April 2009


mashiro-and-her-spirits-1001 

        This episode begins with Mashiro getting chewed out by Kisaragi for her telling lies and getting everyone upset about her claims of coming out of a relic and so forth. She tells Kisaragi that she didn’t lie, and it’s the truth, Kisaragi tells her that she’ll be sending the counselor to see her. After a few days have passed without any contact with Mashiro, Yuuri begins to worry about her, then he finds out from Ameri that Mashiro is locked  up alone inside Flawless. They try to visit Mashiro but get stopped by a guard, and even Ameri’s father doesn’t have enough pull to get them a visit with her.

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      Later that night Kisaragi stops by Yuuri’s house to talk about Mashiro, Yuuri tells her she won’t believe him if he told her about Mashiro, and she calls the relic/god thing nonsense. Kisaragi tells them that the counselor thinks that Mashiro might have developed a mental illness, Yuuri and his dad tells her the whole story about Mashiro, but she still thinks it’s fiction. Later, Yumina escorts Mashiro for a appointment with the counselor when she finds out that Yuuri was just informed of her situation. Back at home, Yuuri wonders what to do, and he wonders if Mashiro thought it would be like this?

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      The next day, Yuuri and Ameri are talking about Mashiro’s situation when Ameri tells him that humans and Tayutai can’t get along. She also tells him that she doesn’t want him to fight the big three, and that maybe Mashiro should leave. She tells him that Mashiro’s problems are her own problems and that they should go back to their normal situation. He tells Ameri that he can’t leave Mashiro alone and he asks for her help in trying to see Mashiro tonight. Ameri goes off on Yuuri about his caring for Mashiro. Later, we see that Ameri doesn’t show up to help Yuuri, so it’s just him and Sankuro. But, at the last minute, Ameri shows up and gives Yuuri her father’s pass card. Once inside the building, Yuuri meets up with Yumina who shows him the way to the room where Mashiro is being kept.

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      When he sees Mashiro, he finds the door locked, and Mashiro refuses to use her powers to open the door. She tells him to go away, she says that if it wasn’t for the Tayutai humans could live their lives without any problems. Mashiro calls herself a monster, and says that even though she told the truth no one believed her, so she’s all alone now, and she shouldn’t have even bothered him. Yuuri finally gets pissed and calls her an idiot, she doesn’t have to be alone, and in his eyes she’s human enough for him. Mashiro starts to cry and uses her power to pass through the locked door to hug Yuuri.

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       After a few seconds of hugging, the Flawless security system alarm triggers (wtf, are they trying to keep all those girls prisoners and turn all those girls into yuri fiends) and Yumina tells Yuuri that he has to escape and she’ll try to stall anyone who come along. When Yuuri and Mashiro meet up with Sankuro and Ameri they find themselves trapped, Ameri’s father’s pass card code is locked out. Soon, the four of them are cornered by Kisaragi and her dyke security squad (maybe if he dropped trouser like in East of Eden they would die of shock), Kisaragi yells at Yuuri for using his step-sister and for trying to kidnap Mashiro. Mashiro says that she’s not being kidnapped and she tells them that no one at Flawless believed her, Kisaragi tells her that she’ll believe her but those that caused this trouble have to be punished. Mashiro tells Yuuri that she’s at her limit and she’s want to scare these stubborn people a little bit. Mashiro powers up her spiritual energy, and she summons all the Tayutai that obey her to the Flawless school’s courtyard.

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      The next day, Kisaragi tells Yuuri that only she and Yumina seem to remember what happened last night, but she now believes what Mashiro said. She tells Yuuri that she’s now working on getting permission for Mashiro to live at home and commute to Flawless for school for the sake of humans and the Tayutai. Kisaragi tells Yuuri that she’ll also do what she can to aid him and Mashiro in their mission, Yuuri thanks her for the help and he says that he wishes that everything could stay this peaceful. Later that night when Mashiro and Yuuri are alone, Mashiro asks Yuuri how long she’ll have to wait before they sleep together. Yuuri is surprised and speechless, Mashiro takes his silence as a rejection of her and her Tayutai nature and begins to cry. Yuuri apologizes for being this way and he tells her to wait until he feels that he’s earned the right/confidence (?) to call himself her husband (you coward, die a cherry boy), Mashiro settles for holding Yuuri’s hand. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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        OK, I have to let out a rant about this episode, but before I begin let me say that I like the series. Now, to the rant. WTF, like I said in my review of episode 2 I thought the whole idea of Mashiro, a goddess, going to school is just plain stupid. I know that most harem anime are targeted towards males of high school age, so therefor the majority a character such as Mashiro must suffer through the high school experience even though it’s pointless and even cruel for her. The very idea of a goddess being basically held prisoner inside a school dormitory stretches even my limit of tolerance towards stupid things inside of an anime series, the idea that a goddess would put up with being called a liar, a crazy, and locked in solitary confinement was about my limit. I don’t care how much a goddess wants to learn about modern society, I don’t think that she would fall into the Japanese behavior pattern of “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down”. To me, most of this episode was pointless other than the fact that Yuuri finally goes to Mashiro’s aid.

          Before I get to Yuuri let me say that I dislike wimpy male harem leads, so after the first two episodes I thought he really wasn’t that bad, but in this episode he showed a total lack of a man card. Come on now, Yuuri’s supposed to be the real deal, a young Shinto priest in training with real spiritual powers, but he’s ready to grovel at the feet of Kisaragi when she’s holding his family’s temple goddess a virtual prisoner, I don’t care if Kisaragi is the head virgin at Flawless. I also know that these leads are supposed to make the male viewers feel better about themselves, but how many guys would have really turned down Mashiro’s offer to sleep with Yuuri? Well, then again, if we judge Yuuri’s reaction to Mashiro’s offer and place it in the context of Japan’s zero or even negative population growth it explains a lot of things. I’m still giving this series a few more episodes before I decide if I’ll send it the way of H2o: Footprints in the Sand to my dropped bin.

       Here’s a few new anime motivational posters for the week of 4/27/2009. Feel free to share and enjoy these posters & artwork, but please at least give me a link or track back if you’re going to post them to a board or forum, Click on the poster to view at full size, enjoy.

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       Well, a funny thing happened this past week and I didn’t even realize it until one of my blog’s readers pointed it out to me, my blog is now two years old. I guess my reason for not really even noticing this fact is that as an “older” anime fan and blogger is that personal things like my birthday and I guess my blog’s birthday pass with less importance. I’ve always looked at this blog as a long term project, one advantage of being a older blogger is that I’ve passed most by most major life changing events that cause some blog writers to give up their blogging.  So, I’ve reached an equilibrium between my love of anime and my personal life, I see no reason other than the great dirt nap why I won’t continue watching and writing about anime for the foreseeable future. 

      I would also like to thank all the reader’s of this blog, I had no idea that when I started this blog I would have almost 1.5 million total reads after only two years. So, below are the two year stats for this blog.

Average readers per day.

2007-   352  /  2008-  2362  /  2009-  4416

Top 10 most read posts.

The loli train and other interesting sea

55,889

Mao Kobayashi, Japanese Idol, and member

25,200

Pretty Cure 1 review, two new magic girl

21,589

Candy Candy Manga Page

20,362

Lucky Star 1 Review, four girls and a sl

16,680

The best anime of 2007

16,609

Naisho no Tsubomi 1 review, girls health

15,551

Failure of Maho Shoujo in USA

15,380

Rika Sakurai, Japanese idol from Girlz H

14,476

Hatenko Yuugi 8, Rahzel’s first kiss?

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13,093

Book review, Japanese Ghosts and Demons.

11,678

Top 5 search terms leading to this blog.

sailor moon

33,117

loli

27,775

lucky star

16,633

pretty cure

12,020

candy candy

11,528

My 6 favorite posts that show what I think and how i feel about anime, not in any real order.

Clannad 1 review, Key’s new treat.     Clannad 10, another lonely girl and emotional escapism.       The finale of  Natsu no Sora episode, 12 review; Taking great joy in, and tasting the sadness of a brief life well lived, and why it’s OK cry.       Kaiba episode 12 (the finale episode) review, love conquers all.     Naisho no Tsubomi 3 review, a new life and a new love is born.      Clannad ~After Story~ 24 (the recap) review; Let me tell you a story, mukashi mukashi….. 

        So, after two years, what comes next?  Well, in the next couple of weeks I have to finish up my meta review of the whole Clannad series, it’s grown very large and needs more editing, and I’ll finish my editing on a post that takes a historical look back at moe, it goes back a lot further than most people think. I, also have to look for a new desktop computer, my main computer have up it’s ghost the other night so I need a new one. In closing, I want to thank all the readers of this blog for taking the time to read my ramblings.

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      This episode begins with the upcoming vacation fast approaching, while the other girls are thinking about relaxing, Mio says that they have to have a training camp for their band. When Mio suggests that they go away to practice, Yui thinks of getting new clothes and the beach, Ritsu also thinks of the ocean and a new swimsuit. When the topic of how much money this trip will cost, Mio asks Mugi, if by any chance her family has a villa? Well, yes. So, it’s decided, they’ll all head to Mugi’s villa to practice for a upcoming performance at the school’s cultural festival. The girls travel by train to Mugi’s ocean-side villa for “training camp”.

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       Once the girls arrive at Mugi’s villa they see that it’s huge, Mugi says that this was the smallest one and that she told her parents to keep it simple but it’s seems that they left lots of goodies for Mugi and the girls. While Yui and Ritsu are looking around, Mugi and Mio go to the practice space (the garage) where Mio plays Mugi a tape of the last light music club doing a song. Mugi says that they sound good, Mio says that they sound much better than them, and Mio says that she doesn’t want to lose to them. Mugi tells her not to worry, they can do it. Then, Ritsu and Yui rush into the room already wearing their swimsuits, they urge Mio and Mugi to hurry up and change.

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      Down at the beach, they have a good old time swimming and playing in the sand until Mio remembers that they have to practice. After eating, Yui and Ritsu slowly drift off to sleep and won’t wake up until Mio places her speaker amp right by their heads and plays them a little wake up song. 

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       Once Ritsu and Yui are awake their hearts just aren’t into practicing right now, and they goof around about what to do for the cultural festival, Ritsu suggests a maid cafe and Yui suggests a haunted house but Ritsu tells them that no one is better suited for a maid’s uniform then Mio. Later, the girls are eating outside when the talk again turns to practicing. As Mugi, Mio, and Ritsu are talking, Yui steps out and plays her guitar with fireworks in the background, Mio is enthralled, Ritsu tells them that they’ll get another chance like this when they play at Budokan like they promised.

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      Back inside the garage Yui plays them the song she played earlier, and they all think that she did a good job but Yui can’t figure out how to get a certain sound. Mio picks up her bass and shows Yui how to do it, and soon Yui is able to reproduce the same affect with her guitar. When the girls are in the villa’s onsen Mio continues to show Yui some more finger cords, then Yui thanks Mio for the training camp because music is great and she really enjoyed playing together with them. After their vacation is over, Ritsu stops by Mio’s house and shows her the vacation pictures, needless to say, Mio is not happy about some of the candid shots. Well, that’s all for this episode.

that-was-very-good-yuithat-sounds-very-funnythis-is-how-you-do-itmusic-is-great

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        Well, this was a very relaxing and enjoyable episode, I’ve wondered when the girls were going to get down to practicing, so combining a trip to the beach with band practice kills two birds with one stone. (doesn’t every anime with cute girls have to have at least one beach or onsen episode for our enjoyment?) One surprising thing about this series is how the main driving force is becoming Mio, after the first two episodes I was sure that Yui would be the main organizing character, but now I pretty sure it’ll be Mio. One interesting thing was Yui’s ability to pick up new skills with the guitar very quickly, she’s pretty good for having almost no experience with the instrument. But, the real star of the series is Mio, she’s everything a certain type of anime fan could want, sexy and shy, strong but still vulnerable, and more than a little bit tsundere. I guess that the next major marker or goal for this series will be how the girls deal with the first step on their way to Budokan, the school’s cultural festival. I look forward to moe and music as the girls continue their journey towards light music bliss. 

thumbs-up-for-school

     This episode begins with Yuuri being awoken at 5am on Sunday by Mashiroto begin a training session for their upcoming battle with the top three. She smokes his ass for 5 hours then she tells him that she’s sorry for being so tough, and she transfers a small amount of her spiritual to him. He asks her if the big three are really that tough? Well, for Kikurami at full power it would be no problem, but with my current power it’s a fifty-fifty chance. After a while, she asks her husband to not to leave her alone, and just as Marshiro tells Yuurito do as he pleases with her Ameri walks in on them and goes off. Mashiro tells Ameri that it’s a wife duty after all, and Ameri says that Yuuri’s still in school and it’s now the 20th century. Later, Mashiro asks Yuuri’s  father to attend school with Yuuri so she can learn more about modern times.

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       Well, Ameri is very opposed to this idea, but Mashiro makes the argument that Ameri is closed minded, and besides, she was the one that suggested that it’s the 20th century. Well, Yuuri’s dad calls Ameri’s father, who’s one of the school’s directors, and basically threatens him to pull some strings to get Mashiro into Yuuri’s school as a scholarship student, Ameri is not happy about this.

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       Then Yuuri takes Mashiro to school by motorcycle, and she really seems to enjoy herself, while she riding with him she seems to be semi-transparent. At a road crossing, some little children seem to be able to see her, and Mashiro says that it sometimes happens. When they finally get to school, Yuuri tells Mashiro that her tail is showing, and then Sankuro doesn’t even recognize her from the other day. Sankuro is shocked to find out that Mashiro is the little girl from the other day, Mashiro tells Sankuro that she’s here to build harmony between humans and Tayutai. Mashiro also mentions that she’s Yuuri’s wife to Sankuro who’s shocked and even more confused. Soon, Ameri runs into the group and her and Mashiro talk, Mashiro mentions that if anything happens she can use her powers as a god to erase memories.

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      The a a young girl runs up to and hugs Yuuri, it turns out that she’s Yuuri’s younger step-sister, Yumina. Ameri explains to Mashiro that Yumina is different, she’s a Flawless Woman’s School student, and they only have women of high class and very high grades as students. Then as they’re talking, the girl from the other day yells to Yumina to stay away from that guy, it turns out that she’s the Flawless Perfect, Kisaragi Mifuyu. Mashiro tries to stick up for Yuuri but Kisaragi asks if she’s the transfer student? Yes. I’ll be in charge of your transfer exams. Then Yumina asks Mashiro what her relationship with Yuuri is? Mashiro says that she’s now Yuuri’s wife and to please take care of me. Well, this draws a shocking reaction from both Yumina and Kisaragi.

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       Ameri storms into her father’s office and goes off on him about Mashiro. He tells her that no matter what happens, if Mashiro can’t pass the entrance exam she’s can’t join this school. Mashiro tells Yuuri that she’s worried about her test results, she only studied for only one day. When her results come in, Ameri and her father are shocked to see that Mashiro got a perfect score, one of the Flawless administrators says that Mashiro was watched the whole time to ensure that she didn’t cheat. Later, Kisaragi takes Mashiro to see the director of Flawless, and she gets invited to join their part of the school, to live in their dorm, and dedicate her life to studying for the future.

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       Back at home, Mashiro tells Yuuri and his father about this, and she asks them what she should do? Mashiro is confused about what to do, Flawless is a boarding school, Yuuri tells her that he’ll practice really hard without her. Mashiro says that she could use her goddess powers to slip out and meet with Yuuri when she has to. Well, she agrees to attend the flawless academy to help build up the harmony between humans and Tayutai. Mashiro packs her bags and leaves Yuuri a training schedule and some of her friends to help Yuuri train.

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       When Mashiro gets introduced to life at Flawless everything goes well at first, she meets lots of nice and friendly girls who want to meet her and be her friend. But, one of the girls comments about her cute hairstyle, it sort of looks like ears, Mashiro says that they can move, then the girls spot her tail, and Mashiro shows them that it can move too. Well, that scares all the girls, they take off leaving poor Mashiro all by herself. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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       Well, I’d hoped that they wouldn’t have taken the series this way, but they did, does Mashiro really have to attend high school, let alone the elite Flawless academy, for kami’s sake, she’s a goddess. Letting Mashiro attend a elite private all girls school will probably ruin her, I recently read a Japanese semi-fictional novel where the writer asserted that the all girls private school she attended was good at making elite income earners but terrible at making good people. The school was a viper’s nest, full of backstabbers and false friends, and the graduates have much higher failure rate at personal matters than normal high schools graduates have.

      Overall, this series is following the classic harem mold, we have our harem master (Yuuri) and his childhood friend (Ameri), they get along well, but nothing romantic ever happens between them then the new girl (Mashiro) comes along and makes a play for Yuuri. The friend starts to get upset that another girl is trying to steal her guy which always confuses me, they’re not sleeping together, or even dating, or let alone promised to each other. Then this episode also introduces two other girls who will fight for our guy’s attention; Yumina, the loli sister type (a step-sister), and Kisaragi, the elite, my shit doesn’t stink girl. So, the number of girls is slowly growing around our guy, and the only question is how many girls will eventually enter the equation.

      The saving grace for this show is that I like Yuuri, so far he’s not the wimpy harem lead that I find so annoying at times. Now to Mashiro, I like how she come off, while she’s a goddess she struggles with a modern world, she’s quite naive about her real odds or trying to get normal humans to accept the idea of friendship with mythological creatures. Well, so far, I find this show entertaining and enjoyable, it’s more harem than anything else, and as long as the series doesn’t start to annoy me too much I think it’ll be a winner.

      Here’s a few new anime motivational posters for the week of 4/20/2009. After looking at some of my older CD and album covers I’m going to do a  re-envisioning of some of my favorites with a anime or manga theme. Feel free to share and enjoy these posters & artwork, but please at least give me a link or track back if you’re going to post them to a board or forum,  I’ve seen one of my posters on a board where it said that it had been downloaded several thousand times but my blog said that the poster had only been viewed less than 50 times. Click on the poster to view at full size, enjoy.

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My anime and manga album artwork.

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     This episode begins with a skit in involving the girls sitting around doing their homework and Miu getting Chika to scratch an itch that she can’t reach herself. Then we find out that Nobue is trying to quit her smoking habit, Chika tells her that there’s no way it’s possible, and they end up making a bet involving bathroom usage, and another task.

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      Then we get a little skit where Miu copies all of Chika’s expressions and mannerisms, ending with Miu getting a picture of Chika acting real silly, and a face plant for Miu. After we watch how Ana and Matsuri interact with each other, the scene switches to Miu and Chika where Miu asks Chika if they’re just friends of best friends? Chika asks if there’s a difference, and Miu says she thinks there is, so she rushes off to ask Nobue. While Chika is listening to some music Miu bugs Nobue about the difference between friends and best friends. Nobue walks out of the room and texts her classmate about what their status with each other is?

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       A little while later, Ana and Matsuri show up, and when they enter the room Miu ambushes Matsuri and threatens to write on Matsuri’s forehead unless Ana plucks out her nose hairs and sticks them on her eyebrows. Nobue walks in and grabs Ana and tells Miu that if she doesn’t unhand Matsuri she’ll stick her fingers up Ana’s nose or even kiss Ana. Soon, Chika gets upset at the noise and Nobue and Miu let go of the girls, and Nobue tells Ana and Matsuri that Miu was checking how close they are.

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       Miu says that Ana and Matsuri are pretty close, best friends? Both Ana and Matsuri say yes without a moment’s thought. How close? They tell Miu that they’re close at school, they play after school, they have matching cellphone stickers, and they text each other all the time. Well, Miu says that she and Chika text each other all the time, so she demands to see Matsuri’s phone so she can look at their texts. When Matsuri hands the phone over, all of Matsuri’s and Ana’s text are nice, cute, and sugary sweet texts to each other, so much so that Miu’s on the floor laughing.

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        Then Miu tells Nobue to look and see how best friends text each other, when she see Matsuri’s messages she says how cute, and when Miu shows everybody her and Chika’s messages, everybody feels sorry for Chika. Then Miu sends a sugary sweet text to Chika, and her response is to blow Miu off. Then Miu asks how far Ana and Matsuri have gone, Miu says she’s kissed Chika, and they’ve even touched each others tits a long time ago, so she asks Nobue if that makes them best friends? Well, when Miu goes to talk to Chika, it looks like Nobue told Miu that they’re liable to be lesbians, Miu gets another face plant. Matsuri asks Ana what’s “liable to be Lesbians” mean, and Ana tells her that she doesn’t need to know.

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        Nobue asks the girls what her status is with them? After a short pause, Miu tells her she’s a boss, and a second later her classmate texts her back saying, Nobue is a boss! Well, poor Nobue tells them that she guesses that she doesn’t have any best friends. Ana and Matsuri tell Nobue that she’s best friends with them, but Nobue says that their ages are too different. Both Ana and Matsuri say they don’t understand the age difference thing but they love her anyways, this instantly cheers Nobue up. Then the question of how close Ana and Matsuri comes up again with Matsuri being asked if she would give up one of her organs to save Ana’s life if it wouldn’t kill her? Of course she would, and Ana would do the same for Matsuri. Then Miu asks Chika the same question  in a Miu manner, but when Chika hears the details she agrees that she would save Miu, making Miu very happy, but Miu tells Chika she wouldn’t give her an organ.

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       As Miu is getting ready to leave, she looks at everyone and goes off on them, she tells them that they’re boring, they do them same thing all the time, and she does mocking impersonations of everyone. Her impression of Nobue is just perfect, I’m an old lady that likes cute little girls, Chika agrees with Miu’s act, and both Miu and Chika get a face plant from Nobue. Miu tells Nobue that she has to prepare for the day that they become junior high school girls. Oh, the horror of that thought, poor Nobue is in tears. Chika tells Miu that this is too sudden for Nobue, so Miu wants to slowly prepare her for that day. So, all the girls including Nobue put on sailor uniforms, and Miu wants to take them to the world where they have left grade school.

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       So, Miu explains her vision of life after grade school to everyone, of course it’s a Miu version of the future, slighty off kilter. In her version of the future she and Chika are in eight grade, Ana’s in seventh grade, and for some reason Matsuri is still in sixth grade. Her version also includes a lot of school girl anime tropes found in many of those types of series’s. Also, in Miu’s version, everybody but her comes off bad, and she gets another face plant.

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       Later, we see Nobue looking in a store’s window at a turntable or some other thing, it looks like she was saving she money to buy it, but it’s already been sold. As Nobue is getting ready to drive off she sees a cigarette machine and pauses. Back at home Chika and Miu walk-in on Nobue having a smoke, and Chika asks her if she’s going to live up to her end of their bet. Yes. Chika calls everybody up and tells them to meet at her house, Nobue is taking everybody to the beach. At the beach, the girls have a good time and Nobue has a good time watching them play. Well, that’s all for this episode.

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Nobue’s in her Heaven & All’s right with the world.

       I’ve always felt that there’s almost no better example of someone enjoying the Moe aesthetic than how Nobue takes pleasure in watching Chika, Miu, Ana, and Matsuri being cute little girls. Nobue takes pleasure in enjoying the girls’ innocence, not in any sort of sexual manner, it’s like she sees them as a younger version of herself, not yet cynical, untouched by the baser realities of teenage life; longing for boyfriends, sex, smoking, having to work for money, and so forth. I think that Nobue’s pleasure in watching the girls is also an expression of  her appreciation of the principle of Mono no Aware, she knows that sooner or later the girls will exchange their childhood innocence for a more worldly adult experience, and she chooses to enjoy every last moment of their childhood.

From William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experiance (1789)

Nurse’s Song (or Nobue’s song)

     

    When the voices of children are heard on the green
    And laughing is heard on the hill,
    My heart is at rest within my breast
    And everything else is still. 
    “Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down
    And the dews of night arise;
    Come, come, leave off play, and let us away
    Till the morning appears in the skies.” 
    “No, no, let us play, for it is yet day
    And we cannot go to sleep;
    Besides, in the sky the little birds fly
    And the hills are all cover’d with sheep.” 
    “Well, well, go & play till the light fades away
    And then go home to bed.”
    The little ones leaped & shouted & laugh’d
    And all the hills echoed.

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