Yuu Kobayashi scares me. At least her drawings do. Behind those hideous drawings is a psychotic mind, I’m sure of it. However, when she goes nuts voicing a character, well, let’s just say I’m much more forgiving, because it’s so much fun. And this off-the-wall episode was probably the best episode of Nyan Koi so far.
Nagi Ichinose is the worst reverse trap ever. Not for one second did I believe him to be a guy. I think it’s because of the long hair. It didn’t really impact the episode though. Maybe the duel might’ve been more dramatic, but Nagi’s genderbending revelation wasn’t exactly a Ryukishi07 level mindbender to begin with.
Shintaro Asanuma. I’ll have to remember that name. I’m not too familiar with his work, and the stuff I am familiar with, he was a pretty minor part of, but his performance as Junpei is definitely one of the highlights of the show. I was rolling hearing Junpei unleashing the power of engrish, when he receives what he thought was his first love letter. But as we all know, he’s a pretty unlucky guy, so of course, it turns out to be a challenge letter from some random person instead.
Instead of answering the challenge letter, Junpei shreds it and flushes it down the toilet. Which leads to Nagi RAEG, since she’s been hanging by the beach for three days waiting for him to show up. And then right when the fireworks are about to begin, she becomes enamored by Kanako’s beauty and bountiful bosoms apparently, leading to one of those anime trademark, fire breathing shit beating scenes. The Kanako flame-on scene was really nicely animated. Actually Nyan Koi has been really good looking all season long. It’s a little easier when you get to use so many deformed styles, but like Nagi, I’m a connoisseur of beauty as well, and credit’s due where credit’s due. Kudos to AIC.
When Kanako hears of Nagi’s challenge to Junpei for Mizuno, she launches into a fantasy of her own, where she imagines Junpei groveling as her
love slave forever. Why exactly she has so many cats in her fantasy though, I don’t know. However, Nagi quickly drops dead (more or less) with a high fever, thanks to Junpei’s poor duel etiquette. Which leaves it up to Junpei, Kanako and Mizuno to return the corpse back to her home.
When they arrive at Nagi’s place (the only Ichinose house in town), they find a huge mansion and a welcome befitting of a yakuza master. Wuh oh. Score one for Seto no Hanayome reference/music! Mermaid spelled as chivalry! Actually I think there were a few different music/references to SNH this episode. (For a second, I thought the yakuza henchmen were calling for Bunta Willis.)
Rather than have their guests get sick in the rain, the chivalrous yakuza head servant takes the girls in to let them bathe, while Junpei is left alone to talk with the family cat, Josephine. Yes, a male cat with a female name. He’s pretty cute though. As if Junpei didn’t have enough to worry about (like not getting killed once they find out it was his fault Nagi got sick), now he’s got to deal with the requests of a cat. Fortunately, it doesn’t require him to become a Terminator-like character with a thing for sera fukus. But the request turns out to be a tricky one regardless: make Nagi fall in love. Josephine obviously knew something was up, otherwise, I’d say the request isn’t very fair. There’s no statute of limitations. It could take a day, or it could take decades. Of course, I knew they’d wrap it up this episode.
Score one for random fanservice. The ecchi mailwoman had two lines, and they were gold. Such a dirty mind. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get to bathe with Mizuno and Kanako (who’s becoming more and more unhinged by her worries over Junpei. This is the power of the harem end.). My only knock on this episode is that Kanako’s proportions are more fitting of a H-anime. Yeah, I knew that already. But still.
While Mizuno’s spilling the beans to Kanako about Nagi’s true gender, Junpei finds out first hand when the head servant brings him to Kanako’s room for a "chat." And in a clear bait-and-switch move, leads to Kanako taking a death strike until… BOOM! CRASH! Thunder and lightning turns her into a dere dere little kitten. Junpei does get lucky though, as he gets to feel up Nagi, without taking a jaw to the chin or a sword to the eye.
Nagi explains the reason behind her fear of thunder – yeah, watching your gramps get hit by lightning numerous times will do that to you. And breaks out what looks like a blindfold and Nagato-approved earmuffs to block out the sight and sound. This predictably nullifies her fighting abilities to some degree. But lucky for us, we get to hear Yuu Kobayashi going nuts using three or four different voices for each of Nagi’s different moods. There’s regular boyish furniture-like Nagi, something that sounds like Kaere Kimura, something that sounds like a cuter, younger version of Kaere, and a real weird voice that I’ve never heard her use before. Anyway, the vocal schizophrenia fits the off-the-wall moments of the show perfectly.
When Junpei asks why she has a thing for Mizuno then, he learns that Nagi’s simply a pursuer of beauty. But when another thunderstrike sends her scrambling into a mummy case, Junpei wins her heart by telling her he’d stay by her side. In my life, not once have I found myself in a situation where I thought that line would be a fitting response. It seems to happen a lot in anime though.
lol @ very random Saki reference. Is Gonzo whoring out all of their characters? First Strike Witches in Seitokai no Ichizon and now this. The shenanigans complete, Kanako and Mizuno get rides home, while Junpei is left to walk on his own. But it gives him the chance to have a heart to heart with Josephine the cat, who tells him that Nagi used to be a normal girl, who did things like wear pretty clothes and play in mahjong tournaments. That is until her first confession rejected her, telling her that he wasn’t gay (ouch!). Junpei apologizes, but Josephine thanks him anyway, seemingly pleased with his performance.
Approaching harem status. Yes, welcome to the love square. One more step to go. Looks like there’s actually another character introduction next week, two twin-tailed uh twins!? Whoa.
Actually, you might as well have considered this an episode of Seto no Hanayome in an alternate universe. References, music, comedic style. It was brilliant. Hopefully, they keep ramping up the random, off-the-wall hijinks. Maybe Nyan Koi will eventually be the replacement in my heart for the second season of Seto no Hanayome that never was.