Let’s see, the bloody Amazoness returns (booo!) and proceeds to try and break up Ric x Nino (BOOO!), yet helps to turn this epi into one of the best yet (WHAAAAAT?!).
Ric is once again teaching the kiddies (er, and Nino) at his open air classroom on the riverbank under the bridge. Until he realises that he has an extra student. An extra large, and an extra (trying-to-be-)moé, one. Yes, for some bizarre reason, the Amazoness aided by her tengu-masked minions is out to seduce Ric, and he is soon under the minions’ hypno-spell, which reduces him to an extra-sparkly hot-for-the-Amazoness mess. P-Ko, who is also looking on and notices Ric’s bizarre and sudden interest in the Amazoness, tries to snap Ric out of it and then advises a confused Nino to ask Ric for a date. This is to be a romantic stroll along the riverbank, commencing at 1 o’clock., and a much happier Nino proceeds to wait for her man at the appointed time…
SIX HOURS later, a surprisingly chirpy Nino is still waiting for him when he eventually turns up. With a wedding dress clad Amazoness in his arms. Cue a plea from Ric for Nino to break up with him. A considerably less chirpy Nino, though, is having none of it, and challenges the Amazoness to see who loves him more. After an impressively clean fight, Nino barely breaks a sweat as she defeats her exhausted opponent. Meanwhile, Ric manages to break free of the hypnotic stupor under which the tengu-minions try to keep him, before he is reunited with Nino. Who proposes to him. Sort of.
I must say, my heart sank when I saw the Amazoness, which’ll probably come as no surprise given my thoughts on epi 2. And yet, her involvement wasn’t as annoying as I thought it would be (even the whole schoolgirl thing) in this epi and it facilitated some of the best Ric x Nino development yet, which, along with the crazy girl ‘fight’ and the whole ‘marriage’ stuff, gave us that fabulous mix of dawww and bwuahaha! that I love about this show. It was also nice seeing the eternal-romantic P-Ko doing her best to rescue the almost-sinking Ric x Nino ship, though it was satisfying that Ric eventually snapped out of it in the end by himself, at the thought of truly losing Nino. And NINO. Talk about giving us another umpteen things to love about her, in the way that she so awesomely showed off the strength of her love for Ric and her compassion towards others. And finally, two things that certainly remain just as uncertain by the end of this epi: the Amazoness’s connection to Ric (e.g.: how she had his mobile number) and the whole is-she-isn’t-she-an-alien thing re: Nino, considering how efficiently she kicked her towering opponent’s arse.
As mentioned, despite the prominent role of the Amazoness, it was all about Ric x Nino in this epi, even though Ric spent most of it somewhere even zanier than Arakawa-land. Clearly, Ric has a good excuse for sort-off cheating on Nino, but it was nonetheless pretty sad/ irritating/ unfathomable seeing someone cheating on such a great girl. On the other hand, as I mentioned above, Ric’s successful ‘snapping out of it’ of his own accord was sweet and Nino’s reaction was AWESOME. Granted, in almost any other context, a girlfriend facing-off with the wife of a happily married man who has just dumped said gf saying that she (said gf) doesn’t care if they are married would probably be rather worrying. Thankfully, Nino’s disrespectful attitude towards marriage in this case [er, btw did this actually happen or not? Hmm] is entirely justified, sensing this particular union to be the sham that it is. Which is also kind of awesome of her to realise, given how deadpan and literal her usual expressions and the way she take things are. Usual, being the operative word here. In fact, Nino’s expressions/ gestures/ movements were collectively my favourite thing about this epi, especially how happy she is when she arranges and anticipates her date, when she explains about how she protects Ric, and when she thinks that she is marrying him.
And when she looks like this:
Okay, so that was only in Ric’s head, and clearly we have a long way to go before Nino realises that marriage means a bit more than drinking milk together on a sofa. However, Nino’s general increase in her repertoire of facial expressions and her eagerness to fight for this love is hopefully a step in the right direction. In fact, I wouldn’t put it past this show to actually have such an ending for them as Ric in blushing-maiden mode might imagine… but, yeah, as I said, that would, to say the least, be a very long way off.
Finally, I mentioned P-Ko, but I wasn’t quite sure what to make of a certain other, pointier character who was also looking on at all the madness with equal interest. Clearly, Hoshi was rather amused at Ric’s sudden change of heart, but then when he actually found out that Ric was in lala-land during most of the goings on, Hoshi seemed reluctant to take advantage of the situation and steal Nino away, presumably without having to fight fairly for her himself. Of course, we never actually saw him having to make such a decision, as Ric woke up soon afterwards, which was probably a good thing as we can’t have Hoshi turning out to be such an honourable guy just yet, as that would take all the fun out of his future interaction with Ric, if he’d already bowed out of the battle for Nino’s heart (not to mention that I’d have less to write/ raeg about, so yeah). Either way, after such an enotional epi, we’re probably due at least one more sillier one before the Ric x Nino ship encounters any more stormy weather, so here’s looking forward to more Arawaka madness…
Dawww, she looks so happy…