With Reiko kidnapped, Shiro is putting his little game fully in motion.
What They Say
Ryoko is back in the clutches of the insufferable bully, Shiro. An Otogi vs Onigashima battle ensues as her friends storm the school to save her. A showdown with Shiro puts Ryoshi - and his recent training - to the test.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
With a small number of the Otogi Bank Club now captured, and undergoing torture of various kinds such as Urashima being overwhelmed by beautiful girls while Otohime is forced to watch it, Shiro's plans seem to be gaining some traction. His intent with getting Ryoko captured and letting her know that he's taking the rest of them down one by one, he's able to mess with all of them on some level while the ones remaining on the outside try to decide on a proper course of action, or like Ryoshi, train like he's never trained before in order to get physical on these guys.
Okamisan goes for the predictable route at this point as the Otogi Bank Club gang makes their move against Shiro by heading to the school and getting down and dirty with them. There's a variety to the cast that's been built up to be sure and they go all out against the Young Men in Black With Colored Shirts that are defending the place. Some of it is fun to watch as the little character quirks come up, and as the secondary group of captives makes their way out and tries to help as well since the sole focus is on getting Ryoko out of Shiro's clutches. The slow but certain push towards that inevitable conclusion plays out in a straightforward way here with no real surprises.
While that is the big focus, a lot of it falls to Ryoshi because of all the training he's undergone. Nekomiya gets a moment to shine, but his moment in the sun really cemented it for me that outside of the top to main characters, I really have no interest in anyone in this series. Ryoshi's attempts at getting closer to Ryoko was a good part of the charm and seeing the hot and cold nature of Ryoko was fun as well. The combination of the two made for some decidedly charming scenes but it wasn't enough to really hold the show together overall. It muddled through most episodes, but when the series went for the series arc towards the finale, it hadn't grown enough to hold the whole thing together. As much as I like the pair, the intensity of the final fight against Shiro doesn't really feel like it fits with it, even if Ryoshi is this kind of single-minded person.
Okamisan is all about reinforcing the bonds of the characters here with the big storming the castle moment as everyone pitches in to save Ryoko. It's a very by the numbers piece and what's supposed to hold it all together is that even though you've seen it all before, you like the characters (or the narrator makes the whole show for you) and that's going to be enough. Unfortunately, I found myself not really having much fondness for any of the characters outside of the two leads and that left this part of the series coming up flat. It has had its fun moments with earlier episodes because of the various favors they were all participating in, but when the show gets serious and brings in new characters like Nekomiya, it's pretty much lost me.
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.