This episode was probably the “slice of life-iest” episode of the season. It was the closest the show’s felt like to its season 1 version. Needless to say, I loved this episode.
Part 1: Slice of life brilliance
Between twintail Haruka in a bikini, sea turtle Kana, Fujioka-stealing Chiaki, Fujioka’s “sike” grab of Haruka booty, Fujioka-stealing Fujioka and Kana’s blushing confession, there were just too many wins. You should be able to tell, because there’s 6 screengrabs vs. the usual 4. It was just that hard to cut. The humor part of my brain was a Hosaka fantasy away from exploding from overload. There were also like 4 different stories happening here too. From Kana’s car-sickness, to watermelon love, to the Chiaki/Fujioka oni-san love, the Fujioka bear disappearance, to Kana’s confession save, there was something for everyone. It played out like a slice of life matryoshka doll, little mini-slices of lifes inside a larger slice of life. Say that three times fast. Damn brilliant I must say.
Part 2: The love spoon
Maki, not so smart, but a devious gal. It was great to see her see through Fujioka’s charade of trying to woo Kana with food. And then she totally psyches him out and keeps on hounding him, making him think about whether or not Kana used the spoon he was going to use. He, of course, totally wusses out and instead of glomping down on the spoon for a secondhand kiss with the dishwashing soap and a thirdhand kiss with Kana/Haruka/Chiaki, tries to play it off by challenging Touma to an eating contest.
One of the great things about the side characters is they fill out the Minami-ke universe. The Minami sisters are awesome, but they can be… dense. So it’s up to the others to cut through that denseness and bring the punchlines. I’m so glad that they’re back in force in season 3.
Part 3: “I am no demon.”
It’s been a while. I’d totally forgotten that Mako-chan is still a secret to Chiaki (there’s that classic, lovable Minami denseness). Mako-chan keeps it pretty chill this episode too. And still he has not yet met up with Haruka-sama. Minus points for wearing the same thing he wore last week though. He’s gonna have to try harder if he wants to yuri-trap Haruka’s heart. Best parts of this section was Uchida’s not so brilliant moments. Almost calling Mako-chan, Mako-kun. And being the subject of Chiaki’s wrath. Oh and who could forget Chiaki’s “I am no demon” line. They sort of downplayed this, but that’s as good a line as “let’s be friendly.”
Part 4: Kana don’t give a crap about no Geneva convention!
As Kana and Chiaki reminisce about the summer, soaking in their bathtubs while wearing their school swim suits, Chiaki laments how her summer totally sucked, thanks to Kana’s torture. Watermelon seeds spat at her. Wasabi in her rice (ouch!). Soy sauce flavored shaved ice. All for the sake of Kana’s sick, twisted Shawshank warden-like, fun. Although judging by how often Kana’s head proportions were drawn out of wack during this part, I wonder if she really had as good a summer as she thinks.
But this section was just the Minami sisters at their best – Kana and Chiaki at their best. Sometimes Chiaki wins, sometimes Kana wins. It’s just what siblings do. And it cracked me up seeing the typically banchou-esque Chiaki become the helpless victim to Kana’s antics.
Anyway, like I mentioned at the top, this was Minami-ke at its best. I’m quite amazed that I’m saying that even without a Hosaka showing.