How do you recover from introducing an annoying and useless character? Why not recount a classic fairytale? Then, as if there weren't enough suitors for Misaki, they introduce yet another potential one.
What They Say
Takumi narrates a strange re-telling of Momotaro with Misaki as the titular character herself, her guardians played by Sakura and Shouichiroi and Momotaro's animal companions played by the Three Idiots. Then, Sakura, an avid fan of indie rock band U-memishi falls in love with its vocalist Kuuga. She invites Misaki and Shizuko to a tea party with the entire band. To the girls' dismay, Kuuga takes an interest in Misaki and ignores Sakura.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
In the first episode of this pair, we have a rather...surreal outing. Using the old Japanese folktale Momotaro (Peach Boy), the story of a boy who emerges from a magical peach to go forth and slay demons, as the basis for the episode, we have a rather strange version of the tale shown to us, with Misaki in the title role of Peach Boy, and the other members of the cast filling in the various parts, both real ones from the actual story and insertions from other fairy tales and random additions just thrown in from anywhere (it would seem this show falls on the pirate side of the ninja/pirate debate). There's little need to describe this fractured fairy tale to any great extent, other than to note that it is more weird than funny. Perhaps it is better if you know the original story well, which I do not (having only read a summary of it once some time ago). At the very end, it all turns out to be a nightmare in Misaki's head. While Misaki was sleeping, exhausted from overwork, Usui had placed a pair of headphones over her head and forced her, while asleep, to listen to Usui's "imaginative" retelling of the classic tale. Poor Misaki.
In episode 10, we learn of Sakura's favorite band: an indie rock band composed of boy from Yumesaki High School. Of course, it's not just the band she adores: she is specifically in love with the band's lead singer. Fortunately for her, during a concert, she managed to catch the attention of the band's lead singer Kuuga, and afterward was able to arrange for a party with the band and her friends. In addition to Shizuko, Sakura asks Misaki to come along. Misaki, unusually, agrees to go along.
When the meeting actually comes, it provides a rather comical contrast between the girls and their sensibilities. Sakura is in complete fangirl mode, fawning all over the band. Shizuko, on the other hand, disconnects herself from the rest and stares off into space. Misaki is lost at sea, not able to keep up with Sakura's fangirl energy, but she is at least happy for her friend Sakura getting to meet her idols. It's clear that Sakura thought of this being close to a group date, her hope being to get the full attention of Kuuga, the lead singer. The band members have another approach, as this is merely a "fan event," a promotional tool where they planned to sweet talk Sakura and whichever friends she bought, while also handing out a few tickets to their next event and therefore helping to swell attendance numbers. As the meeting proceeds, things turn out rather differently from how Sakura must have imagined: it becomes pretty clear that Kuuga finds Misaki far more interesting than fangirl Sakura. He even tries to talk to Misaki separately, urging her to come to his next show and hang out with the band. As Misaki was not in the least interested by the band members, and was only there to help her friend Sakura, this only serves to ignite her ire.
Of course, right on cue for this show, before anything untoward can happen, with Kuuga trying to force the issue with Misaki, Usui suddenly shows up (dressed as a waiter of the restaurant they are all at) and stops Kuuga in his tracks. Later on, back at the table, Kuuga makes another attempt, this time through Sakura, urging her to get Misaki to come to the next concert. When Misaki finally returns to the table, he starts talking to her in a rather direct manner, to the point that Sakura finally has enough. Misaki also has had enough and begins yelling at Kuuga, which really brings an end to the party. The humorous epilogue is provided by Shizuko, who later chews out Misaki for yelling in the restaurant, and Sakura, for being easily deceived by other people. At the very end, as Misaki is headed for the train station to go home, she is met by Usui, who has been waiting for her (which plays into his running "joke," if it is a joke, that he is her stalker). Cue Misaki blushing.
From these two episodes, it seems rather clear that the writers are in no hurry to go anywhere fast. In the first one, we get a somewhat imaginative dream retelling of the classic Japanese fairy tale Momotaro (Peach Boy), with Misaki, perhaps fittingly, in the lead role (even if she is, of course, a she). The opportunity is given to re-imagine several of the characters in strange costumes, and that provides some occasional amusement). In the next episode, we return to reality, with a show focused on demonstrating what a great friend Misaki is to Sakura, since we see clearly that she takes her friend's happiness quite seriously. There probably wasn't too much reason to do so, since it would follow from her basic personality as displayed so far that she would obviously be the type to stand up for her friends (and being the lead character, it would be quite unusual for her to be the type who would not help out her friends). We get introduced to yet another useless pretty boy who thinks he is superior (the last one was rich and powerful, this one is a "rock star" and popular with the ladies), and takes a liking to Misaki, only to be rejected by her. Are we going to start getting "Suitor of the Week" episodes? I hope not, because then this show will be going downhill very, very fast.
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles
Apple Mac Mini with 1GB RAM, Mac OS 10.5 Leopard