The Club takes on its latest request as there's a beauty pageant that needs to be fixed for one hurt young woman.
What They Say
Otohime plans to settle the score with a long-time rival by beating her in the Miss Otogi Academy beauty pageant. At her request, the Otogi Bank unleashes on the competition to help her win at all costs.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Okamisan settled things well enough in its first two episodes to introduce the primary characters of Otogi Bank while giving the appropriate nod to the rest. It also worked out the relationship that is plausibly going to develop between Ryoshi and Ryoko by showing just who they both really are when we don't see them. There is something to be said about Ryoshi's highly developed stalker skills, but they've come in hand so far so people are kind of letting that slide. With the methods of the club made clear and the actors on the stage, the show is able to work on expanding its cast a bit and having a spot of fun.
The focus for this one is rather amusing as we start off by seeing Otohime a few years prior when she was younger and less attractive, as she was routinely called fat and given a bad nickname like Turtle. When Taro tells her that she'll win the race yet, as he's able to see her potential even at that age, it gives her the confidence and perseverance to work through it until she can become that beauty of the school. And now at the high school level, she's certainly developed well but still has an issue with her main tormentor, the child-like beauty Usami. Usami's definitely a cruel type of girl in her own way and you can easily see why Otohime has an issue with her, and why others would as well as she's the kind of girl who uses her beauty and appeal for purely selfish reasons and causes plenty of trouble for others. Which is why Otohime asks the Otogi Bank to help her win the beauty contest that's coming up as it has her nickname of Turtle at stake.
As the two girls compete across a period of time, their fame does increase, especially for Otohime, but their actual popularity suffers as more of their real personalities comes out. Usami in particular takes a couple of nasty moments where her language is littered with bleeps, which is amusing, but it doesn't endear her to her more conservative friends. And Otohime's struggles with her end up causing similar issues as her popularity drops because she's so focused and almost unfriendly. The swimsuit competition takes the cake though, especially as members of the club participate to stack the odds a bit but it gets silly, especially with Fey nearly falling out of her outfit and Ryoko not even wearing a swimsuit. Between this segment and the other bits of competition, it all builds up to a good deal of fun if light on actual meaningful content. But isn't that the point of an episode like this?
The third episode of the series avoids any serious emotional material similar to what we've seen in the first two when it came to Ryoko and Ryoshi and who they are. What we get here is fun, though there is a nod towards real feelings at the end. The fun part of the show is what sells it and even if it was all fairly predictable and shallow in its own way, it was still done in a manner that left me smiling and enjoying it. Watching the two girls sink to new levels to take the other down was cute but it was all done with a fair bit of meaning as well, as we see at the very end. When the votes come in, and there is uncertainty about how it will all turn out, that makes it worthwhile to see the fallout. Okamisan isn't a show that's leaving a big mark with this episode, but it left me smiling and looking forward to the next.
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.