What They Say:
Modoka wants Kazuma to remember, she hopes a trip to the amusement park and the mountains will help him remember his promise…
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Shows that focus around childhood friends and memories that are lost to the ages can have their moments to be sure, depending on how well the characters connect in the present and how they string out the connection. As we’ve seen here, several people have feelings and memories from the past with Kazuma but nobody is really being all that clear about them, letting the memories surface little by little instead of just saying something like, “Hey, remember that time?” and letting their noggins work from there. The bane of a show like this is that you can enjoy it a lot but feel that it could be so much better if people actually said what was on their mind. Of course, that happens in real life as well as we’re all creatures that often dislike sharing things in hopes of others just understanding us through our actions.
With this episode, the show spends more of the summer downtime with the kids as they enjoy things like deserts out together and just hanging around. It is amusing that Kazuma seems to be able to spend lots of time easily with lots of girls, which should frustrate the hell out of other guys who would be envious. He doesn’t think like that though and misses a lot of what’s going on with how people feel about him. When he suggests finding a way for the older kids to play matchmaker with Modoka and Ayumu, they’re taken aback by it and aren’t sure what to say. So much so that Ubuki simply leaves since it just paints a greater picture about how his memories haven’t returned and how he’s basically hurting Ui at this point by his lack of knowledge from the past. Ui, of course, is a patient young woman who will silently suffer through all of this in effort to get to the good stuff in life. Even if she could get to it easily enough by just talking to him and explaining things.
Knowing that Modoka is actually interested in Kazuma, things work out so it’s just the two of them that head out by train to an amusement park together for a day of fun. His obliviousness is amusing as is the way she gets so worked up at times about being out with him, though the rides seem to freak her out more than just being with it. The episode plays by the basics fairly well as it pushes the two of them together with one of them being clueless while some of the others watch from a distance in amusing disguises. Modoka does do her best to jog his memories, things that seem to happen in relatively the same place as other points in the series, including the opening episode, and the show does a decent job of trying to evoke the right emotions here. Which is mostly the point of shows like this, to create an atmosphere that makes you feel connected to the characters. If the cast was smaller and the show a bit more focused, I’d probably be enjoying it more.
Promises made as children are a common theme in a lot of anime shows for as long as I can remember and few of them really do anything special with it. Most are designed around the usual storyline like we see here with one of them remembering it well and hoping that it will come back. There are some good positives to the episode, particularly in the final few minutes of it, but most of the episode is given over to general silliness and obliviousness on the part of the leads for this particular episode. You can get behind Modoka and her girlish ways for this, and you can understand why Kazuma is oblivious. Putting them together leads to a fairly predictable story with some cute moments. It does build the atmosphere nicely, but again, if you don’t connect with the girls then it’s going to be mostly fluff, and that’s what I came away with once again here. Nice fluff, but fluff nonetheless.
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.