It’s the sports festival at Sainan High and Rito is eager to impress his crush, Haruna with his efforts. However, due to several mishaps, he becomes depressed thinking that the girl he likes the most, hates his guts. Meanwhile, Saki challenges Lala to show who is superior and stops at nothing to prove it.
At the sports festival, the students of Sainan High go through the usual events, but with a few twists. During the initial stretching exercises, the principal leads with a variety of strange and perverted stretching poses.
The first event of the sports festival is a collection race for the male students. Rito, Ren and Motemitsu (the long forgotten baseball player from the manga) are participating. However, the events here are never as your usual events. Each person has to find something almost impossible to find such as a legendary sword from somewhere in the world or a pair of female bloomers that were recently taken off.
The next event is an obstacle course for the girls. The obstacles they have to go through are far from normal either. Obstacles such as an obstacle of unexpected pregnancy, having your boyfriend locked up in jail, or even being with a man who is in debt with yakuza.
Next up is the baton race with Yui, Ren, Rito, and Haruna. However, once Yui gets to the relay point, they find out that Ren is still out looking for the legendary sword from the first event. After a bit of a delay, Ren arrives carrying a gigantic sword and Yui is able to pass the baton over to him. But Ren is unable to slow himself down since he was carrying such a big sword and accidentally lodges the sword into the ground and causing it to split.
The calvary event comes up next and Rito is participating again with Haruna. Although it was originally supposed to be on the ground, Saki makes it into a pool event where everyone has to change into their swimsuits. Saki uses this opportunity to deploy swimsuit-seeking cutting fans. This causes many of the participants to lose their swimsuits including Lala. Lala simply uses Peke to recreate her swimsuit which causes Saki to deploy more fans. However, the fans start to go berserk and start hitting anything including the spectators. Haruna gets knocked out by one of the fans and Rito quickly brings her to the nurses office. As Saki is about to eliminate Lala, her swimsuit is cut off by one of the fans and Lala is able to defeat Saki yet again.
Haruna wakes up inside the nurses’s office where Rito is also. Rito takes this opportunity to apologize for all the embarrassing things he’s done to Haruna and for some reason, Haruna forgives him and says that it was her fault as well(?). Not sure why she’s saying it was her fault too, but at any rate the two make up right before Lala comes crashing in, ruining the moment.
Not too bad of an episode for an anime only episode. The premise was pretty normal, but it had some interesting parts to it that makes it a bit unique and interesting. I actually found myself laughing at some parts which is a good sign. Maybe I was just hysterical, but it may be a sign that the series could be getting better. Of course, not much happened (nor does it ever) in terms of plot development. Just more and more of the random craziness and fanservice that makes TLR.
No problems with the animation quality for this episode. Maybe they picked it up ever since the Yami episode. I was really irritated for all those other times where the quality just went straight to hell and never came back. But I’m glad that it’s looking decent again… of course, not as great as the manga’s artwork.
In terms of side character screen time in this episode, not many of them got in actual screen time that was really noteworthy. I guess the main players in this episode were Rito, Haruna, Lala, and Saki. Yui, Ren/Run, and Mikado showed up as well but didn’t really bring anything to the episode besides a few lines (with the exception of Ren and the legendary sword bit =P).
I think the biggest thing I like about the TLR manga was the attention they put on their side characters and their interaction with everyone in the series to bring dimension to every character and not just the main ones. I think it makes it more interesting to say the least. But, I don’t think you can get much done by placing as many characters you can into a single episode. I think in the manga they usually had chapters dedicated to specific characters at a time and everyone else was pushed aside for a bit. The anime might be great that way as well, but due to time constraints, it might not be the best idea.