What They Say:
This is simply our just God’s punishment, Albert. Are you dating anyone right now? If I don’t pawn this scythe and buy some food, I’ll die. If you get this question right, you’ll receive an arm!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
One of the advantages a show like this has is that it can go completely off the beaten path without blinking an eye. The opening to this episode, which eschews its normal opening sequence, does so with a fantasy-ish sequence that feels like it’s straight out of a Ghibli movie involving the hunt for a princess on board a ship after the King is taken into custody by an evil looking man in a suit. It has all the hallmarks of a classic show with some of the little bits of nuance to it, such as numbering the hats on the guards, and it’s the kind of story that you watch and want to really see it expanded on. Sadly, the first few minutes of this has been more interesting than the previous six episodes worth of the series itself in a lot of ways. While the color palette is a bit richer, using that with the existing style gives it a very distinct feeling.
That opening is a surreal little diversion that works rather well, but it didn’t exactly keep me in the right mindset for the rest of the show. With the previous episodes having been a bit difficult to deal with at times, this just kind of made it worse in a way since you can see that they will go far for a joke in the setup. When we get back to the girls being themselves, it’s the mild and light humor that it tries to work the best that it can but much of it still falls flat. Getting octopus wasabi for a birthday present certainly must have its meaning that goes beyond just the basic of it being a bad choice for a gift, but that’s beyond me. Another segment focuses a bit on Takasaki as he tries to figure out how to get Aioi to do her homework more regularly by working with Sakurai to see what can be done. When the show focuses on the adults, it does have some good material since it’s just the kind of standard stresses of being an adult and especially with his interest in her. He’s got such a serious voice as well which just makes his internalizing of his issues all the more amusing.
After hearing a bit about how the opening sequence was something that needed to be seen, I can agree with that in a basic way because it shows just what kind of interesting material they can make using this particular style. What this episode reinforced with me is that when it focuses on the kids themselves, I find myself losing interest since the humor just falls flat for me. There are little bits that do tend to work, as we’ve commented on the cat being an easy win in each episode, and some of the professors material, but when it comes to the schoolgirls or the Helvetica Standard or the Short Thoughts sequences, it’s bland and banal. When the show succeeds, it ends up achieving mediocrity though. When a show leaves you wanting it to focus on just a particular character (i.e. the cat!) instead of the rest of the cast, that’s generally not a good sign.
Simulcast By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70″ LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.