March 2009


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        This episode begins with Tomoya telling his daughter Ushio a story from before she was born. After a question from his daughter, Tomoya rephrases it to say that he’s telling her the story of how he and Nagisa first met and how this lead up to her birth. Tomoya starts off by telling Ushio how he  met Nagisa on the  first day of their senior year of high school, he tells her that her mother was lonely because she got held back a year and all her friends have graduated, leaving her alone.

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        He tells his daughter that he also felt out of place but everything began to change the day he met her mother, how her mother wanted to do drama, and how Nagisa loved the big dango family. He tells Ushio that he knew that he couldn’t leave her mother all alone, and how they met and made many wonderful friends such as Kyou, Ryou, Kotomi, Tomoya, Misae, and Yukine. Tomoya also tells Ushio that he learned the legend of the city and the balls of light from Yukine.

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     Ushio asks Tomoya about grandpa Youhei, and then Tomoya tells Ushio about his friendship with Youhei. He tells Ushio that if it wasn’t for Youhei he might have quite school and never had met her mother. Tomoya tells Ushio that even though peoples’ paths may be scattered sometimes they come together like how everyone came together to help mommy with the drama club. He also tells Ushioabout the problems he was having with his father (her grandfather) at the time, and how he left home and began to live with her mother’s side of the family.

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        He explains to Ushio that when he started living with Sanae and Akio he was confused because he didn’t know what it was like to have a family, and he tells her how they watched over and supported daddy and mommy, how they took care of mommy when she became sick. He also tells Ushio about Nagisa’s moment of doubt during the play when her sadness and guilt almost overwhelmed and how Akio made it clear to mommy that their child’s dream is also the parents’ dream. Ushio asks daddy about the play’s story, and he tells her it’s about a girl living in a world that had ended, they never knew it’s conclusion, but mommy remembers being told the story when she was young, and daddy says that he felt that somehow he remembers the story. Tomoya then tells Ushio that after that point daddy and mommy promised to be always be together.

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      Then Tomoya tells Ushio about how mommy’s illness kept her from graduating school again and about how bad daddy felt about it, but how mommy urged him to move forward if he can. Then he tells Ushio about how he worked for Akio and Sanae for a while but he knew he needed to do something else, so he got a job working with Yoshino, and he got his own place. He tells Ushio about how tough it was, but thanks to mommy’s encouragement and his fellow workers’ help he managed to learn his job. He tells Ushio about how hard mommy worked at graduating high school, and about his father’s legal problems.

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      Then Tomoya tells his daughter that when things were the toughest, it was mommy that supported him the most, and that’s when he proposed to mommy. He tells Ushiothat mommy’s illness forced her to miss her graduation ceremony, but all their friends came together to give her a special graduation ceremony, and how after that mommy and daddy got married. He tells her how they became a married couple and had a baby named Ushio, but he tells her how tough mommy’s pregnancy was, how worried everyone was for mommy. He tells Ushio about the story of how the town saved mommy when she was very young.

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     Then Tomoya notices that Ushio has drifted off to sleep, and he tells the story he hasn’t told Ushio yet, the story of how she was born once before, the story where mommy died, how he lived alone, how he left Ushio with Sanae and Akio, how five years later they took a trip together leading to their reconciliation, how he learned from his grandmother his parents’ story from before he was born, how this lead to him and Ushio living together, how everything was going well until Ushio became sick like mommy, how that Ushio unlike this Ushio started to fail and wither.

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        Then Tomoya tells how at the moment of the other Ushio’sdeath, something mysterious happened, he was taken back to the place five years earlier when mommy died, but this time Nagisawas right there, right in front of him, alive. How everything was right back to where it was five years earlier, it’s a strange, mysterious story, but he believes it’s true. He then says how he believes that the city where mommy and daddy met, where Ushio was born, where they met so many people, where they made so many memories, is where they’ll be living supported by so many people. Then we see Tomoya sitting under a shade tree with Ushio and Fuku gently sleeping, as he wakes Ushio, we hear Nagisa calling out to Ushio, Fuko, and Tomoya that it’s time to head home. Well, that’s all for the episode and the series. Bravo, storytelling at it’s finest.

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        Many of the greatest tales or stories begin with “once upon a time”, or “a long ago”, or “once there was”, or “mukashi mukashi”, but no matter how they begin they take us on a journey to another place and time where we can lose ourselves, if only for a moment, in the trials and tribulations of the characters. We laugh, we cry, we feel exaltation as we follow the characters down their long path, and in the end, maybe we learn something about ourselves along the way.

      To me Clannd’s story began with the simple question of “do you like this school?”  and we follow Nagisa’s and Tomoya’s journey as they begin their long climb up the hill to school and to an adult life until they reach “the place where wishes come true”. Since I’ve always considered Clannad a fairytale it’s fitting the the story wraps up with Tomoya telling his daughter a story under a shade tree, once upon a time. The tale of Clannad is a tale of human magic where acts of kindness, mercy, and love have redemptive and transformative powers. But, to me, Clannad’s greatest gift has been the emotional escapism almost every episode provided me, I laughed, I cryed, I felt the sadness and pain as Tomoya and Nagisa walked their long hard path to the future, and felt utterly contented when “they lived happily ever after”.

I think that following discussion of storytelling by Philip Pullman has it exactly right, I only wished I was brilliant enough to pen these words.

      “The sharing of stories takes time, but it is worth the wait, worth the meandering, worth the stuttering and stumbling and the struggle to find the right words. Thou shalt not is soon forgotten, but once upon a time lasts forever.”

      Below are a few portions of some of my previous reviews written about certain aspects of Clannad such as, storytelling and human magic, the power of love and kindness, and emotional escapism.

From my review of Clannad episode 1 (storytelling and human magic).

        Now to the storytelling aspects of Clannad, Key’s  greatest asset has always been it’s ability to weave together a great plot that knows how to pull at the viewer’s heartstrings, and I feel that Clannad  is going down the right path. Like past Key projects Clannad  deals with the impressions of how time should flow, and how it must flow forward. In AIR and Kanon  time does not flow properly, the characters are suffocated and stifled by the past, caught and held in a limbo like muted world until they are able to deal with the past and move forward. In the anime Voices of a distant Star,  and The Promised Place of our Earlier Days  the main characters are haunted by the desire to recapture the feelings and the motivations of youth, reaching back for what is past and can never really be recaptured. The Key stories are about wanting to move forward and living life like it should be lived, we must grow, progress, mature, love, and change (hopefully for the better).

      I also like how Key  includes elements of dreams and magic in to their stories, most of the time it’s small magic, not magic on the grand scale of shows like Scrapped Princess and so forth. Key’s  magic is small scale but powerful, a human magic brought forth by human actions and acts of kindness, compassion, friendship, caring and love.

From my review of Clannad episode 14 (the power of love and friendship).

      In the Clannad universe, love, compassion and friendship are the greatest powers in the world, these powers can transcend the boundaries of space, time, and reality to effect all those coming in contact with it. Also in this world the power of love also increases with each person it touches, as it touches one person it gathers strength and  intensity before moving on to touch the next person. But one thing I’ve always liked about the other Key titles including this series is that they always stress that’s it’s always better to move on, to move forward, to move towards the future, staying in the past leads to stagnation and nothingness.

From my review of Clannad episode 10 (emotional escapism).

       The world of Clannad is the perfect male fantasy world, a world where all the girls are cute with almost all of these girls being kind and gentle, a world where even the most hard edged and gruff girls really harbor a heart of gold. This is a world where all the sweetest and cutest girls don’t have boyfriends and are just waiting for a normal guy to come along and touch their souls, this is emotional escapism at the purest level, a world where gentle and lonely souls flutter around each other like moths around a flame until they finally meet creating the perfect emotional connection. Clannad is also a world where even a girl laying in a coma longings for connection, human contact, and love is so great it can cross the boundaries of human consciousness to touch the lives of others. This is emotional escapism of the highest level, and I’m buying into it.

      In about two weeks I’ll have my in-depth review and thoughts on the entire Clannad ready for posting, please read if it your interested.

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       My next entry in my cute girl/idol category will be Risa Nishizaki. Risa is a model for the Girlz-High website, and a very cute girl. Risa’s vital stats are Height 165cm (61”)  B-80 W-56 H-80 (31”-22”-31”)  Age-15. Below are some very cute pictures of Risa, click on picture to view at full size, enjoy.

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      This episode begins with Kana, Uchida, and Maki having a lot of fun and their noise wakes Chiaki from a nap, Chiaki attacks Kana with Fujioka. Kana asks Chiaki if she wants to fight? Yes. So, Kana pushes Uchida into face off with Chiaki for the first shouting match of the season, if Chiaki loses she has to leave the girls in peace, and if the girls lose they have to be quiet so Chiaki can sleep. Uchida quickly loses to Chiaki and tags off to Maki who also promptly loses. Then Kana has to go forward to battle Chiaki, their match seems to be a draw until Haruka enters the room with food, and Chiaki’s starts to lose her will to stay in place. As Chiaki rushes to the food Kana tackles her and proceeds to hold her down, Maki says that she thought this was a shouting match?

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         Then the next skit involves Maki asking Kana to watch her while she’s sleeping to see if anything funny is going on, it seems that back in her middle school days Maki woke up to find some girls laughing at her, so she wants to know whats going on. Soon, Uchida decides that she also wants Kana to watch her sleeping to see what she looks like (maybe a princess?). Once Maki and Uchida are sleeping Mako-chan asks Kana if they can also join the other girls for a nap? Kana says no, and pulls out a marker and proceeds to do some drawing on Uchida’s and Maki’s faces. After she finished, Mako-chan and Kana are laughing so hard that Maki wakes up to find Kana and Maki-chan laughing and says she knew it, and Chiaki notices that someone wrote princess on Uchida’s forehead. Later we see Haruka and Maki looking at a yearbook from their junior HS days and Kana notices that it’s always been easy to draw on Maki’s face.

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        The next day Kana and Chiaki are talking about upcoming uniform change day and Kana says that she wants to reinvent herself in a beautiful way with the uniform change. Kana asks Chiaki if she wants to join her in a change? No. Kana can’t believe that there’s not one thing that Chiaki would want to change about herself. While Chiaki is cutting down one of Kana’s shirts she accidentally cuts one of Haruka’s uniform skirts, after arguing about it for a while, Chiaki makes a emergency sewing repair on it. They decide to not tell Haruka about it because in about four days they can take it for a real repair.

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       Then we see that the next couple of school days for Haruka seems to go by very quietly, unless you count the appearance of Hosaka carrying a bento (for Haruka) which he is unable to (or scared to) give her. Then on the fourth day at school, Natsuki is thanking Haruka for caring for Touma when Maki notices a thread hanging from Haruka’s skirt. Maki pulls on the thread and Haruka’s uniform skirt goes sliding all the way to the floor, Natsuki’s epic win!

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       Then later on, Chiaki calls Kana a dumb-ass again, and Kana gets really pissed off and pushes Chiaki. Then Chiaki punches Kana in the face, and Kana complain that Chiaki’s become so violent. While Kana is the bathroom she decides that she has to save Chiaki before she becomes a delinquent.

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       So, Kana decides to be nicer and more caring towards Chiaki, asking her about school, offering her food, volunteering to wash her back. Haruka thinks that it’s quite nice, but Chiaki wonders if Kana is working on a plan to finish her off? When Chiaki leaves the bath she finds Kana waiting in her bed for her, Kana tells Chiaki to come over here and she’ll read her a story. Chiaki gets really scared and goes to Haruka’s bedroom and asks to sleep with her, saying that if she sleeps she’ll be eaten. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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       Well, with only one episode of Okaeri left the series seems to be swinging back to it’s roots. The Minami-ke franchise has always been about the relationship and interaction between the three Minami sisters. While we’ve been entertained by the interesting and odd characters that surround the sisters (Mako-chan, Touma, Maki, Hosaka, Fujioka, Uchida (my personal favorite), and others, the series always comes down to the something contentious, always interesting, but mostly loving relationship between Chiaki, Kana, and Haruka. So, it looks like episode 13 will most likely be mostly about Chiaki, Kana, and Haruka even though we may see some of the side characters.

      Poor Hosaka, for all the time he spent following Haruka around, Natsuki got the epic win and not him. I guess he’ll spend all his time chasing and never seeing, but I guess it’s his own damn fault.

      I would really love to see a fourth season of Minami-ke, but I’m really having my doubts, the uneven production quality suggests that not much money or effort is being spent on Minami-ke Okaeri; read here and here for a discussion of the production problems. I await the final episode of Minami-ke Okaeri with anticipation and a little bit of melancholy because this may be the final episode of the franchise. 

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       This episode picks up with Rina questioning Touya about his relationship with Yayoi, how did it happen and so forth? Touya tells her it just sort of happened; what does it matter I’m just an obstacle to Yuki’s career? Rina tells him it’s too dangerous, and that Yayoi can’t love anyone but Yuki? Touya tells her that he’s sorry it happened this way, so Rina asks him for a date, but he says he’s already been asked.

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         During Touya’s next shift at Echoes, Rina shows up to see Touya but he takes off with Yayoi leaving Rina alone with the master.  When they get to Touya’sapartment, Touya tells Yayoi that she can’t become Yuki’s replacement but she can become something else. Once inside his apartment Yayoi asks him what she can become? Touya embraces Yayoi from behind and he tells her she can become “the goddess of the day” as he maneuvers her on to his bed.

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       The next day after a emotional workout session Touya enters a room to find Rina waiting for him. As he’s about to speak, Rina tells him to shut up and listen to Yuki’s words. Rina reads off Yuki’s undelivered letter to Touya from memory, the letter explains to Touya why Yuki didn’t tell him about the concert and why she’s avoided him, and the letter covers all of Yuki’s hopes and fears about her upcoming concert. After hearing Yuki’s words, Touya breaks down in tears, Rina tells him that she can’t stand to be near someone who causing her dear Yuki this much and fires him on the spot.

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Then we get a little montage of Touya’s memories of Yuki.

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      Later,  we see Touya making a call to Yuki, and he only gets her answering machine. When Yuki gets home she sees her machine flashing and she plays Touya’s message. He tells her he got her message from Rina, and that he’ll be at her concert no matter what, he also says sorry. Yuki wonders why he got her message from Rina, and she struggles with herself resisting the urge to be strong and not call Touya. Then we see Touya failing to find a concert ticket for Yuki’s show, and the next day Mana makes fun of him for not getting his ticket soon enough. Mana also insinuates that if Yuki really was his GF she would have sent him a ticket, or he should have gotten one from Rina, either way she thinks he needs a shrink.

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       Later Haruka and Mana meet up and Mana tells Haruka what happened with Touya not having a concert ticket, in the middle of their conversation Haruka gets up and calls Yuki a idiot and rides off. Then Misaki calls Touya and she finds out about Yuki not sending Touya a ticket and she is confused by Yuki’s actions. Touya also refuses to go visit his father with Misaki during the holiday saying it’s better for the both of them this way. Later, we see Mana asking her mother for a favor, then we see Mana giving Touya a ticket to Yuki’s concert, plus she bought him a gift to give Yuki for her birthday.

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      When Touya gets back to his apartment he finds that Misaki and Haruka have both left him tickets to Yuki’s concert, now he has three tickets to the main event. The next day we see Akira and Misaki walking down a path when the drama club’s president steps onto the path and he tells them that he’s tried to see Misaki so he can apologize to her but her “boyfriend” is always in the way. So, he begins to apologize to Misaki when he stabs her with one of her prop knives, then he rushes off. When Akira  kneels beside Misaki he finds out that she’s not really hurt because the poetry book that Touya returned to her has broken the knife blade, Akira is angry that Touya manages to save the day when he’s not even here.

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       Then, on the night before Yuki’s concert, we see that Yayoi has shown up at Echoes to give Touya a “ride home”, he tells the master that it’s only a ride.  When they get to his apartment, Yayoi begins her usual seduction of  Touya, but he tells her this has to stop. She continues to touch and caress his body, she asks him if he’s fallen for her or if he loves her? He says no. Then why don’t you stop me? Touya says that he only loves Yuki. Yayoi begins to kiss him again and says that she can’t allow that to happen. The next day we see Touya entering the concert hall to see Yuki’s show. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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        Well, with only one episode left to go in White Album’s first season almost everyone’s plans and schemes are revealed. Rina now knows about Touya’s sexual trysts with Yayoi, and she also now knows the the full extent of just how far Yayoi will go to protect Yuki’s concert debut. What I found interesting is that Rina gave Touya a chance to stop his affair with Yayoi, she warned him that Yayoi would never be able to love anyone. But when push came to shove, Rina chose to fire Touya instead of also confronting Yayoi about her part in the Touya/Yayoi affair, could it be that she realized if this became a battle her brother would side with Yayoi?

       In this episode Touya also finds out that Yayoi sat there and lied to his face whenever he brought up the issue of Yuki’s not trying to communicate with him, and he also knows that Yayoi threw out Yuki’s important letter. But, whats even more interesting is that even after knowing all of Yayoi’s lies Touya still chooses to continue their affair and have sex with her. Maybe, Touya is just a needy guy, a guy that has to have a woman around him even if he knows she’s lies to him and he’s nothing more than a peice of meat to her?

       I wonder how Yuki is going to deal with Yayoi now that she knows that her manager lied to her and never delivered her letter to Touya. I don’t think that Yuki’s reaction will be very pleasant when she finds out that everyone knew about Yayoi’s and Touya’s affair but her. But, like I’ve said in earlier reviews, Yuki has to take responsibility for quite abit of her relationship problems. Yuki shouldn’t have relied on a third party to communicate her feelings to her boyfriend, if she would have just given in to her desires and slept with Touyaso he wouldn’t be out there trying to nail every piece of warm girl flesh he runs across because he can’t figure out whether on not his GF cares about him.

       I think that the most interesting character in this whole series is still Yayoi. I really would like to know want she really thinks, even though she says she’s just doing her job I wonder if she really wishes that Touya would fall for her? Yayoi has always left me feeling that she’s a deeply lonely person, so I wonder if she would be happy becoming Yuki’s replacement for real, if it would make her happy knowing that her and Touya’s sexual relationship means something more that just sex. I actually think that Yayoi and Touya could make a believable couple, just imagine the lying, cheating, emotional monster they could give birth to, sweet. 

        Well, since the true end of the series has come and gone these last two “extra” episodes have afforded me the time to begin the process of re-watching the entire series. I feel that the ending of Clannad has taken too much heat in the blog0-sphere, so I’m re-watching the whole thing in order to do a meta post that will attempt to defend the series and it’s ending. I personally feel that Clannad has been one of the best examples of a anime of it’s genre I’ve seen in years. Hopefully the review will be ready in about two weeks. 

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        This episode begins one year before the start of the Clannad series, Nagisa is looking up at the class assignment board to find out that none of her friends from her junior year is in her new class. Kimura walks up and tells Nagisa not to worry because she’s a nice girl and will make friends in her new class. After Kimura heads off to her class, Tomoya bumps into Nagisa as he’s walking past her and Nagisa apologizes to him, and he tells her no big deal.

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       Then we see Youhei and Tomoya having to do outdoor punishment work, they got caught trying to sneak out of class. Kyou walks up and starts chewing ass, she complains that she’s tired of having to keep a eye on them, she really didn’t want to be class rep because of guys like them. As Youhei is trying to sneak away he knocks over some wood, and Tomoya saves Kyou from the falling wood pile. As they’re walking home together, Kyou introduces herself to Tomoya, but she doesn’t really acknowledge Youhei, she tells them to make this year as smooth as possible.

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       Once Nagisa gets home, Akio asks about her day? Nagisa tells him that she didn’t talk to a single person and felt lonely, dad tells her that she should just jump right in, but Nagisa says that it doesn’t feel right. Nagisa tells her dad that she wants to change but it might take a while. Akio gives Nagisa some pretty wild examples of how to break the ice with people so they’ll want to get to know her. The next day, as Nagisa is sitting in class, she daydreams about using one of dad’s suggestions to break the ice, but she can’t bring herself to try it. Another girl is watching Nagisa closely and she seems interested in Nagisa.

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        Then we see Kyo walking up to a sleeping Tomoya, and as she’s about to wake him she thinks to herself that he looks cool and wonders if he has a girlfriend? Youhei sees Kyou looking over the sleeping Tomoya and rushes over to them and gets her pissed off. Then Youhei begins his long tradition of getting his ass kicked by girls. After school, Kimura drags Nagisa with her and another girl to do some window shopping. They have a good time, and Kimura even pulls a joke on Nagisa. She tells Nagisa that it’s too bad that she can’t be this loose in class because it would help her make friends.

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         Back at home, Nagisa tells her dad that she was lonely again, he tells her that out of thirty kids she should find at least one kid that she clicks with. You just might meet a new best friend or someone you’ll come to cherish, but if you do nothing you’ll remain a stranger to everyone forever. He suggests that Nagisa take a load of Sanae’s bread to class as a “prank” or a “surprise” then everyone will find her interesting. Later, we see Ryou reading Kyou’s fortune, she tells her sister that a guy will confess to her tomorrow. Then we see that Youhei is planning a prank on Kyou, and it involves a confession letter.

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        The next day we see that Youhei’s plan seems to be having the desired affect on Kyou, and we see Nagisa walking into her classroom, she sees the other girls talking casually but is unable to join them. When Nagisa finally tries to join the banter, she’s too late, and the girl from the other day seems to be watching Nagisa. After the school’s welcoming ceremony is over Kyou makes her way to the place where she’s supposed to meet her “guy”, she wonders to herself what she’s expecting from this meeting. When she gets to the library she sees a message sending her somewhere else, it seems that Youhei is sending her on a wild goose chase, and Kyou is falling for it. Youhei is leaving written messages to Kyou that just send her from one place to another. Tomoya tells Youhei that he should stop this, but he’s says that this is too much fun, as Youhei finally agrees that he’ll do this one last message Kyou catches them in the act and she lays a ass whooping on them.

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        Then we see that Youhei is planning another prank and he wants Tomoya to go along with it, Tomoya half heartily agrees to the prank. We see that they have suspended a large paper ball above the school’s walkway with a string and note attached to it (the note says pull this and something wonderful will happen). Most students seem too suspicious of the object to mess with it until Nagisa stops and pulls on the string. The ball opens up, confetti and a banner drops from the ball and a large pot falls on top of Nagisa’s head knocking her out, Youhei seems happy but Tomoya seems horrified by the results. When Nagisa wakes up inside the nurse’s office she sees a girl from her class sitting by her side. They start talking and the girls asks Nagisa if they can be friends, Kimura told her that Nagisa was a wonderful person. Nagisa and the girl get a good laugh out of the whole situation, and they start to hit it off.

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         Back at Kyou’s house, Kyou asks her sister if kindergarten teachers feel this tired? Then we see that Youhei is planning another love letter prank, Tomoya seems quite bored by this and we see Misae’s cat Shima sitting next to Tomoya. When Nagisa gets home she tells her parents that she meet a new friend at school today, and she decided to keep the banner from the  prank because something nice happened to her because of it. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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        Watching this episode was kind of like sitting back and wondering to one’s self “how did I ever get this collection of friends”?A lot of anime series starts with the main characters already having a circle of friends and those series usually never cover the subject of how those characters met in the first place; we just ride along with the action and wonder if the main characters will hook up with their love interests or achieve their goals, so it was pretty nice seeing how Tomoya first met Kyou and how the strings of fate started tugging on everyone involved.

        Many schools of thought make the assumption that there are webs of fate or “webs of connections” that link groups of people and we are just not attuned to seeing those connections. So, in this episode we begin to see how all the main characters are being slowly drawn together by unseen forces. Call it fate, or call it destiny, but all the main character are slowly being pulled together. A perfect example of this is how Youhei’s and Tomoya’s nasty prank actually ended up helping Nagisa. Akio urged his daughter to do something, anything, to try and break the ice with her classmates, but she remained frozen/afraid to standout. So, when Nagisa pulled the string and triggered the prank it actually helped her make her first new friend. Hell, after all her classmates find out what she did and she’ll probably be the talk of the class for weeks.

        In this episode, I really wanted to kick Youhei’s ass, he really was a unthinking jerk, causing pain to cute girls for his own amusement is a high crime. Also, I laughed my ass off when Akio’s hair strung twin ahoge just like his daughter when he was showing her how she should act to get more attention from her classmates, classic. Overall, I really enjoyed this trip down Clannad’s memory lane.

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       This episode begins with Fujioka asking Kana to give Chiaki a book that she wanted to read after he was finished with it. After thinking about it for a while, Kana just tells Fujioka to stop by and give it to Chiaki himself, he seems happy. All the while, Riko is watching from the other side of the classroom, she wonders aloud how she can get closer to Fujioka? Then Hiroko shows up and starts making observations of Fujioka and makes some comments about the Fujioka/Minami bancho triangle. Soon, Hiroko is giving Riko advice on how to snag Fujioka from Kana, she tells Riko that even though Fujioka only has eyes for Kana, Kana has no intentions with Fujioka, so confess to him, but don’t look weak. Keiko doesn’t think this approach will work, but she holds her tongue.

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      So, during break, Hiroko takes Riko and Keiko to see Yuu, she wants Riko to practice confessing to Fujioka, Hiroko has a less than enthusiastic Yuu pretend to be Fujioka. Well, Riko tries her best to practice but when she finally gets out the nerve to see Yuu as Fujioka she freezes up, and Yuu chews Riko out for concentrating on looks vs conversation. Then Kana walks out of the classroom and Yuu rushes over and starts talking with her, telling her how cute she is, and touching her hair. Hiroko who has a girl crush on Yuu gets upset and grabs Yuu away from Kana.

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       Later that day Kana asks Riko is she would be interested in coming over her house for a study session with Keiko and, oh-my god Fujioka. Riko is so shocked by the offer that Kana thinks that she might not want Fujioka at the study session, but Riko soon agrees to come over. Once Kana gets home she soon wonders what hospitality is? Warmth.

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        The study session seems to go very well, Haruka and Chiaki serve the guests refreshments. After a while the guests are offered a bath, Riko and Keikoseem too embarrassed to go first so Fujioka is offered first use, he says he’s going home soon so he’ll pass. But Kana asks if he’s refusing her offer of hospitality, and even Chiaki offers him some towels, so he can’t refuse. So, when Fujioka enters the bathroom he thinks to himself that this is the bath Kana uses, he doesn’t want to dirty the tub so he takes a shower. After Fujioka is finished, Riko enters the bathroom she thinks that this is the bath that Fujioka used. So, she ends up taking a shower too. Then it’s Keiko’s turn, she thinks to herself that using someone else’s bath is scary, so she takes a shower too. Then after all the guests have used the bath Kana decides to take her turn, she removes the cover and hops in the tub and we see that Kana has added chili peppers to the water to add warmth. After a few minutes in the tub Kana finds out the meaning of warmth, she rushes back into the room and asks the guests how the bath really was?

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      The next day, everyone is discussing their test scores, and Riko did very well. When Keiko asks her why she’s happy she tells her that someday Fujioka will ask her for help (Riko then goes onto Hosaka mode). But, Riko finds out that Kana and Fujioka also did very well on the test due to Keiko’s help. So, when Kana asks Riko for further studying help, she feels pressured by Riko to refuse Kana (more Hosaka mode). Then Riko finally agrees to help Kana, but she only helps in a half assed way. When the test results come in Kana managed to outscore Riko with a 99, (poor Riko, the best laid plans of mice and men are often foiled by fools).

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        A few day later, Kana, Touma, Mako-chan, and Chiaki are discussing Valentine’s day, Kana just blows it off saying that she’s got no one to give anything to anyways, she just wants to play Othello. Soon, Kana decides to teach Chiaki about the V-day art of making homemade chocolate. But in the end, Mako-chan and Chiaki end up making everything while Kana just plays Othello. Chiaki’s chocolate turns out really tasty, even Mako-chan made some chocolate, and Kana chides her/him about who’s she’s giving it to? No one. Why not Chiaki? Kana then tells Chiaki that she should give anyone within reason some chocolate for experience purposes, Chiaki thinks long and hard about the within reason point. So, the next day Makoto is thinking that Chiaki will be giving her chocolate to someone who doesn’t matter, after all, that chocolate was dropped on the floor. Makoto is really getting his kicks over someone getting her “doesn’t matter chocolate” until he gets Chiaki’s chocolate. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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        Very nice episode, I really liked how Riko went into Hosaka mode when she was thinking about plans for getting alone time with Fujioka. As the Minami-ke series goes on it seems like whatever brain disorder Hosaka has is very contagious and is quickly spreading. I can’t believe that Kana missed her opportunity to get free food, she should have figured out that if she gave Fujioka some V-day treats he would have to repay many times over on White Day. But, it’s also not surprising that she can’t figure this out since she seems to be the only one who doesn’t notice that Fujioka is seriously crushing on her. Poor Makoto, he thought that his status with Chiaki had improved, he seems to be confusing his relationship with Chiaki as Mako-chan with his real life status.  But, he should take this chance and get Chiaki something really nice for White Day? Could it be that he is getting a little too comfortable as Mako-chan?

       Overall, I’m really enjoying this season of Minami-ke, I could care less about the animation style issues, I watch Minami-ke because I love the comedic interactions between the characters, and it’s outrageous stoylines.

this-is-how-touya-feels 

        This episode begins with Eiji laying out the rules for winning the game between the Sakura-dan group and them to Yayoi, Rina, and Yuki. Basically, they have to sell many more seats (a lot more) than the Sakura group to have a victory, to which Rina responds that she feels that she’s been tricked by her brother. After the meeting Rina confronts Yayoi about the torn up letter, did she do this, and why? Yayoi makes no bones about tearing up the letter saying that it’s her job to remove all obstacles to Yuki’s success. Rina says what about their feelings? Yayoi says she didn’t read the letter and asks if Rina herself has become emotionally involved? Rina says that she’ll do what she can for Yuki, and that for now Yuki needs Yayoi to succeed.

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        Then Touya makes a stop at Echoes and asks the master to return the poetry book to Misaki and Akira, because he’s too busy to do it himself. Rina picks him up and they go to the stadium where she’ll be performing. As Rina is doing some preparation on the field, Touya starts thinking of Yuki doing her show. Then Rina goes back to the studio where she and her band works at perfecting her upcoming performance, and after practice Rina has Touya join her for dinner. Touya asks her if he did something wrong, he hasn’t gotten a single message from Yuki? Rina says that they’re in concert mode, and have to shut out all distractions. Touya tells Rina that he hasn’t done anything yet, but she tells him that this is his job.

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      Then the scene switches to Yuki, she seems to be having problems with her nerves when she tries to think of herself in front of the concert crowd. We see Yuki holding a phone receiver with it’s cord cut while she’s trying to make a call (to Touya?), in a daydream. It’s seems that all this was occurring in Yuki’s mind while she was riding in Yayoi’s car. Then Yayoi’s phone rings, and she tells Yuki it was from the president, he’s picked out Yuki’s final song (but was the call really from Touya?). Yuki asks Yayoi if she gave Touya her letter, and Yayoi tells her not to worry, Yuki is very thankful.

yuki-is-worriedthe-missed-phonecallthank-you-for-helping 

      Later, at Mana’s house, she finds out that Touya is now Rina’s personal assistant. She asks Touya if it’s OK with Yuki’s concert coming up? He tells her is not about OK, or not OK, Yuki didn’t even tell him any info about the her concert. Mana then tells him to leave. Walking out the door, Touya sees than Haruka has shown up to meet with Mana, as Haruka rides her bike Mana jogs with her. Later, Mana and Haruka talk, Mana tells her that she should give up on the idea that Touya is her boyfriend, she keeps calling her Yuki. Mana tells her it was cute when he insisted that Yuki was his girlfriend, but claiming he works for Rina is too much. Haruka thanks her and then she properly introduces herself to Mana.

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 hes-not-my-boyfriendmy-name-is-haruka

       Then we see Yayoi pick Touya up, and they talk about his job as Rina’s manager, he tells her that all he does is stand around and watch. He tells her that he overheard the band calling him Rina’s mascot or pet, and they think that Rina’s changed. Yayoi asks him if he knows why? No idea. He also talks about Mana and Haruka’s new friendship, and Masaki and Akira’s romance.  When Yayoi ask him if not going to talk about Yuki, and Touya breaks down in tears. As he’s crying about not knowing Yuki’s feelings, Yayoi leans over and licks his tears and begins to kiss him. The next morning we see that Touya is still in Yayoi’s car.

what-about-yukithe-big-woss-is-cryingthis-is-not-very-sexy

if-you-cant-have-yuki 

        During rehearsal, Rina suddenly stops singing and calls Yuki, she tells her she’s stuck. They talk for a while, Yuki asks if Touya has mentioned her and Rina tells her “no”, do you want me to get him? Then we see Rina waking Touya up, and she tells him it’s time to go home, and she asks him if he free for dinner in a few days? No, he already has plans. With Yuki? No, with Yayoi, Rina seems really shocked. Well, that’s all for this episode.

did-he-ask-about-meno-he-didnt-asklets-go-now

youre-seeing-who

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       After watching the first ten episodes of White Album I’ve become quite annoyed by most of the main characters and somewhat bored by the storyline. But, this episode kind of got me slightly interested in the plot once more. Like I’ve said in previous episode reviews, I really don’t like Yuki or Touya, they do more whining and pouting and anything else, but I’m quite fascinated by Yayoi’s and Rina’s motivations and actions.

        When I first observed Yayoi’s interactions with Touya I thought that she was only spending time with Touya to keep his horny ass away from the virginal Yuki. Then as time went on, I thought that maybe she was getting something out of fooling around with Touya because she really doesn’t seem to have much of a life outside of work. So, I figured that even though Touya is a loser, maybe Yayoi figured that sex with a loser is better than no sex at all. But, now I’m back to thinking that as soon as either Yuki or Touya decides to end their relationship then Yayoi says bye-bye to Touya and she’s back to her lonely lifestyle. But, Yayoi is playing a very dangerous game, if Yuki discovers that Yayoi never delivered her letter, or she’s banging her “boyfriend” then I think that Yayoi’s career as Yuki’s manager is over.

       Rina’s position in the mess is quite interesting and fraught with danger. I think that Rina is really trying to be a friend to Yuki but the whole Yuki/Yayoi/Touya triangle is a no-win situation for her. Rina knows that Yayoi is doing everything in her power to ruin Yuki’s and Touya’s relationship, she’s knows that Touya still cares about Yuki, and that Yuki still cares about Touya, so if she mentions the undelivered letter to either Touya or Yuki it could lead to Yuki finding out everything. Yuki is in such a shaky career and emotional position that the news could possibility destroy her career and personal life. I really don’t envy the position that Rina is in.

      Oh, in closing, Touya is a even bigger wimp than I first thought, the nerve of him to cry about his girlfriend in front the woman he’s cheating with, he doesn’t deserve any of the harem that surrounding his loser ass. 

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