Minami-ke Okawari


     This episode begins with Kana returning home from her meeting with Maki and Atsuko, her and telling Chiaki about Haruka’s departure for overseas studies, Chiaki can’t believe it and says she’ll go ask her about it, and basically Kana says not to bother Haruka, let Haruka decide her future for herself, and if she decides to go we’ll send her off with a smile.

     The atmosphere at home is very tense and gloomy with Kana and Chiaki reading a lot of meaning into all of Haruka’s words. At school everyone asks Chiaki about Haruka’s departure, Uchida and Yoshino both think it would be exciting to travel the world. Then at Haruka’s school, Hayami starts planning a big party for Haruka, and when Hosaka overhears the news he says that he needs to get a passport. Then at Kana’s school Keiko tells Kana that they’ll be friends forever and she write her no matter where she lives.

       Later, Kana and Chiaki decide to prove to Haruka that they can take care of themselves by taking care of the household chores. So the kids begin to try their skills and cooking and so forth, and Kana has recruited Touma and Makoto as taste testers for the meal, and it does not go well for them.

      As Touma and Makoto slowly suffer, the other girls’ cooking gets slightly better, but they must all succeed for Haruka’s sake. That night while Chiaki and Kana are lying awake in bed, Kana tells Chiaki that it’s much harder than she thought to do all the stuff that Haruka does for them, and she wonders if that’s the reason why Haruka’s leaving them, then Kana crawls into bed with Chiaki to sleep for the night. The next morning Haruka is awaken before 7am by the noises caused by Kana and Chiaki doing the house cleaning.

      Kana and Chiaki both tell Haruka to go back to her room and rest while they will take care of everything, and Haruka hangs out in her room and feels uncomfortable just sitting there. Haruka asks them if they need some help but she is told that they are fine by themselves.

     After the cleaning duties are finished, Kana and Chiaki prepare dinner for Haruka, and when Haruka finally eats the meal she thinks that it’s very good. Haruka then tells them that she’s surprised that they can cook and take care of the chores, Kana tells her that they can do it when they get serious about it, and then Kana tells Haruka that now she can fly off without any worries. Chiaki also tells Haruka the same thing, but begins to start crying, and Haruka is confused about what is going on here.

      Finally, Chiaki breaks down completely and throws herself at Haruka and tells her not to leave, and then a little while later Kana begins to cry too and also throws herself on Haruka. Haruka asks them who told them that she was leaving and Kana tells her that she found it out from Maki, and Haruka tells them that she’s not going overseas to study, she just couldn’t leave the two of them. At the very end of the episode we get a montage of the girls with their various groups of friends enjoying themselves and having a good time. Well, that’s all for this series.

     Well, this was a funny and touching final episode for the series. This whole series has always been about the interactions between the three sister, with groups of friends thrown in to spice up the action. But in the end the episode shows the love and caring that they all have for one another.

     What surprised me was how the normally selfish and lazy Kana was able to be strong and hold it together until the very end, she even was able to think of Haruka’s future before her own needs for once. Looking back at the last 26 episodes this series finished the way it started, three sisters loving and caring for each other. Overall, this series was a funny, mellow, and relaxing look into the lives of three anime girls, and I’ll miss the weekly enjoyment it brought me. Hopefully this anime will see a North American release, but with current market conditions I doubt it.

     This episode begins with Chiaki’s school preparing for a sports festival, and Chiaki gets put in charge of the first aid part. We also get to see Kana training some of Chiaki’s friends for the sports festival, and we get shown how Chiaki gets along with Fuyuki. She keeps getting frustrated with him because he never really says what he wants to really to say. Then later the next night Kana and Chiaki find out from Haruka that Fuyuki and his father will be moving away soon.

     As the sports festival approaches the kids continue to get ready for it and Chiaki tries to get Fuyuki to break his habit of always agreeing to help everyone. Both Kana and Haruka tell Chiaki that they will attend the festival the next day, Kana tells her that she’ll cheer her on. The next day, both Kana and Haruka show up along with Fujioka whom Haruka invited watch the events, Kana’s special training seems to have had no affect on the girls and they do poorly.

     During the scavenger hunt event Chiaki grabs up Fujioka because she drew a slip of paper saying father, and Kana gets a load of laughs out of this.

     Then the next event is the costume parade with Makoto representing Chiaki’s class dressed as a girl and at this point Yoshino kind of makes the connection that Mako-chan looks like a cross-dressed Makoto, but Uchida tries to blow it off.

      Later at the lunch break Chiaki sees that Fuyuki is going to eat alone so she grabs him and brings him to eat with her family where he admits that this is the first time he’s eaten with a group. Later when talk of the family event comes up Kana volunteers to participate with Fuyuki, because Haruka with be with Chiaki, but he doesn’t do it because his father has picked him up and he leaves the school for good. Later when Chiaki finds out about this she seems a little sad, and she wishes he would have just said something.

     The next day at school Maki sees her teacher removing the overseas exchange poster and asks him if it’s been filled and he tells her that he’s decided to let Minami-san go. Later as Kana is walking home from school she sees Maki and Atsuko eating and they call her over, Maki and Atsuko have been talking about a farewell party for Haruka, and when Kana finds out about this she goes into total shock. Well, that’s all for this episode.

     Well, episode 12 was a very interesting episode with a slight taste of melancholy too it, this episode mainly focuses on Chiaki and her relationships with school, friends, her sisters especially Haruka, and her strange dance she does with Fuyuki.

     At school and with her friends Chiaki is the calm, no nonsense voice of reason and responsibility that helps organize and ensures that most things run smoothly. Over the past two Minami-ke series Chiaki has changed greatly, in the beginning she was blunt almost to the point of rudeness with her friends, and now it seems that she takes into account their feelings more often.

     At home Chiaki is a loving sister to both Kana and Haruka, don’t laugh when you read this, I really feel that she loves Kana deeply but she understands that Kana can be a thoughtless and selfish person at times. But the one Chiaki adores is Haruka, while Haruka might be her sister she really Chiaki’s loving and caring mother figure. What I also found sweet was how Chiaki grabbed Fujioka during the scavenger hunt when her task was to find a father, while this embarrassed Fujioka I found it really sweet.

     Now to Chiaki’s strangest relationship, her relationship with Fuyuki, I think that she actually felt something towards Fuyuki, call it a mothering feeling, or call it compassion, I really can’t say. But I think that she realized he wasn’t stupid, he just had problems dealing with people. His biggest problems were not being able to say no to anyone, and not saying how he truly feels, and Chiaki many times tries to get him to say no, and to say how he truly feels, but alas no dice.

      The thing that I think that Chiaki missed about Fuyuki and his life is how truly lonely he was, and that would explain why he never turns anyone down and why he never says what he feels. In this episode he tells the girls that this is the first time he’s ever eaten bento (boxed lunch) with anyone else, Fuyuki and his father move from place to place with his father picking up work where he can, so this leads to Fuyuki having no real friends other than his dad who seems to work all the time. So, Fuyuki never says no and he never says what he wants because he needs the human contact that helping everyone brings, and he’s afraid that saying how he really feels might drive that contact away from him.

     Chiaki’s constant attempts to get Fuyuki to say what he feels reminds me of how Kyo from Fruits Basket  tells Tohru that it’s all right to say how she truly feels, if your frighten, sad, or lonely say it and don’t try and hide your feelings because it almost becomes a lie.

      Now for the cliffhanger, Maki and Atsuko telling Kana about Haruka’s impending departure, and it’s only a matter of time before this gets back to Chiaki and it causes a big stir. But I think that it’s a load of BS, Haruka would never leave her sister like that, but it makes for a good final episode.

 

     This episode begins with Kana faking an illness to avoid classroom duties, so later she is surprised when Fujioka show up at her house to check on her, and when he enters the living room he sees Touma in a girls school uniform (everyone but Fujioka knows that Touma is a girl). Touma retreats to the bathroom to hide and Kana tells her that she’ll make an excuse to cover for her. Later, Kana chases Fujioka around the house trying to force him to wear her school uniform telling him that today everyone must cross-dress to make her happy, he refuses and won’t do it.

      Later, when Haruka returns home Kana again plays the illness card to avoid helping in tomorrows clean the city duties, but Chiaki seems doubtful that Kana’s really ill. So the next day, Haruka leaves Chiaki to watch Kana while she out helping clean the city, and Haruka also gives Kana a bell and tells her to use it if she needs anything from Chiaki. Soon Kana is using the bell all the time to make Chiaki wait on her like a servant, and Chiaki gets upset because she thinks that Kana is faking. When Haruka returns home she even has Chiaki bring Kana dinner in bed.

     Finally, Chiaki has had enough and accuses Kana of faking the illness, and Kana does her best to avoid being caught. The next day Chiaki wakes Kana up and tells her to get ready or they’ll leave her, they were to go shopping then to a steak dinner, but when Kana gets out of bed she discovers that she’s really caught a cold. So she tells her sisters to go shopping and she’ll stay home to do homework, later Uchida shows up at the apartment. Then Mako-chan shows up with lots of cold remedies for Kana, and Kana makes a vow to recover before her sisters return home so she can go out to dinner with them.

     As Haruka and Chiaki finish their shopping and start heading home, Chiaki tells Haruka that she can’t wait to get to the steak buffet, and at home Kana’s illness has only gotten worst. Once they get home Kana tries to hide her illness but soon Chiaki figures out that she’s really ill this time, and Kana throws herself at Chiaki’s mercy.

     The next skit is about how Kana wants to again challenge Fujioka and she goes to Chiaki for help, Chiaki feels sorry for Fujioka because she feels that he’ll never be able to tell Kana his true feelings. So, Chiaki tells Kana to ask Fujioka to call her by her first name then when he’s distracted she can attack him. So, Kana executes the plan and while he’s distracted she attacks him from behind, but all she ends up doing is basically hugging him, making him very happy. Well, That’s all for this episode.

     Well, only two episodes of Minami-ke  are left and so many plot-lines to tie up, oh I forgot this is anime, the home of unresolved plot-lines.

     In this episode Touma’s true nature is almost discovered by Fujioka, but I don’t understand the big deal Touma makes about this, even if Fujioka finds out she’d be just another girl of many that Fujioka sees at the Minami household, and Fujioka only has eyes for Kana.

     But basically this episode revolves around Kana’s little plots and plans, all involving Kana’s avoidance of work or chores, and in the end they always end up backfiring on her, call it Kana karma or as Chiaki might phrase it, as a “idiots reward”. But to me the funniest part was the ending with Chiaki feeling sorry for Fujioka not being able to “express his love of Kana”, I feel that Chiaki’s wrong about this, Fujioka done everything but throw her against a locker and kiss her, he’s told her that he likes her, he’s asked her out on a date, he’s bought her gifts, hell he’s even seen her nude, and her always hangs around her, she just too stupid to see it. But in the end, Chiaki’s advice to Kana gives him everything that he was looking for :).

 

      This episode begins with Haruka, Maki, and Atsuko returning from a shopping trip, once they get back to Haruka’s apartment Maki and Atsuko talk with Kana and Chiaki about cats, the news, and the coming of spring when idiots will become more active, Kana asks Chiaki is she’s referring to Maki.

      Then Chiaki does a little skit teaching the other girls how to do idiot (Kana) rebuttal training, and then Kana and Maki start talking about food. Kanamentions how she would like to eat Harami (slices of steak) and Chiaki mentions Hanami (flower viewing) getting every one’s attention and Maki tells her they were talking about Harami. Kana makes fun of Chiaki for confusing the two words, and this bothers Chiaki because she’s the one usually correcting Kana.

      Haruka overhears Chiaki’s mention of Hanami (flower viewing) and asks her if she wants to go flower viewing and Chiaki tells her yes. The other girls think that it’s too cold but Haruka says it will be fine, and soon Kana is going full speed to make it one of her holidays. By the next day Kana has invited most of the usual suspects. On the day of their Hanami party Haruka, Maki, and Atsuko will cook the snacks while the other group picks the viewing site and does the shopping of miscellaneous items.

A cultural note from a previous post of mine (Lucky Star 15).

(Cultural Note: Cherry blossoms [sakura] is basically the Japanese national flower, each year when the Sakura bloom, cherry blossom viewing [hanami] parties are held around the country. Many Japanese people like to sit under the sakura trees and enjoy their natural beauty. In Zen Buddhism falling sakura can come to symbolise the beauty in the changing or fading of things such as youth, love, beauty, and other cherished things.)

     Kana breaks the group into two, the first group Kana, Chiaki, Yoshino, and Uchida will do the shopping, and the other group Fujioka, Fuyuki, Touma, and Mako-chan will pick out and set up the viewing site. Once Fujioka thinks he’s found the right spot he says he needs a girl’s opinion so he asks Mako-chan if this is a good location, and Mako-chan gives a half-hearted yes. Fuyuki turns to Mako-chan and asks her/him if she’s really a girl, and both Fuyuki and Mako-chan painfully laugh off the question. Then Fujioka asks Touma for support when he says that guys aren’t good at picking these kind of things, and Touma gives an equally half-hearted yes.

 Soon after Fujioka gets the viewing site setup, Kana arrives with the rest of the group, and everyone wonders where Haruka is with the food. Kana tells everyone that she’ll go home to check on Haruka, when Kana arrives home she finds that Hayami has shown up with her famous high test “juice”, and that none of the other girls are in any condition for flower viewing. As Kana is leaving, Hayami gives Kana a large sack of juice to take back for everyone else.

      After Kana gets back to the group she gives them the juice and tries to cover for Haruka but Chiaki heads home anyway with Kana soon chasing after her. Soon everyone left at the viewing site feels the effects of the juice except for Fujioka who has left to look for Kana. As Fujioka is searching for Kana he passes Hosaka whom is looking for Haruka, very funny.

     Later after everything is done and everyone has gone home Chiaki is sitting at the table getting ready to eat a delicious cup of noodles when Kana walks in soaking wet, Chiaki tells her to change clothes and she’ll pour her a bath so she won’t get sick. As Chiaki is in the bathroom pouring Kana’s bath, Kana eyes the noodles and can’t resist eating them, then Chiaki walks in telling Kana that her bath is ready, and  she sees that Kana is eating her noodles.

     After Chiaki sees her noodles being eaten she gets such a look of utter despair that you can almost see her soul being crushed, at other times she would have hit Kana or verbally attacked her but Kana’s act of utter selfishness just destroyed poor Chiaki. When Kana sees Chiaki, who’s almost in tears, she pulls some cup of noodles out of her shopping bag and asks Chiaki which one she wants? Chiaki’s face almost lights up like the sun with happiness upon seeing the noodles. Well, that’s all for this episode.

     This episode followed the typical Minami-ke formula of food, friends, and fun, with the exception of the last couple of minutes. Kana throughout the series has been kind of thoughtless and selfish especially when it comes to food, mainly Chiaki’s food.

     But for the most part, Kana’s selfishness hasn’t caused any real damage, with the exception of Chiaki verbally or sometimes physically attacking her about it. But, this time Kana selfishness almost caused irreversible damage between her and Chiaki. After Kana arrives home soaking wet, Chiaki expresses a real worry about Kana becoming ill if she stays wet, and she even goes as far as pouring a bath for Kana. So, when Chiaki sees Kana eating her food something almost changed permanently between them, you can almost see their relationship in ruins, no verbal attack, no physical attack, it’s almost like at that very moment Chiaki tagged her sister as an irredeemable selfish bitch, she’s finally done with her.

      But in the end Kana manages to salvage the moment, knowing Kana I really don’t know if she planned it that way all along, or she just got lucky after she realized what she had done and just happened to have the extra food with her. I would like to think that Kana had intended to share her food all along and just thought that this was a good time to pull a good one on Chiaki.

 

 

      This episode begins with the Minami sister sharing dinner, afterwards Kana tells Chiaki that she frightens herself. Kana tells her that for the past two nights that she dreamed in advance what they were going to eat for dinner the next day. Chiaki is very skeptical about this and tells her that she has to predict the next nights dinner in advance not just claim that she knew it in advance. So, that night Kana has a weird dream that includes Mako-chan claiming that he going to be a girl from now on, and the dream also includes Chiaki enjoying carrot sticks.

     The next day Kana and Chiaki have a conversation about whether or not a person can be forced to change or if they can change by doing something over and over, Chiaki tells her that she thinks that they have to be willing to change. Later at school Haruka gets called into the counseling office by one of her teachers, because of her good grades she gets offered the chance to be in the school’s student exchange program, he tells her that this would be a great opportunity to experience the world.

     Later at Chiaki’s school everyone decides to study at Chiaki’s house after school, Including Makoto as himself for a change. Then Uchida has a conversation with Makoto about his cross dressing at the Minami household, he tells her that it’s just because Kana makes him do it. But Uchida tells him that he seems more lively and out going as girl, so doesn’t he like doing it. Also Makoto asks Uchida if she thinks that Yoshino suspects his real identity, she tells him no, but it most likely won’t be long. Also Yoshino tells Chiaki that she thinks that Chiaki has changed, Chiaki asks her how she’s changed, and she tells her that she’s now better around people.

     Once everyone gets to the Minami household, Makoto announces he’s here with all his masculinity, and Kana basically threatens to toss him out, so he leaves and returns shortly wearing girl clothes that Kana has given him. After Mako-chan talks with Kana, Yoshino starts asking Mako-chan all sorts of personal question and he/she gets very nervous about being found out. A little while later Mako-chan leaves the apartment in a hurry, and outside Mako-chan and Kana have a talk, Kana tells him that he does have a choice.

     After everyone has left the apartment Kana tells Chiaki about her dream and that tonight Chiaki will be eating tasty carrot sticks, Chiaki thinks that this prediction is stupid. Later Kana’s prediction actually comes true, in her dream she thought the meal was carrot sticks but they actually had crab legs which look the same as her dream’s carrot sticks. Later Chiaki asks Haruka if she thinks that she’s changed in some way, Haruka asks her why she thinks she changed, did a friend tell her she’s changed? if so, then it’s probably true.

     The next morning at breakfast Kana notices that Chiaki’s hairstyle has changed, and she asks Haruka if she sees anything different but Haruka seems to busy cooking to notice. Then at school Hayami teases Hosaka with a bento lunch that Haruka has made for her. She basically tells him that for all these months he’s made bento for Haruka but he has not had the courage to give one of them to Haruka. So she tells him to make a choice, would he rather eat a bento that Haruka has made or would he rather have Haruka eat one of his homemade bento, and in the end he waffles by saying that either way the result would delicious. Well, that’s all for this episode.

      This was a very interesting episode of Minami-ke , this episode is also a little more serious than some of the earlier episodes, two main themes came to the forefront in this instalment. First, Kana’s dream and the discussion of that dream with Chiaki leads to a interesting debate on the nature of change. Secondly, the other theme in this episode is about choices and the effects of choices made or unmade.

     First, changes, Kana’s and Chiaki’s discussion about changes brought up a pretty common theme in anime, can someone be forced to change by making them do something against their will, or does the act of change require the consent of the person. On this point I tend to agree with Chiaki, you can force someone to do something they don’t like, but that just means there are doing something they dislike, still it does require some consent from the person.

     An interesting point was when Uchida confronted Makoto with the question of does he enjoy dressing up like a girl, although he denies any enjoyment from it she points out that when he’s a girl he’s more energetic and outgoing a person. I feel that this change in his personality is more due to his lack of self esteem in his guy-hood, he feels like a moron and a idiot in his own skin so he’s more comfortable in someone else’s skin.

     Now to the issues of choices, first Haruka is going to have to make a huge choice, is she going to take the opportunity to represent her school in the overseas exchange program, while under normal circumstances this would be a great thing for her, she’ll never leave her sisters.

     Back to Makoto, he makes a choice every time he dresses as a girl, he may feel he has no choice but as Kana tells him outside the apartment he can always choose not to.

     And now to the funniest example of choice or a lack of a choice is Hosaka, I think that Hayami is trying to tell Hosaka to man up, when she asks him whether he would rather eat Haruka’s bento or have Haruka eat his bento, what she is really saying to him is that as long as he just sits on the sideline he’ll never eat any of Haruka’s bento, and she’ll never eat his.

     And now the interesting issue of did Chiaki change like Yoshino has suggested, yes it’s like Haruka suggested, if your friend says you’ve changed then most likely you have changed. I feel that Chiaki has changed somewhat, from the beginning of the first series she really was kind of unfriendly and at times a bitch. Now, she still can be abrasive and straight forward, but she’s nowhere near as bad as before, in this episode she even takes out the trash, earlier in the series she would have made someone else do it.

  

 

 

    

     This episode begins with Haruka being given some free tickets to an indoor pool from the owner of a shop that she and her sisters always buy groceries from. When Haruka returns home she tells her sisters that their are going to an indoor pool this weekend, Kana is very happy about the trip, but Chiaki doesn’t seem very enthused about the trip. Soon Kana decides to call her idiot crew together and invite them along too, later we see Chiaki surfing the net for swimming lessons, it seems that she doesn’t know how to swim.

     By the next day Kana has gotten Touma, Uchida, Mako-chan, and Yoshino to commit to the trip, also Fujioka tries to ask Kana out on a date to the very same pool and she accepts telling him to meet her at her house the next morning. Also Haruka’s friend Hayami finds out about the trip and decides that it would be fun if she and some of her friends just sort of show up at the pool to, and Riko who is still crushing on Fujioka finds out about the trip and decides to show up at the pool to. The next day Haruka has arraigned to have their cousin Takeru drive them to the pool in his van, and like them last trip they took Fujioka and Takeru are very bad at navigation and the trip takes along time, and also like the last trip Takeru is suspicious about Fujioka’s interest in Kana.

     Once the crew gets to the pool they all grab a bite to eat, and soon this episode overflows with cute girls in swim suits doing cute and silly things. A couple of recurring things happen in this episode, Mako-chan worries about being found out that she’s really a guy, Touma worries that Fujioka will find out that he’s really a girl, Riko wants Fujioka to notice her instead of Kana, Haruka tries to grab some sleep, and Kana does her best to cause silliness and chaos.

 

     Kana quickly finds out two things about Chiaki, firstly that she can’t swim and secondly that some people at her school call her princess. Kana begins to pull Chiaki’s strings about not being able to swim, but she really rides her about the princess thing, princess this and princess that.

     But, after a while Kana in her own silly way tries to help Chiaki achieve her goal of being able to swim 25 meters, while Chiaki never makes the 25 meters she tries her best to get their, and Kana genuinely shows some caring and compassion towards her.

 

     After the other girls hear about Chiaki’s goal, most of them think about what their goals should be, for the most part their goals are either cute or silly.

     Well, a Minami-ke  pool episode, life doesn’t get any better for the male anime fan than having a boatload cute girls taking a trip to an onsen, beach or pool. This episode was mostly filled with cute girls doing cute silly things, the cuteness level almost rises to levels seen in Ichigo Mashimaro.

     After a couple of episodes having Kana getting in trouble over her selfishness and laziness, I think this episode highlights some of the better parts of her character. Kana is kind of like the spoon that stirs the pot, add her to a group gathering and you’ll certainly won’t be bored. In the scene where her goal is stated as “to build a house that can hold 100 people” is quite illuminating, when she gets older she’ll probably be happy having about five to six kids and having all their friends in her house, she’ll thrive on the chaos and liveliness that comes with it.

     Now, for my opinion of a couple of unstated goals.

     Mako-chan’s goal: to be able to regain his manhood and still be able to be around Haruka.

     Hosaka’s goal: To get the balls to be able to talk to Haruka let alone tell her that he likes her.

     Fujioka’s goal: To take Kana on a real date, but that’s against Kana’s nature, so he’ll have to be satisfied being part of her chaos.

     Maki’s goal: To have Hosaka notice her, she doesn’t know it yet, but I feel it.

     Hayami’s goal: juice, and more juice, plus trying to hook up Haruka up with someone.

Bonus Pick of Uchida Yuka

 

     This episode begins with Haruka wanting to teach Chiaki and Kana how to properly make choko for Valentine’s day, Chiaki is very receptive to the idea but Kana wants no part of it. Kana feels that it’s much better to receive than to give and she only plans on receiving.

     Kana decides to make this one of her festivals, a festival shes calling girl’s Valentine’s festival, and begins to summon her idiot squad together. Pretty soon Yuka, Yoshino, Touma, and Mako-chan are all at the Minami household for choko  making lessons.

     A really funny part is when Mako-chan shows up and Kana makes him/her wear a maid’s outfit if he/she wants to keep coming to their house, it’s really priceless to see Yuka busting up in the background as Kana constantly humiliates him.

     Another ongoing theme in this episode is how Kana keeps eating the choko that everyone is making, she eats so much choko  that the girls soon run out of ingredients, so instead of Kana having to go buy more choko she talks Touma into going to the store instead of her. While Touma is shopping she runs into Fujioka and he ends up believing that Kana is making honmei-choko (choko given to a loved one) for him. Later, Kana piggishness has gotten so bad that Chiaki had to leave a spiked batch that was sabotaged inside the refrigerator to teach Kana a lesson.

     After the choko is made the girls talk about who they are going to give their choko to, Haruka says her friends (tomo-choko), one of the girls says she’ll give it to her father, another girl say she doesn’t know, Chiaki won’t say who she’ll give hers to, Mako-chan says he/she will give her choko  to Makoto, and Kana says why would she give any choko away.

     The next day at school Haruka gives choko to her friends, and Hosaka wants to give her a choko cake, but Maki asks him why? did Haruka give him any choko. At Chiaki’s school many girls give Touma some choko, Yuka gives the hamster her choko, and even Fuyuki (the yes boy) gets some choko. At Kana’s school Fujioka hides all the choko he received to get ready for Kana’s choko, so Kana thinks he didn’t get any choko, so she runs off. Later she gives Fujioka some choko, he thinks it’s made by her for him, but in reality she borrowed it from the most popular guy in the school, oh well I guess what Fujioka doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

     Once the girls are all return home from school Haruka gives both Chiaki and Kana a gift of choko, and a little while later Chiaki gives Haruka the choko she made the other day. Kana asks Chiaki where’s her choko and Chiaki is like you’ve got to be kidding. Well, that’s all for this episode.

     Well this episode of was a very relaxing look at the Minami sister and their friends making choko for Valentine’s day, the main contrast in this episode was between Chiaki and Kana’s personalities. While Chiaki and her friends earnestly try their best to make the best choko they can make, Kana spends all her time goofing off and stealing the others choko.

     One would think that Kana would have learned her lesson about being selfish by now, in the last two episodes Haruka really made her pay a price for her selfishness and stupidity. But, no one ever said that Kana was very smart or even could be taught a new trick.

     Another thing that I found really cute in this episode was when the younger girls (Chiaki and her friends) were talking about the idea of having a boy to give honmei-choko to, it was very cute. It was also very funny how the girls kept suggesting that Chiaki was going to give choko to Fuyuki, but on Valentine’s day Chiaki was only thinking of Haruka.

     Cultural Note: for those new to anime and Japanese culture, on Valentine’s day only the girls give choko to the boys/men. There are three types of choko gifts that the girls usually give; the first type is know as guri-choko (duty or obligation choko) this type of choko doesn’t have to be handmade it can be the generic store bought type, this type of Choko is given to almost all male coworkers and so forth, the second type of choko  that girls can give is called tomo-choko  (friendship choko) this type of gift is usually given between girlfriends but can be given to close male friends, the last type of Valentine’s gift is called honmei-choko  (loved one or favored choko) the type girls give to their boyfriends or guys they want to make their boyfriends, this type of gift is usually handmade or very fancy store bought.

     If you think that this stops after high school you would be wrong, in the work environment this practice is viewed as an office popularity poll, the ladies can send messages to the men about how they feel they are being treated. If a man is considered an asshole he is given no gifts or very cheap gifts, sending a message to treat the women better. On the other hand if a man is popular he is given fairly nice gifts by the OL (office ladies). Some women like to play games with men they don’t really like by giving a gift to the man that could be considered either a Guri-choko or a Honmei-choko  confusing the man as to her intentions.

     Now you might asks what does the girl/woman get out of this? Well, thirty days later the boys/men must return the favor to the girls/women. This is called white day because in the past the return gift was usually marshmallows or white choko , nowadays boys/men can give any type of choko or cake in return. But, be advised that if you receive a Honmei-choko gift and you want to say your interested in her the return gift will be of equal or greater value like 2-3x more costly. Now do you see why a lady might play games with a guy they don’t like, the return gift will hit him in the wallet.

Next Page »