I wasn’t too thrilled with the opening when I first heard it because I felt the singing was lackluster but the entirely predictable has happened: It’s grown on me already. Now that I’ve gotten a better feel for the show, I can see that it manages to capture the feel of Arakawa perfectly. Bizarre yet strangely heartwarming.
Episode 18: Sister’s Confessional
There’s no girl that looks their best after waking up in the morning, especially if the had to sleep-climb that massive ladder to reach Recruit’s villa in the middle of the night. In fact, Nino in general is far from being the most beautiful anime character ever conceived, but that’s far from being her main appeal. However, that is a topic for later on in this episode because ‘Sister’s Confessional’ is all about pic-spamming this guy.
I love how not once did anyone question why Star has a star as a head. Recruit has already spent enough time here to stop questioning things like appearances and when it comes to personalities he simply tries to find ways to work around them. He might not be fully integrated into the crowd under the bridge as of yet. In fact, the only people who currently accept him are Sister and Nino (well, Whitey seemed friendly enough I guess, and I guess he hasn’t been going to confessional because I didn’t spot any white lines going into the church).
Let me tell you a little story about Sister and his best friend. These two joined the army together at the age of 8, rose their way through the ranks, using their combined total of 96 1/2 senses to lead the line. That is, until the two of them entered Akihabara. One man entered the moe moe church~ and came out a fully reformed nun. The other entered a maid cafe and came out…well, now you know where this guy originated from.
Episode 19: Manly Bonds
And thus is the beginning of a beautiful relationship, founded on trust and. Well, at least it’s founded on the truth, which is something. Instead of hating him because he’s not marking up on a tally chart the amount of times he’s slept with Nino, Star hates Recruit because recruit is a fag. You can just imagine that if a fight ever broke out with these two for real it would never end. For every punch Star delivers, Recruit has to pay him back otherwise he gets his heaving asthma attack. The day one of these two hit each other would mark the end of this anime. Thank god we have Sister in the way.
Episode 20: Ric’s Determination
This scene was the best of the lot. I love how Recruit originally tries to take the path of don’t feed the trolls but as soon as Star questions his chiseled abs and beautiful face the gloves come off. Personally I’m waiting for the scene from the ending where Star serenades Nino with his electric guitar. Come to think of it, I wonder if Star ever got chocolates over Valentines day? If the Mayor is a handsome young man under his suit then I wouldn’t be too surprised if Star was also dashingly handsome. That would make for quite the Ouran Host Club. Good day madam, would you like to be hosted by the Kappa or the Star Guy.
(Sister wasn’t allowed join because he would take all the women for himself)
Episode 21: Invitation
Take a step back from this scene for a minute and imagine how big an operation returning all those chocolates would be. First, Recruit would know this is coming and so have to make sure a bunch of his companies workers are available for hire on that day (hiring shouldn’t be that difficult a task for Recruit. Guys do work, he gives them money, everything payed back perfectly and no asthma attack). Knowing how prepared he is, he probably came into school wielding a giant cart of chocolate and if anyone gave it to him personally he could just click his fingers and one of his men could instantly repay the favour. Somehow, I doubt he went to too many classes that day.
Two thoughts went through my head during this scene. The smaller one was what if Recruit lost control of the car, hit Nino and she died. The person who saves his life he kills? Instant death by Asthma attack right there. The second and larger though? Oh dear Recruit, have you not learned your lesson yet. Do you really think Nino will like this?
Episode 22: Plan
(Strangely, it never bugged me that Recruit was only pulling this date stunt to one up Star dude. I mean, it made sense from a story-telling point of view but normally characters who are mean in some form or another to lead female characters annoy me. It’s the curse of being a older brother, you’re natural instinct is to protect. But not Nino because, quite frankly, Nino is quite capable of solving any problems by herself.)
Episode 23: To the River Mouth
Aha~! I knew it. This re-enforces my belief that Nino knows perfectly well she isn’t from Venus. The same way the Mayor knows he isn’t a kappa, everyone knows he isn’t a kappa and I’m pretty sure everyone knows Nino isn’t a Venusian. But why question it? It was here that it finally started to dawn on me. Recruit has learned. He’s learned how to converse with Nino and how to read her facial expressions and language. He is truly living up to his promise of being a proper lover for Nino. Star dude, I’m afraid you don’t stand a chance in this one.
(Yes, King of Eden was one of those movies I go into really hyped up only to come out thinking ‘well that was all right I guess’. It’s one of the biggest letdowns you can possibly get because the disappointment creeps up on you slowly the longer you get away from the movie. Please please please can Paradise Lost pick up the pieces)
Nino’s appeal is a tough one to describe. Rather strangely for Shaft, there’s very little in the way of fanservice shots. There’s no emphasising her curves or CG-shaded derrieres. In fact, most of the time she looks rather dishevelled in that tracksuit of hers. It’s the spaced out fascination she has, the genuine interest she will show in otherwise mundane everyday things and the total lack of fake interest she shows in small talk and illusions of grandeur that society expects you to exhibit. It’s not attraction, it’s fascination. But not Senjogahara fascination, that was more the adrenaline rush you get from sexed-up fear. Nino fascination is the same type you get from watching dandelion seeds float past you. Sitting under the bridge, spacing out together as you watch your grass boats sail down the river.
(there was some unfunny jokes after the ending but frankly I can’t think of a better way to finish this post than with Nino in that dress. Recruit, you have quite the eye for fashion)