Mikakunin de Shinkoukei – Episodes 6 & 7
Episode 6 Impression:
Valentines day! Returning to it’s conceptually slice of life roots, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei presents the viewer with an episode lacking in unexpected reveals, instead being a sweet and overtly comic take on Kobeni’s attempts to finally broach the romantic path with Hakuya…naturally, it doesn’t go as well as she hoped…but she’s trying (my cute Kobeni-chan!) and that’s all that matters!
I found it rather interesting in episode 6 to watch Benio pander between her feelings about Hakuya and Kobeni’s ‘relationship’ unable to decide whether she should take her sister, whom she loves so very (very) much, and keep Hakuya at bay, or whether she should hand Kobeni over and project her desires onto Mashiro…which she proceeds to do, giving us more tie to admire the cute duo that is: Hakuya and Kobeni…so cute.
Another interesting aspect of Kobeni’s life that was touched upon was her discontented feeling towards the idea of her having to be a housewife because she’s good at it. I mean sure, Hakuya gets good grades and you feel sub par by comparison, but what you, Kobeni, need to realize is that, just as you applied yourself to housework and cooking, you can apply yourself to studying, or another hobby that you wish to be good at. That’s why Hakuya’s so good at loving you, Kobeni – it’s all he’s ever wanted to do…so cute.
And you know what else is cute? Seeing Kobeni attempt to give Hakuya his valentines chocolate, failing, and rendering Hakuya depressed as quite literally everyone (a part from that one guy complaining in the background) receives the chocolates which represent endearing love and affection…poor Hakuya. Honestly, if Kobeni had failed in the end, I would’ve been mad, but, luckily for us, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei would never do that to it’s viewers (a part from in the case of Mashiro and Nessie, whose love story shall go on!) and we receives a satisfactory, diabetes filled, ending, in which cuteness melts into a profuse chocolate surplus alongside anime bliss…
Finally, Hakuya and the dog debacle. Hakuya doesn’t want to transform in front of Kobeni, and for a good reason. Hakuya only wants Kobeni to see him at ‘his best’, or, in the way that would be most appealing/acceptable to Kobeni herself. The moment Kobeni views Hakuya as an animal, their relationship is effectively over – bestiality being a niche that I don’t even think Mikakunin de Shinkoukei would cross over into…but, as long as Hakuya remains predominantly human, he feels as though Kobeni can, and will, come to love him. And you’ve gotta respect him for that, you know? Yes she knows about his animal form, but hearing about something and actually seeing it are two totally separate things…although, Kobeni giving Hakuya a head pat imbued me with all the feelings, rendering me but a puddle of bubbling contentedness…so cute.
Honestly, I have no idea where Mikakunin de Shinkoukei will go next. I’m expecting episode 7 to be slightly more plot based, episodes prior leading me to believe that Mikakunin de Shinkoukei wouldn’t simply abandon any semblance of plot half way through, but, even if no more plot emerges within the next episode, as long as it’s as entertaining as episode 6, I’ll forgive it. Here’s to cuteness! And to the perfect valentine’s day treat…so cute.
Episode 7 Impression:
Just when I thought the plot twists and character curve-balls had died down…silly me…
Suetsugi – Benio’s loyal aide and student council secretary, harboring an unrequited love for our favorite loli loving student council president and emitting palpable feelings of animosity to any who should show signs of being ‘close’ to Benio herself. Put simply, Suetsugi is a cliche wrapped in a trope, laced with spice enough to keep us interested – the comedy aspects of Mikaunin de Shinkoukei once again saving it from stagnation and keepin’ it fresh! The oratory declarations of jealously were funny enough, but the continual appearance of Kobeni to hear the best parts was the icing on the metaphorical cake, this and her perpetual attempts to thwart Niko’s journalistic enterprise from ruining her Benio fantasies being the focal points of episode 7…or so I thought.
But I’ll get back to that later.
Hakuya’s ability to converse with Kobeni via simply grunts, minute facial contortions, and backdrop changes (gotta love ’em) always keeps me endlessly amused, the flawless utilization of which make moments such as Kobeni’s “Stay!” all the better. That, and the fact that Hakuya’s overprotective nature actually came into play in episode 7, Hakuya keeping himself, Mashiro and Kobeni out of the spotlight, whilst also showing off a couple more interesting abilities – his ability to delete photos off a camera without actually utilizing the ‘delete’ button being only one of them. It’s subtle, but we’re slowly learning more and more about Hakuya and Mashiro, Mashiro even admitting that both of them have the ability to alter human perception, thus enabling them to cheat on their exams and blend into human society the way they desire. And of course Hakuya makes it cute by admitting that he doesn’t cheat because it’s not right for a high schooler himself to do so, enabling Kobeni to go 100% cute mode and innately appraise him…so cute. Ehem – pardon the digression – but it is this utilization of comedic techniques to explain away what could otherwise be put down to ‘supernatural anime magic’ keeps the show feeling more grounded and as realistic as it can be, Mashiro’s ability to blend in once again being addressed in a cogent manner. Good job, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei!
But wait…Suetsugi is a shapeshifter
(I went to spell check ‘shapeshifter’ and it came up with ‘shoplifter’ – I was amused) too? Honestly, all the signs were there – the Mashiro eyes, the hair that could be Mashiro’s if she wore extensions – every aspect of Suetsugi’s character mimics Mashiro’s somewhat, and you could arguably say that Suetsugi is in fact the antithesis of Mashiro. I mean, she actually looks like a high schooler, she actually desires Benio’s attention, and…well…actually, there are some similarities as well – hence the self deprecating comedy and the conflict of interests towards the end of the episode. There so alike they’re different. I can’t wait to see them interact some more. However, I’m particularly interesting in her particular interest in Hakuya, a momentary glimpse in his direction from her perspective leading me to believe that, once again, there’s some more going on behind the scenes. Yet this is merely pure speculation. It also made sense that she remembered Mashiro’s childlike nature whilst Niko forgot, highlighting yet another clue amidst the comedic enterprise…Suetsugi is certainyl more interesting than I gave her credit for.
Regardless, episode 7 of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei shows us, once again, that romance, comedy, and the supernatural can come together to create something that isn’t arbitrary, isn’t lackluster, and isn’t utterly banal. I used it earlier in the post, and now I’m adapting it: Mikakunin de Shinkoukei is a cliche wrapped in a trope, laced with spice enough to keep us interested – and, in my opinion, episode 7 is a prime example of this. I can only hope that Kobeni and Mashiro’s relationship is developed more in the next episode, as was suggested by the preview…here’s to hoping…