Seems like we’re barreling towards an anime-original ending. Although if I were to make a bet, I’d bet that we don’t get a "true" resolution to either the curse or the love triangle in the next episode. Although that image of a black fluffy haired in next episode’s preview could be a harbinger for Junpei. AIC has balls if they decide to end the season on a cliffhanger like that. I’m not typically a fan of cliffhangers, but I’d totally dig that. But anyway, enough speculation about the finale, this is about the penultimate episode.
Actually, before we get to the episode, I can’t help but give Junpei’s sister, Suzu, some ink. Her ecchi-all-the-time mind (which probably comes from her very forward mom) comes to a head in this episode. I got a huge laugh out of Junpei asking how she got so corrupted, and expressing his worries about her future. Combine that with her perpetual neko-smike, and she’s made for one of the more amusing little sister supporting characters that I’ve seen.
Ok, just one more digression before I start talking about the episode, but this eye catch was great. Yes, Junpei does look like a certain someone. Someone who also rue his bad luck like Junpei. Twin brothers separated at birth? Hmm. Thankfully, this twin didn’t get the long moral speech gene.
Alright onto the episode. Which was actually pretty random in the first half, then surprisingly Kanako heavy for a next-to-last episode. The shrine priest discovers the broken Jizou head, and calls upon on the shrine supporters to provide some financial help to fix the statue (no doubt with a anti-cabaret poison pill condition attached). While this isn’t particularly good news for the priest, it’s worse news for Junpei, because the Jizou curse seems to be progressing even more quickly with the recent events.
We then get an oddly placed scene in which the gang celebrates the end of the school year by drinking juice at Nagi’s estate. To be honest, it felt like a random piece of filler they stuck in to fill out the episode length. But I did get a particular kick seeing Kaede react to Nagi’s magical blades in a pharaoah trick by referring to Nagi as "her corpse." It was like in an instant, Kaede had accepted Nagi’s pokey-pokey death. I also liked seeing Kotone’s silent disapproval of drunken Nagi’s advances on Junpei. Even denpakeis have strong feelings.
The story picks up when Junpei gets a part-time job as a mailman (apparently anyone can become a mailman in Japan) hoping that helping pay for the shrine’s expenses will allay Jizou’s anger and slow down the curse progression. Of course part of the job includes becoming both sober and drunken Chizuru’s boy toy- Greater men have fallen to lesser temptations (*cough* Tiger Woods *cough*), so give Junpei a lot of credit for resisting the Chizuru’s touchy-feely advances and seemingly staying true to Kaede. Meanwhile, Kanako, who’s working herself as a Santa-girl, discovers that Junpei’s begun working and begins worrying that he’s trying to make money to get a Christmas gift for and confess to Kaede. You know, I always wondered how these Santa girls worked wearing such short skirts in the cold weather.
I don’t know if the last couple episodes have helped people warm up to Kanako a little more, but I wouldn’t mind if she ended up with Junpei. Kaede is megas cute… but pretty generic. I like Kanako’s history with Junpei and she seems much more tortured about her feelings than any of her competitors. As long as it’s not a Junpei x Nyamses end, I’d be happy with whatever they decide. However, luck is on Kanako’s side for this episode at least, as she wins tickets to see a sappy and lame cat movie (10 Promises with Me and My Cat, lol, I want to see this movie) and then invites Junpei out on a surreptitious date.
In what’s likely the final rabu rabu moment between the two, Junpei shows the movie attendant the doll he received from Kanako to get her a special gift. While Junpei gushes waterworks during the movie, Kanako comes to the realization that she’s ok with hanging with Junpei just as friends and decides not to pursue the relationship further. While it seems like they tied things up with a nice pretty bow, we’ll see if this sticks once she sees another girl making a move on Junpei.
Meanwhile, it looks like we’re setting things up to get Kaede roped into the curse for the finale. Because she overhears Junpei talking to some cats and begins to wonder about the Jizou curse conversation that she’d overheard. Could Junpei x Kaede have a happy ending… as cats? Now that would be twisted. Kaede may yet have a chance to BE FRIENDLY with her beloved cats.
No one can resist the power of nekomimi! Even when it’s happening to yourself. Hopefully AIC can end this well, but keep things open-ended enough for a second season.