back to go over episodes 7 and 8 of the summer 2011 series, Mayo Chiki. The most prevalent question in my mind right now is “Is this a harem?”. In a sense yes, it’s one guy, surrounded by multiple girls, some of which actively compete over him, kind of. And, in another sense, no, it’s not a harem; Jirou, while the only male, isn’t exactly being fought over by many of the girls, I personally think Usami and Subaru are the only ones remotely interesting in him romantically, the rest either like messing with his gynophobia (Kanade) or simply like hitting him (anyone from that group of anger management patients in the “Crafts Club” or S4).
“Let’s Run Away” opens up at the beginning of summer break, Kureha is gone on a trip with the Crafts Club and Jirou has the house to himself, but not for long. Subaru soon shows up and kidnaps him away to a resort, where Jirou finds himself in bed with Kanade…it’s later revealed that Kanade took Jirou away for a “training camp” to help him deal with his gynophobia. The trio don’t stay alone for long, as it seems Kureha, Usami, and Narumi got separated from the rest of the crafts club in their mid-ocean swim and started working in a beach restaurant to earn some cash and get back home; needless to say, Subaru is forced incognito to protect her secret, thus “Punyuru”, Subaru’s cousin, is born.
It isn’t long before Kanade invites the three stragglers to join them at the hotel. (Let the awkwardness ensue) Plenty of fan service (actually, I think these two episodes can constitute a total of 75% fan service – 25% plot), but it’s in episode 8 where the plot starts to take effect and the relationship between Subaru and Jirou develops. During the summer festival, Jirou discovers the true reason for Kanade and Subaru going to the beach instead of with Kanade’s parents on their vacation. Summer break marked the 10th anniversary of Subaru’s mother’s death, who was buried near where the group was staying. A very touching moment when Subaru “introduces” Jirou to her mother; it was her mother’s biggest worry that Subaru wouldn’t make any friends, and now Subaru feels relieved that her mother didn’t have to worry about her anymore. Luckily, Jirou stays conscious long enough for Subaru to introduce her first friend…
Episode 8 winds down with the “Yutaka Beauty Contest/Battle Royal”…needless to say, “Punyuru” wins the beauty contest, but now everyone else must paintball to the death for a kiss from the beauty. Jirou shows incredible resolve, charging into battle valiantly…until Narumi deploys into (what I call) “super-caffinated-drunk-clothes-stripping-mode”, removing articles of clothing from some and completely stripping others. Jirou freezes at this sight, but, luckily, Kanade comes (for once) to the rescue, and saves Jirou from Narumi’s H-rated wrath. But, to little surprise, Kanade reveals her true motives, and grabs Jirou to make him faint so she could win the kiss from Subaru.
Later, Jirou awakens from his gynophobic stupor, watched over by Subaru, while the rest deal with Narumi’s drunken-stripping rampage. The episode ends with a nice, romantic fireworks show, shared by Jirou and Subaru….alone. Subaru thanks Jirou for everything he’s done for her, in response, he says it’s no big deal, they are friends after all. Now, for the bomb shell….”I don’t want to be just friends”.
The next episode seems like more fanservice, but I’m hoping for plot as well, things are starting to heat up, especially between Jirou and Subaru. But what about Usami? How will Kanade (inevitably) complicate things, and then how will the true motives surprise us? I can’t wait, this series is certainly much better than I thought before it began airing.
Until next time,