Time for your checkup
A little break from the magic battles this week, and some character development. I think my favorite translation of this week’s title is “Takamiya-kun and Kagari-san’s Pain” (as in heartache).
The first meeting
Perhaps I’m more immune to weird storytelling, but there were a lot of people on twitter who thought this episode kind of fell down in what it was trying to do, and I just didn’t have that issue with it. It felt like a pretty standard character-building two part episode, with the first being a flashback to Ayaka’s past, seen in what we ultimately learn is a dream that’s implanted in Honoka’s head by Ayaka, and the second part establishing Honoka as the leader of the school, ultimately through combat.
The search begins
There were definitely two things of note, and one thing to speculate on, with the first part of the episode. We get to see where Kanae Hoozuki and Touko Hio (whose name is as cold – “frozen girl icetail” – as Ayaka’s is hot) first encounter Ayaka, having been called to see Kazane, and told by their mothers that they should gladly accept whatever task Kazane gives them. That task is to be companions for Ayaka, who is new to school, and not particularly used to being around people. In fact, she’s so not caring about other people, that I’m starting to wonder how, exactly, Ayaka came to be in this world. Is she really Kazane’s biological daughter? Where has she been until first year of middle school? It certainly wasn’t in any sort of school, because she doesn’t know any of the basic things about school. Yet she’s brilliant and capable. She just needs help from Kanae and Touko to deal with other people. And it’s not really like Ayaka is ‘friends’ with Touko and Kanae, either. It’s more like they’re just more personal servants than ordinary maids are.
She’s finally found him
The second thing about Ayaka is that she seems to have her own quest. We know that that quest is to find Honoka, but how does she get set on it? And does she really think that the ‘make yourself more attractive’ articles are what she needs? I don’t know if those parts were trying to show these three bonding, or maybe to show them NOT bonding, because that’s what it really seemed like. But they stick with her while she stakes out all the other middle schools in town, hoping to catch a glimpse of Honoka, and when she does, she instantly knows that he’s special. So what’s Ayaka’s purpose in showing this to Honoka, I wonder? Is it to convince him more how she feels about him? Because Honoka still seems to be stuck not really thinking of Ayaka as a girl. She’s his protector, she’s the school princess, she’s amazing, but she hasn’t really been ‘a girl’. She’s putting the full-court press on now tho, especially with a nurse outfit and ‘checkup’. At least Honoka’s starting to be mindful of her breasts (in his face) and her being close to him. But I wonder if we’ll see that switch to him thinking of her as someone he loves.
Maybe Ayaka won’t wait for Honoka
The showdown, and Touko getting in more trouble with Ayaka
Yes, that made me think of Haruka Minami, the undisputed banchou of Minami-ke. But this one is Rinon Otometachibana, the bad girl of Tougetsu. Friends with the ousted seitokaichou, she doesn’t hear the whole story, and gets the impression that Honoka has violated the seitokaichou. So she and her gang of animal cosplayers decide to take over the school, wreaking havoc and challenging Honoka. He ends up having to fight for his position, and despite being unable to call on any more magical power, he’s still a much stronger person with the power that he’s already got. And with some advice from Ayaka on how to fight her, he gets himself in a position to win, but true to his nature, he really can’t finish her off. That job falls to Ayaka (although Team Rocket gives it a shot and fails, as usual) who punches Rinon out and sets up Honoka to take the credit. Of course, the whole thing was supposed to be a setup in the first place, but it got a little out of hand when the seitokaichou got carried away with the idea of possible revenge on Honoka.
Honoka gets in position to win, but can’t finish it off
Ayaka’s single-mindedness is definitely a long held trait. She’s been focused on Honoka since first year of middle school, even though Honoka didn’t get into the same school as her until second year of high school. I wonder what the delay was for, and if Ayaka spent time protecting him even then. I liked the cameos in the flashbacks by Team Rocket: Kotetsu and Rin on the train, Kanna and Mei at the different schools, although I didn’t catch Tanpopo anywhere. This was a good episode to take a break from the nonstop action and witch battles, I think, and gave us more background on Ayaka. I think we’re heading into the final stretch last week, as the preview showed us that it’s the entrance of Weekend. This may be another great vocal performance, this time from Aya Hirano. Definitely something to look forward to.