Sometimes it's very hard to take a guy in a magical girl outfit seriously.
What They Say:
What do girls talk about together? Those dream words fuel fantasy. Like any good school romantic comedy, there's handmade lunches, walks home together, and group activities. Even a zombie like me wants to enjoy the bittersweet flavors of youth. However, storm clouds seem to be approaching...
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Ayumu is the kind of guy who gets himself in trouble without actually causing any of it. Case in point is the opening here that has Haruna dreaming of him coming onto her in a very seductive way. Ayumu himself is off asleep and unaware of it all and can't believe what happens since he's getting trashed for something he didn't do. Of course, living with the women he does live with, it should be pretty par for the course right now. Ayumu seems like the type that would get abuse pretty regularly to begin with even without them being the kind of special ladies that he has in his life here.
This episode has an odd feel to it from the start as it focuses on some of the other girls that popular his life from school as they all get together since they're keenly interested in Ayumu's meals as they're so delicious. Of course, they say this as they eat at MaskDonald's for a meal. They're all interested in making meals themselves that will light up Ayumu's heart so there's a definite vested interest in learning to cook better. Of course, nobody else can touch the meals they want to make, or at least the first bite, so it all has that usual kind of high school romantic comedy aspect, especially the one girl who gets in first makes such a disturbing meal for him with all the fixings. It's light fare that's just passing the time until the show starts to get serious again. Unfortunately, it takes up half of the episode here which slows things down almost too much.
Of course, the fact that the girl interested in him is actually Maelstrom, who is getting called Tomonori at school, adds a bit of fun to it all. She's basically betrothed to him at this point yet Ayumu continues to try and find ways of nudging himself out of it, suggesting that they just be friends instead since they get along so well. It's an interesting and unexpected approach whereas most shows play it for laughs and would have Ayumu acting all frantic around her. Going this route just gives it more chances to be embarrassing, especially as Tomonori hangs on his arm a lot and they get called out as a couple. This episode goes for the lightness, and even has a clothes montage as the girls all play dress up for a bit, but there's some small movements in the subplots that are picking up as well. That material is pretty minimal overall for the episode, but just getting a little hint of something more serious happening again is welcome with an episode this slow and meandering.
When a show hits an episode like this, it can be a double edged sword. You want the downtime after events that have just happened to be sure, but it can also be too mellow and fluffy. Watching the girls go through events is certainly cute at times and Maelstrom is adjusting well to life as Tomonori in the school, enough so that I didn't recognize her at first, and she's following up with things from her introduction here by doing her best to get closer to Ayumu. Unfortunately, I keep finding the additional girls more of a distraction than anything else at this point and want to see more of Ayumu and Yuu. The serious moments we've had with them in the past have upped the series in my eyes, but they have yet to really capitalize on it and that leaves episodes like this feeling a little more problematic.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
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.