I think perhaps I’ve become a bit too cynical. For the first half of the episode, as I was introduced to Oumi and her dark, mysterious eyes, her strangely conservative dress, the little too perfect tall guy with the great looks, the freaks in the club with the hots for mythological characters, the holy crap, how could a high school afford this? astronomy equipment, the division into groups, I wondered when the other shoe would drop: the one where Mii-chan and co. realized this was no Astronomy Network, this was a sinister cult with malevolent designs on taking over the world! For better or for worse, this shoe never dropped, and we got a real solid episode with finally a little backstory for the anemic club president, Roma. Regardless, I think I may have to lay off the sugar for a while.
Watching the various reactions of the AC members heading out to meet Oumi and her club/network for the first time was great. Mii-chan and Saku pretty much take a back seat during this ep, and we get a lot of hilariously fluffy Hime moments.
Once I got over the fact that Oumi wasn’t an evil cult leader, I have to admit she’s cute, and I like the mysteriousness of her eyes. I think ExecutiveOtaku @ that put it best when he described Oumi’s personality as a cross between Mii-chan and Fuumin. And I’ve gotta assume that she, as well as everyone in her school is loaded, considering that amazing telescope. Is this a real high school or a secret hideout for NASA exiles?
I wonder who voiced Musa, I thought it sounded sort of like Daisuke Ono. But Hime’s reactions drove a lot of the humor in this episode. I think Musa x Hime would be a nice pairing. Musa seems like he can take a beating, and considering Hime’s surprising penchant for violence, I think that’s an important quality for a Hime suitor. Plus, he’s the secret member of K-ON!
That’s no ordinary juice these girls are drinking, I think that’s Hayami’s high-grade "juice." Everyone seems to like hanging onto Saku. What a lucky kid. However, no Saku or Oumi blush means no romance flags triggered.
Hopefully, we’ll get some Sayo-chin background before this season ends, but in the meanwhile, she gets some great chibified moments in this ep. First in keeping Mii-chan under control, and then when Roma, senses completely overloaded, hits the deck in an anemic daze.
At this point, I was still thinking that Oumi’s group was a cult. I figured this was where the madness was going to begin. Hime’s separated from the gang. Edogawa’s take away for male bonding "reeducation." Sayo’s dragged off with the mythological lovin’ duo. Roma and Saku are left to fend for themselves. And we can guess that Mii-chan would be the first to fall to the dark side.
Luckily, things turn out pretty well for everyone. There’s a nice scene between Saku and Oumi, and I liked how Mii-chan’s AC got a chance to show off their analog skills. Anyone can find a star using a computerized telescope, it takes hardcore astro-otakuness to map the sky using your brain. I thought the one missing scene was Mii-chan getting drunk off the power of wielding the massive telescope. Perhaps Sayo-chin’s note on Mii-chan’s hand was key to keeping her sane.
Hime-chan, unlike Asahina Mikuru, is someone I don’t mind seeing getting tortured a little bit, because her reactions are that much more awesome. Seeing her (and hearing Haruka Tomatsu) go nuts was truly entertaining, and the funniest moment in this episode. In only 8 episodes, she’s revealed the Hime-knee, the Hime-elbow and the Hime-freakout-attack. That 37.5% violence rate puts her in the "bonafide killer" level, fluffy division of course.
My goodness, the AC president has actual pupils! I haven’t been as shocked by a astronomically-related event since I learned Darth Vader was Luke’s father (just kidding). His narration of the myth and the subsequent animation was a very cool scene. It’s the type of enthusiasm and storytelling that really sucks you in.
Could it be that Roma’s going to get some love? Shoot, and possibly landing the most "normal" girl to boot. I figured it was love at second sight when he was able to make it through the episode without puking blood on her.
This episode felt more like it would’ve been a better fit for the start of a 2nd season. It felt a little disjointed, being introduced to so many new characters so late in the season. No complaints though, because I really liked Oumi’s personality, and I enjoyed Musa’s pestering of Hime. Hopefully we’ll see plenty of them in a potential second season. But next week it looks like we’re back to developing the Saku x Mii-chan angle (hooray!), with perhaps the least astronomy-focused episode yet.