Seiren-10 and 11 – METANORN

Seiren – 10 and 11

Nao is so right: She who sleeps first wins

winter15-highw So I wrote out this whole post for episode 10, but didn’t post it because of schedule shenanigans. So now you get what I wrote for 10 and new stuff for 11 (well, it’s all new to you, isn’t it?) Kyouko and Shouichi are doing the slow get-together, but is Shouichi’s rushing going to ruin his chances?

Onee-san or Otoko?

The fuukiinchou: She’s like some creepy sleep-deprived alien

Starting from episode 10, the show has moved ahead a few months, to the preparations for the Founder’s Festival, to happen on Christmas Eve. Kyouko’s been active in the Home Ec Club, and seems to be getting along with Nao and Koharu, but they’ve got other troubles now in the form of the Disciplinary Committee president Sanjou leaning on them to provide decorations for the Christmas Tree. This is pretty sketchy behavior from the head of something that’s also frequently translated as the “Public Morals” committee, using blackmail based on the capricious exercise of power to extort the Home Ec club into doing her bidding, at their own expense, no less. It’s not really a surprise that their first design doesn’t make the grade, as Nao’s exploration of something closer to The Nightmare Before Christmas isn’t exactly what will appeal to the visitors to the school.

Being a Toy

So Kyouko is trying to help her senpais out by baking the cakes for the festival while they deal with the Christmas tree… and also model for them. This gives Shouichi a little bit of a thrill seeing her in an idol costume, but makes Mr. I-have-every-fetish-possible-but-still-get-all-conservative-about-what-I-expect-for-a-girl Shouichi give her a hard time. And then he gaslights her about how good her cake is, giving it a “so-so” rating after thinking how good it is. He’s really not covering himself in glory this episode, and that’s before we get to the part where he does an online search for “adult Christmas attractions,” without realizing that that would just end up with a bunch of love hotels. And then he even shows that to Kyouko, who’s definitely taken aback by that. It’s certainly a huge lapse in judgment, and he really spends a bunch of time fumbling around in this episode.

Even showing his pantsu to his older sister…

Most Ineffective Love Guru

She really is trying too hard

They say that even if you don’t know it, fake it ’til you make it. And Tsuneki is in this arc almost as much as she was in her own arc, following that advice as usual. This time she’s the source of dating knowledge, even though we know from her arc that 1) she spends most of the time at her part-time job and 2) that it’s mostly an act anyway. I mean, seriously, not telling Shouichi NOT to google “adult Christmas”? Basically, I think she just spouts off things and because she sounds confident the others buy it. Which, let’s be honest, is usually what everyone does, about just about everything.

Kyouko says “Don’t you be talkin’ bad ’bout MY man!”

But this time she’s also the source of the misdirection about the relationship between Kyouko and Shouichi. The show definitely tried to give the impression that Shouichi, having been turned down by Kyouko and then flipping out a “Well, I’ll go with some other girl in my class” is now desperately asking out all the girls in the class, without any sort of decorum. Even pulling the kabe-don on Ikuo! The Home Ec senpais are definitely running with the idea, but Kyouko isn’t on board with the idea that Shouichi is doing that, deeming him too much of a coward to actually ask Tsuneki out. And she’s right about that, but who’s the desperate guy, then?

Unsure of Herself

Yeah, this is pretty much how it goes

So getting us to episode 11, Kyouko’s been working hard with the Home Ec Club, but making time to make Shouichi some homemade underpants. What? Seriously, who is wearing knitted underpants? This just seems like a bad idea all around. But this arc has been underpants all the way down (Tucker, Go!), so I guess it just fits in, along with the use of underpants flowers and candy canes on the Christmas tree. And the big embarrassing part of this episode, when Kyouko decides to get a little closer to Shouichi, and cheer him up, by taking him shopping with her… to buy panties. So, I’m a married guy, and yeah, I’ve gone with my wife to buy underwear. And yes, it’s one of those situations that you kinda just don’t know what to do with. It’s less outright embarrassing than uncomfortable because there’s this range of acceptable behavior as a guy in a women’s underwear section that’s really really narrow. You really can’t look around, because looking at other women is going to not go over well. You can’t just stare at the girl you’re with, because staring and cut that out! So you kinda spend a lot of time, like Shouichi, with your eyes closed or looking up and off to the side. And then for that to all end in looking at Kyouko holding them up over her skirt, which is still too sexy for, well, both of them, is pretty typical for how this kind of scene will play out.

Yes, those are “too small” for you, Kyouko, but good job

The side conflict does get resolved, as the Home Ec club finishes the decorations on the tree. And that puts the idea of a date with Kyouko and Shouichi back on the front burner. But he’s seemingly less desperate now, and is more interested in just finding out what Kyouko’s going to be doing. This is a lot less worrisome for Kyouko, since she doesn’t have to address the idea of being on a date with Shouichi, but that doesn’t give him much relief from the idea that he wants to go on a date with her. Especially after hearing how Ikuo crashed and burned in going out with the girl he had been thinking about for years. But he does realize that he should step up his “being a guy” game and not be seen as the next-door onee-san anymore. I’m gonna guess he’s going to do a big confession next episode, rather than continue to beat around the bush with asking Kyouko what she’s doing.

This was a nice little girls bonding moment.
Finally some weakness on the part of these two senpais

Episode 10 was nice in that it really didn’t give us much of Shouichi, focusing instead on Kyouko and the club senpais. And that’s good because the parts he was in were kinda bleh anyway. But it’s interesting to see Kyouko’s feelings develop, because she does see Shouichi as a potential boyfriend, but maybe she’s a bit too much of a coward, too. Yeah, he screwed up with the love hotel ads, but I didn’t think that Kyouko felt like he was actually trying to take her there. She was more having fun with the joke about a hotel-hopping date, until she thought about it a bit more. By the end of the episode she was more worried that Shouichi was going to become a laughingstock. Is it really ok with her if he dates someone else? Probably not, but this is the land of “I just want the person I like to be happy,” when they really don’t mean that.

Way to pressure a girl, Shouichi

It took me until well after the end of Episode 11 to realize that Kyouko really WAS a bit worried about Shouichi and the love hotels, at least as far as “If I go out with him, will he expect to have sex with me right away?” And I kind of like that what she was doing was trying to signal that she was interested in him, but not really sure about going farther with him right now. That Shouichi doesn’t really get it is more on him, but that’s teen romance (and adult romance, for what it’s worth). It’s totally fine to not be ready to go that far with someone, but it’s hard to say it. And I wonder if there’s more of an expectation of that between couples in Japan. It’s hard to formulate much of a coherent opinion about it, given that half of anime have couples that do it on their first date (and that’s not counting porn anime), and that half of them have couples who are keeping even the fact that they’re a couple secret from everyone. Maybe the truth is that there just isn’t a “normal” expectation.

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Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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