show that seemed to hop around the schedule like this one does, but better today than Saturday night/Sunday, I suppose.
I confess I’m still not sure just what the heck is going on with the whole Momoi-san/stuffed rabbit thing. Is he doing all this with electronics? Is he really a rabbit? I know we’re not really supposed to ask, but it still feels a bit out-of-place with the rest of the series to me. That said, Rikiya Koyama camping it up with this performance is surely worth the price of admission. In a week where unintentionally insulting people seemed to be the dominant theme, Momoi-san got it kicked off by telling Saya that he liked riding on her shoulder while she worked because the view wasn’t blocked by any… protuberances.
The Momoi storyline just gets weirder with the addition of his daughter Kanon (Hidaka Rina). What do we read into the fact that she plays right along with the whole usagi bit, even covering for him when Touko shows up for her daily terror attacks on the office? Hard to say for sure what that implies about the whole weird business, but the fact that Kanon also happens to be a friend of Touko will surely be of interest to Ichimiya, who’s suddenly worried that she doesn’t have any friends. His real worry should be that his staff is still in terror of her daily visits, and that she wastes an enormous amount of their time almost every day. But then Ichimiya is a pretty pathetic boss (among other things) so his missing the boat on this isn’t too surprising.
Finally, it was nice to see an with a lot of focus on Saya generally. A Nakhara Mai-voiced character always has a chance to stand out, but she’s been pretty quiet since the premiere. Saya especially seems to have a talent for that unintentional insult thing – it’s no wonder “9 out of 10” of the guys she turns down end up crying, and she manages to lay waste to the unflappable Hasebe’s psyche like none before. But her biggest problem here is that Tanaka-san has decided she’s to marry her Grandson, and doesn’t appear likely to take “no” for an answer. Given that there’s an obvious stormy history between Hasebe and Tanaka’s grandson, I presume this is a character who’s going to be joining the cast in short order.
Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen – 06
The question of the relative “realness” of reality has never been far from the surface in Zurückspulen, but it was addressed more openly this tome around than it has been before. There are deeper philosophical matters in play here, of course, and there seems little doubt that unwound Jun’s reality feels every bit as solid to him as wound Jun’s does. Yet, to listen to Shinku it appears that his world is a fragile and transient thing – a mere “twig” against the massive tree the reality of “her” Jun represents.
The texts from middle-schooler Jun that end the episode are especially interesting. He confirms that he’s been the one sending his older self the doll parts, and implies that if that older Jun makes his very own doll, he can change his world – in fact, turn it into a tree itself. I don’t know who to believe here and I don’t know how unwound Jun always seems to know what wound Jun is thinking at any given moment, but what’s happening here seems clear enough – Jun the elder is slowly gaining a will to live, both through his connection with Shinku and his growing affection (shared) with Saitou. Even his growing anger at his scumbag boss reflects a developing commitment to interact with his reality – to care about it. And that would seem to make this Jun less likely to willingly give up his own existence to save his younger self, should it ever come to that.
Meanwhile Shinku and Sugintou continue to go at it like cats and dogs, though they do manage to spare Jun’s apartment if not their clothes from the worst of it. Shinku is having nightmares about Hina Ichigo, and seems to have an almost fatalistic view on her future and how the current crisis will end up being resolved. To be honest for me the real drama here is in Jun’s classic tale of disillusionment and loneliness, not with the Alice Game and the dolls playing it. That said, the name of the franchise is still “Rozen Maiden” and their story seems likely to take center-stage, sooner rather than later. Whether it can do as well with that thread as it is with Jun’s daily struggled with adult life will determine just how far this series is able to go.