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 :).

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