There was so much unexpected WIN in this epi I’m not sure I know where to begin. When I heard the Amazoness was back and the driving force for most of this epi, my heart sank a little. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed the way Ric and Nino ended up drinking milk together on a couch at the end of that epi, however there wasn’t a massive amount of plot development to say the least, nor was the Ric x Nino development all that significantly advanced, aside from the insight we got into Nino’s feelings and DAT PUNCH OF LOVE. Saying all that, though, in terms of comedy, this has got to be one of the best epis so far. And, yeah, the fan service helped.
It’s some-kind-of-summer-festival-time in Arakawa-land. Cue some very fetching kimonos, as the gang go about enjoying the festivities. Except for the Amazoness, who is back and still has eyes only for Ric-sensei, and soon teams up with Hoshi to split-up our favourite couple. However, things are looking decidedly strange as the Amazoness, realising that Ric + Nino = 4eva, soon transfers her emotions onto Hoshi. Oblivious to her change of heart, Hoshi (with a little help from a certain highly intuitive Venusian woman) is soon tricked into saving Amazoness from almost drowning, before he accepts Amazoness’ confession. Sort of.
As I said in the intro., this was one of the better epis in the series. Which might not be saying much given the mixed reaction it’s received, but seriously, this one was just one LOL moment after another, with some surprisingly tender and dramatic moments mixed in, plus some rather glorious fan service.
Unsurprisingly, the Amazoness and Hoshi soon kick off the up-to-no-good-ness, with Ric as the subject of their attentions, for different reasons, of course. What is surprising, though, is the transference of the Amazoness’ affections from Ric to Hoshi (um, yeah, don’t even think of asking me why) and the empathy she yanks out of us as she goes about, firstly, trying in vain to get Ric’s attention away from Nino and onto herself and, secondly, then trying to win Hoshi’s affections instead. I guess no matter how much of a cutie-pie or a strong(wo)man you may be, sometimes such admirable qualities are not enough when faced with that familiar, hey-it-happens-to-the-best-of-us realisation that the object of your unrequited affection is in fact utterly besotted with someone better.
Oh, the dorama!
Of course, it wouldn’t feel like so much dorama if there wasn’t so much random comedy gold perfectly sandwiched in between. In particular, Nino’s perfect timing and capture of Ric’s attention, Hoshi’s craptastic dancing, the Mayor’s singing and bongo-drumming, Hoshi’s disturbing attempt to strip Ric in order to embarrass him, Nino’s intuition (or should that be Nintuition) and her flirting techniques; and Sister’s attempt to join ‘the girls’ as they frolic on their newly discovered private beach…
…Okay, so I shuddered as much as I laughed at the last one, but I thought it was a perfect example of the mildly disturbing but awesome humour that this show is capable of.
As unfathomable as it was for me to witness the Amazoness shifting her love radar onto Hoshi, I found it equally baffling watching Hoshi respond to her declaration and even declare that he would ‘come back for [her]’, if they ever end up going to Venus. Whatever, it made for great dorama I suppose, and it was strangely satisfying seeing Hoshi (realising he doesn’t have a hope in hell with Nino, but might be happy with the Amazoness) Man-Up in such a way. I’m sure ‘Aniki’ would be proud.
Finally, time for more countdowns and predictions, I guess. Firstly, um, THERE’S ONLY TWO EPIS LEFT. :s Secondly, did I see a rocket revealed there as the ‘treasure’ that the Amazoness has hitherto been guarding?! In which case, I’m guessing that we might very well see these guys trying to board it pretty soon, which could in turn leave us with a cliffie for a season finale… Not quite sure how I’d feel about this, unless I knew that there was a far more consistent set of episodes lines up for a possible season three, but I guess there’s no point speculating about that right now… One last prediction, though: the Amazoness was shown to be reporting to a ‘boss’ in epi 2 as she and her tengu minions speedboated away. Now, at the time, I’d assumed it was the Evil Daddy on the other end of the phone, using her to keep an eye on Junior, which would also explain why she had Ric’s mobile number in epi 8. However, if she’s guarding the rocket that is to eventually take everyone to Venus, then this would suggest that she’s on the side of Nino’s parents… Unless that rocket is stolen goods of course…
Once again, we’ll see, eh!