What They Say:
“A Fated Encounter: Ushicou, Komatsu, and Salad Bowl”
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The return of summer the last time around for this show is definitely a good thing, especially since the outdoor activities tends to include more of the human cast. It was definitely fun to watch Muco experience winter and all it’s glory, but I definitely liked seeing Rena playing with Muco outside and their whole racing thing the last time around. The advantage of winter is that it brought us the cast indoors a bit more and that meant more direct interaction. Though Ushicou isn’t a favorite character of mine, his time with the rest during some of these indoor sequences helped to make him a bit more interesting and easier to connect with. There is admittedly a simplicity to the cast that’s a given considering its content and audience intention, but they’ve done some good stuff with him.
With this episode, things go in a surprising direction as we get Ushicou arriving at Komatsu’s place and discovers Muco eating out of a familiar bowl. This takes us back to the past a bit so that we get to see Ushicou and Komatsu together. We got a taste of that with the baseball side previously so getting more of it is just hilarious, especially with Ushicou’s appearance that’s meant to get you grinning over the changes he goes through. It’s a fun piece as we see how Ushicou spent his time traveling looking for great snacks and stumbled onto glassblowing. Showing his first attempt to Komatsu it ends up radically changing Komatsu’s worldview, putting him on the path that he’s on now. Sometimes it’s something so simple and seemingly random that can change one’s life in a big way. It’s a good tie to the present and is just fun to watch the long enduring friendship between the two.
Lovely Muco works with some varied material after this bit and while there are amusing moments it kind of falls flat in terms of telling bigger stories. While I love the bits with how Muco reacts to going to the vets, the vet experience itself continues to just be weak as the vet himself doesn’t do much for me. It’s played bluntly and the humor of it just doesn’t land for me. Thankfully, the last block gives us some good time back home with Muco struggling with the heat and that means Komatsu gets to make it rain for her with the hose. The dynamic between these two is what delights and seeing them, along with Ushicou from time to time, simply makes you smile since it does have the feeling of comfort and ease beyond just basic familiarity.
While I don’t think Lovely Muco has had a bad episode yet, especially once I got into the groove of the series, there are episodes that don’t delight me as much. This one has some fun moments in it as we see more of what’s going on in the gang’s lives, but there’s no strong narrative to really take it forward in new and creative ways. I definitely liked fleshing out more of the background between Ushicou and Komatsu even at the expense of Muco screentime, which played into this not being as strong of an episode overall. Still, it was worthwhile and definitely fun.
Streamed By: Crunchyroll
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Apple TV via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.