Sansha Sanyou

October 15, 2016

Wow. This cute girls doing cute things trope is really getting out of hand. Every season we have at least one that falls into this category and this season of spring 2016, it would be Sansha Sanyou. It is their turn to spam and add to the ever growing number of series that falls under this category. Again from the very vague synopsis, it generally tells the daily lives and activities of 3 high school girls whose personalities are as different as night and day. This is how they survive from day to day with their clashing personality. In this funny story. Ah, the keyword is funny. You got my attention there. So there you have it. Your cute girls doing cute things without a decent and proper plot for the season. And we (especially yours truly) keep falling for the same thing in hopes there would always be something different. Sometimes we are surprised of something unique but most of the time it would be disappointing or plain boring. That is why the only way to determine if this is just another run of the mill genre or otherwise is to always watch it yourself.

Episode 1
Yoko Nishikawa is eating her bread crusts alone when Futaba Odagiri and Hayama stumble in and join her. The duo just like everyone in school knows about Yoko. Because she is a rich girl. Apparently Yoko eats alone because she has no friends. Before recess is over, the duo tell her to deep fry the crusts and sprinkle sugar on them to taste better. She tries making this never-made-before recipe. She wants to try it out with them tomorrow but they are not at her usual spot. She feels disappointed but then they stumble in again. As they chat, they hear some weird sounds coming out from the bushes. Who the f*ck is this guy screaming?! He is Mitsugu Yamaji and Yoko’s ex-butler. He is glad to see Yoko making friends especially since her father’s company just went bankrupt, he is happy that she is getting along fine despite her pampered rich upbringing. Yoko claims he is exaggerating. Next day, the trio meet again at the same spot. Futaba this time eats an entire loaf while Yoko puts mayonnaise on her crusts. I don’t think this is as healthy as she thinks. Again, Yamaji pops out from the bush, crying in his happiness that Yoko is making normal progress with commoners. Is this going to be a recurring thing? But Yamaji can’t be reported as a stalker trespassing as he is working part time to refill vending machines. To show his happiness, he gives Yoko the entire pudding stock. That made her day… As they talk about their favourite foods, Yoko feels the need to give an answer that won’t sound strange. But pudding with rice does sound gross. Since the mayonnaise answer didn’t quite cut it, she fears they might start hating her. Thus she goes home to make onigiri. However they are just rice without any fillings or salt. Futaba laments she has failed but the duo pick up and eat them. Not bad, right? The trio then go to the public bath. Yoko can’t waste Hayama’s kindness and tries to stay as long as she could but only dizzies herself out.

Episode 2
As the trio eat together, a cat pops out from the bushes. Hayama can’t restrain herself and cuddles it. Hayama loves animals and it is her dream to open a park filled with them. In fact she has a pet cat named Bel. That’s short for Beelzebub, the demon lord of flies?! It seems Serina Nishiyama considers Hayama her rival. But Hayama always outranks her in everything. Even when she tries psychological insults, Hayama will not snoop low to her level and instead Nishiyama herself reels from her own backlash. But what riles Hayama up is when there are abandoned kittens on the roadside! She will not stop to find them proper shelter. She manages to do so for all but one. Nishiyama’s friend, Asako Kondo suggests to give Nishiyama since she had a cat before it died. A life saviour! While our trio try to call each other nicknames, Yamaji pops out of the blue just to tell them to call Yoko as it is. Yes, Yoko-sama. This has Futaba wondering Hayama’s first name. Each time she asks, she changes the subject. Till this girl, Kou starts calling her as Teru. After a few teasing, who is this Kou girl? She is Hayama’s older sister! No way! She gives them sweets to try but as soon as Futaba pops it in her mouth, she collapses! Holy sh*t! Is she the kind of girl who is bad in cooking?! Kou and Hayama go out to buy ingredients. They bump into Futaba along the way as she joins them. They see Yoko tussling with other elderly women for a cheap sale on mayonnaise. Pathetic… They enter the raffle. While Futaba is bad luck, Kou has the best of luck because she won all top 3 prizes! That was how she won the free public bath ticket too. Flashback shows Hayama often gets hurt and sick a lot and Kou was always there to nurse her. That is why she is always trying to make sure she gets her nutrients regularly. It made Hayama realize she has always been worried about her health. However the next day, Kou joins the friends during lunch and her onigiri looks like it is made out of poison! What nutrients is she talking about?! This doesn’t look healthy at all! But Futaba feels bad Kou went out her way to make food and can’t waste her kindness. She starts stuffing down the food! Don’t kill yourself! Note: The way she is breathing and chomping it down sounds horny ambiguous…

Episode 3
Futaba brought her own lunch because she ran out of lunch allowance for this month. She thinks about taking up a part time job and this also has Yoko thinking the same. But they can only imagine her as an arrogant waitress. They are in luck when a flyer flies into Futaba’s face indicating a newly opened bakery. But when they visit, they see blood on the floor! Oh sh*t! They follow the trail and the corpse of a maid falls out from the room! Horror! Then she comes back to life! Double horror! But Yoko is not freaked out and knows who she is. Shino Sonobe was her former maid. Apparently she was making jam but fell asleep while eating. Sleeping with her eyes open? Since making sweets is all that she is good for, thus the reason she opened a bakery after her retrenchment. Sonobe enters a strong emotionless reaction learning Yoko has made friends. She is more than happy for her to work here. However Yamaji opposes and won’t let Yoko work. The former butler and maid enter an epic battle and it ends when Yoko orders them to stop. Since this isn’t Futaba’s cup of tea, she kills 2 birds with a stone by entering an eating competition and wins its cash reward. This way, she won’t go hungry and still have extra money. I hope that person won’t go out of business quick… Futaba and Hayama visit Yoko when she is working at the bakery. With its small selection and mostly female customers, she is able to get by. Next day in school, Futaba and Hayama are shocked to see Sonobe here. She even made a perfect uniform and fits in with the crowd. You can’t even tell if she is an outsider. She is here to share some food with Yoko. It seems Sonobe may have intended to come here all along as she has made Yoko’s favourite mayonnaise food. She hopes the friends would take care of Yoko and continue to be friends. Then she goes off because Yamaji is here to pick a fight with her. Next morning, Sonobe is handing out flyers to students about her bakery. This incurs the wrath of Yoko but she ignores her and continues handing them out.

Episode 4
The trio reminisces their childhood days. Yoko being the ultimate oujo-sama life, Futaba the energetic glutton and Hayama… Something about getting depressed because of the wrong present she got from Santa and therefore the need to work hard even if it is just all a show. Wow. So deep… Nishiyama is mad the pictures of her cat she submitted are not featured in the magazine. Even more unfortunate, Hayama’s is and the duo begin a cat fight. Literally. However they find their cats too cute to quarrel to begin with. Yoko would love to have a pet but I think she already has one. Because when she throws a stick and says fetch, Yamaji quickly jumps out to catch it! Nishiyama won’t lose and desperately tries to take cute pictures of her cat. But you know cats, they literally make your life hell so in her case it won’t sit still. In the end she couldn’t get a decent cat photo. Futaba mentions her hobby is cooking but the rest don’t believe her. When they ask about Yoko’s parents, she says her mom died when she was little and her dad is trying to start anew again. Although living away, he still sends her money for living allowance. On the way home, they bump into this kid, Yuu Takazono. He is Yoko’s fiancé. You know, that kind of promise you make as a kid to marry in the future? Yeah. He is that kid. But Yoko doesn’t seem too keen on that past promise now. When Yuu passes Yamaji, he believes he is superior than this ex-butler and calls him a stalker. Futaba needs her friends help as she goes to pick up her cousin, Sakura Usuda who would be staying here for a week. Does a little girl need so many luggages? What an irrelevant question. She is a woman no matter the age! Haha! Thankfully that is what Yamaji is good for. Yuu happens to come by to give Yoko some high premium Wagyu beef. Sakura suddenly hugs him. He is her potential husband candidate although Yuu is not happy about it. Since when did this anime get complicated in the romance department?! Yoko is deep lost in her Wagyu fantasies… Unfortunately when she tried to cook them, it is burnt to a crisp. Don’t worry. Remember Futaba can cook. The most awesome Wagyu meal ever! Respect. This has Yoko reminisce her mother’s cooking and she feels good as it has been a long time since she ate with others. She vows to learn cooking and invite them over.

Episode 5
While hanging out at a diner, Yoko accidentally dozes off and bangs her head on the table. This rude awakening has her screaming who did this prank before realizing in embarrassment. Now that she has a bump on her head, it will be difficult for her to work facing the customers. Yamaji is seriously affected that his oujo-sama is hurt. After Sonobe tells her to rest, she falls into panic mode wondering how her store would cope. As Futaba teases Hayama to work here, Sonobe ropes in both of them. Hayama is not pleased she is wearing a maid outfit while Futaba wears a different one but similar to Yoko’s. Well, let’s just say Futaba’s size is different from hers… While Futaba is natural in mixing with the customers since she is an oddball herself, Hayama isn’t. By the time she sums up her courage to welcome customers, it is Kou at the door. Apparently Futaba called her here. She wants to give sweets as reward but you know how bad they are. Even a sweet lover like Sonobe clearly stays away! Then Yuu barges in, disagreeing Yoko should be working in such a creepy place. Kou nicely tells him off to be careful with his words or he’ll hurt others. He has a change of heart. Wait a minute. Does he like her now? Or does he like older women? Kou wants to give her cooking to Yoko. Better stop her before she never recovers! However the next day, Yoko is back to normal and filled with energy. I don’t know what Kou put in that food because she couldn’t sleep for the entire night! Nishiyama and Kondo patron the place. Sonobe can sense a great rivalry between them and asks if she would like to work here. But Sonobe is interrupted by Yamaji as they get into an ‘epic’ fight about hiring another weirdo. After they leave, Hayama gives Nishiyama treats for her cat. Next morning, Nishiyama goes to the bakery to get more of those treats. Sonobe misinterprets she wants to work for her and before you know it, she already dons the maid outfit. However Sonobe notes her smile is either unnatural or creepy (but she still snaps a shot anyway). To get that beautiful smile, she compliments her for a job well done. That perfect smile is first seen by Hayama and co. Busted… Since the store is getting busy, the others help out. At the end of the day, Nishiyama has enough money to buy a new camera to take more pictures of her cat. Then she spots Sonobe too. What is she printing? Multiple copies of Nishiyama’s smile! Is she using this as blackmail to work for her?

Episode 6
The beach, the sun and the sea! Too bad our girls are here to work at Sonobe’s beach house. Since Yoko doesn’t know what a beach house is, this leaves the rest appalled over her sheltered life. Yoko orders Sonobe to explain it to her in some ritual dance. WTF?! I don’t even know what she is doing in the sand… While the girls are handing out flyers, Yuu is seen speeding in with his speedboat. He wants to help Yoko with the sales and orders everything from the menu. They only sell desserts so he has to eat all of them. I wonder how long his brain freeze will last. And Yamaji revels in seeing this kid suffer as her serves more. And there is meat BBQ after that too. You up for it? Then Kou comes by and will help out with the cooking. I guess this isn’t funny anymore. Time to call the ambulance just in case. On the final day at the beach, the girls have the day off but they can’t swim and the beach is deserted since there is a warning that sharks have been spotted. Bummer. But thanks to Yuu, they can play in a hotel pool. Yuu thought he could have fun with Yoko but it seems Sakura is here too on a family vacation. The moment she seems him, she jumps to hug him as they both fall into the pool. An ambulance picks Yuu up and Sakura accompanies him. Death has never been this painful… Guess who is here too? Nishiyama and Kondo too. Their cover is blown when Nishiyama goes to retort Futaba fishing cockles out of the pool. How in the world? Is that legal? Kou forces her sister to learn swimming by pushing her into the pool. She barely came out alive and she thought of staying positive that she has lasted this long without knowing how to swim, only to be dragged away for lessons at the kiddie pool. Luckily Sonobe and Yamaji are here to deliver their lunch. At the end of the day, they take a train back. They see Nishiyama and Kondo leaning on each other sleeping. Futaba does the same on Yoko. Since she is sleep talking about food, Yoko gets the wrong idea she could have a feast if she falls asleep.

Episode 7
While walking home, suddenly a boy confronts Futaba. Looks like he is mad at her but soon runs away. They ponder who this kid is since Futaba doesn’t recognize him. After she aces another eating challenge, since each of her win is commemorated with a photo, could it be that is how he knew her name? Then in school, this time a girl who looks bloody similar like that boy, confronts Futaba. She too runs away. Deja vu? This girl turns out to be Sasame Tsuji and Yoko’s classmate. Tsuji is told to meet Yoko at the rooftop later but she didn’t count on meeting Futaba too. Tsuji clarifies that boy, Hajime is her older brother and not her twin. She wants Futaba to stop hogging the wins at the eating challenge. Futaba assures she will beat him so bad that he will never overdo it himself again. Erm… I don’t think she put it right. Because Tsuji feels even worse and ends up crying. Futaba tries to be considerate in her next eating challenge by not taking it up. But since Hajime is here, the challenge is on. Despite he finishes first, Futaba is enjoying her meal. This makes him feel that he has lost and won’t forgive her the next time. Tsuji is in a dilemma to help put a stop to Futaba because she fears Yoko won’t be her friend anymore. So with a lame trap that everyone can spot miles away, she is exposed of her intentions. Time to run away crying again? In school, Tsuji bumps into Yoko. She panics and causes a series of bloopers that ended up spilling her money. More ‘trauma’ for her when Hayama comes by. However she isn’t as bad as she thinks as she lends her money. It made Tsuji feel a little nice inside. She wants to go to return the money and learns Yoko works part time at the bakery. As she spies outside, she is spotted by the trio and ushered in. Though she panics how she ended up in their company, she starts enjoying it. Yamaji and Sonobe are proud of Yoko because Tsuji is the first classmate she talks with. It shows she can make friends without using money and that it is a good thing she became poor. I understand their intentions but they might have chosen the wrong words… Their fate intertwines again when they are paired together for PE class.

Episode 8
Nishiyama and Hayama happen to be at the cat cafe. Seeing each other just ruined their mood and experience. Because of that, Futaba gives a ticket to Hayama to visit a petting zoo. Because there are only 2 tickets, Hayama wants to discuss how to split it. Unfortunately Yoko has to work and Futaba doesn’t like animals (what?!). How about Kou? She’ll be too tiring to deal with. Thus Futaba gives it to Nishiyama. They both turn up and you know sh*t is going to explode any time soon. Futaba and Kondo spy from afar and have this feeling throughout the entire day. However Nishiyama is bragging about her knowledge on everything and Hayama is just holding it in. You know how animals react when they sense earthquake? Yup. Hayama’s limit of tolerating Nishiyama’s arrogance is about to explode. No more Ms Nice Girl… Well, let’s say at least there are no casualties. When Futaba suggests forming a rock band, suddenly out of the blue Kou starts singing a song for the dead! OMG! Yoko becomes so ‘captivated’ that she sees her life flashing before her eyes and almost crosses the River Styx! Then when Kondo eggs Nishiyama to sing, she blows her top instead. Because of that, Yoko notices Kondo has been by herself since. Did the duo really have a fight? Because now Kondo seems to join the trio for lunch. Kondo is such a blunt girl that her honest words really cut your heart. Yeah, she lacks tact. You don’t know if she is praising, belittling or just insensitive. When Tsuji confronts Futaba about beating Hajime again, she spots Yoko with Kondo. Kondo mentions she is special and in turn Tsuji gets the wrong idea and runs away crying. Kondo accompanies the trio to the bakery to get something to make Nishiyama feel better. Sonobe would gladly give the maid uniform instead of a cake. Yoko is embarrassed when the rest clarify her misunderstanding that Kondo and Nishiyama were fighting. Nishiyama is actually out sick. As she is recuperating in bed, she hums a song about her cat. The rest are outside her room. I guess they have to wait till she finishes?

Episode 9
As the cultural festival is coming up, Hayama’s class is taking suggestions on what to do. Futaba suggests a curry cafe and with Sonobe barging in to give her support, everyone is convinced to choose this. To learn more about curry, Futaba takes the eating challenge but for the first time she couldn’t finish it as it was too spicy. Apparently someone beat her to it yesterday: Sonobe. The owner thought it was too easy and increased the spiciness. Hajime thought he could defeat her but he too cannot finish. As Yoko’s class is doing a haunted house and she is commissioned to play a zombie and doesn’t know how, Kondo suggests visiting the toilet legend Hanako. Futaba who hates ghosts is against this but Yoko seems very enthusiastic about it. Before Futaba knows it, she is alone. She gets a jump scare when Nishiyama pops up. Kondo and Yoko soon return. They find that visiting every toilet would be troublesome and scrapped the idea. The festival is underway. When Hayama and Futaba are promoting their curry cafe, a group of scared people are seen running away. What is that hideous thing creeping out from the corner? It’s zombie Yoko! OMG! Her face makeup is so scary like real!!! All thanks to Sonobe’s makeup skill. Yamaji who was once against Yoko being a zombie because it isn’t her character, now supports her all the way because he believes these commoners should be fearful of Yoko! Futaba and Hayama visit the haunted house. Tsuji thought she could scare Futaba and avenge her brother. Since both sides are fumbling in the dark, when Futaba switches on the torchlight, it is that scary face of Yoko! Even Tsuji is freaked out! Thanks to their genuine scream, it attracts more people to the haunted house. Great advertising. Sonobe is unfortunate to be roped into Kou’s juice stand. Then she is made to carry full glasses of juices to her pals. Hope she doesn’t spill… The other highlight of the festival is Sakura’s horrible karaoke. The most unfortunate is Yuu as he is standing next to her as she sings. Can’t get away. Tight hand grip… When Yoko eats at the curry cafe, all the patrons freak out and run away. Even after the festival ends, you wonder when she is going to take off her makeup.

Episode 10
Yoko and Futaba are planning their Christmas party when Kou lets them in on a big secret: It is also Hayama’s birthday. Because of this knowledge, the duo become very conscious before Hayama and it makes everything seem awkward. They plan a surprise birthday bash when Sonobe wants Yoko to help out distribute cake flyers. Cake shops will always be busy on Christmas day, you know. What’s more, if sales are good, Yoko might get a raise. Hayama almost heard their plan but thanks to Sonobe distracting her, the rest are safe to proceed. When Nishiyama learns Hayama’s birthday is on Christmas, she falls into depression! Her favourite day of the year has to be the same day as her rival’s birthday! Hayama is really surprised by Yoko and Futaba surprise. She never thought about it because since celebrating her birthday has naturally become secondary in celebrating Christmas. Yoko eats Kou’s dish and I’m not sure if she is feeling energetic or dead. Next day, Hayama brags to Nishiyama how the world celebrates her birthday but an upset Nishiyama wants her to apologize for being born on that day and taint the meaning of Christmas! The snow is getting heavy and Hayama doesn’t want to go out. To motivate her to do so, Kou built a snow hut. Looks nice. But then it collapses on her. It’s always safe and warm inside… As the girls plan for New Year, Sonobe suggests having a pyjamas party. Yoko will gladly be the host. But as it turns out this pyjamas party… The trio just sit around in an empty room covered with blankets. So cold, so boring… It gets more awkward when they fall on top of each other. And Sonobe is trying to record this pathetic event with her camcorder. It isn’t all that bad since the next morning Futaba has made mochi. But she has made many flavours of it and large servings for everyone. You can have my share…

Episode 11
As Yoko tells her friends how she saw a cat stuck up a tree and Yamaji helped brought it down, they believe this will lead to Yoko being repaid by the cat in the future. So when that happens, Hayama wants Yamaji to capture that moment and gives him a film. Hayama also dreams of her cat repaying her but in real life it gives her a bug? Hayama and Nishiyama get into another argument whose cat is cuter. It is decided they take pictures and their friends will judge. Hmm… Hard to call… I guess they’ll settle for both of them being cute. When Hajime again challenges Futaba, however this restaurant has banned her and kicks her out. Tsuji claims victory by default in which Yoko congratulates him. When he goes to tell his sister about this, she is not very happy. Because they are not close friends yet, this may make Yoko feel awkward. Tsuji throws pillows at him to show her displeasure. After learning Sakura wants to make Valentine chocolates for Yuu, Yoko tells her intention to Yamaji. He is making excuses not to hear it. Sonobe also gets the wrong idea believing she will overwork herself, causing her to fall sick and Sonobe will be busier than ever! Thus she pleads Nishiyama for help and she is not too pleased. But with Futaba and Hayama offering, I guess she can’t refuse. To Hayama’s horror, she is made to dress in a different outfit. Sonobe thought she didn’t want to wear this one and pulled 2 nights straight to make a new one for her! The girls work hard as the bakery is swarmed with customers. But a successful day nevertheless. When Yoko learns Sonobe was sleeping throughout the entire time to make up for her all-nighter, she blows her top. Kondo praises Nishiyama’s outfit during her stint but when Hayama does the same, she becomes embarrassed and like a tsundere. Not used to her compliments? Yoko has finished her chocolates and gives them to her friends. They don’t melt but they’re still edible… Huh? When Tsuji receives those chocolates, she goes into extreme unbelievable crazy reaction. How can she repay all this?! It’s like the end of the world for her. Same thing for Yamaji. Never expect he will get some, eh? Sonobe is eagerly waiting her turn but never gets hers. Did Yoko miss out somebody? On purpose?

Episode 12
Yoko finds the characters of her friends totally changed. Like Hayama is polite and Nishiyama very timid. Kou is a delinquent who wants to smash up everything with a smile?! What’s this? Yamaji is a noble teacher?! Yoko thinks he is fooling around and slaps him! How dare she slap a teacher?! She even dares him! You know something is wrong when Sonobe is a sexy busty lady. Yup, turns out to be Sonobe’s dream. I knew it. But this is definitely real when Sakura wants the trio to hear out her ‘idol voice’. I think Simon Cowell would have died hearing that. They let her practice by putting a bucket over her head. You know how bad she is when her voice echoes within the bucket and makes her stop singing. When Yoko is working at a bakery, an old school friend drops in. Surprisingly Yoko puts up a professional display and the friend leaves her contacts at the end. Everyone praises her professionalism but after that Yoko starts collapsing and panicking, a great relief that ordeal was over. After being chided by Sakura that she lacks feminine appeal (ignoring her singing while eating like a glutton), Futaba tries to change her appearance to be more feminine. Will a ribbon do? Her feminine action is so creepy it gives Hayama the hives. Futaba even turns down an eating challenge from Hajime and he lectures her how rude she is to not give a chance to those who lost to her. With her friends preferring to see Futaba in her usual way, she casts away all her feminine side and beats Hajime in the competition. Here comes Kou thinking Futaba needs to be more feminine and has concocted this poison juice for it. I think she’ll just shrivel and die. Yuu has great news their dads will be working together. To cement their relationship, he thought he could ask her to sign the marriage registration form. Too bad Sakura caught it. And he has to live with her awful singing… Tsuji returns a few boxes of chocolates to Yoko as return for Valentine but I suppose she is a week too early for White Day. The trio talk about and refer to the characters in this series as some sort of animal. Whether it is endangered species, protected species or dangerous animals. Yoko announces she is graduating from bread crusts and will now eat instant noodles. Her friends are sarcastic when they tease how she ruined it by putting in the sauce first. Embarrassed Yoko gives up on it and returns to bread crusts.

Three’s A Company ~ A Friendship You Can Be-Leaf In
That was it? What kind of ending was that? Wait a minute. Try to remember what the plot of this anime was in the first place again. None? Ah well, I guess that kind of life goes on for our friends should be a decent ‘ending’ for this kind of genre. Although this series in a nutshell isn’t all that bad, it lacks something that needs to make it stand out. That is why in a why I am glad that it only has a dozen episodes instead of dragging it out to 2 cours with cute silly nonsense that might seem repetitive and boring after a few episodes in.

We have already been clearly warned on what kind of anime this is therefore it somewhat helps in reducing our expectations of this show. Take a look at the plot. What plot?! Exactly. This series is even more generic than other similar cute girls doing cute things animes. For instance like Anne Happy we have misfortune as somewhat the theme. Kiniro Mosaic has blondes directly from England while Gochuumon Usagi Wa Desu Ka at least has coffee shops and tea shops to go with. Even YuruYuri has that wacky Amusement Club and student council group. But what about Sansha Sanyou? I can’t seem to place precisely what it is supposed to be. So it could have been anything and anybody for all we know. But fortunately even if it does seem general, this show isn’t that all too bad as I have said.

The characters themselves are a hit and miss. While they are not as lovable, you won’t loathe or hate them either. Yes, yet another bunch of generic characters and groups that have seemingly the cliché character tropes. From glutton girl with a black hole stomach to a fallen rich oujo-sama trying to live her life as a commoner to a dual personality animal lover. Well, Hayama’s case may be questionable because I don’t see her really being a nasty demon. She might not be the nicest person but she isn’t seen all that mean either. But then again, she may be showing us her angelic side for most of the time and that might be a good thing because you don’t really want to be traumatized if you ever see her true colours.

As for Kou, I can’t remember anything about this sweet girl besides her deadly poison cooking that could have rivalled Kateikyoushi Hitman Reborn’s Bianchi. But hey, at least some of her cooking ‘revitalizes’ you. Okay, maybe it is like being high on drugs… So if Hayama has a devil personality and Kou’s cooking is more like a demon’s dish, and both sisters have this pleasant outlook, wouldn’t that make them just dangerous? Thank goodness nobody dies… It would be interesting to see how Yoko came to her predicament from a rich girl to a commoner (and if there are other ex-servants she will bump into because you can’t be a rich girl and just have a couple of servants, right?) but I suppose you have to take things here light heartedly as opposed to taking things too seriously. Basically the entire series is about them interacting with each other and other supporting characters. How well it plays out depends on how well you love them. For me, well, they’re rather okay. Hah. Middle ground stance again…

Aside the main trio, I feel the other characters are lacking. Like Yamaji who is just a stalker and Sonobe the emotionless maid who always needs to solicit help and business for her bakery. But these two aren’t so bad and at least provide some interaction and laughs. Because Sakura and Yuu just feel wasted as their roles and potential. So what if Yuu is Yoko’s childhood self-promised fiancé? So what if Sakura is Yuu’s self-proclaimed fiancée? It feels it could have been at least decently developed but unfortunately it turned out to be some sort of minor running joke and distraction. Something that isn’t necessary in the first place but needed because you need more ‘interesting’ characters besides the main trio.

Also feeling a little wasted is Nishiyama as Hayama’s rival. Showing more of her pride and rivalry might have enhanced Hayama’s angelic-looks-but-mean-personality reputation as we see the bespectacled girl owning the resident loser all the time. But in some cases Nishiyama ends up helping Hayama out although at the end of the day she doesn’t top her at all. Then there is Nishiyama’s friend Kondo who is as blunt in her conversations and lacking tact. Could have been another interesting character too if not for her limited screen time. And the Tsuji siblings feel also the same with Hajime reduced to a running joke as Futaba’s eternal food challenger and Tsuji being anxious about every inch of her friendship with Yoko. It is odd that the duo finds friendship among themselves as they cannot find friends with others in the same class. It feels like making a right with 2 wrongs. As the saying goes, best friends are like a four leaf clover. Hard to find and lucky to have. I’m sure the duo fit in nicely here. In a nutshell, sure, these characters add variety to your main ‘3 leaves’ but they hardly add any spice to it all. Looks different but tastes the same.

I have a feeling that food is also a subtle theme in this anime because in every episode you can see the characters munching on something (thanks to Futaba) or some other food on display. While it is not obvious as it is to advertise the food, it could run from Yoko’s running joke of only eating bread crusts (Futaba just devours the entire loaf), the food challenges between Yoko and Hajime, Sonobe’s bakery and the Valentine chocolates (although the process of seeing Yoko make the chocolates is entirely skipped). But seeing all the yummy food, it didn’t make me feel hungry. Is that a good or bad thing?

Art and drawing are also in line with the cuteness of everything. So are we complaining? Done by Doga Kobo who also produced similar genres like YuruYuri, GJ-Bu, Himouto! Umaru-chan, Hoshizora E Kakaru Hashi, Love Lab, Hidan No Aria AA, Koihime+Musou and Mikakunin De Shinkoukei. It is that time again for me to reiterate how some characters look like they are from other anime thanks to their uncanny looks and because I have seen so many animes that I think I’ve seen them somewhere before. Like the most obvious ones such as Nishiyama whom I think is Hinagiku of Hayate No Gotoku fame trying her luck in this series after there is no word if that said series would have future seasons. And doesn’t Yoko look like that Miyuki girl from Angel Beats? Kirie from Girls Bravo comes to mind whenever I see Futaba. Just minus the boobs. And Tsuji doesn’t she look like that sneaky Shiranui of Medaka Box? At certain angles, Sakura looks like a young Rin of the Fate series. I’m sure that I have seen the rest from somewhere but at this point I’m too lazy to think about it. Yeah… If you are a cat person, it is probably a bonus to see cute cats here.

I have this misconception that Satomi Arai was behind Sonobe’s voice. Maybe my ears are failing me. Turns out to be Rika Momokawa instead whose only other role so far is Shizuku from Fushigi Na Somera-chan. Many of the casts are newbies too such as Yuu Wakui as Yoko (Sumire Hikami in Aikatsu), Mai Kanazawa as Futaba (her only other role is an minor extra in Monster Musume), Ayaka Imamura as Hayama (Miyabi in Absolute Duo), Machico as Nishiyama (Sophie in Seiken Tsukai No World Break), Aina Suzuki as Kondo (Shiori in Joukamachi No Dandelion), Haruka Watanabe as Yuu (Kai in Chaos Dragon) and Kotone Kuwayama as Hajime (Ameiro Cocoa is her only other anime so far). Chiemi Tanaka as Tsuji and Nao Natsuno as Sakura are making their debut in this anime. Of course there are some veterans like Kenji Akabane as Yamaji (Arashi in Triage X) and Asuka Nishi as Kou (Shinobu in Kiniro Mosaic) and a few others as minor extra characters.

Both the opening themes are sung by Triple Feeling. Clover Kakumation as the opener is as hectic and chaotic as it can get as lively as it already is. Stepping up that frenzy pace is how the singers sing some of the lines very fast like as though they are rapping. It makes you wonder if there is any full stop in the sentences and if the singers ever stop to breathe. If you think about it, I think it is quite amazing in that sense having to sing for long periods without stopping and still managing to make the song sound cute and all. The ending theme, Guuchoki Parade might not be as crazy as its opening counterpart but it is still lively and upbeat as ever.

Overall, nothing ground breaking and all that unique but if you really love the genre of cute girls doing cute things, you will find this your acceptable fix for the season. Otherwise, just another anime with some hits and misses in its potential and would most likely be forgotten by the time the next season arrives. Like many animes, they shine brightly and leafy green for the current season only to fade away into oblivion into the next. It seems the standards of anime need to once again evolve and provide something different and refreshing if they are going to keep using this cute girls doing cute things genre. Better to have your leaves in different kinds of colours no matter how weird they look because it beats having a dry wilted leaf.

Sansha Sanyou

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