Thursday, November 24, 2011

Mashiro-Iro Symphony - 08

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Subtlety and understatement pretty much went out the window in this week’s ep of Mashiroiro Symphony.  Cute kittens abandoned, angelic Miu working herself to collapse – Manglobe pretty much went straight for the hard stuff.

I don’t know id ever seen a kitten flag in a romance before, but we definitely had one this week.  When two abandoned kittens end up in the care of the Nuko Club, the black one will only answer to Shingo, and the white one only to Miu.  Coincidence?  I don’t need to repeat myself about coincidences in anime, do I?  And this episode was generally set up as the Shingo x Miu flag episode.  In addition to the kittens there was Shingo warming Miu by draping his coat over her, there was Shingo and Miu both giving the same answer when Sana asked what each though of the other, and there was even the answer Sana gave to her own question – “Shingo is someone I want to be happy”.

But there’s a grave danger here, for Miu and all of us who love her.  In romance anime, one of the worst sins a love rival can commit is to peak too early.  We’re only at episode 8, and it’s looking as if the Shingo/Miu arc may climax next week.  Meanwhile, Airi (who’s perfectly nice in her own right) sits quietly off to the side, waiting for her opportunity to pounce and consume the last three episodes.  So I’m still a Miu-skeptic, though I’m certainly pulling for her.  If anything she may too selfless – she seems to genuinely have no self-regard whatsoever, even sleeping in the clubroom to watch the kittens. She even lets the new animals (even Pannya) nibble on her fingers until they bleed until they’re comfortable with her.  After Shingo had been uncharacteristically severe in insisting she go home and let them check up on the kittens, she took a call from her job and went in to cover a shift.  Fortunately, Shingo went after her and caught her when was about to pass out from exhaustion.

Meanwhile, the mystery of just what Pannya is deepens.  It’s decided that the Nuko Club can’t keep the kittens because their role is to rehabilitate and release wild animals, not domestic pets.  But doesn’t that imply that Pannya is not herself a cat, but a wild animal?  And about that “herself” thing, I’d read in multiple sources that Pannya was a girl.  But in Sana’s flashback to when she first met Miu – when Miu was also first meeting Pannya – she refers to Pannya as “he” and “this guy”.  Maybe she just didn’t check under the hood, or is Pannya really a male?  Whatever it is, Pannya certainly took a protective role with the kittens, sharing a bed with them and even letting them knead her when they were hungry for milk.  The best part about that scene, though, was Shingo’s reaction when Miu said that she was sad she couldn’t use her own breasts to feed the kittens. Hodor!

The more I watch this series the more convinced I am that, in terms of romantic compatibility, Miu and Shingo really are the best-suited couple.  Unless you’re a believer in “opposites attract” – and I’m generally not – the two of them seem totally in synch.  They’re calm, serene, slow to panic or anger and innately considerate of others.  Frankly, they both might just be too nice for anybody else but each other.  That doesn’t mean I’m still not betting on Airi, though I think that relationship will end up being a little more fiery.  As for the ep itself, it wasn’t one of my favorites because the tugging on the heartstrings was so much more blatant than what I’m used to with this series, which is at its best when it’s low-key and soft-sells the emotional manipulation.  But I won’t deny I felt what I was supposed to feel, and after so much restraint over the first seven eps I can certainly live with a little bit of indulgence in the eighth.

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11 comments:

  1. Sana also officially punched her ticket for a Shingo ship of her own this episode. Sena and Sana both noticed the neko-flag and Sana somewhat desperately tried to get the Miu-kitten to respond to Sana. Considering her choice of kitten she wanted to replace the name for so does it make her butting in between Miu and Shingo a different slant as well.

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  2. Yes, but I think Sana also threw up the white flag with her "He's someone I want to be happy".

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  3. IRL boys tend shy away from girls that put a boot in their face followed by a blizzard of punches. Maybe in anime that is considered part of the mating ritual?

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  4. Felt slower than usual. But seriously wearing such skimpy clothing in winter?? Miu was just asking for it... and how long has the alien been in the care of Miu? Probably more than a year... must have suffered under some scientist and escaped to a nearby school...

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  5. P.S. First panty flash for this series... expected Enzo to mention it but guess the screen shot speaks the words.

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  6. enzo now that sena out of the picture it seems it airi or miu but from how this episode was progress it looks like it will be miu ending and not airi

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  7. @deafvader
    We already had a pantsu flashing back in ep2 or 3 I think when Shingo saw Airi's under her desk. We also had the accidental face in boob tripping there.

    Airi, y u no doing anything!?
    Come on girl, fight!
    Though Miu and Shingo hints are plenty in here, I'm still for Airi. Time will tell I guess.
    I did feel bad for Sana though when she was calling the cat by her(Sana's) name.

    And just when Pannya is blending in nicely, his/her/it's mystery surfaces again. So is it male or female? And is it stray or domestic? Coz it looks like a stray in the flashback which means theyll release it soon right? Or did Miu decide to keep it?

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  8. @deafvader
    Actually, I thought the pacing felt pretty quick this week. And yes, the pantsu shot spoke for itself...

    Elior, I'm still betting on Airi. Miu's peaking too soon.

    I don't see Pannya going anywhere, whatever it is. It's like the VP of the Nuko Club.

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  9. I think Sana's really confused. Shingo and Miu really are quite similar, and she seems to have similar feelings for the both of them. And I don't think she's really prepared to deal with that. You know, there's a good story that could be told in one of these shows revolving around that concept. If someone would just do it.

    Anyway, as you said, its only episode 8, and there is no way they are dragging the Miu/Sana combined arc out any longer than next episode. And after that its going to be all Airi all the time, unless they pull a surprise Sakuno end on us.

    But lets not kid ourselves, its an Airi end.

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  10. @Fencedude

    Imouto end for the win!!! Akane-iro did a surprise imouto end. I'm all for unconventional endings but they so rare. Akane-iro and School Days come to mind.

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  11. I don't know if I mentioned it, but anyone who mentions "School Days" must say three Cross Games and two Moribitos as penance. LiA rule.

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