Short Synopsis: It’s back to one-episode arcs as this episode shows the local school-festival.
Highlights: Finally! Character-development!
Overall Enjoyment Value: 8/10 (Excellent)
Those of you who’ve been following my posts about this series (all three of you) may remember how for the past episodes, I’ve been whining about the lack of character-development. Well, I didn’t think that the creators were actually going to listen to me. Sure, the episode was a bit cheesy here and there, but there’s no way that I’m going to complain about this excellent episode. It ranks both amongst the best and most hilarious episodes of the series so far, and right now it tossed my fears about this series losing steam in its final quarter into the trash bin.
I’m really glad that the creators decided to use the extra time of this series on character-development, rather than providing even more random stories (after all, that’s what the regular arcs are for). I can now also see the point that the creators wanted to make with Midori’s bad youth. In this episode, she fully realizes how differently she grew up from Ran (the background on Ran’s parents was also really appreciated), but the creators also pretty much set this series apart nearly every other mahou shoujo-series, by making Ran’s parents find out about Ran’s and Midori’s powers.
One thing that I also find strange is that a school-festival episode is definitely nothing new, and yet that never stood in the hilarity of this episode. I mean, it feels like 75% of every series that’s set into a school somehow has a school-festival that looks suspiciously like the other, but I guess that the fun comes from the different ways in which the featured classmates decide to solve their problems, and the different tasks that are handed to each other, making them still a bit unique, when compared to for example pool- and hot-spring-episodes, where there aren’t many different situations you can put your characters in…
Ran and Midori’s class couldn’t decide between a cafe and a haunted house, so they decided to go for a haunted cafe (which later turned into a haunted Kansai-ben cafe, due to an inside-joke from Midori). Especially Midori’s Medusa-outfit was awesome. It’s also interesting how her character-designs change, depending on her mood: when we first met her, she had evil eyes, she then went to a neutral/sarcastic look, and in this episode, her eyes switched shape to allow for a better dramatic effect. I only have to wonder where the animators were at that point. It’s such a shame that the budget didn’t work in the series’ favour at that time, and especially the part in the middle of the episode sounded like it was rushed at the last minute.
So, while I usually like to blog less light-hearted series, with complex plots or intense storylines, it’s also fun to once in a while blog such a light-hearted series, especially if it knows what it is and doesn’t get dull in its second half (which is kind-of why I don’t blog a lot of them. It’s one thing to blog a bad series with a complex plot, but I can imagine that it’s going to be exceptionally painful to blog a bad comedy-series, where you’ll run out of things to rant about after only two episodes). I’m not going to say that after this episode, I’m glad to have blogged this series. I did the same with Macross Frontier, also around this point in the series, and it went downhill pretty much instantly afterwards, so instead I’m just going to enjoy the final quarter of this charming series. ^^;