Guess it was only a matter of time before we got one of these.
As a general rule, I like me a good festival episode. Something about the atmosphere tends to just be really enchanting. The episode, of course, kept to its usual style of breaking things into two parts. The first was dedicated more or less to Yuzu and Satsuki (along with Sakura… kinda). The second half revolved more or less entirely around Ren and Natsume. But really, half of the episode comes across as a bit… aimless.
Up until now, every episode did have clear-cut progression per segment. Each segment had its beginning, middle, and end. The first segment in this episode didn’t really have any of that. Yuzu and Satsuki (and Sakura) wandered around the festival. Yuzu managed to get swept away in the fun while Satsuki sat out the dancing. What follows is an exceptionally brief almost-plot as it looks like Yuzu somehow wound up in limbo. But that bit is over as quickly as it began with no tension or anything. Come to find out that Satsuki wasn’t looking for her, either. And that ultimately is where most of the issue with that first segment comes from. It didn’t really use everything at its disposal. Satsuki could easily have just been written completely out of it because she did nothing. Sakura’s involvement leads to a payoff at the end of the episode, at least. Satsuki got shafted.
By contrast, the next segment was shorter but far more cohesive as a story. And the kicker is that not much happens in it. Most of it revolves around Ren being bummed that Natsume isn’t really taking notice of her, and she’s not really having fun because of it. Natsume, being the sort of half-oblivious, half-hyperaware character she is, naturally smooths things over with her. This segment was actually pretty sweet. Which made up for the lack of humor in it. It hit all the right cords and I honestly dug this segment.
Once again Kiri is the best part of the show. Yuzu has a funny moment or two, but Kiri’s are just funnier by far. Though if they’re implying what I think they’re implying about Sakura, then… eeeh…
I appreciate the show’s ability to keep up a sense of continuity despite its format and lack of a plot. But while the episode did have its charms, and a strong second half, it lost me in a few areas of basic storytelling in the first half that I couldn’t help but be disappointed by. This week’s episode was just Harmless, even for me. Not offensive in any way, but far from something that I’d really consider enjoyable enough to plan to revisit as Junk Food, anytime soon. Maybe next time. If this one didn’t hold your interest, though, there are plenty of more shows this season that we have reviews and recaps for. Why not check out some of those?
Or, if you really want to sink your teeth into more tooth-rottingly sweet Shoujo Ai cuteness, Konohana Kitan Simulcasts on Crunchyroll, Wednesdays at 8:00am EST.