Kuragehime 08: Children of Clara

CLARA DOLLS ARE SO CUUUUUTTTTTEEEE


Summary-in-a-sentence:

Finding retoro treasure in the Nuns’ attic, Kurako drags everyone to the flea market, where Tsukimi’s Clara doll is a bigger hit and is promptly multiplied and sold; Inari blackmails a date from Shu while being tailed by Hanamori’s Private Investigator friend at Koibuchi Sr.’s request; and Kuranosuke interrupts Tsukimi cosplaying as a jellyfish bride then suggests they make a jellyfish dress.


Hana on THAT dress:

The real Kuragehime.

Another day, another trapformation, eh. Well, at the very least, it’s great seeing a much chirpier Tsukimi than the one who was getting all angry and depressed over Inari and Shu in the previous epi. In fact, Tsukimi seemed perfectly content sitting beside her Fairy Trapmother in the open air amongst all the Stylish. Until the other nuns turn up, that is. While Mayaya’s comment that, at the sight of the apparently unrecognisable ‘After’ Tsukimi, she’d already started silently screaming ‘Die!’ x200 at her was as funny as it was randomly OTT and a wee bit harsh, the effect on Tsukimi was very interesting. That is, she immediately puts her glasses back on and regrets the whole thing. I’m guessing that Tsukimi feels a mixture of betrayal and self-consciousness/ insecurity, but, with a little help from Clara, she is soon happily wrapped up in her jellyfish princess world, as she plans how to outfit all those baby Claras.

Behold, the birth of cuteness.

Clearly, Tsukimi is still wrapped up in her dreamy world of (jellyfish) princesses, just as she was when she was a little girl with her mum, an idea that is confirmed at the end of the epi when Kuranosuke walks in on her jellyfish wedding dress cosplay/ fantasy. And, once again, the interruption makes her doubt herself and highlights her ‘reality’ (i.e. warped self-image) versus how she’s like to appear. Namely, that the kind of dress/ self that she’s always dreamed of having/ being – and still does – is more suited to/ is the figure of Kuranosuke. Or should I say Kurako. However, this line of thinking makes me wonder if Tsukimi has in fact changed at all, given her reaction to Kuranosuke and how she believes she appeared to him… Either way, it’s great that Tsukimi’s desire is in part about to be fulfilled, and hopefully the creation of her dream dress will also lead her to fulfil her other desires.

Um, yeah. Basically.

Finally, and on a somewhat side note, I also loved the final scene in the way that it was like a reverse of the balcony in ‘Romeo and Juliet’: with Tsukuliet pondering what it would be like to be, as opposed to be with, her Prince (and also like Utena becoming her Prince in Revolutionary Girl Utena); and with Kuromeo looking upon his unconventional love interest not as a star-like beauty, but as the subject of an inexplicably bizarre cuteness. Of course, as the potential pair gaze upon each other in the above scene, rather than a declaration of love and marriage, we get the possible beginnings of a dressmaking union instead. Oh well, if they don’t get together in an OTP sense, at least they can go into business together. And the name for such an awesome partnership and brand? Well, they could do a lot worse than ‘Clara’, if not ‘Kuragehime’, of course… :)

And presenting the spokesmodel for a certain soon to be revealed fujoshi-friendly fashion label…

ExecutiveOtaku’s Capitalism, ho!

The thing that really stood out to me over the entire episode was the creative uses of and approaches to money. Making it, bribing people with it, and the pursuit of it. Not really in any serious way, with the exception of Inari’s continued willingness to do anything for it, but mostly in a playful manner. Creating all the jellyfish dolls to earn money at the street fair was a creative one, and for once it was an enterprise that the rest of the Amamizukan NEETs were willing to join in. And not even just willing,  but enthusiastic. Perhaps there’s some hope for them yet if their interests and talents can align with something profitable. They still lack the vision and motivation to try and save their building via raising money, but it’s a start. Then we’ve got bribery. How quickly does Mu La Driver go from adamant confidant of Shu to willing spy when the magic words are uttered. In a lot of ways he just seems like an upscale version of the Nuns, a serious otaku when it comes to Mercedes Benz.

THIS is why I hate the Funi subs. Would it have been so terrible to say “Showa retro dead stock” or “Showa-era retro dead stock”? TL note optional saying what years the Showa period was, and that it was much more than just the 1970′s.

All too easy…

Bribery then leads to the first efforts to strike back against the hated Inari. Shu calls up an old friend who’s become a private investigator, and a damned good one at that. It’s not long before Sugi is all over Inari and Shu, even snapping pictures the whole time. Certainly money well-spent since he’s getting everything that’s happening with Inari. For someone who acts so deviously she’s got absolutely zero situational awareness. And poor tradecraft too as she flashes around the blackmail photo for all to see. I look forward to her inevitable comeuppance. She’s gone up against a stronger foe than she anticipated and it will be glorious to see her reap the whirlwind.

(obligatory) hhhhhhnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggg

I don’t think anime’s seen such a capable spy since Al Izuruha.


Crusader

While the rest of the Nunz are pretty much doomed to being hikkomori despite the best efforts of Kuranosuke, hope yet remains for Tsukimi who is not so set on her horrible ways that she can no longer adapt. Even Kuranosuke is calling it quits as he unceremoniously draped cloth over them and called it a day. While the Nunz tired to flee from the flea market Tsukimi handled herself quite well and was not freezing up at the mere sight of other women. I approve of Clara merchandise as a means to buy their home, sadly it took a bribe to get Jiji, Mayaya, and Bamba to get off their asses to make the attempt to help even upon their belated arrival they were USELESS. Good thing the power of Clara shut them up about the great Clara doll sale. This is pretty much the extent of their abilities as only Chieco contributed much and even Clara has started quoting Lenin when it comes to the Nunz work ethic. It’s high time they did a day’s work and I hope that Clara will find new ways to motivate them. Their manners have undergone a slight improvement as they finally accord Kuranosuke some long over due courtesies. Still the Nunz are useless as ever in a medical emergency and go for Vick’s Vapor Rub instead of aspirin in the chance case of a heart attack. Their understanding of human anatomy leaves much to de desired as they mistook Kuranosuke for a flat chested chick instead of a dude.

Speaking of heart attacks it seems Kuranosuke is falling rather hard for Tsukimi despite the suplex that saved her from suicide. Poor Tsukimi needs to grow some more courage otherwise the she will soon reach the extent of her abilities before Inari reaches her’s. I eagerly anticipate the jellyfish dress as it could be the start of a clothing line, which I hope they will call Clara… I found it most humorous that Tsukimi fancies Kuranosuke as the image of a perfect bride, worse comes to worse if KimiKura sails then Tsukimi can wear the tux while Kuranosuke over awes with the dress. With any luck the Clara craze will start off a profitable fad to increase their coffers.

Kuranosuke is making good progress, but Shu is ending up in dire straits. While Koibuchi the elder has seen to it that Inari is going to be investigated, it is under the mistaken impression that Shu and Inari actually are in a relationship. Hanamori is quite convinced the Shu has finally gotten over his phobia of women, and is eager to provide information to Shu’s dad for a new S Class and Benz parts. Still Hanamori being Hanamori is quite useless to the tail he sent after Shu and even blows the guy’s cover as he blew his nose. I wonder how Shu is going to take this now that he knows that he is being tailed and that his dad is going to be prying into Inari’s affairs. Given that this is Inari I am sure Koibuchi the elder is going to have a heart attack when he finds out about Inari.

More worryingly though is that Shu has Inari figured out but Inari is not so easy to beat and is playing the romantic angle, I fear for Shu for he might just fall for it if Inari ‘s act improves any further. While some second rate villain would already be spouting off their plans Inari is blackmailing Shu for the long term. She is going to leverage that picture for all it’s worth and so far got a free drink and a date out of poor Shu. Given that Shu knows that he is being followed I fear that Shu being a gentlemen and all might mistake Inari as some damsel whose honor he must protect. For the sake of Shu-kimi I hope that Inari doesn’t try and play the wounded wench card and get Shu to believe that they had drunken sexy time, that Shu must take responsibility and that she does harbor romantic feelings for him. Still this is Shu and I worry that Inari is blushing like a maiden in the preview… If a friend like Hanamori has already sold Shu up river I hope Shu doesn’t get too lonely and back himself into a corner where Inari is weaving her web. Thankfully Inari has yet to figure out the optimal angle with Shu or has she gained the knowledge of Shu’s phobia.

Hanamori was eager to give Shu a high five for Finally reaching puberty…

Good to see that Tsukimi at least is taking in Kuranosuke’s lessons.

Hear the patter of running feet, it’s the old Amaz in full retreat, they’re haul’in ass not sav’in gas, they’re moving on, they’ll soon be gone… A thousand hipsters coming through the pass, Kurako’s going to play Moon Prism Make-Up all over their ass, they’re mov’in on they’ll soon be gone, they’re literally broke that ain’t no joke, they’ll soon be gone

Should have gone with paper bags… with Hanamori art work.

Inari really knows how to blackmail, free drinks first…

Shu will not be so easily swayed.

Inari hand picked that one...

Shu is going to be hard pressed to come up with countermeasures...

Bingo, though Inari might get greedy...

A drink and now a date before long she's going to try and extort a marriage...

Baby Claras!

Good grief is working that hard?!

Damn right these slackers aren't doing jack shit...

HELL FUCKING YEAH, SAY IT BROTHER!

Even Clara is tired of the Nunz's bullshit...

You better believe IT, EVEN CLARA DESPISES YOU.

WOW

O_o

Mayaya fails at first aid like she fails at life...

Well to be fair not like any of them have been seeing shirtless men that often.

Shu knows what she is up to...

OH FUCK Inari just found the ideal angle...

OH SHI- indeed Shu, OH SHI- indeed...

Poor Shu... your dad thinks you and her are an item.

Talk about self image problems...

Art by Hanamori...

LOL Kuranosuke is the image of Tsukimi's ideal bride...

YES LET'S

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17 Comments

  1. ectholion
    Posted December 16, 2010 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    oh how i love this show!! the scene with kurako and the bean jelly paste in his mouth… mein gott!!!!!! i thought i had died and went to trap heaven!! its by far the most broken scene of the season and they shall be hard pressed to top it. Kurako and Tsukimi are fricking adorable, and Inari and her conquest of Shu is soo great!!

    • Posted December 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      It was certainly a pretty damn entertaining scene, but I think the Tsukimi sinking through the pavement into her sea of jellyfish would give it a run for its money in terms of most brokeness. KimiKura are certainly adorable, aren’t they?! :)

  2. Posted December 16, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    I’ve waited for this post a really long time…

    Well, I guess this one is so drastic and up to the standards that I wanted to watch it over and over again.

    Even my brother could get a grip on this one…
    I wish greater things will happen between kuranosuke and tsukimi.
    nonetheless, this episode makes me laugh all night long.

    • Posted December 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry :( But we’ll take that as a compliment, eh – in which case, thanks! :)

      I know what you mean about being able to happily rewatch such episodes, really enjoying watching/ blogging it too, it’s just got one of the best examples of having the perfect mix of daww and bwahaha moments, hasn’t it. And, irregardless of the shipping wars, I wish so too.

  3. Merq
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    This show is genius! I’m so sad it’s almost over. Hanamori is one of my favorites, he makes his obsession profitable. Also, Tsukimi just gets cuter and cuter with every episode! I’m still holding out hope for ShuKimi.

    • RedMaigo
      Posted December 17, 2010 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      ShuXTsukimi is officially dead. Inari has her fangs so deep into Shu’s life now, especially after episode 9, that there is no hope of him shaking her off. She going to con him into marrying her and she’ll soon take over and run the Koichi family once the old guard dies off. A carnivorous woman indeed…

      • Posted December 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        It ain’t over ’til it’s over!! I doubt Inari was after anything long term though, but guess we’ll see how true that ‘bride’ shot of her from the OP turns out to be, lol.

      • Merq
        Posted December 17, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        :-( I do not accept.

        I have mixed feelings about Inari. I love her and hate her. She’s such a great villian. You want to like her, you understand her drive, you love to laugh at her…BUT she’s still a lying, manipulative rapist. I’m holding out hope that Shu won’t fall too far down in the pit with Inari as she is now.

        Sidenote…I forgot to add that I laughed uncontrollably at the VapoRub incident but I’m afraid from the post that I might be the only one who found it so hilarious.

    • Posted December 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

  4. kaon
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    o.o

  5. Nene
    Posted December 17, 2010 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    You know, there are lots of common points between this story and Kimi wa Pet. I hadn’t noticed it until now… it was the scene where Shouko tells Shu to ‘fess up that he actually *likes* having an aggressive temptress like her forcing herself into his life that made me realize it.

    The love quadrangles share the same parameters in both series. We have the heroine, the super serious older man who is her romantic interest, Kura=Momo (about 20 years old, beautiful and androgynous, has dated a hundred girls already, super experienced at sex, actually understands the heroine and knows all her secrets), and the slutty sexbomb who eventually steals the heroine’s man — leaving her free to fall into the other guy’s arms.

    I think it’s clear now that Kura x Tsukimi will win the day. The morale of the story in Kuragehime looks like it’s shaping up to be something like this: “If you’re a shy introverted virgin, your ideal partner is a sexy, experienced, dominating figure who will force his/her way through your defenses and into your life whether you want it or not.” Hee hee. ^_~

    • Posted December 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Well, doesn’t all that sound delicious – in short: KwP is going on my ‘must check it out’ list. Thanks for the recommendation!

  6. Posted December 17, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Those dolls ARE adorable! And I approve of making a jellyfish dress. Add this series to the list…

  7. Posted December 17, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    I wanna be a jellyfish princess right now…right after I lose my body fat.
    Been procrastinating for so long to watch this episode…watch it after I’m done with my workout.

  8. Zorapup
    Posted December 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    That scene of Kura eating that red bean mochi or whatever was definitely a O_o moment.

    I have to admit, that romantic angle Inari had was probably the most attractive I’ve seen her. Still I’m not one to support Shu and Inari, even if she does change. Although probably the age gap is a little better than that of Tsukimi and Shu. Still…when I see Inari I think she’s pretty….filthy… -_-… Dunno where that girl has been.

    I really like Tsukimi more and more as I find she pulls her weight more than other other Amaz. Being the youngest even, she has the talent to bring in the dough for them.

    • Posted December 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      -I hope she realises that talent too, I can’t wait to see what else she and her fairytrapmother come up with together! :)

  9. Marigold Ran
    Posted December 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    (That, that) Dude looks like a lady
    (That, that) Dude looks like a lady
    (That, that) Dude looks like a lady
    (That, that) Dude looks like a lady

    Cruised into a bar on the shore
    Her picture graced the grime on the door
    She a long lost love at first bite
    Baby maybe you’re wrong, but you know it’s all right
    That’s right

    (That, that)
    (That, that)

    Backstage we’re having the time
    Of our lives until somebody say
    Forgive me if I seem out of line
    Then she whipped out her gun
    And tried to blow me away

    (That, that) Dude looks like a lady
    (That, that) Dude looks like a lady
    (That, that) Dude looks like a lady
    (That, that) Dude looks like a lady

    WHY HAS THIS NOT BEEN MENTIONED YET????

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