Apparently, among Satou-san’s many talents is the innate ability to know when he’s sparkling.
It’s a funny thing about this season of Working. I’m enjoying it very much, probably about as much as last season, but it’s very hard to describe why. There haven’t been as many huge laughs as last year, but the episodes all seem to have a very agreeable slow build quality to them. They capture the atmosphere at the restaurant just right, and have the feeling of watching a day there play out in real time. That’s not an easy thing to pull off. This series has always understood the comedic value of silence, but it seems as if that’s being used as a device even more now, and that probably contributes to making this more of a comedy of atmospherics than “jokes” (though it does have some good ones).
It was quite amusing for me to see everyone struggle while trying to come up with something good about Kyouko, because to be honest I have a hard time thinking of anything myself. As someone who did his share and more working in retail, managers like Kyouko are the bane of your existence. They create more work for you by doing none themselves, and steal from the company (and by extension, their fellow employees) to boot. Her routine of sloth and gluttony has never really been as funny to me as most of the other characters on the show, but her best usage is what it was here – making sport of just how useless she is. I especially enjoyed Yamada’s comment that making parfaits for Kyouko made her “want to get a dog”.
Admittedly Satou has personal reasons for disliking Kyouko, namely the fact that she steals Yachiyo’s affection from him, but his professional reasons are all perfectly valid. So it only makes sense that he’s the one who ends up taking point in the effort to rein in her ridiculous consumption, but unsurprisingly it’s the devious Souma who ends up being much more effective with subterfuge. His little ploy of telling her he’d underordered on supplies for the month was shockingly effective, so much so that it almost made me feel sorry for Kyouko by the end. It didn’t, but almost is as close as I’ve gotten.
It was in support of this storyline that the last element of the episode was brilliantly played, a lost little girl Souta finds behind the restaurant. Naturally everyone assumes he’s kidnapped her, and in reality that’s not so far from the truth as we’d comfortably like it to be. The best scenes of the episode were the long dialogue-free shots of Kyouko and the little girl in the breakroom, the quiet little girl amusing herself quite well as Kyouko slumped in misery, stomach growling. I’ll give her credit for at least not taking the girl’s shortcake, even when offered, but my favorite moment was Souta’s reaction to Souma’s solving of the problem by asking the girl if she had her mother’s phone number. Why didn’t Souma just say that at the beginning? If you know Souma, you don’t even need to ask.
And as for Maya – looks like another seiyuu will be eating cup ramen for dinner again this week…