As expected, this episode was not as good as the Nako-episode, but it did avoid the cliched way to solve everything, and Minko definitely received some development. Festival arcs remain a dime a dozen, and while this episode wasn’t amongst the better ones out there, the characterization still managed to shine.
Instead of the cheesy “let’s all make up and be friends now”-speech, Minko actually gradually made up with her classmates. She was really calm in this episode at the points where it mattered, unlike the previous episode where for some reason she refused to explain exactly why the omelet rice would be impossible. It’s much more fun to watch her character this way. But yeah, her problem is that things with Tohru still aren’t going anywhere, or at least: things aren’t changing. This episode did tell us that Tohru knows Minko’s cooking really well; that was a very nice touch. Oh, and Ohana was a really great side-0character here, who made sure to throw in a light note once in a while, while at the same time Nako and her friend also were surprisingly good.
I just get the feeling that this series is deliberately ignoring certain things in order to save them for later. We got this at first with Nako’s shyness: that to disappeared for like, thirteen episodes before it returned. In the meantime we also haven’t heard of Kou in ages either. My best guess about what the ending will be about is indeed the love polygon. This does sound a lot less interesting than Ohana’s issues with her mother, so let’s see how the creators are planning to make this one interesting. What I really hope will happen is that the focus on the final climax will rely more on the themes of “working” than the romance. That one has been built up much more consistently in any case.
Oh, and while I’m bitching a lot about this series, but I do consider it to be very good. It’s definitely something else and it always manages to find ways to annoy me and flesh characters out in ways I did not see coming. It’s really well detailed, but because of that I just keep finding things that get to me.
Rating: * (Good)