I know not many of you are watching Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE! (maybe even fewer than Kyoukai no Rinne) but this remains one of the funniest comedies of the year so far. Last week’s episode was a bit of a forgettable one, but the show is fully back on track with its “Christmas special” (in August). There haven’t been many changes in formula this season, so what we got this week felt pretty novel, and it was full of the sly commentary and abject silliness that make Binan Koukou such a winner.
First off, why is there a ramen shop with a Spanish name (“Ole!”) and a dead-ringer for Col. Sanders as the owner? I know the Colonel is an integral part of Christmas in Japan (stupid as that may be), but why the name? Well, in any case it’s the owner’s son Hijiriya Hitori (Nakai Kazuya, this week’s big-name guest star) that winds up as the monster of the week. Like pretty much all of them he’s an abject loser, a classmate of Yumoto who’s never had a date and never done anything on Christmas Eve (the biggest romance holiday of the year in Japan) except work for his dad delivering ramen.
No doubt, the twins get the biggest laughs this week. They’re Christmas haters based on their painful childhood when Santa never came, which is why they turn Hijiriya-kun into a reindeer monster – which prevents him from delivering the Christmas ramen the Bouei-bu has ordered for their ChriPa. But for the Beppu boys, their love of Gora-san trumps their hatred of Christmas, and when he invites them to the party they dispatch Dadacha (who’s just whipped up Christmas gyoza for the twins, poor little furball) to defuse the mess they’ve created. That fails utterly, because Reindeer-man shows up at the party pissed off for
bear deer, and that’s where the fun really begins.
I confess I really like VEPPer – I find the twins and Dadacha and their utter absurdity funnier than the Seitokai and Zundar by a healthy margin. Their obsessive aniki crush on Gora is pretty hilarious, especially after Hijiriya shows up and they’re desperate not to have him spoil the party – the first Christmas party they’ve ever been asked to – and their chance to get Gora’s present in the musical gift-swapping game. “Why don’t we close our eyes for no reason?” especially had me on the floor, though the suggestion that everyone go brush their teeth was a winner too.
You pretty much know how this is going to end – the monster is going to be slain by love, as usual – but this time around the Earth Defense Club never even has to transform thanks to Gora-chan’s limitless reserves of big-brotherly kindness. And VEPPer even gets the gift they wanted, Gora’s – and since it’s a pair of gloves they can each do the Michael Jackson thing – though the gift they intended for him goes to the otouto instead (and fits him like a tent). I don’t necessarily think this means the twins are going to be allies now, but it certainly makes their villain status a little more tenuous.