Yeah, the sheep were back in this episode. Looking at the shots of the countryside surrounding the school (which I don’t understand at all since in the first episode Haruka passes through the gates and the place is basically on top of the road in an urban area), the damn place looks more like England than it does Japan. Pastureland with sheep? Really?
Anyway. this is going to be terribly shocking and you won’t believe me but this week’s episode was actually…. good. And not in a “this is ridiculous and awful, I love it” sort of way. Somehow, Playboy’s episode was legitimately good. There were parts that were pretty meh, and the ending of the episode was pure cheese as usual, but, on the balance, this was a good episode. Will wonders never cease?
Haruka felt like a serious afterthought in this episode, and maybe this is why it actually proved to be a solid episode. The story was allowed to form more naturally, with a contrast between Playboy and his more somber room-mate, Mr. Argyle Sweater. Hell, if anything, the episode felt pretty much like BL with the reverse harem angle shoehorned in at the end because someone remembered that Haruka is supposed to win all the hearts of the boys.
The contrast between Sweater and Playboy may’ve been a bit cliched, but it worked, in part because Playboy’s back-story, while also a touch cliched, felt, well… it somehow managed to have heart in it and didn’t seem wholly contrived. The father trying to erase every last vestige of his dead wife’s existence, the son clutching at the cassette tape behind his back to somehow hold onto at least something of his mother, even if it was just from her life as an idol. The boy listening to an (apparently) amateur recording of his mother while she was pregnant with him while he is sitting on a park bench. Somehow, some way, even though I’m sure it was all carefully calibrated in an office somewhere, it worked.
It was really too bad they had to somehow jam Haruka into the thing. And it did feel very tacked on at the end; if anything, the song Playboy wrote should’ve been somehow of relation to his dead mother, not a song about falling for Haruka. It clashed with the rest of the episode, particularly considering that Playboy was thinking of his mum while playing the saxophone (note: Playboy will be henceforth known as Bill Clinton). There was a decent dynamic going on there – Bill Clinton loves music because of his mother, but is attending the school because his older brothers want him to be a marketing ploy for the family business. But, hey, can’t really expect much from Prince-sama; it’d be unfair to, honestly.
Of course, Haruka’s intrusion also felt weird since the entire freaking episode REEKED of BL. Bill Clinton is at the school because his brothers want him to be a walking billboard; Argyle Sweater is there because his father only agreed to let him have a single year for his dreams before actually doing business stuff. They’re room-mates who used to be close but who have grown apart over the years because of their slow realization of the necessities and duties of their oncoming adulthood. They’re so far apart they can’t even communicate any more, with Argyle Sweater refusing to answer Bill Clinton when Bill Clinton asks if he is worried about him, and Argyle Sweater punching Bill Clinton in the mouth when Bill Clinton denies that he does have any attachment to music. FOLKS, JUST BREAK OUT THE RAINBOWS ALREADY AND CALL IT A DAY.
This is a doujin waiting to happen, and you know it.
But, hey, its reverse harem, so, well, Haruka saves the day. I was actually struck by how very KeyAni it seemed to have Haruka helping Playboy. Congratulations, Haruka; before you know it, you’ll be Tomoya. Too bad you don’t have a route with your cougar room-mate, huh?
Spinning into another direction, the other teacher, we’ll call him Suit-sensei…. bit of flirtatiousness from Trap-sensei toward him this episode, although that does seem to be Trap-sensei’s mode of communication. I SHIP THIS, FOLKS. I SHIP IT HARD. And, yes, I ship it even though I desperately wish Haruka got the Trap-sensei route in one of these damn episodes. Is it too much to hope for a sequel? Angelique has had several anime series, as has that L’Corda de blah blah blah one.
Anyway. Off to Pixiv for my BL fix. Do I smell fanfiction? HMM.
Oh, and, for the running tally, my ships for this show:
- Haruka x Cougar
- Haruka x Trap-sensei
- Trap-sensei x Suit-sensei
- Bill Clinton x Argyle Sweater
- sheep x everyone
Speaking of furriness, no cat this episode. Or SHINING SAOTOME. Oh well. I’m sure he was off plotting something.