Japan’s version of the Village People?
|Sorry I missed last week, it was totally me slacking, watching the Indy 500. Congratulations to Takuma Sato for his win!|
Haute (wing) Cuisine from Sanae
This pair of episodes again gives us a town story and a personal story. The town story this time is the Tourist Bureau’s attempt to make an official food for Manoyama. Trying to capitalize on the ideas of local food and designer food, but the problem is that they have Yoshino and Crew working on it. So you have two people who aren’t from Manoyama, two who never cook, and the one who is most invested in Manoyama and can cook makes boring food. But even though her food is boring, Shiori’s still the most accomplished of them when it comes to food, and much time is spent trying to convince Shiori that she should be in charge of this project. But the other thing that Shiori is is unconfident in herself, or maybe it’s more that she’s confident in her ordinariness, and thinks that she definitely shouldn’t be the one out front.
A big mistake
But that changes when it’s realized that the big event for the Signature Dish contest has been scheduled for the exact same day as the shopping district’s Summer Festival. Even though it was an honest mistake by Yoshino to schedule it on the same day, it does show the complete lack of communication between the Board of Merchants and the Tourism Bureau. But rather than cancel the presentation, Shiori voluntarily steps up to try to work out how the things can work together. I like the reasoning for Shiori to step up, tho: she just wanted to save Yoshino. I don’t think it’s a case where she’d do it for anyone, I think it’s that Shiori really likes Yoshino, and wants to do as much as she can for her. Yoshino has really been the longtime friend that Shiori didn’t have in the town, whether it’s because she’s another small-town girl who understands and complements Shiori’s thinking, or because their personalities just naturally complement each other.
Shiori stands up for Yoshino
And things go better
I gotta admit I don’t really understand how holding another event actually brings in the activities from the Summer Festival, one where many people are drawn away from the town center to go out to the lake. One would think that the merchants would have already had plans for what they were doing for the festival, but maybe it’s less of an investment to go throw up a stall and come up with a recipe for somen. Perhaps the reason is more that it involves the merchants, rather than dictating to them. And I like that Mrs. Oribe, when clearing the event change, clarifies that she isn’t just opposing the tourism group, but is trying to get them to support the merchants. And the event itself works out just fine, with lots of people participating, and the official winners being the Mommies Together Club was a nice twist, to help expand the show’s scope beyond just the two factions we’ve seen most of the time. Not that I think the Mommies Club is going to be a major figure through the rest of the show, just that it indicates that it’s not just the Merchants and Tourism Boards in the town.
Getting a Second Chance
It’s not surprising that they think she gets along with him well.
Shiori gets along with everyone well.
The other storyline through these two episodes is a romantic one, but not with any of our lead characters, unless you include the mistaken impressions of family members. We meet Shiori’s older sister Sayuri, who is a nurse at the hospital in the next town over, and Kumano, a local man who went to France to study being a chef. But the connection between the two is set up early, as they are reunited at Kumano’s new restaurant, a higher-class place for Manoyama, with some “significant” looks. I like how the story plays out that they were in two different circles in high school, but apparently there was something between them, as both of them reference a missed meeting.
Confirming the missed date…
But learning the real reason
Even though Shiori’s family gets the idea that Kumano is interested in Shiori, she’s never really clued into that idea, because she knows that Kumano liked Sayuri. So when it finally gets to her that he had tried to confess, but they never met up, she wonders how that happened, but figures it out with the old calendar on Sayuri’s wall. And with Shiori’s help, the two of them figure out that it wasn’t that the other one didn’t want to meet, it was that the dates got screwed up. And since neither of them has found another person, maybe they should try again. That’s even more reason that Yoshino thinks that Shiori’s special gift is helping to mediate between people and groups, although Shiori doesn’t like being reminded of it when Yoshino tries to name her the Minister of Mediation.
Who eats French Toast like this?
One thing that I think has been great has been Kodata’s support for Yoshino, as he was prepared to once again completely back her up, and even tells her to not get worried about getting on people’s bad side, that “outsiders” have to push in their own way. I think that he has been more than pleased that she’s brought energy and life to the tourism bureau, and even if he’s a little stuck on his pet idea of Chupakabura, he’s mostly just interested in the town doing better. I think he also likes that she comes up with wacky ideas like he does.
I think the show has been doing really well, again with the two-episode story arc. And I think that it’s also doing well with keeping in mind that it’s a 2-cour show. It feels like it’s willing to let things run to give us more of a story, since it doesn’t have to cram everything into single cour. That gives the show a relaxed feel that fits in with the setting.