Minami-ke: Tadaima

October 19, 2013

BAKAYARO! Heh… You know when I always start my blog with that word, it could only mean one thing: Minami-ke! Yes. After a long time, we have a fourth instalment of the Minami sisters and their friends in Minami-ke: Tadaima. The second title is somewhat aptly named since it has been a long time since the third season ended back in early 2009. And then they whet our appetite with an OVA way back in October 2012 just to signal to us that they are coming back at the start of 2013. I guess it is hard to really forget about those ordinary sisters, eh? Yeah well, if you have been watching all the 3 seasons and 2 OVAs like me, I’m sure you would feel that certain nostalgia if you are going to watch this fourth season. I figure that is how producers hit on us by making sequels and using nostalgia to make us want more of something that although wasn’t the most amazing thing in history but not too bad that you hate it and something memorable.

As monotonously warned at the start of each episode, this show is nothing more than the simple illustrations of the ordinary lives of the Minami sisters. Ordinary is the word in focus here. So, don’t expect too much from it. Yeah. I wasn’t. Because if I go by this series’ formula, there won’t be anything new or shocking (because of that, I guessed that’s why the second season bombed). Expect the same old Minami sisters and their antics with their usual friends. No sudden twist in the plot. No sudden new character. No new development in any area. No nothing… Boring, isn’t it? That’s why you have been warned… Expectation is the root of disappointment. The higher it gets, the more you will be let down. But don’t get the wrong idea of me putting this show down. If you love your slice of life comedy with nothing shocking, then you better watch this show, bakayaro!

Episode 1
* Chiaki introduces us to the Minami sisters. The middle dumbass sister Kana she is not proud of unlike the eldest one Haruka whom she worships like a goddess. Chiaki chides Kana for still wanting to play around with the kotatsu and wants Haruka to say something. But since she warmed up her clothes using it, Chiaki approves of its use.
* Kana didn’t do well on her tests and wants somebody to coach her. Keiko? No way. Then she uses Miyuki to help plead to Keiko (who also didn’t do well) tutor them. It worked only because Keiko is here to tutor Miyuki and not Kana. So Kana makes them go home instead. On the next test, Kana did worst. One point lesser. As for Miyuki, she scored 100!
* Kana is with Chiaki and Uchida in the living room. When Uchida leaves for a while, Kana notes how Chiaki doesn’t care about her surroundings if she’s focused on her studying and decides to teach Uchida a lesson by leaving her doughnut unguarded. Uchida is distraught to see her doughnut missing and all evidence points to Kana although she dismisses it. Chiaki as usual didn’t react. When Kana leaves, it’s payback time. Uchida reads her manga. No reaction from Chiaki. However there is a reaction from her when Haruka calls her to taste her cooking. When she comes back, she sees this eerie silence between Kana and Uchida. Her angelic and devilish side try to reason whether they are deliberately ignoring her. She can’t take it anymore and apologizes for studying on her own. It is then revealed that they were trying to hold in their laughter thinking that the other was making a funny face. For that, Chiaki will have Uchida eat third servings of their dinner. Can she eat that much?
* Kana got enough money to get a fortune reading. She seeks Keiko’s help to decipher its meaning and from Kana’s reaction, she thinks Kana wants a boyfriend. She thinks this is Fujioka’s chance. Kana also thinks he is the fated one when Fujioka approaches her but she is actually sitting in his seat. Back home, Kana is close to confirming Fujioka is the one when he is seen visiting their home. But when he leaves and forgets to take his bicycle key and returns back up, Kana dismisses he is the one.
* Kana wants to put away the kotatsu but surprisingly Haruka is acting like a kid disagreeing with her. Then she goes to sleep underneath it. Does Kana want to put it away so badly? Put it this way. If Haruka starts getting lazy with it, she’ll never cook their dinner! Putting it away is for her sake. First, cutting off the power and letting all the heat escape didn’t work. Pulling it away didn’t have any reaction from Haruka but Kana considers it a success. When Haruka gets back from school, she sees Kana hiding underneath the kotatsu. Didn’t she put it away? She’s changing clothes in its warmth? And she forgot to bring her clothes. Can Haruka get them for her? Haruka pulls her out. Kana fanservice!

Episode 2
* Mako-chan wants to put an end to this cross-dressing. ‘She’ doesn’t want to lie anymore despite having easy access into their home. But this time ‘she’ is determined to end it. But when Haruka returns, Mako-chan goes to talk about the cookbook ‘she’ has bought. I guess the charade continues.
* Touma makes an April Fool’s Day joke that their house is on fire. Because of that, the brothers end up in some serious discussion to punish her. No dinner for her. That’s why she is now at the Minami sisters’ house as she can’t eat at home. At the same time, Fujioka is also here. He talks to Touma about playing football (remember, in his eyes, Touma is a boy). Kana makes a revelation that Touma is a girl. Though Touma is shocked at this betrayal, Kana tells her not to sweat it so much because of today’s April Fool’s joke. Though Fujioka can handle it, Touma couldn’t. She runs back home and is not even interested in dinner even if her brother wants to make it for her if she apologizes.
* In class, Yoshino almost mistakes Makoto for Mako-chan but corrects herself. Uchida and Makoto wonder if she really knows about that identity. So Mako-chan returns to Kana and is sure this time ‘she’ will stop being Mako-chan. ‘She’ gives back this hairpin as proof. Of course Kana is not convinced and has kept the number of times ‘she’ has said that. When Haruka comes in, she notices Mako-chan not wearing ‘her’ hairpin. Because a hairpin looks cute on ‘her’, Haruka gives her another one that looks like a spade as thanks for being Chiaki’s friend. Learning it symbolizes a sword, Mako-chan thinks Haruka has entrusted ‘her’ the duty of forever staying faithful to Chiaki. Looks like it is Mako-chan once more and always…
* The Minami brothers discuss how Touma isn’t ladylike. Haruo and Natsuki end up arguing who should be the one to tell her and once more leave Akira to clean up after them. Touma sees Yoshino’s advice to be feminine. But she introduces to someone better: Makoto. They should ask someone what a guy thinks is ladylike, right? Well, he doesn’t and thinks they should go ask Chiaki. She says to be herself. That didn’t work. Wondering if Chiaki is feminine or not, they think she is feminine back at home. With Fujioka the teddy bear. Touma thinks all she needs to do is cut up cloth, stuff it with cotton and sew it up to make stuffed dolls as a feminine hobby. Back home, Natsuki sees a blue teddy bear and notices someone has cut out the cotton of their sofa to make this! Touma!!!
* Touma shows the blue teddy bear to Kana and it is like a splitting image to the brown Fujioka. Kana wants to experiment switching the teddy bears to see if Chiaki notices. Of course she notices something off but Kana gives lots of excuses like the world is changing, etc. Then Kana wants them to figure out what is different with her. I’m sure they pinpoint everything but miss by a mile. She reveals she tied her twintails lower than usual. Just when Chiaki has accepted the blue teddy bear, she sees her original one and yells who the hells is this one!!! Touma stays for dinner and says that she could make clothes too since they are easier than stuffed dolls. Chiaki has a few clothes she likes that she wants her to make. Haruo and Natsuki continue to argue over who should tell Touma. Once again, Akira is left to clean up after them.

Episode 3
* Touma bathes fast at the Minami sisters’ place and this is because she notes Natsuki takes long ones. So long that a TV episode will have ended by them. Since there are no extra clothes, Kana has her try out hers and Haruka’s school uniform. Some parts are loose, some parts are tight. She prefers to wear a jersey.
* Kana did an experiment whereby she asks her friend the time when she is about to drink. This causes her to spill the drink over her clothes. She tells this to Chiaki and Touma and proves this experiment over Uchida. This theory proves the existence of airheads as believed by Kana. Uchida wears a maid outfit for the time being. Noting that Haruka will be back next, Kana thinks of testing it on her. But before that could happen, Chiaki takes the alarm clock and tells her the time.
* Haruka invites her friends to her home for some cake. Hitomi realizes she has lost her ring she got from her friend. It costs ten thousands of yen so better start looking. Hitomi realizes it was in her hand all along and it would be embarrassing to just admit it. So she rolls it away and it ends up in Atsuko’s bag. So when Atsuko spots it, she is devastated she will be accused as a thief. She admits she finds the ring but couldn’t explain how. Hitomi feels guilty so they both start apologizing to each other while Haruka and Maki are confused.
* Remembering what Touma said, Haruka talks to Natsuki about his habit of taking long baths. He felt embarrassed and denies. Hitomi sees how troubled his eyes are and talks to Maki about it. She feels his embarrassment is like those of taking long baths which is more like a girl thing. Haruka heard this and realizes she must have embarrassed him. She goes to talk to him that there is nothing wrong taking long baths and since she said so, he will do so. Then Hitomi goes to tell Natsuki that she too takes long baths (remember, she likes him). His answers about improving blood circulation and all isn’t what she is seeking. Is there anything else he should say to her? Yes. There is nothing to feel embarrassed about!
* Kana, Chiaki and Touma are happy after eating a doughnut each. Realizing there is only 1 left, they do rock-scissors-paper and Kana won. When she returns after getting more tea, it is gone. She knows one of them ate it but as Chiaki points out, if they tried to, the other would have sounded the alarm. It means there was no doughnut there to begin with! Kana almost bought that because she notices the doughnuts they ate wasn’t coated with sugar like this one. She is going to lick their mouths to see how ate it! Don’t come closer you pervert! So scared that they admit they are the culprits. When Haruka returns, everyone remembers that doughnut is for her. Haruka smells her favourite cinnamon flavour all over Kana. Oh sh*t… But Kana averts the blame to the duo for eating her share. Haruka becomes disheartened. She brushes it off as she’s on a diet anyway. They feel the need to cheer her up. So when she takes a bath, Chiaki and Touma don their maid outfit to clean the house. Haruka is revitalized and will go make dinner. But where is Kana? She is still trying to fit into the maid outfit.

Episode 4
* Hosaka wants to give Haruka his homemade bento but was stopped by Hayami. Several death slaps on his head didn’t change anything but she did gain his attention. Her smooth talk has him convinced that what he wants is for Haruka to wipe his sweat after club activities every day. Yup. It is her ploy to get Haruka to join the volleyball club. He goes into class to ask Haruka that but she is gone and only Maki and Atsuko are left. Yeah, they are feeling creepy as Hosaka rants how he will make a good meal for Haruka and her daughters. Sisters, if that is what he is referring to. And does he need to unbutton his shirt?
* Hosaka thinks of making lunch for Natsuki because if he spends his time on cooking, he will have less time for club activities. However he refuses since this scene will arise to misinterpretation. Yaoi… Besides, he wants to make a hot meal for his family. Hosaka allows it.
* Hitomi sees Natsuki’s serious eyes and thinks it is the eyes of wanting someone adult-like to cook for him. She tells this to Haruka and Kana. Kana has an idea of that: Wear naked apron! Haruka asks she can start by asking what kind of food that person likes. When Hitomi goes to see Natsuki again, she sees his eyes resolved to cook everything by himself. She tells him she likes super sweet things.
* Touma seeks a little excitement so she jumps into puddles to make Uchida wet. So when she tries to get back, she accidentally makes Chiaki and Yoshino drench. So the quartet have to take a warm bath back at Haruka’s home. However it has been raining for a few days and the laundry isn’t dry yet. Even the bath towels aren’t dry yet. I don’t know how they got to dry themselves but they are dressed in nun outfits that Touma made. As for Chiaki, she is turned into a teruterubouzu as everyone prays for a sunny day. Even Haruka! Otherwise they won’t have clothes to wear tomorrow. Hey! Didn’t something of this sort happened in the first season?
* Hayami talks to Haruka and Hitomi how they like their eggs done. Of course this reaches the ears of Hosaka and so he starts his deluded fantasy of sunny side up or turned over. Even the girls are freaked out. He might have a nice body but his brain is obviously broken. Then Hayami comes to interfere. She whispers in his ear that Haruka doesn’t mind them nicely browned. Elsewhere Hitomi asks Natsuki to kind of eggs he likes. Since it’s not overcooked, she thinks he likes her untanned. She gets alerted when she thinks his eyes are looking at her, wanting to eat her. He just feels like wanting to eat eggs. As for Hosaka, he is lying on the grassy plains, baring his exposed body to the sun. Now it’s the time to flip over…
* Hosaka shows Hayami a plate he made. I didn’t pay attention to all those words of praising how damn good it is. Since Hayami asks what he is going to fill it with, he goes off to ask others. Unfortunately why does it have to be Maki and Atsuko? Can’t escape, can’t they? So as he rants about preparing the best cuisine with the best vessel, they accidentally split it into half! Yeah. He was so busy blabbing its history and wax lyrical about it, the duo had time to panic behind his back and even bring back a kettle as replacement. Yeah, they suggest he could boil water with it. And he will follow their suggestion! Can hot water bring Haruka happiness? Does he even realize what happened to his plate? Elsewhere, the Minami sisters are having a hot ramen in a cup.

Episode 5
* While putting away their winter clothes, Kana finds Haruka’s school swimsuit and gives it to Chiaki to try. Does she think wearing it can make her swim underwater for 50 metres like her? Guess what? When she puts it on, it’s so baggy that it practically slips off! And Chiaki really got her hopes up…
* Kana and Keiko thought of eating chilled noodles and invite Akira. They notice he hasn’t switch from his winter uniform to his summer. He says he sometimes feel cold. Kana thought it would be disrespectful to eat summer food in winter clothing. Of course Fujioka wants to know what Akira chatted with Kana. Akira fears he would get the wrong idea and mentions he got rejected for chilled noodles. Fujioka gets the wrong idea from him that he needs to be more summer-like to be invited by Kana for chilled noodles. So he starts stripping his jacket. I hope he doesn’t turn into another Hosaka. He also tries to act very hot just to get Kana to invite him. But in Kana’s eyes, she sees him turning into a delinquent. Whenever Fujioka never gets invited, he meets Akira to tell him the problem and the answer is always the same. Act even hotter. Kana thinks Fujioka is picking a fight with him. This process repeats itself many times till Keiko who probably got tired of seeing this misinterpretation to go ask Fujioka if he could ask Kana to invite him. Instantly he goes back to normal and Kana thought the model student straightened out the delinquent.
* Chiaki makes some fatty rich food for breakfast for her special menu. Bacon toast pizza with extra cheese and potato chips. Yum! Kana chows it down and then goes to sleep. Then it’s leftover beef curry and buttered potato for lunch. Yummy! Then it’s sleep again. For drinks, they had gum syrup cola. That hits the spot! When Kana weighs herself, she is appalled she has gained weight and reports this to Chiaki. Apparently this is her plan so that she could develop fats for buoyancy while swimming. Kana points out she overlooked an important point. With all the fats, she will lack the muscles needed to tread in water! And so, the duo skip dinner and go on an exercising spree. If Chiaki didn’t suck in simple exercises…
* The last day of school before summer vacation. Akira tells Fujioka it is important to stay in touch so Fujioka gets this grand idea of spending his time with Kana at a family restaurant, go shopping for yukata and swimsuit, hit the beach and ending it with a big fireworks bang. Very grand indeed. So he goes to Kana but see her and friends trying to decide their plan for summer via wheel of fortune. They let Fujioka do the honours to drop the eraser. Where it lands, that will be their plan. He spots the family restaurant and prays hard to land on it. When it does, he goes into ecstasy. The girls thought it was boring but couldn’t have the heart to tell him since he is basking in his victory. Didn’t he see the beach and fireworks plan which occupies a very big portion of the chart? In the end, I guess he ended up going alone since they didn’t make plans to meet.
* As consolation, Fujioka is invited to play fireworks with them. Because the wind blows out the candle fire and Haruka had to rush back to ascertain the stove is turned off, nobody else had a lighter with them. Fujioka rushes to the store to get one while Kana takes out her primitive fire making tools. Not going to work. If she thought of this, shouldn’t she have just brought a matchbox?! Fujioka is on his way home thinking how he should hold Kana’s hand. Before he knows it, he’s already back. Kana insists on paying him for the lighter and slaps the 100 Yen in his palm. Fujioka jumps with joy that he manages to hold her hand. But Touma thought he is such a happy guy to receive 100 Yen.

Episode 6
* Chiaki tells off Kana that her summer schedule consists of only having fun. She should add some study time. You think she wants that? Chiaki makes the adjustment herself so Kana readjusts it back. This goes back and forth till the goddess Haruka comes. Kana can’t really say what her real plans are before her so she hands over a marker pen. That will be permanent, right? Chiaki writes the final plan.
* Kana goes over the horoscope with Riko and Keiko. She believes the prediction is accurate because when she spilled her glass, Chiaki’s teddy bear acts some sort of a barrier to protect her from the water as stated in the horoscope. Then when they go to the pool, Riko is disallowed to swim since the horoscope says not to go near water. Nobody is wearing the lucky colour blue too. Fujioka happen to be there so Kana sees him wearing blue trunks. It seems odd for her to be staring ‘down there’. Telling Fujioka that Riko might drown, she wants him to be by her side. As long as that happens, Riko can enter the pool. Of course this is like a dream come true for her to be with Fujioka. So excited that she almost drowned.
* Kana, Uchida and Yoshino talk about self promotions when they learn Maki and Atsuko went for an interview for a part time job. Chiaki offers to play the interviewer role and interviews Kana. She is made to describe herself. She thinks she is cute? Be more specific. Kana changes her outfit and acts cutie-like. Chiaki passes her. Now it’s Kana’s turn to be the interviewer as she interviews Uchida. She feels uncomfortable the way Kana is talking to her. Fujioka happens to come by and got caught in the midst. Chiaki hints they are doing self promoting and show them how he thinks. I guess he took it the wrong way and confesses he likes Kana. Kana then reverts to her old self, feeling relieved that she couldn’t stop acting like that till someone said that.
* The gang are at the beach. So is Mako-chan. For obvious reason, ‘she’ can’t flaunt her swimsuit. Haruka then puts some suntan on Mako-chan. Later Mako-chan helps Chiaki to swim in the ocean but was frightened by Kana. Mako-chan chides her for not acting very sisterly since Chiaki doesn’t know how to swim. She is unrepentant and throws a sea cucumber at Mako-chan. Chiaki is grateful to Mako-chan and hopes they could be friends forever.
* While everyone is having food, Kana seems to be going the roundabout way about the food but Chiaki says it straight that the food sucks. This causes everyone to lose appetite. Chiaki sinks into depression so Haruka wants to go cheer her up. Kana chides big sister for spoiling her like this. She almost collapses! Chiaki decides to break the watermelon since she’s hungry but was stopped by Haruka. She blames herself that everyone didn’t eat full. Everyone agrees to split the watermelon now and they all have the cool refreshing dessert.
* Mako-chan has worked up a tan. Which means ‘she’ can’t go around topless as Makoto, right? Mako-chan then shows a band aid ‘she’ got from Chiaki in school. However Kana points out that was when ‘she’ was as Makoto. Can’t let her find out about her identity now, eh? It would have been easier if Mako-chan just take off the band aid but because of Makoto’s stupid pride of not taking it off forever, ‘she’ can’t. Chiaki comes in so Mako-chan tries to decline anything that needs ‘her’ to use ‘her’ hand like playing Othello or eating cookies. This causes Chiaki to sink into depression thinking Mako-chan hates her. Especially that rejection pose with ‘her’ hands up. Uchida cheers her up to reassure their friendship again and tells Mako-chan how ‘she’ is supposed to show her hand. Chiaki is happy that Mako-chan extends ‘her’ hand to her but Mako-chan pulls back the last minute fearing she may find out. Depression mode again… Mako-chan no bakayaro…

Episode 7
* Summer is ending and Touma regrets she hasn’t gone to the beach. Kana agrees to grant her wish. And makes her wear a swimsuit. That’s about it. Because Uchida wants to go for a trip, Kana tells the girls to go home, pack up and meet here tomorrow for the ultimate trip. They should have seen it coming it is just a sleepover at their place. Bummer. So disappointed…
* Because Kana wants to tell ghost stories and dares Chiaki who is a chicken, Chiaki brings Haruka as her ‘shield’. She gets easily spooked? Anyway Chiaki is holding on to sleeping Haruka very tightly even if the ghost story isn’t really a ghost story. First one turns out to be a fairytale and the second one a bad joke. Then they hear a ghostly moaning and get the fright of their lives when Haruka suddenly jumps up. Seems she was dreaming. What it was, she forgot.
* Keiko and Riko are not so energetic since it is such a hot day. But Kana seems pretty energetic. She did lots of silly things as distraction to beat the heat but seeing them like that, I guess she succumbed to it too. Wanting them to take responsibility, Keiko decides to buy her ice cream. Which reminds her, she can’t have one since she has a toothache. Ouch. She was trying to forget that too. Worse, she had a winning stick. She gives it to them and since they feel bad of getting a free stick, they decide to give it to others. All of them decline. So they give back to Kana. She remembers about it and sinks into gloominess.
* Kana writes some poem on her winning stick to indicate it is hers. Then she realizes she had written exactly on another winning stick she won a year ago. She must have forgotten. Since she still has a toothache, she has no choice but to give it to her sisters. They’re really enjoying it. Thanks Kana.
* While Takeru bums around in the Minami sisters’ house, Haruka wants Kana to take a bowl of green soybeans to him. Kana wants to help herself to some but was slapped in the face!!! Her toothache… Haruka points out there was a mosquito. Honest! Chiaki sees this and gets an idea. First, she hits Kana on her head with a fan, blaming her for eating her ice cream. Since Kana didn’t buy it, Chiaki says it’s a mosquito. Kana then blames Uchida that she lost sleep when she was here on a sleepover. Actually it was Kana who stayed up talking to Uchida. Kana hits Uchida with that mosquito excuse. Then Uchida hits Touma for splashing the puddle on her then. It’s a mosquito. Touma can’t hit Yoshino so she hits back at Kana. It’s the mosquito. Kana tries to get Chiaki but she evades and blocks all her chops. Yeah, she’s deliberately trying to hit her when there is no mosquito. Chiaki trips and falls over Takeru sleeping. There was a mosquito? They see his arm with a mosquito bite. It got him.
* Kana throws a tantrum that she needs somebody to make her lunch. Go make it yourself… She tries to convince Takeru to treat her and Chiaki smooth talk him into agreeing. At the sushi bar, it seems Uchida, Yoshino and Touma somehow joined in. Very generous of him, eh? Yeah. They bump into them along the way and invited them. But Takeru will only limit them to 1,000 Yen each. Chiaki explains the different plate designs with different pricing ranging from 200 Yen to 500 Yen. But it seems she is the one who doesn’t know how to count. Or does she? How many plates has she taken and she’s only adding up to half her limit? Kana works her way up by trading sushi plates while Yoshino takes the most expensive ones right off the bat. But she’s enjoying them. At the end, seems the total spent is 7,000 Yen. Do the math. Who ate extra? Why is Chiaki’s plate more than theirs? She points out they forgot to include Fujioka the teddy bear’s portion. Takeru isn’t going to believe that. Back home, Chiaki has to work her portion by giving Takeru a back massage. When Haruka returns home and is about to make them lunch, she learns about the sushi outing. Depression mode on. She really wants to go too, huh? Don’t worry. Generous Takeru will take her. Wow. She her light up. Haruka is best when she smiles, no? Can I come too? Pretty please, Takeru the Generous?

Episode 8
* Chiaki and Kana as kids while Haruka as the lovely wife. This could only mean one thing. Hosaka’s delusional dream! He gets smack right back to reality when a volleyball hits his face. He asks Maki and Atsuko about curry so I guess they just want to shake him off and say it is something rather okay.
* Hayami once more tries to tell Hosaka that a wimp like him will never get to give his bento to Haruka. The mention about barbeque, Hosaka has this idea to do a BBQ for Haruka. Of course Hayami won’t let him have it alone with Haruka and wants him to invite his friends. So he has to weirdly ask Maki and Atsuko. I guess they got freak out on his approach. He asks Natsuki too but he will be busy with another BBQ since Touma invited him to her friend’s BBQ (I guess Hosaka will miss out on this). Natsuki invites him but he declines seeing that there is no point in this.
* He returns to Hayami (who has just finished his bento) and tells her he feels like he has been using his friends for his own benefit for the BBQ. He will only give this idea a try when Haruka and her ‘daughters’ become part of his family. Yeah. That’s like never, right? And so Hosaka practises his barbeque technique with his imagination. Tough, eh? Keep practising. And that horrendous BBQ song…
* Natsuki is the cook for the barbeque. Haruka wants him to cook vegetables first since Chiaki won’t eat them if she eats meat first. Besides, she is hungry now so it will taste good. Chiaki is disappointed to see Natsuki cooking vegetables but he points out an idiom and with Kana explaining it, it means whoever don’t eat their vegetables won’t get the meat. So Chiaki sucks it up and eats her vegetables. Then the meat comes. It tastes super good. This is what she’s been waiting for. She thanks Natsuki for cooking it good. But when she sees Haruka too close to him, she gets jealous and tries to come up with something to complain. She tells him they are still missing something. But he already has baked potatoes done. Perfect. Nothing to complain, eh?
* Chiaki tells Kana that she isn’t a vegetable convert after that last incident. It was just to get the meat. Kana shows her a programme that has you love vegetables after you watch it. It’s like a hypnosis show. Chiaki soon loves vegetables! She wants more of them!
* In class, Hosaka gives Hayami nothing but vegetables but lunch. He is forcing her to eat them. Very pushy, isn’t he? Hayami starts feeling afraid and runs for her life but Hosaka gives chase. She notices everyone at school weird. It’s like they’ve been hypnotized to love eating vegetables! She thought she could use Hitomi as distraction but she too loves vegetables! Hosaka and Hitomi become vegetable enthusiasts and continue devouring their vegetable sticks.
* Chiaki is at the mart to buy more vegetables when she sees Hosaka doing the same. She remembers him as the curry fairy from last time (from last season). She decides to follow him. And what follows next is a vegetable song by them! Vegetables are the best! In the end, a saleslady is promoting sausages and they both try it out. It brought them back to their senses. Wonder what they’re doing with a basket full of vegetables, eh?
* When Chiaki returns home, she is horrified to see Haruka watching that vegetable programme and has already been hypnotized to love vegetables. Where are the vegetables?! Meanwhile, Hayami fears Hosaka is going to give her another lunch filled with vegetables. However he has his box filled with sausages. Nothing but sausages. No variety…

Episode 9
* Takeru and his usual ranting about his lost love. If he only had the guts… Now what is he going to do with a pair of movie tickets to the greatest romance movie that is hitting the cinemas right now? I’m sure Haruka doesn’t want to hear his love problems. He gives the pair of Love Now tickets to her.
* Haruka talks to Natsuki if he likes movies so she gives them the tickets and tells him he can ask someone out to watch with him. He didn’t understand her intention till he overheard Maki talking to Hitomi about the implications of watching a movie on your date. You fall in love, right? And since Hitomi went over to talk to him, he gives the tickets to her. She misinterpret that she got asked out.
* Hitomi talks to Kana and Chiaki. Kana realizes she is holding a pair of tickets instead of one. So, instead of being asked out, was it more like to go asking someone else out? Then it occurred to the sisters. Didn’t Haruka have a pair of those too?
* Hitomi laments the awkward position she is in and doesn’t understand a guy. Kana suggests asking a guy’s opinion. And so she calls Fujioka to come. Fujioka and Hitomi are surprised to see each other. It’s not like they knew each other. They bumped into each other several times. Coincidence? Then it turns into the longest in sync combo in history. They seem to be having the same thoughts of doing the same thing. This could go on and on…  Especially about deciding who should use the toilet first. Rock, scissors, paper… How long have they been drawing? Kana even lost count… Since they can’t use the house toilet, eventually it becomes a race to the public toilet. The record of being in sync continues…
* Guess what? The race ends in a tie! Now they’re in sync of becoming friends. Will this lead to love just like in the movie? No way! See, they’re in sync. Maki happens to drop in and totally likes the show. However Hitomi won’t give the tickets since it belongs to her. The talk deviates on how a guy should confess to a girl so Hitomi boldly demonstrates what she likes her guy to do on Maki.
* Hitomi thinks Natsuki is thinking about love. Actually he is troubled that Touma isn’t doing her chores and wants to teach her a lesson. Hitomi talks to him unaware that her ambiguous words are being misinterpreted by him. She talks about expressing feelings. He takes it a form to punish Touma. So can he say “I love you!” to Touma? Don’t think he can.
* Riko seeks Keiko’s advice on how to express her feelings. Every suggestion she gives, she somewhat has an excuse on why it’s so hard. Is she serious in expressing her feelings? In the end, she thought baking cookies would do fine. Isn’t that one of Keiko’s suggestions?
* Riko reads a cookie recipe but doesn’t know how much a pinch of salt is. How much is ‘a little’? So when everybody says they want to do a little of something, Riko demands them to tell her how much that little is.
* Fujioka seems to be crying as he has dust in his eyes. It is perfect chance for Riko to lend her handkerchief but it’s totally wet. Kana beats her to it but he declines. Then he regrets he missed the opportunity to wash and give it back to her tomorrow. Now he is depressed.
* While Riko is studying in Kana’s place, she has made the cookies but can’t find the courage to bring them out. Till Kana sniffs something nice so they have a taste of it. Everybody is a critic but I guess the opinion she wants to hear most is from Fujioka. It tastes good. Wow. Happy girl now. She thanks Kana for this opportunity that allowed her to give Fujioka taste her cookies. When Kana notes how there isn’t enough salt, Riko jumps and asks her how much is that.

Episode 10
*The Minami sisters are enjoying the warmth of the kotatsu. Everything they do, they do it with it. Till Haruka sees the shocking electric bill… Then, no more kotatsu… Plug off! No, she’s not turning into a cheapskate. She is being eco friendly!
* So the sisters will have to play their part in being ‘eco friendly’. Keiko and Mako-chan learn about this and are to give suggestions to go green. Keiko suggests blowing into pens that have run out of ink to use what little ink has left inside. Kana has one finished pen and lets her try. It works! Then she blames Keiko for wasting ink and paper! Not eco!
* Then they try to share the blanket. Kana realizes Keiko is easily prone to cold and starts tickling her. Chiaki wants to share with Mako-chan. But ‘she’ can’t take the cuddling and leaves.
* Haruka continues to be cheapska- oops, I mean eco friendly. Only using the kotatsu strictly during dinner and not using the hot water while washing the dishes, causing her fingers to look cold. Chiaki sympathizes with her and will do what it takes to go green. So she supervises and instructs her green values on Kana. What about herself?
* Chiaki puts a blanket over Kana and she thinks she has a considerate sister. Till she realizes it is her ploy to warm it up for her before bed. An evil eco schemer! In order for the heat not to be wasted, Kana suggests they sleep together.
* Because Kana stole Chiaki’s blanket, she was left out cold and ends up sick the next day. So her friends discuss what food they should bring to heal her (since the original plan was to hold a snack party). Touma and Makoto enter into an argument. Touma bought leeks while Makoto brought marbled beef. In the end, with the ingredients that the rest brought, it was good enough to have a sukiyaki party. Wow. Thank Chiaki for that…
* Takeru visits the Minami sisters. Still trying to be eco friendly? He learns he missed out on the sukiyaki party a few days ago. Lamenting he wasn’t invited, the sisters take him out to an izakaya (Japanese bar and grill). Chiaki becomes scared of some of the dishes since it sounded like animal parts. Even the normal chicken, you can order different parts of the heart, liver, etc. I think she’ll settle for a normal hamburger. The beef tendon stew Takeru wanted to taste so much is out of order (just not his day) while Kana orders some complicated dish that sounded like some magic incantation.
* Once they had their fill, Kana doesn’t think they have fully appreciated the izakaya beauty and must stay late to accompany Takeru. So it’s another round of ordering. This is going to hit hard on Takeru’s wallet… Spiralling into debt… Poor guy (in relationship and monetary terms).
* Mako-chan visits the Minami sisters and learns that today is pyjamas day as said by Haruka. They are in their PJs and are allowed to laze around the entire day. Mako-chan is worried Kana is not around since ‘she’ fears ‘her’ cover might be blown. Soon Atsuko and Maki come in and learn about it and change into pyjamas. Mako-chan obviously can’t join them and tries to resist. ‘She’ tries to get them to do something else but Haruka is already fast asleep. ‘She’ whispers into her ears about a place with great sponge cake. So instantly Haruka gets up and change. Everyone else follows suit. Meanwhile Kana is still sleeping in her room dreaming of all the delicious izakaya food.

Episode 11
* Since Hosaka is still doing his mind cooking, Hayami needs to snap him out of it and trick him into doing something for her. How about approaching Haruka via knitting? Can you see where this is going? Need a scarf by Christmas, eh? However Hosaka disagrees since he hasn’t made Haruka smile yet. Has he even talked to her? Anyway the mention that Haruka likes knitting, Hosaka immediately will do so. So he stares at the girl in the next table. She could have done better if he wasn’t pressuring her. So he takes over from her. I guess Hayami may get her scarf in time.
* Hayami ignores Maki and asks Atsuko about choosing between cocoa and coffee. After some deep thinking, she chooses cocoa but thinks it’s the wrong answer since Hayami used it to mention it as the same colour as Maki’s coat that meant something mean. So there’s no right answer…
* Then, Hosaka had to ask Atsuko if something is the same or not. What?! Same what?! What was the question to even that?! Atsuko replies neither and from Hosaka’s reply, she thinks she chose correctly. But does this guy need to unbutton his shirt?!
* Even at Kana’s home with Uchida, the latter duo bug master Atsuko for advice on how to get a boyfriend. Because she wasn’t really thinking, the duo misinterpret that all they need to do is not think to get one. As for the secret of love, they really believe her answer of wearing royal milk tea coloured coat. I don’t think she was even paying attention to what they were asking.
* It had snowed heavy last night so Natsuki and Hosaka admire the pure whiteness before the latter leaves. Hitomi leaves the infirmary after taking her own temperature but was distracted by Haruka and forgot to button up. So when she talks to Natsuki and realizes her unbuttoned top, she gets embarrassed. The big question is, did he see it? Yeah. Pure white. Beautiful sigh. Makes him excited. Fluffy and soft. Want to jump right into it. But should a lot more volume. It’s understandable Hitomi is so embarrassed and runs away calling him an idiot. He was talking about the snow, right?
* Haruka has also taken her temperature and forgot to button up. She talks to Natsuki if he saw the pure white but this time he sees her cleavage, gets embarrassed and runs away. Hitomi complains to Haruka about Natsuki’s lechery and it occurs to Haruka about her unbuttoned top. Haruka gets more embarrassed the more Hitomi reiterates Natsuki’s ambiguous words.
* Hosaka is marvelling at the giant Christmas tree at the park and of course the perfection that is nobody but Haruka. Too bad he didn’t complete the scarf. So Hayami ropes in Atsuko and Maki to find out Haruka’s weakness. Something about Hosaka not seeing the true Haruka and at this rate he will see her as a goddess. So this is to hit him in the face with reality. And probably get her scarf done.
* Maki and Atsuko are with Chiaki and Kana in their home. They ask about big sister’s weakness but Chiaki is singing only praises of her. Want to hear a thousand word expression on how wonderful she is? Oh Atsuko… Meanwhile Maki takes notes from Kana about her bad habits. As Haruka comes in, Kana tries to hide what they are talking so Haruka feels left out and rants how Kana used to depend on her when she was young. The embarrassing story of Kana sleeping in Haruka’s bed and wetting it must be more than she bargained for. Atsuko and Maki conclude that if one says bad about Haruka, they’ll get some divine punishment.
* So they report back to Hayami who must be so disappointed that Haruka has no faults and is the ultimate perfect girl. And this means Hosaka is closer to seeing Haruka as a goddess. Still at that Christmas tree? Yeah. He’s even singing a song for her that ends with his poetic ranting of how mere words cannot describe all his feelings. In conclusion: Haruka is his goddess. Oh Gawd…

Episode 12
* The Minami sisters dress in their kimono. Cheeky Kana unrobes Chiaki. The little sister tries to get even but accidentally undoes Haruka’s robes. Oh no… But Haruka doesn’t blame her so they team up to unrobe Kana. Back to square one…
* After returning from New Year’s Day activities at the shrine, Kana points out Uchida had 2 mochis in her red bean soup. What does this mean? She takes out a photo of Uchida in her swimsuit during summer. This was her belly in summer. See where this is going? Kana says they will be going to the pool tomorrow.
* So at the pool Kana restrains Uchida and has Chiaki and Yoshino analyze her belly. Looks the same, right? Kana is devastated that they can’t do any more activities of intensive training to rid of that flab. Suddenly Chiaki has this evil idea. She changes her mind that there is flab in Uchida’s belly. Why? Because she wants to train her. Apparently some flashback whereby Uchida accidentally slipped while training Chiaki in swimming. So this is like revenge? However Yoshino convinces them to go for lunch first. Looks like Chiaki is most satisfied. Does she look like the one who needs training now? Yeah. Her next agenda is to have a good sleep. Lazy instructor…
* Miyuki and Keiko went overseas for the holidays so Kana and Riko ask Miyuki where she went. She can’t remember where. WTF?! Keiko is worried about the upcoming school marathon so Kana thinks of it as some sort of dieting as after that comes the physical examination. Kana realizes Riko is talking in Kyoto accent and soon it affects Keiko and Miyuki’s talking. Kana brings Fujioka over to bring them back from Kyoto. Seems to work. Maybe because Riko has a crush on Fujioka? When the conversation is over, Kana is annoyed they went back to Kyoto again.
* Uchida, Yoshino and Touma visit the Minami sisters. They don’t want to go out in the cold and prefer to stay in their warm kotatsu. No matter how much persuasion, they won’t leave. Haruka writes a list of things for Kana to get if she’s going out. Is she? Why not herself? Because she is busy. Busy sleeping in the warmth of her kotatsu…
* Eventually Chiaki and Kana are dragged out. They play snowball fight and everyone targets Kana. Because she is the only middle schooler. Finally Haruka surprisingly comes out. But she is here to hand Kana her forgotten wallet and an additional list of things to get. Why not go herself since she herself is already out? She’s busy… Oh… Kana throws a snowball at her. An eerie silence… Then Haruka throws back one at Kana! Man, that one must really hurt!
* Since Mako-chan doesn’t know about throwing beans to kick the demon out, Kana dons the mask and demonstrates. But only throwing a billion beans will get her to leave! Now they have to clean up the house.
* Mako-chan tries to play the demon and dons the mask. Because demons are supposed to be kicked out, Mako-chan decides to be a useful demon to Kana and does her every command. Didn’t ‘she’ just turn into her lackey?
* Chiaki will demonstrate what it means to be a true demon since a demon cannot be soft. When Kana demands, Chiaki fires back with her standard reply to do it herself. Isn’t this her usual self? Then she goes to help Haruka in the kitchen. Yeah. That’s the Chiaki we all know. Not some demon.
* Haruka wants Chiaki to peel the carrots and seeing she doesn’t like them, she thought she could be a demon and have no carrots today. Too bad when Haruka says they’re having it, it means they’re having it. Not even demons can stand over her authority.

Episode 13
* Makoto and Uchida think they have hay fever symptoms and tell this to Chiaki. However Chiaki thinks Uchida is crying at everything she says (her eye is water due to the symptoms) while Makoto is plain rude to have his finger sticking up his nose (his nose is runny) and hard to take him seriously. Chiaki points out she too has a rare symptom but only gets it when she comes home. She feels her body getting heavy, ringing in her ears and then feeling tired. The duo decide to visit her to help her out.
* What they see is Kana clinging onto Chiaki (body feeling heavy), pestering her about hanami (flower viewing) (constant ringing in her ear), throwing a tantrum when she refuses because the flowers have not bloomed yet (she’s tired of this charade). They realize Chiaki is experiencing all those symptoms and points out Kana is Chiaki’s allergy! Uchida wants to know why she wants to go hanami so badly so Kana convinces her and they both pester Chiaki for it. She laments they got the moron allergy. Yeah, it’s spreading and there is no cure.
* When Miyuki accidentally drops her milk, Fujioka accidentally kicks it and Kana steps on it. She blames him for being some bad ass kicker and feels she can’t get married now. WTF. She wants Fujioka to take responsibility. This sends the bells ringing for Riko about, well, ringing wedding bells between them. But Kana wants to test his kicking skills so she crumples her test paper and again by chance, Fujioka kicks it into the bin. Wow. Then borrowing Keiko’s eraser, the same thing happen. The eraser ricochets off the walls and tables back into Keiko’s hand! I don’t know about Kana putting a bucket of water and sitting on the floor a few metres away. Surely he kicks the bucket and the water will spread, right? With her skirt wet, she dresses her bottom in tracks and is convinced she cannot marry now. But Fujioka is willing to take responsibility. Before he could confess that, Keiko accidentally drops the ball and he kicks it into Kana’s face! Oh dear. She’s going to kick the hell out of him!
* As Haruka talks to Hayami, the latter learns she likes fava beans. As part of her scheme, she tells this to Hosaka. Chiaki is at the store doing errands and is having trouble picking the single thing she wants to buy. Till she hears Hosaka’s praise about fava beans and how to cook it that she is convinced and decides to do the same. Haruka tells Hayami she is amazed that Chiaki picked a vegetable. Has she converted? Then Hayami goes to tell Hosaka that Haruka already tasted that exact fava beans he made and was going to give her. No more surprise element, eh? I guess the season for fava beans has passed.
* Kana is in a dilemma. She thinks nobody will go to hanami if she asks them directly. She hears Uchida telling a secret that she and Touma only supposed to know. Touma accidentally went into the boys’ toilet. She thought it was normal that people averagely enter the wrong toilet twice a year. I don’t think people will mess up that badly. They ask Kana if she makes such mistake and she admits she once did it thrice!
* Miyuki accidentally says out a secret that she and Riko are only supposed to know. The latter knitted a scarf for a guy she likes but never gave it to him. Keiko explains to her what a secret between them means but I guess Riko is upset she can’t leverage her skill anymore.
* Maki tells Kana and Haruka a secret that she and Atsuko know: Atsuko’s boobs have gained another level. After they ‘ascertain’ it, Atsuko laments now everybody knows so Maki apologizes the temptation of wanting to tell others when one says it is supposed to be a secret. This gives Kana an idea and lets Maki in on a secret about a secret hanami place.
* Soon the word spreads to every Minami-ke character about the hanami location. Except for Hosaka. Hayami wanted to tell him but changed her mind. Thank goodness… Kana is happy her plan is proceeding well. Come Sunday, Kana wakes up early to arrive at the spot. However she waits and waits but nobody turns up. She starts wondering if her tactic was wrong and shouldn’t have kept it a secret. She is surprised when her sisters turn up. It seems they were taking some time to make lunch and this shouldn’t have happened if she had told them earlier. They are soon joined by other Minami-ke characters. Haruka thanks Kana for this secret tactic. Yeah, just between them. As for Hosaka, he is waiting at another hanami spot for Haruka. We all know she will never come. Despite so, he is happy to have shared the seasons close to her and that this is the joy of life. Well keep enjoying it this way. What a waste of all the food he prepared.

Natsu Yasumi
* This is an OVA bundled with the release of one of the manga volumes. As the title suggests, it takes place during the summer vacation.
* As summer vacation is almost at its end, Kana is more infatuated in looking at her pet rhino beetle than doing her homework. Even if Chiaki chides her for that, she still wants a change in pace. And so the Minami sisters with Chiaki’s friends end up heading to the beach.
* Because Chiaki can’t swim well and needs to make her resolve to enter the water, Kana helps her out with some silly suggestions but her friends take it the wrong way and wants to bring her into the water. I’m sure Chiaki wants to dip in seeing Haruka who has finally woke up from her nap, enters the water.
* Since Chiaki is still standing at the beach, Kana mistakes her pose for wanting shave ice. And over that cool dessert, the girls guess the several poses that each other made. Some hit, some misses.
* Back home, Haruka has Chiaki run an errand for her. When she returns, she sees the cage of Kana’s beetle open. Kana is devastated her pet is gone and blames Chiaki although the latter asserts she didn’t release it. I guess Chiaki is so bothered by it that even that night before bed time she tries to tell Kana she didn’t really do it but Kana is not on talking terms with her. So poor Chiaki sees Haruka’s solace and she believes her.
* Next morning, it seems happy Touma has found a rhino beetle as her pet. She even already has a name for it: Natsuki. I don’t know if this is her way of showing detest for her brother.
* When Kana and her friends are over doing homework, Mako-chan arrives to play but is thinks they are insulting ‘her’ that they are better off than ‘her’ by doing so. So Mako-chan rushes home to complete the homework. What did ‘she’ come here for anyway?
* Since Kana wants to copy answers, Keiko says it’s okay to ask. However Keiko accidentally asks about the empty cage if anything was there previously. Kana is still heart broken and mentions it’s still in her heart! Soon, Touma’s beetle goes missing and the brothers think it didn’t like the cramp space. Take care Natsuki! The beetle, she means.
* Fujioka sees Chiaki trying to do a back flip at the playground. It is something that has been bugging her for who knows how long. He gives her a little encouragement and some advice on how to pull it off. After some tries, she finally manages to do one.
* Next day, Kana is happy when her beetle crawls back into the cage! Hey, wait a minute?! Why is it acting like some sort of pigeon?! Anyway, Kana is glad that her beetle is back that she apologizes to Chiaki for blaming her. Since Chiaki is so happy about her back flip, she forgives her in her good mood. However she got more than they bargained for because her sisters would really love to see her do it again. And they go even further by wanting to celebrate this occasion, call her friends over and make it today as the Back Flip Day! Oh dear. Can you do it again, Chiaki? She doesn’t seem confident.
* Kana tries to snap a picture of Chiaki in action doing her back flip. Kana needs her to be successful otherwise there goes her dinner. HER DINNER! The pressure got to Chiaki and she failed.
* Kana reports the failure and although she expected no dinner, Haruka already made them. Even Chiaki is starting to doubt herself if her success was just a dream. But Haruka is confident and supports Chiaki. She can try again. So this dinner is just pre-celebration.
* That night as Chiaki tries again, it seems she is quite full from the dinner to do the flip. Nothing like a little jog to burn the calories. But when she returns, she is too tired! How unfit. She takes a rest and falls asleep! Though Kana laments today won’t be Back Flip Day, Haruka says at least today was Reconciliation Day. Haruka carries Chiaki home and Kana hopes she can do the back flip tomorrow.
* Haruka and her friends are at the cafe but Hitomi starts imposing herself over Atsuko when she fails to decide on what to eat. After all that pressure, Hitomi gives in to it and chooses the biggest steak meal. Didn’t she just randomly choose one? Atsuko is glad she finally decided and with Hitomi, they get girly emotional and make a big deal out. Yeah, Big deal alright. Later when their desserts arrive, Hitomi notices Atsuko’s order is wrong and yet she didn’t say anything. Once more it’s that pressure deja vu to get it right and again Atsuko is forced to make a hellish decision. But why does she need to choose a steak meal again?!
* Meanwhile Hosaka is at a fast food joint. He wants to order a soda but decides to hold it and thinks what else to order. Oh God! Don’t strip your shirt while thinking about it?! Too late!!! Please cover up! You’re in public! And after all that thinking, he just decides to order a soda. What the hell?!

Minami Shimai, Otsukare-sama!
I hope you weren’t expecting much. You were warned, right? And thanks to that ‘warning’, I sure wasn’t since as far as my memory serves me, there is hardly any difference or major development in this season as compared to the last. Just the same ol’ Minami-ke style jokes, that’s all. Overall, I would still say this season is enjoyable in its own right but I feel that is mainly due to my nostalgia of the series. To be fair, because it hardly breaks any new ground, some may find it boring as it is using the same formula like it always did (like how Mako-chan gags may have been done to death). However it is not that all bad since I figure hardcore fans and even moderate viewers would love it still nevertheless. This is the best formula that works for this series so why go change it? It is hard to say whether there will be another season in the future or even OVAs. Who knows? Maybe they will let this die down first and use nostalgia as the same reason to kick up another production in 4 years’ time? Who knows what might happen then. Everybody will still remain the same (like Sazae-san) or they may shock us with a twist that everyone has grown a little older. But we’ll leave that for another time.

As such, nothing much happens may be the best that describes everything in this series. The characters are still the same as far as I remember them. Kana is still the idiotic troublemaker although I feel she has been a less idiot. But still an idiotic among the sisters nevertheless. Chiaki is still the monotonous youngest sister who fawns over Haruka and not so over Kana. Her dislike for vegetables especially carrots is still there. I also feel that she uses her trademark line of bakayaro much lesser. Haruka despite being the nicest big sister everyone can have, she still has a few quirks about herself. Sometimes she acts like a child, more childish than her sisters when things she wants doesn’t go her way. Like that kotatsu. I guess it’s one of those rare sides you often don’t get to see but at least this proves that she is human. Sadly, the Minami brothers didn’t make much of an appearance either. I thought with their early introduction, perhaps I was somewhat hoping that both the Minami families would come together and have some sort of adventure or something like that. Alas, it was not to be especially Haruo and Akira felt like they’re forgettable. Natsuki too felt like that provided if he did not interact as much with Hosaka. As for Touma, she still hangs around and I too feel her presence is quite lacking.

The other characters as I have guessed still remain the same. So similar that they have not gone anywhere. Get what I mean? Hosaka is still the delusional guy who wants to make Haruka his wife but all fans can rejoice that it will never happen and the most we will just cringe in disgust over his fantasies. Somehow I feel that he does not unbutton his top as much as always. Not much passion to let out, huh? I fear for Chiaki who looks up to him as some sort of fairy whenever she bumps into him at the super mart. I hope he won’t become her idol and in the worst case scenario, accept him as Haruka’s husband! She’d be a bakayaro if she does that. Hayami still tries to brainwash naive Hosaka into doing things for her. Sometimes it works out and at other times it doesn’t. She still didn’t manage to get Haruka to join the volleyball club, though. Atsuko still the shyer one, Maki the livelier one, Hitomi still has her eyes on Natsuki but we know it will always be a one-sided love. Just like how Fujioka is for Kana and Riko for Fujioka. For those hoping any romance development would be sorely disappointed. Always remember, we have been warned to not expect much. Yeah. Remember the reminder. It’s a wonder Keiko continues to be friends with Kana despite being always dragged into her pranks. Makoto continues to disguise as Mako-chan and I don’t think he will escape the cross-dressing curse as long as he continues to fawn over Haruka and now worse, being made Chiaki’s ‘knight’. Can you say he has such a weak resolve? Why abandon it all when he’s having so much fun even if he doesn’t realize it? Uchida continues to be impulsive and lack common sense (along with Makoto or Mako-chan, I think they make quite an idiotic combo – with Kana they’ll be a trio!) while Yoshida may seem to look smarter than she is. Because you never know if she really knows something or not. Like Mako-chan’s true identity. I almost forgot about Takeru. Still the loser he is but sometimes he can be a nice uncle, oops I mean, cousin to the sisters. Well, at least he is not a total loser in that sense.

Also remaining the same are the drawing and art and the way the show is divided into a few segments for the skits. But something a little different for this season is that the mid-intermission is a still picture of the Minami sisters in some RPG-like story. This very short segment dubbed the Minami-ke Quest sees the sisters as a party of heroines on some quest to save the princess (Touma) from the Demon King (Hosaka). Of course along the way they will meet all sorts of characters from the series cast in several other roles and face extreme journey in their quest. I’m sure if they want to, they can make an episode or half an episode about this quest. Expand it into moving pictures and add some sound effects and voice acting. Yeah. Minami-ke action fantasy version. Maybe they’ll make an OVA of it. What are the chances? Nah. Also not forgetting the annoying but hilarious long -running drama show-within-a-show, Sensei and Ninomiya-kun. So after that 10 hour finale in the previous season, there is still more drama in their forbidden love affair? It is still hilarious in the short run to see them saying nothing but each other’s name. I can’t believe how the Minami sisters can get addicted in watching this romance crap. Well at least in this season, there is a love triangle for Sensei due to some other girl called Sannomiya-kun boldly seducing him. Though, their lines are still confined to calling each other’s name.

The opening theme feels familiarly suspicious… The lively upbeat and genkiness… The almost similar tune… Hey! Doesn’t Shiawase High Tension sound like a variation or rather a rip-off of the first season’s opening theme, Keikenchi Joushouchuu?! I think so! Although it is not using the same tune and just changing the words, there are some parts of the melody that overlaps with that song! Especially the chorus… M-I-N-A-M-I-K-E, Let’s go! M-I-N-A-M-I-K-E, Let’s go! Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi! Woo!!! Yeah. Brings back memories alright. Well, at least the ending theme doesn’t feel like a rip-off of another season’s theme. Kyuusekkin Lucky Days maintains the liveliness in its tone like how all Minami-ke endings are. But to me this season’s ending piece isn’t as attractive as the previous seasons’ although this doesn’t sound too bad. There is a special ending song and a couple of insert songs but they are all sung by Hosaka! Oh God. Songs about Christmas night, BBQ and vegetables… The Latin-flamenco style of the BBQ song and the Broadway musical stage style duet vegetable song is quite hilarious if you listen closely to the lyrics. The Christmas night one sounds pretty decent but you can’t help think that it is Hosaka who is the one singing it…

So there you have it, the simple ordinary sisters in their simple ordinary lives and their nothing but ordinary friends and antics. Even though we were told not to expect much, I suppose thanks to that, it was a great way to lower our expectations so we can fully enjoy this series. I believe that has a lot to do in making this comedy quite funny. If you’re feeling a little down and need a little cheering up, something light like this series will do the trick. Because simplicity is the best in such times. Of course, don’t expect too much from it. Otherwise you have only yourself to blame for being a bakayaro. Just between you and me, I think the reason why Chiaki doesn’t say bakayaro as often as she does because as I know, too much bakayaro can kill you. Really. You have been warned, bakayaro.

Minami-ke: Omatase

January 18, 2013

BAKAYARO! You made me wait too long! Thus it is only appropriately named that Minami-ke: Omatase (meaning, sorry for the wait) is just the right tonic before the fourth season launches itself back in January 2013. That is right now, right? I guess 3 years is a long time. That was the last time the third season was aired. I’m feeling nostalgic now… I remember those three sisters. Ordinary sisters living their ordinary lives in an extraordinary way. The big sister Haruka, the troublemaker middle child Kana and the emotionless youngest sister Chiaki who is responsible for making that ‘B’ word the catchphrase for this series. If you have not watched any of the previous seasons, you may need not too as this OVA can serve as a standalone. You need not know the sisters well too if you want to enjoy this gag anime. Though I won’t say this OVA brings any revolutionary changes and just your ordinary Minami-ke episode like usual, at least this serves as an appetizer before the said fourth season.

Words of Magic
Kana is a vampire. Say what? It’s Halloween and she’s dressed up as one. Mako-chan doesn’t know what Halloween is so Kana proceeds to show this cross-dressed kid Chiaki, Touma, Yoshino and Uchida in funny monster outfits eating sweets. Kana proceeds to have Mako-chan wear ‘her’ Halloween outfit. Erm… Doesn’t ‘she’ look just like another girl? Mako-chan is b*tching about how she wants to look like a vampire but the hat and wand Kana hand ‘her’ just made ‘her’ look like a magical girl. Next, to go trick or treat to Takeru. Mako-chan is thrilled Takeru gave a bag of sweets. Kana asks Takeru for the third time and since he isn’t going to give her, I suppose it’s trick. What trick? She tickles him! Chiaki requests trick or chocolate and since he can’t give that, it’s tickling trick for him. Soon the other girls start requesting for items but he’s out of sweets. Massive ticking trick! He’s going to be tickled to death! Till Haruka says trick or soy sauce. A cue for him to go buy one? Better get moving or else Haruka joins in the tickling trick. After eating their fill, Kana wants to just go to sleep so Mako-chan reminds her about choosing between brushing her teeth or cavities. Instantly she wakes up and goes brush them because teeth are a vampire’s life.

Mood
Kana seems to be bored with this New Year’s mood despite it’s only the third day. Well, they’ve done lots of New Years things already. She wants to go back with the normal life when Hayami offers her to drink amazake (sweet sake). Yoshino tries too but she gets drunk despite amazake containing no alcohol! Soon the other girls try and get drunk too! Kana observes Hayami putting all her beer cans in a plastic bag and hiding it behind the curtain. The rest wants to play hide-and-seek and make Kana ‘it’. However they’re all hiding underneath the kotatsu! It’s getting hot… Hayami is hiding behind the curtains! It’s getting cold… Chiaki is hiding behind Kana because it’s her blind spot and she’ll never find her. WTF. Should Kana find them or not? Kana continues observing how much fun everybody is having in their drunken state and she herself is so bored and can’t even enjoy it. Next morning, Haruka wakes up later than Kana and she seems tired. Hangover? And Kana is trying to get drunk?

On a Whim
After watching a cooking show on TV, Chiaki notes she doesn’t want her food on a whim. But Haruka comes out making okonomiyaki on a whim. Mmm. Tastes good. Because of this, Kana also tries doing things on a whim but they’re just doing things the lazy way like mismatched socks and brushing a certain part of her teeth. When Haruka is out, Kana decides to make lunch on a whim. Chiaki has a bad feeling. It turns out to be bell pepper salad dish with colour ratio of 7:2:1 green, yellow and red. But it’s still basically 10:10 bell pepper dish, right? Chiaki on a whim eats one and surprises Kana. Then Takeru happened to pass by the area and dropped by. On a whim? He also bought some snacks. On a whim? Good job! Then Haruka returns and she too bought some doughnuts. On a whim? Love this whimsical thing. Kana feels great doing this on a whim thing. So on school day she on a whim gets up early and doesn’t tie her hair. She tries offending Fujioka on a whim but he is surprised she looks different and is hell bent that something happened instead of on a whim. Keiko ditches her glasses to try out contact lenses but finds them uncomfortable. Fujioka finds her weird. Riko tied her hair instead of letting it flow and Fujioka finds her weird. Kana concludes that sometimes being on a whim isn’t good.

Meanwhile Hosaka is looking distressed. He made salad the other day on a whim but couldn’t remember its taste. Oh God. Don’t unbutton your shirt… I don’t know why he has to start singing about salad and the toppings he put. Anyway he still can’t remember. Hayami even wonders if what he made was salad. If he can’t remember, why not just forget about it? I don’t think he’s going to let this one go. He’s going to name it some illusionary salad thingy. Whatever.

Because It’s Hot
Chiaki suggests Kana wear a swimsuit since it’s a hot day and she’s taking multiple showers. Good idea. She doesn’t have to change into her normal clothes that way. Uchida and Yoshino arrive to invite Chiaki to the pool but she refuses. They are surprised to see Kana in her swimsuit even though she’s not going to the pool. Maybe it got their hopes up because they too are wearing swimsuits underneath their clothes. The duo also strip down to their swimsuits so as not to leave Kana ’embarrassed’ all by herself. They notice Chiaki blowing herself with an electric fan and thought it’s not fair. She tells them logically she is the one who is wearing the most clothes, thus the hottest. She hands them a hand fan instead. The trio think of making someone fan them. Guess who? I don’t know why Chiaki has to oblige but she got tired and goes to sleep. This gives Kana an idea that she can bypass the heat if she gets tired and sleep. So she fans the duo and goes to bed. Yoshino fans Uchida and does the same. But Uchida is all alone and nobody to fan! Fanning herself can’t do the trick, using the electric fan herself is no fun, so she tries to wake the rest up. Not working. Haruka comes back and she takes this opportunity to fan her and goes to slumber. Haruka is left dumbfounded and her question unanswered why they are dressed in their swimsuits.

Somehow
Haruka, Maki and Atsuko are talking when Atsuko sees a rice stuck on Maki’s mouth. She wanted to tell her but Maki thought she’s trying to tell her how beautiful she is since she’s starring at her. Perasan! This is going to be tough. Then suddenly Haruka says how much Maki reminds her of a rice ball but Maki interprets that as she’s beautiful. Atsuko wonders if Haruka also realized the rice on her face. Perhaps. She starts talking about rice brand but Maki starts interpreting them as her being beautiful. Soon Hitomi and even Hayami came by and they start talking about rice to Maki. I think they really did notice and try to tell her but she’s too dumb to think that. Later when Atsuko walks with Maki, she thought of telling her straight but was intercepted by Hosaka who starts talking about rice as the ultimate food. He doesn’t need to strip… I don’t know WTF he is trying to equate Maki = rice ball and rice ball = Maki thingy. Maki doesn’t understand why people are being weird with her today when she wipes her mouth. The rice came off. Haruka sees Maki without the rice and says her face reminds her of takoyaki. Maki thought she was beautiful. Not again. Atsuko wonders if she’s normally a takoyaki.

Wait Just A Little Longer…
This OVA itself is fun and sure does bring back to good ol’ days watching the Minami-ke series although there is nothing out of the ordinary. Though I myself can’t remember much and have trouble recalling some of the names of the side characters. Need a little more time just to remember them. Maybe I’m getting old. The art and drawing seems to follow the one from the third season so I’m expecting that the fourth season is going to follow this style too. The opening and ending theme for this OVA, Shunka Shuutou Festival and Arigatou Thank You respectively are still sung by the seiyuus of the 3 Minami sisters and has that one-kind Minami-ke tune and feel to it. If you’ve heard all their opening and ending songs, you must have noticed that the tunes seem to be one-kind. It’s not a bad thing. Maybe it’s their trademark. But hey! I notice Chiaki didn’t spout her bakayaro line in this OVA. Maybe Kana hasn’t riled her up enough yet. Maybe next season. So certainly I am looking forward to more bakayaro, oops I mean more antics from the Minami sisters and their friends in whatever they do. Ordinary girls in their ordinary lives maybe. But I sense extraordinary moe and fun coming along. It feels good to be back. Welcome back, girls.

Minami-ke: Okaeri

October 30, 2009

Bakayaro! Bakayaro! BAKAYARO! Forgive me if I do sound a little rude but I guess that is my way of welcoming the 3rd season of the series which tells the ordinary lives of the ordinary sisters in an extraordinary way. That’s right. Fans of the series will instantly recognize that to be Minami-ke: Okaeri, in which the second title literally means ‘welcome home’.
 
There is a theory why they named the title so. Though this season and the previous season are produced by the same company, one major difference which at least will bring relief to fans is the drawing and art. Those who have watched the 2nd season would know how the art detracts from the 1st season and well you could say it sucks. Well, not that bad actually but we rather have the same artwork for consistency. Though the artwork this season isn’t totally the same as the 1st season, at least it follows closely to it. So I guess that’s why they ‘welcome’ it back. Hmm… I get the feeling that sometimes the characters have that little mature look.
 
Another u-turn from the 2nd season and back to the 1st is that the stories are now divided into random skits rather than a particular story taking up a whole episode. It is a good thing for those who have not watched the series previously to pick it up without having any major problems though it is still better to watch its predecessors and get to know the characters well, especially their quirky behaviours and relationship among each other.
 
So episode 1 sees the Minami sisters in their yukatas heading out to the shrine for New Year’s Day prayers with Uchida. The usual luck reading and it seems Chiaki has good luck for her romance life. Same with Uchida (who is also having the time of her life). Hosaka also does the same but it turns out to be misfortune. Would that deter that top-stripping guy? If I remember well, that guy was on his way to San Francisco in the last season. Back again, eh? Anyway, Uchida is really happy when they’re back at the Minami’s apartment. She is confident that love of her life will come so Kana says that person will arrive soon. It turns out to be Fujioka. I don’t remember how or why but Chiaki seems to be fond of Fujioka and proceeds to sit on his lap like as though he is her comfy chair. Then Kana requests Uchida to pay back the money she lend her during the shrine so that she could have her fortune read. With that, Uchida doesn’t feel lucky in money or romance. Next scene has Chiaki and Touma discussing about Instant Cup Fried Noodles phenomenon. Not that I understand anything from this because Haruka soon prepares tea for downtrodden Takeru (still miserable about his love life and job) and he gets refreshed after that. Next scene has Chiaki’s school nurse making a house visit but she discusses with Haruka and Takeru anything about school stuff. Is she flirting with him? Anyway Chiaki isn’t too pleased and wants her to go home. Next, Takeru’s weird method of using a spinning pen prediction seems to work because it accurately points out the whereabouts of Chiaki’s teddy bear which is also named Fujioka. In a cooking pot and the culprit is Kana. Not only that, Kana wants to predict her future her husband and it turns out to be her classmate Fujioka who has just arrived at their doorstep. Finally, Hosaka is for the umpteenth time having his fortune read but it all reads misfortune. It’s closing time already lah! Go back you loser!
 
In episode 2, Touma brought over some sweets but Chiaki insists that they wait till Haruka comes back before they open. We see Chiaki having her little angel and bustier grown-up devil side, debating on the action Chiaki should take. Fujioka also experiences the same when he wonders how close Kana and Touma is because the duo are tussling over the sweets (Fujioka thinks Touma is a boy). In the end, Fujioka somehow ended up with the snacks because he yelled out how much he wants them. Was that what he wanted? Next arc has Chiaki finding a shopping list from Haruka to buy some groceries but she feels something wrong and thinks Kana has tampered with it. The usual angel-demon debate and it’s true that Kana did mess with it and begs for mercy. Chiaki shows her kind side by forgiving her as they both hug. Aww… As part of Hayami’s plan to have her club members to be friendlier, she screws with Hosaka’s head by saying that he needs to get acquainted with Maki and Atsuko in order to get closer to Haruka. Perhaps it must be his eerie smile while saying "Let’s be friends" which scares the poor girls away. Not only that. I think the main contribution is his unbuttoned top! So when Hosaka finally does it on Hayami, she slaps him instead. As Chiaki is at the supermarket unsure of the ingredients she is buying. Hosaka overhears her and also thinks it’s a good idea to make one. He starts fantasizing about some curry piano recital and receives a standing ovation! Chiaki spots him making a bow and realizes the ingredients she is buying are for making curry and thinks he is the Curry Fairy (oh God!). Chiaki is even humming that song Hosaka sang on her way home (oh God, no!). And in class despite Maki’s attempts to prevent Hosaka from opening his curry lunch in order not to stink the whole class, Hosaka isn’t listening…
 
After being missing from the previous season, the Minami brothers make their returning appearance in episode 3. Touma and Natsuki got into a fight when the latter ate her pudding without permission. Because of that, Touma decides to stay at the Minami sisters’ apartment for the time being. Haruka lectures Natsuki over the phone about some etiquette and later as the quartet are contemplating to share 2 cups of pudding, Takeru comes home with more and everyone enjoys a whole cup each. Next scene has Uchida paying the sisters a visit and brought apples as gifts. Haruka seems gloomy and goes to prepare an apple dish. Then Kana tells Uchida not to look into a box but curiosity got the better of her and it killed her. She finds lots of apples in it and no wonder Haruka is sick of making apple dishes. So Uchida has to prepare herself the consequences. Eating them all? She got knocked out after only 2. To think that Touma would be happy to come over and eat Haruka’s apple dishes until she too discovers its abundance. Getting sick of it? She goes home to give an apple to her brothers and they contemplate to make fried apples for her. Ugh! Next scene has Haruka over the phone lecturing Natsuki how to cook so Kana thinks they are a couple but Chiaki refuses to accept it. So Chiaki, Kana and Touma too decide to cook. Because of the verbal mix-up, Kana and co’s curry turned out sweet while Natsuki’s egg has curry smell. Finally Touma gets into another fight with Natsuki and stays over at you know where temporarily. She along with Kana and Chiaki write their name in arithmetic codes using tomato sauce on their omelette.
 
In episode 4, Kana thinks Touma is out of control when the former has a taste of a snack Haruka made for the latter only to receive some head butt. So Kana discusses the pecking order of their family which has Haruka at the top. Because they can’t decide which of them ranks higher, they decide to duke it out. When Touma comes by, she sees Haruka flexing her power by having her palm in each of their face! Don’t mess with her. She’s the boss alright. When Haruka is back to her nice mode and goes off to prepare for her guest, I can’t believe Chiaki and Kana are blaming Touma for all that has happened! Next story has Touma once again having a fight with Natsuki but every time she fights back, obviously Natsuki who is bigger size has the upper hand. So Kana tells her to act more feminine and gives Touma a picture in which if she ever gets into a fight with Natsuki, just show this photo to him. And it worked! That picture turned out to be Haruka waking up in her unkempt dress. Sexy enough to make this oblivious guy stop and admire. Later the Minami brothers contemplate what to get Touma for her birthday and Kana discussing about the school’s banchou in which the 2nd banchou is rumoured to be Natsuki. Speaking of which, a classmate of his, Hitomi has a crush on him but misunderstood when she spots his loving gaze and thinks it is directed at her but actually it’s Haruka he’s looking at (must be the effects of the photo). So Hitomi goes to ask Hayami for advice when Hosaka comes in drenched with an unopened umbrella in hand. Yeah, his sick fantasy with Haruka again if she ever forgot to bring her umbrella on a rainy day. Hitomi gets an idea so she forcefully tries to lend her umbrella to Natsuki who is evading her. Then she sees that gaze of his and thinks she has seen a light of hope. More like he is looking at the rain that is clearing up and the sun shining through the clouds. Because of that, Hosaka leaves his umbrella at the classroom door as he walks off satisfied with the look on Haruka’s face while Touma gets an umbrella for her birthday present.
 
On a hot day in episode 5, Chiaki and her classmates are cleaning the pool. Because Makoto made some remarks of how Chiaki is slacking around and Uchida’s comments that she can’t swim, Chiaki takes control of the water hose and starts spraying around to assert her authority. "One who controls the water source, controls the cleaning". So Makoto, Uchida and Yoshino devise a distraction tactic to snatch the hose away from her. They all got wet and reprimanded Makoto by letting him buckets of water. The next scene has Uchida and Yoshino talking about getting into the water for swimming lessons to cool themselves but Chiaki disagrees with the idea and comes up with all sorts of theory why she shouldn’t. This includes an experiment to increase her body’s water retaining percentage from 70% to 80% by drinking as much water as she can! And she already feels bloated after only a 1% increase. Of course lah you bakayaro! Her pals spot her so she has no choice and can’t back out from swimming. Only thing is that now her bloated tummy is protruding so it would obviously be embarrassing if anyone sees it. She tries to get the school nurse to bandage her tummy but she bandages her finger instead. During pool lessons, Chiaki sits out and the heat has dehydrated her body water back to 70%. All that drinking for nothing. Meanwhile Kana thinks of going to the public pool. Riko and Fujioka overhear her idea and tries to drop her hints to invite the other with her but Kana misinterprets that they like the school pool better and drops her idea, much to Fujioka and Riko’s dismay. But they eventually did go to the public pool. However Kana isn’t too happy with Fujioka and when they leave, she kicks him in the shin! Even back home, Kana is in bad mood so the rest found out that Kana wanted Fujioka to play along with the rest at the pool but he is conscious that he is the only guy among the girls and refused. I don’t know about Touma’s theory about male to male contact is more straightforward so everyone has a game of tag so much so when it’s Fujioka’s turn, he is going all out to touch Touma because you know he still thinks that she’s a boy.
 
Episode 6 starts off with a beach episode but because of Takeru’s awkward navigation, Kana gets carsick. Back home, Chiaki is asking if anyone has seen her teddy bear. So they recall and it seems it was in Fujioka’s bag. Though he didn’t steal it, he too doesn’t remember putting it in his bag since he left it outside with the other bags at the beach. Kana then remembers that it was her who randomly put it in a bag which turned out to be Fujioka’s. In order to avoid getting scolded, she randomly says aloud "I love you" and Fujioka blushes. Since nobody put up any shocking reaction, Kana hopes all this would pass. The next story sees Maki knowing that Fujioka having a crush on Kana because she concludes that he brought watermelons in hopes of getting on her good side. Fujioka and Touma hold a contest to see who can finish eating the watermelon the fastest. Touma got distracted by Kana’s seed spitting so Fujioka finishes first. Next, Mako-chan finally appears and it seems ‘she’ and Uchida haven’t completed their homework. Uchida tried asking Chiaki to copy her work but was rejected. Touma did tried to but was met the same fate so she fell asleep instead. Thus Uchida wants Mako-chan to help ask Chiaki in exchange Mako-chan will copy it from her. Though Chiaki initially tells Mako-chan to teach Uchida, she tells ‘her’ that she isn’t a total devil and if Uchida shows repentance, she’ll lend it to her in which she eventually did. Touma wakes up to see Uchida copying so she wants to do the same but Uchida rejects her easy way out. So Touma whispers to Mako-chan to let ‘her’ copy hers when ‘she’ is done but Uchida shaking her head sideways means even Mako-chan can’t allow that. The final scene has Kana playing pranks on Chiaki in order to prolong summer like putting wasabi in her soumen and soy sauce in her kakigori. So in order to get back at her for taking away her summer, she sneakily steals her sumptuous food during dinner.
 
Chiaki is paired with Makoto in a 3-legged-race for the upcoming sports festival in episode 7. But since Chiaki sucks in sports, she gives up. But she reveals to Mako-chan and Kana that her reason that she doesn’t want to burden her partner. Thankfully Mako-chan’s secret is still intact so Chiaki requests Mako-chan to be her training partner. Mako-chan feels uncomfortable because Chiaki gets a little more physical contact with ‘her’ while Kana as some trainer is seen playing games instead. Lazy bum. Though they trip with their numerous practices, one evening Chiaki sees Makoto ready to train with her and when he gets too physical, she punches him. Next arc is Mako-chan needs to go to the toilet while chatting with Haruka. I don’t know why Kana barged in to remind Mako-chan about ‘her’ identity but if they haven’t swiftly covered Haruka’s eyes with the toilet rolls, Mako-chan could’ve been busted. In class, Riko is boasting about her growing breasts but Kana counters back with a statement that it’s okay as long as the guy likes them big. Back home, Kana is furious about Riko’s attitude but Mako-chan thinks breast size and attitude have nothing to do in common so Kana says back about ‘her’ flat-chest and cross-dressing ways. So Mako-chan wonders if there’s a way to show some cleavage without wearing a bra. Chiaki suggests a dress with a loose top handed down from Haruka but Mako-chan doesn’t want to. Chiaki misinterprets this as a rejection of her goodwill and chases her till they enter Haruka’s room and sees her changing. Theoretically, they’re all girls, right? Later Mako-chan spills a drink on ‘her’ skirt and Chiaki wants ‘her’ to strip or else the fabric will be ruined. Kana tells an indirect story about an identity being busted through some racoon dog story. But Chiaki thinks the racoon dog is cute in which Makoto is seen fawning over her statement in class the next day. Lastly, a remorseful Chiaki accidentally breaks all their favourite mugs so the sisters went shopping and though they wanted to get different mug designs, after some thinking, they all bought the same plain design. So back home, Chiaki and Haruka gave away theirs to mug-crazy Touma and Fujioka (who thinks it’s a gift from Kana). Chiaki and Haruka later bought their desired mug designs while Kana wonders if anyone wants to trade her plain mug.
 
In episode 8 because Uchida is asking Yoshino if she has a boyfriend, Kana shows them the laws of attraction and one of them is to be weak. As part of their training, they have to show their weakness via inability to open cans. Huh? And there’re lots of them for practice! Then Haruka and her pals come home so they have Maki demonstrate followed by Atsuko. I don’t know why but Kana and Maki thinks Atsuko don’t need to pretend to show her weakness and thinks she’s a witch! Because of that, poor Atsuko got a little frightened and hid behind Haruka. Chiaki comes back to see her cans all over the table and snatches one for a drink. Unfortunately as she opens the lid, the liquid spouts out on her face like a geyser. Kana puts the blame on the witch. Next part has Kana wanting Maki to teach Uchida and Yoshino about love but since Haruka calls for Maki to help out, Kana uses reluctant Atsuko as a replacement. Touma tells Kana to stop since Atsuko is uncomfortable so they got into a fight in which Touma got his face in Atsuko’s boobs and instantly fell asleep. Must be that comfortable. Next, Kana is upset about Keiko’s normal answer as she wants an amusing reply. Then Riko comes to ask Keiko indirectly about her love opinion on Fujioka via Friend A (Riko) and Friend B (Fujioka) story. Keiko knows of Riko’s crush and added a Friend C (Kana) into the picture to give an amusing reply to make it A and B accidentally hugged after being pushed by C. However Riko didn’t find it amusing. Depressed Keiko goes to tell Kana about this what-if story for her opinion so Kana avoids it by saying she’s not well and to test her another day, pissing off Keiko. Finally during a volleyball practice, Atsuko notices Hosaka and thinks how cool he is if he does not talk (God, no!). Maki teases her for liking him when Hayami comes by to ask if they have persuaded Haruka to join the club. Hosaka then fantasizes about Haruka in the volleyball club, cleaning his sweat. Happy, isn’t he? Acting out in public like that. Hayami then snaps him out as she talks to him about his training proposal. Atsuko confirms that he does look cool if he doesn’t talk (NOOO!!! However I find him disgusting but hilarious at all times!).
 
In episode 9 as Kana is eating tangerines, Chiaki and Touma at the same time reaches out their hand to pick the same tangerine. Because of that conflict, the duo aren’t talking to each other in school. Uchida requests Makoto to help so he visits Kana at her apartment and discuss things along with Uchida. At the same time, Chiaki and Touma made up and felt that their actions were childish. But when they come back, they see stingy Kana chasing Mako-chan and Uchida for taking a tangerine of hers. Next scene shows Chiaki making a very big sock for Christmas and Kana thinks she’s greedy. Fujioka gives Haruka and Kana their early Christmas presents and it turns out to be a mitten. Kana wonders if something this small would appropriately fit into Chiaki’s big sock. Later the sisters find out that Chiaki made a sock that size because she feels that any present would be fine and took into consideration for whatever present size to fit in. Thus, she is happy with the mittens she got. Next story has Haruka finding out from Touma that she receives random presents on her pillow every year but this year she received none. So Haruka calls Natsuki and lectures him for forgetting to buy Touma a present (since Natsuki and Touma were engrossed in playing video games). The next time, Touma tells her brothers that she received her present on her pillow this morning but didn’t noticed it as Akira thinks everything is settled when Natsuki blows it by saying that he initially put it on the living room. He just couldn’t read the atmosphere, can’t he? The final arc sees Hosaka eavesdropping on Haruka and her pals about Christmas present and when he sees a flyer recruiting part timers to sell Christmas cakes, he takes up the job. The usual sick fantasy of his. I don’t want to describe it but it ended up making it out on the cake he’s selling in front of the bewildered crowd! The manager’s trying to stop him but that guy’s still carrying on! Haruka and her sisters pass by and Kana wants to buy some cake but Haruka mentions that she’s making some so everyone goes back to their place to enjoy them. And Hosaka is still daydreaming…
 
On a rainy day in episode 10, Touma arrives at the Minami’s apartment all drenched. Haruka takes off her clothes to dry while Touma is clad in a towel. Chiaki notices Touma being served like a queen and despises her cocky attitude. She wants to teach her a lesson as she says how Fujioka is coming. Touma starts panicking and wants Chiaki or even Kana to lend them their clothes but Chiaki refuses. Fujioka then enters and sees Touma and Chiaki in a tussle. Touma now begs for some clothes and realizes the err of her ways. Chiaki notes how she could ask properly after all and tells her to follow her to her room. Haruka comes by to greet Fujioka and sees he is all wet so Kana proceeds to strip him! Next, Uchida pays Chiaki and Kana a visit but since she is ignoring Chiaki’s whatever story about insects, Chiaki gets upset. Then Fujioka comes by and Chiaki tells him some nicer story about the atmosphere and vapour trails, upsetting Uchida who wonders why she only tells her horrible stuff. Next story sees Touma sitting on Chiaki’s favourite seat: Fujioka’s lap. And they’re both quite friendly since they’re talking about football. Jealous Chiaki pushes Touma a little and the duo nearly got into a fight but Fujioka restrains Touma saying that one can’t be violent to girls. He even mentions the extra fat on Touma’s chest! Still can’t figure it out, eh? Fujioka is determined to have Touma undergo special training to get her mind into body and shape. So in class, Touma feels tired and Chiaki tells her not to go to the training anymore. When Touma questions why she didn’t tag along too, Chiaki flusters and gives an excuse that she will when she has more fats in her chest. In the end, Chiaki is happy sitting back at her usual seat.
 
Lastly, Natsuki gets ‘advice’ from his brothers about his manners and personality. Touma tells him to be careful of Chiaki, ignore Kana and but not to ignore Haruka or else she’ll get a bad impression. Natsuki visits the sisters to talk about Touma coming home late and this is the funny part. Heading Touma’s advice, when Chiaki asks him, Natsuki puts on a scary face (his smile is even scarier!) and make that little girl quiver in fear that she hides behind Kana! When it’s Kana turn, he ignores her! But he answers normally to Haruka. Oh the discrimination. This goes on several times! Too hilarious! Finally after all that, Touma is actually there reading a book. Haruka asks her about going home early and since it’s her request, Touma has no choice but to agree. Natsuki putting up that scary smile again! Back home, the brothers are discussing whether it is Natsuki’s manners or smile which is important. Then as Natsuki goes out on an errand, while buying a cabbage, he gives she vegetable seller that scary smile. I think some people look better without smiling.
 
In episode 11 as Riko laments how to get closer to Fujioka, Hiroko is observing the relationship between Kana, Fujioka and Riko which will make a love triangle. Because she has said too much, Hiroko offers to help out by having her pal Yuu impersonate as Fujioka so that Riko could practice confessing. Riko tries hard to imagine Yuu as Fujioka when Kana comes by so Yuu got distracted and chats with her. This means, Riko sees Fujioka getting friendly with Kana and gives up. Next story has Riko happy to tag along to Kana’s house for study because she invited Fujioka and Keiko too. After studying, the bath is prepared and Fujioka enters first. He’s thinking how Kana baths here and doesn’t want to dirty the water so he takes a shower instead. Next is Riko and she flusters upon thinking that Fujioka has bathed here and decides to shower. Then it’s Keiko’s turn who isn’t use to taking baths in people’s home so she opts for the shower. Finally it’s Kana’s turn as she enters the bath filled with chilli! It got too hot so she comes out wondering how they all could bath in it. Next arc sees Riko feeling good about her 97 marks because she thinks she’ll get to assist Fujioka in her studies. However she isn’t too happy when she learns Kana scored 99 marks (seriously?!) because she asked Keiko for studying tips and Fujioka got 98 marks (Keiko of course scored perfect). Kana then wants Keiko to tell her more tips for the next test but seeing Riko’s body action, Keiko doesn’t want to. Kana then pleads to Keiko for assistance and wants Fujioka to help Riko too. Yeah, another teaching fantasy Riko has. But Fujioka says he’s doing it on his own so Riko blindly tells Kana what to study. But it seems her guessing is spot on as Kana scores 99 marks (OMG!). Finally Touma and Mako-chan are talking about Valentine’s Day and Kana manages to persuade Chiaki and Mako-chan to make some chocolates, which Kana enjoys very much over a game of Othello. Mako-chan is reluctant to say who ‘she’ will give the chocolates to so Kana suggests Chiaki to give it to whoever as practice. In class as Makoto thinks of the blunders Chiaki previously made with the chocolate, Chiaki comes up to him to hand over her chocolates. Hehe…
 
In episode 12 because Kana, Uchida and Maki are too noisy talking, Chiaki is irritated that this disrupts her sleep so she and Kana is going to fight. But Kana uses Uchida to fight in her place and I’m not sure what this staring showdown and not moving from one’s place means. Uchida lost so Maki substitutes her but meets the same fate. Finally Kana takes her on but when Haruka comes in with sakura mochi snacks, Chiaki wants to have some but Kana tells her not to move. Desperate Chiaki leaps from her spot only to be restrained by Kana. Looking like they’re doing some wrestling submission move. Next story has Maki wanting Kana to take a look at her sleeping face because during her junior high graduation trip, she was laughed at by her friends and ever since she couldn’t sleep alone. Uchida too wants Kana to do the same. As they do so, Kana and Mako-chan drew whiskers on Maki’s face and the word ‘princess’ on Uchida’s forehead. They try to hold back their laughter but can’t so much so they burst into laughter till their stomachs hurt. Later Kana learns from Atsuko while browsing through her photo album that Maki got that same treatment back then. Next arc has Chiaki accidentally cut Haruka’s skirt because Kana left it on the table. After getting into a short fight, Chiaki quickly emergency sews it up but it will only last for 4 days. Four days pass and we see Maki teasing Natsuki for wanting to see Haruka but that guy is here to see if his sister is a bother to Haruka. Woah! Can’t believe he shoved Maki when she continued teasing him! When Haruka comes by, Maki spots a loose thread and pulls it. OMG! Her whole skirt comes down as Natsuki nose bleeds! How embarrassing. Back home, the tense atmosphere and Haruka’s tone becomes different as she’s saying something about tomorrow’s happiness. Lastly, Kana throws a tantrum after being called bakayaro once too many by Chiaki as she even hits her. We all know she deserves it. She wonders if it’s lack of love and decides to correct her before she turns into a delinquent which includes giving her portion of food, volunteering to wash her back and reading bedtime stories. Sounds more like a stalker, eh? Chiaki seems worried so that night she goes to Haruka’s room saying how she’ll be eaten if she sleeps. Kana’s good intentions not appreciated… Maybe she’s trying too hard.
 
Haruka seems troubled in episode 13 so Chiaki and Kana try to guess what’s wrong with her but comes up wrong. After school, Uchida and Yoshino pay a visit to Haruka and they learn her troubled expression is due to her cavity. Haruka asks them if there is something wrong with Chiaki since she rarely smile. Uchida thinks she’s playing a staring game and suggests Haruka should try to make her smile. Yoshino demonstrates by pulling Uchida’s cheek as they burst into laughter. When Kana and Chiaki come back, the sound of their merriness has Chiaki breaking into tears and jumps to conclusion that Haruka doesn’t want them as sisters anymore. Kana then thinks she’s playing the staring game and challenges them. In the end, everyone ended up laughing. Next part has Chiaki waking up from a bad dream so she sleeps with Kana. The next morning, she is clinging on to her! Surprise, surprise. Something about her dream that Kana didn’t return from shopping. Chiaki continues to stick to Kana like a leech when Haruka goes out with her pals. Kana takes a nap and Chiaki follows her. When Chiaki wakes up, she sees Kana’s troubled face. At that time, Haruka has returned so Kana quickly hugs her and is closely followed by Chiaki. Kana dreams that Haruka went to toilet and never returned. Some weird dream. Ah well. You don’t know the value of something until it’s gone.
 
Next story sees Uchida handing Kana a pair of papers to Kana to write her wishes for Tanabata. She does but requests them not to look at it. Once done, Kana says she’ll go to the convenience store after sending off Uchida and Yoshino. However Haruka wants Kana to buy only milk and plain bread and not snacks, much to her dismay. Time passes and Kana doesn’t return. Chiaki finds Kana’s written Tanabata wish and shows it to Haruka as they learn a horrifying thing: "Because I’m not needed anymore, I’ll disappear". Haruka starts to feel guilty and wonders was it because she didn’t allow her to buy snacks. Chiaki also feels she is at fault for calling her bakayaro too many times. Haruka starts breaking down and as they are about to go look for Kana, she returns. It seems that the store ran out of milk and she had to walk to several places to get them. But you can tell that Haruka and Chiaki are relieved to have her back. Hey, she is their sister no matter how bakayaro she is. The next day, as everyone gathers, Haruka and Chiaki learn that Kana wrote on 2 Tanabata papers, which made her initial sentence worrying. What she had written on the overlapped papers was that she hoped to lose fats around her stomach. In retaliation, Haruka writes back on the Tanabata paper that Kana doesn’t need snacks anymore and wants them to disappear while offering the others snacks, much to Kana’s dismay. Everyone gathers outside to watch the stars and the next few scenes see life for the rest going on normally. Except for the final one which is Hosaka who gets up all sweaty from a nightmare. That he will never see Haruka anymore. Let’s just hope reality keeps it that way.
 
For this season, there is a single episode OVA bundled together with the manga called Minami-ke: Betsubara. That term refers to anyone who has extra stomach space for desserts after a meal and it is sure fitting for fans who can’t get enough of the series and have room for more of their antics. The first part has Hosaka thinking what kind of bento he should make for Haruka so Hayami advices him that his bentos are made out of ego instead of love like Haruka’s. Hosaka leaves and because of his deadly aura, Natsuki is afraid of him! Chiaki is shopping for ingredients when she sees Hosaka picking out carrots so she does the same after hearing his ‘love’ narrations. Back home, the Minami sisters have a delicious meal and Chiaki thinks it’s all because of love. At school, Hosaka tries to force feed Hayami his potato-carrot bento. She is so screwed. The next part has Yoshino visiting the sisters so Mako-chan and Kana wonder if she knows about the former’s identity. Kana thinks Yoshino is a sadist due to her nature of not blurting things out. As Mako-chan cleans the bathtub, Yoshino comes by to help. Mako-chan panics and they trip ‘her’ tummy hit the bathtub. But since ‘she’ isn’t squirming painfully, Yoshino notes how strong ‘she’ is. Like a boy… So when Mako-chan tells Yoshino to say it out loud that she knows but it seems what Yoshino knows is to bring a protractor to class tomorrow.
 
The next story has Kana having Maki teach Uchida, Touma and Chiaki some lessons on Valentine’s Day. But since the young one’s questions aren’t really related, Kana tells Maki to ignore them as they ‘collapse’ face down on the floor. We learn it’s Kana’s plan to have them make Valentine chocolates but since everyone is knocked out, she wants Maki to give her Valentine experiences, in which she doesn’t have any. Haruka comes back and everyone starts eating the chocolates she bought from the shop. The doorbell rings and Kana thinks it is Fujioka. Everyone else starts to panic and hide the chocolates. Kana learns that it is a courtesy not to let guys see preparations for Valentine. Huh? The last arc sees Fujioka spotting Hosaka doing his sick public fantasy on what to do for Valentine’s Day. Back at Minami’s place, Fujioka hears how Chiaki and Maki discussing how guys are sensitive to Valentine’s Day even if they display nonchalant attitude to it. Chiaki feels a ‘twitch’ from Fujioka so Maki tells him to struggle as there are things that he can do. Over the next few days, Fujioka tries to help Kana out but backs out halfway. Kana tells of Fujioka’s strange behaviour to Keiko and the latter says he might be tired due to football practices. On Valentine’s Day, Kana gives Fujioka a chocolate bar, making him happy. Keiko teases Kana that she thought she doesn’t believe in Valentine’s Day but Kana doesn’t know that today is that day and only gave the chocolate as an energy booster. Well, let that guy be happy… Speaking of Hosaka, he’s still in his fantasy world of his, all alone in his classroom when everybody has left. I hope he never realizes his dream.
 
I have to admit that towards the end of the series, my enthusiasm in the series waned a little. Somehow I just didn’t find it funny as its previous season. Maybe the expectation is there, huh? Even if the last episode which shows a little tension surrounding Kana’s feelings and fate, it isn’t much of a cliff-hanger which they did for the previous season. Though there are still some funny moments, the funniest one for me was whereby Natsuki tries his different reactions on the sisters. As mentioned, the drawing and art is a much improvement from the previous season but I happen to notice that there is no ‘manly’ expression anymore. Also, those exclamation and question marks which appear on top of the characters head and which was prominently featured in the previous season, is now totally gone.
 
Due to the nature of the series, there are hardly any character developments. While fans will be comfortable to know the kind of personalities the characters are, first timers can guess the kind of characters they are as they pretty much do not really change throughout the series. Do we need them anyway? For instance Haruka is still your gentle and kind sister though we didn’t get to see her scary side this time round. Kana may be still a bakayaro but it seems this season she isn’t causing much trouble and more toned down. As for Chiaki, sometimes I find that she has some pride or ego to keep up and that she isn’t as clingy to Haruka as before. Then there are the other bunch of characters like how Natsuki seems more defiant in nature and even to the extent of pushing his eldest brother! Touma loves hanging around the Minami sisters’ place so much so I think she can apply for PR status to live there. While Riko may still be wondering if she’ll ever get Fujioka’s attention, probably it’s the same case for Hitomi towards Natsuki.
 
Makoto’s identity as Mako-chan nearly came close being exposed but in the end, he’s still cross-dressing. I wonder how long he is going to continue this seeing that the initial reason he does so was because he likes Haruka. I find that he didn’t display much of his affection to Haruka in this season. Hayami doesn’t seem to have much screen time and it made me think because of that her whatever pranks are nil. Other characters which I feel didn’t appear much include Akira and Takeru (just in the beginning though). Speaking of which, that Fuyuki kid from the 2nd season is absent totally. Gone for good? I know it’s weird of me to say this but Hosaka is the one which I find the funniest. Who wouldn’t get disgusted with his top-stripping-Haruka-fantasizing-imageries. I can’t help but laugh each time he goes about ranting.
 
One thing about this season is that the opening and ending theme start late and early respectively (except for the OVA whereby it starts immediately and ends soon after everything). It’s like the rock-n-roll-like opening song, Keikenchi Soku Joujou, starts 5 minutes which is after the first story. Then the pop-like ending theme, Zettai Colorful Sengen, starts around the 17th minute, just before the final arc of that episode. Both themes are sung by the seiyuu of the 3 Minami sisters. Hmm… Something tells me that both themes almost share the same title and beat from the first season, like as though it is some sort of continuation or variation. This time, the mid-intermission shows the Minami sisters waving as compared to last season’s cats. Still can’t understand that one. Hmm… That scene changer whereby the characters shout "Minami-ke" as the series’ trademark logo rolls by too is omitted just like in the previous season. The title of each episode now sounds simpler as compared to the previous season such as episode 9’s "I See" and episode 6’s "Let It Be". On a trivial, I kinda noticed that somewhere in each episode, the characters in their dialogue will say the name of that particular episode’s title. I’m not really 100% sure if this is intentional or evident in each episode but because the episode titles are so general, it may be just coincidence. Fans who have followed the series can still identify the same background music used in previous seasons.
 
Even if there is a 4th season, I’ll still be eager to watch what is in store for the sisters and those around them. It may not be much but I guess seeing them bond together in an unusual way is also what makes it interesting. Hopefully everyone will remain the way as they are (with the exception of Hosaka of course!). Hmm… I’m wondering what title they will put if they ever produced a 4th season. How does Minami-ke: Tadaima sound? Yeah, after ‘second helpings’ and ‘welcome home’, I think ‘I’m back’ would sound fitting. No, not referring to that Arnold guy.

 

Minami-ke: Okaeri

Minami-ke: Okawari

January 9, 2009

BAKAYARO! That’s right, the trademark catchphrase is back. Those who have watched the first season of Minami-ke will definitely identify with Chiaki’s signature line. Fans would be pleased to know that even before the first season finished, a second season was announced entitled Minami-ke: Okawari. In Japanese, okawari means second helpings. Uh huh. For those who didn’t get enough of the Minami sisters, they have got their wish with more of their antics.
 
The first thing which hit viewers (I’m talking to those who have watched the previous season too) is that the drawing is slightly different from its predecessor. In comparison, the second season’s drawing and colouring seems to be more sharp and detailed. However, fans could still make out and identify the characters, albeit for me it took awhile for the supporting characters. Why? Because some of them had a change in their hair colour which baffles me a little at first. Like Yoshino’s hair now is purple. So it took me a while to recognize them.
 
In this sequel, Kana is still the dumb trouble maker and with her twisted thinking, you’ll wonder if she’ll ever learn her lesson. Haruka is still playing the big mother and sister role but in this season, viewers will get to see another side of her. You’ll know what I mean as we go along. Also, Chiaki is still thinking everyone else except her big sister is an idiot. No prize for guessing which person occupies her top list of idiot-ness. However, I kinda noticed that Chiaki in this season uses her bakayaro line less often and that she is a little more open up. So for those who want to watch this sequel, it is best adviced to watch the previous one first as there are several outcome or how things came to be being brought over from the previous.
 
Thus in episode 1 we get to see the Minami sisters bored in their apartment. Their elder cousin Takeru is also there. Makoto still has to cross-dress as Mako-chan whether he likes it or not and because if he doesn’t, Kana won’t let him in their apartment. Looks like he’ll always live a dual personality life as long as he wants to be close to Haruka. Since the girls want to go on a trip, Takeru decides to drive them to a hotspring for relaxation. Also tagging with the Minami sisters and Takeru are Fujioka, Touma and Mako-chan. Kana did call Uchida earlier on but I guess they couldn’t wait. Of course during the trip, Takeru’s bad sense of direction got them lost and one should never mention about him being single (I supposed he got recently dumped by his girlfriend again) because his driving will become reckless and life threatening.
 
Also, Takeru takes the opportunity to ask what is Fujioka’s relationship with Kana. Getting suspicious, is he? At the hotspring, the funny part is when Mako-chan and Touma are in a dilemma to which gender bath section to go in. Uh huh. Mako-chan doesn’t want his boy cover to be blown whereas Touma’s tomboyish-ness makes her hesitant so as not to shock the rest who doesn’t know that she is actually a girl. Decisions decisions decisions. While they’re at it, the Minami sisters take a good dip in the hotspring. Ah… Notice the fanservice here. Wow, they’re starting off this season with it already. Feast your eyes as long as you can, Haruka fans! When Mako-chan and Touma decide to go into baths according to their original gender, Fujioka comes in to spot Mako-chan and thinks he has wrongly entered the girl’s section. So Fujioka goes into the next section and he almost caught Touma stripping. Fujioka thinks it’s the right side and that the bath may be co-ed since he heard girl voices from the hotspring. Just when Kana had enough of soaking, she decides to get out before she gets even dizzier. At such great timing when she opened the door, she finds Fujioka standing there. Woah! Full blown close-up view of naked Kana! He must be dreaming! As they both turn back and return confused, Kana thinks of living in the hotspring forever while Fujioka wonders how he got screwed up from all this happening. But never mind that, Touma and Mako-chan are still unable to take a hot dip in the springs. Poor them. And it’s such a freezing cold season. Oh speaking of which, poor Uchida is left alone outside the Minami’s apartment door. Yeah, Kana totally forgot about her.
 
Haruka’s legend as the legendary banchou (gang leader) returns in episode 2. After returning from their hotspring trip, Haruka has been reluctantly made a replacement class rep through Maki and Atsuko’s collaboration since the original is sick. Meanwhile in Chiaki’s class, she has been given the responsibility to take care of the class’s hamster since she knows how to care for it (she compared how similar it was to bringing up a hamster with Kana!). That night, Kana and Chiaki overhears Haruka talking to somebody on the phone back at their home. The next day, Yuu and Hiroko confronts Kana about the return of the legendary banchou Haruka. They decide to celebrate Haruka’s return and form some banchou federation as they call Fujioka to the rooftop (he was reluctantly made a banchou when he ‘won’ a rock-scissors-paper in their antic to decide the next banchou in the previous season). I don’t know why but Kana instructs him to break school windows as part of his banchou job to follow Haruka’s footsteps. But the other girls think otherwise because Haruka cleaned them instead. So they Fujioka cleaned the windows spanking clean. Since that guy’s pretty much confused and the orders are from Kana, I guess he doesn’t mind doing it. Since it didn’t turn out too well (of course), Hiroko suggests Kana to be the next banchou.
 
At the same time, we see that top-stripping Hosaka eavesdropping and learning of Haruka’s revival. Yeah, something about wanting to be her follower. In this season, Hosaka doesn’t have his usual fantasy simulation and he is always seen eavesdropping behind some wall or near Haruka. When he learns of Haruka’s plan, he goes away and decides to make a plan of his own but in the end it didn’t turn up the way he wants. Loser. Sometimes whenever Hosaka says to himself about his plans, Maki will get that cold shiver of Hosaka and would shudder at the thought of it. Yeah, she’s trying her best not to let Haruka see Hosaka everytime. Anyway, as Kana wonders if Chiaki will turn into a banchou but of course she says Haruka won’t be one. The next day, Kana, Yuu and Hiroko tries to gather an army of banchou by having those recruits through an arm wrestling contest. The winner will get Fujioka. So it’s no surprise that Riko (she has a crush on Fujioka) is going all out and taking the challenge. But we’ll never see if she wins or not. So when Kana goes home to tell Haruka the good news of her return as a banchou, she tells her that she won’t be one since the original class rep is back and that night’s phone call was her declining that position. With that, everything returns back to normal.
 
Episode 3 introduces a new character. He is the bespectacled Fuyuki and has just moved in as the Minami’s new neighbours. I find that this Fuyuki kid is a little mysterious. Though he’s shy and soft-spoken, he seems to be humble and hardworking. Chiaki seems suspicious of him while Kana has no qualms of taking advantage from him like borrowing his manga collection. How shameless. Meanwhile, Chiaki’s classmates decide to come over to their place to do group study but we all know that that’s not their real intention. The warm and fuzzy kotatsu must be the real attraction puller. They even brought along their pyjamas! After Haruka cooks a nabe for the gang (even Fujioka is there as a guest), the doorbell rings and Haruka finds that it is Fuyuki. He properly introduces himself this time and when the girls invited him for dinner, he politely refuses. It seems Fuyuki has that lonely look as his single dad is always away working and he’s left alone. I wonder why he’s finding it hard to make friends with them. Shy, you say? Like I said, I feel that there is something about him… Anyway, while Fujioka is doing the dishes, he notices how Makoto resembles closely to Mako-chan but he could never figure out that they’re the same person. Then more fanservice as the girls take a bath and as usual Kana makes fun of Chiaki’s non-existent boobs which causes her to get a deserved sisterly beating. Yeah, Kana even thought about separating their sleeping beds based on their breast size! After all that hoo-ha, the next morning, they found out that they have not got any of their homework done. Duh! Are we having fun yet?
 
Haruka notices Fuyuki’s diligence in episode 4 when the latter volunteers to do trash collecting on a morning weekend. Haruka gets pissed off to find her lazy sisters sleeping in a filthy pig sty-like environment. So she forces them to emulate Fuyuki. But you know Kana, she’s so sly so much so she manages to get her pals to come help her for volunteer work. I mean when Kana asked Fujioka if he’s free this coming Saturday, of course that guy would definitely say yes, thinking it’s a date. Furthermore, Chiaki finds out that Fuyuki is a new transfer student in her class. On the day itself, everyone arrives and even Hosaka is there after finding out Haruka is going to turn up here. As they’re picking up trash, Chiaki notices Fuyuki being very helpful but dons a gloomy face. It’s as though he’s doing it against his will. As usual, Kana lazes around while her other pals help out. Chiaki tries to get her back to work but when Haruka sees them and mistaken for both of them to be lazing around, she threatens not to give them dinner. So when Haruka praises Fuyuki for his hard work and tells her sisters to be more like him, the latter becomes modest. Chiaki just tells him to accept the praise but Fuyuki remains the same. Because Kana’s dinner is under threat, she gathers to rest to help collect trash and beat Fuyuki. All for the sake of her dinner!
 
The gang continues to collect trash near the river bed and when Chiaki has trouble pulling out a huge trash, Fuyuki helps him. She questions why he likes to help people and can’t say no when somebody from opposite the river calls for him. Kana then finds a large heavy abandoned fridge and thinks there is some treasure in it as they try to pry it open. Their effort is all wasted when to their dismay they only found rocks in it. So to take out their frustration, everyone including Chiaki starts throwing them into the river. Haruka, who has been worried about them since it started snowing, goes to look for them. She then spots what they are doing and gets pissed off as she thinks they’re just fooling around. So it’s decided. No dinner! Horror! Poor Chiaki even though it’s not her fault but got somehow dragged into all this. Later Chiaki still notices how Fuyuki is volunteering alone as she tells him to just refuse jobs he doesn’t want to do. But I guess it’s hard for Fuyuki to do so. The next morning, Haruka wakes up to find Chiaki and Kana at the dining table. In their plea, they desperately want Haruka to feed them! Poor thing.
 
We get to see Haruka’s scary side in episode 5. It all started when Kana discovers a little box belonging to Haruka and thinks it may contain Chiaki’s nude picture. As the 2 tussle, they accidentally broke a glass rabbit which was inside the box. Kana fears what would happen if Haruka found out and has Chiaki her accomplice because she too was partly responsible in breaking it. Kana’s really good in playing mind games. They tried to fix it back but it was futile. Kana panics and calls her pals to go look for the rabbit, giving vague descriptions of it. Uh huh. Mako-chan, Yoshino, Uchida, Touma, Keiko and even Fujioka went on a wild goose chase to get what Kana wants. I wonder why they couldn’t refuse seeing they know this must be one of Kana’s antics. While Fujioka is searching for it in the city, he bumps into Haruka and Maki and tells her about it, which prompts Haruka to remember she just had one as she returns home. Oh oh. Kana then calls Fujioka but since the line is bad, Fujioka misheard her as wanting unagi (eel) instead of usagi (rabbit). Haruka comes home and Kana and Chiaki are surprised that she is looking for the glass rabbit. They try to stall Haruka but she continues to search the house, wondering about her sisters weird behaviours. Yeah, Chiaki doing some meditation thingy as an excuse. Because Kana thinks her pals are incompetent, she decides to go out and look for one herself. Then a phone call from Keiko as Haruka picks it up. She then discovers what is going on about the rabbit. Scary mode turning on… Chiaki, run for your life! Kana is a little bruised and out in the cold. She couldn’t find any replacement and decides to head back. When she returns, she finds Chiaki kneeling in fear at the doorstep in the dark while Haruka is telling her in such a calm voice that she could forgive her for breaking the rabbit but… I guess Kana is starting to feel the fear. Remember, when Haruka is speaking with that tone, it’s not a good thing. Then the rest of the gang comes back to bring back their interpretation of what Kana wanted but they’re all wrong anyway. Busted. Except for Touma who’s still running and Mako-chan who’s still continuing to win some stick lottery. Wow. This is a side we never get to see Haruka with. And I supposed Kana getting a little wounded was to get viewers feeling a little sympathy for her before her hell starts. Think not. She deserves it.
 
Kana borrows more manga from Fuyuki in episode 6 and since it’s heavily snowing, the Minami sisters had a little snowball fight just outside their apartment. After getting a hot bath (fanservice cue!) and lying in their kotatsu, a blackout occurs. See how dependent we are on electricity. I don’t know what Kana is thinking but she decides to go back into the hot bath. But of course by that it’s already cold lah! Furthermore, the window was left opened. It’s her own fault and she’s trying to blame someone else. *Sighs*. Then they remember Fuyuki as they go knock on his door but get no answer. After several knocks, Fuyuki opens the door and greets them. Haruka invites him over but as usual he declines. As Haruka and Kana head back, I’m not sure how Chiaki knows Fuyuki is still standing behind his door. So she opens the door and drags him to her place. Chiaki is annoyed with Fuyuki’s untrue behaviour but he doesn’t know what she means. The duo soon got into a snowball fight in the corridor and before you know it, Haruka and Kana joins them. Ironically, Chiaki is being paired with Fuyuki as a team. After that, they go back to their apartment and Chiaki is surprised to find Fuyuki accepting Haruka’s offer to stay over. The quartet cuddled warmly and closely to each other as they slept together. The next morning, when they wake up, power has been restored and Fuyuki is gone. They find him shovelling the snow outside their apartment. I guess Fuyuki will always be Fuyuki.
 
Valentine’s Day is approaching in episode 7 and Kana is more interested in receiving chocolates than giving. So Kana calls Touma, Uchida and Yoshino over to make some chocolates. I don’t think Kana is just test tasting the chocolates because she keeps finishing them all each time the girls made them so much so they’re running low on ingredients. Although Kana is at fault, she still manages to convince Touma to go buy chocolates on her behalf. Sly girl. Touma bumps into Fujioka and based on the conversation they had, he thinks Kana is making chocolates for him. Back home, Kana didn’t learn her lesson but luckily Chiaki spiked one of the chocolates she made and put in the fridge. Awful tasting, is it? The next day, we see Fujioka receiving many chocolates! This guy is popular! And he’s trying to hide it all from Kana. Kana is expecting some chocolates from him so since she is standing guard next to him, Riko and the other girls can’t possibly give her chocs to Fujioka. Meanwhile, Touma receives chocolates from several girls. Her reputation has reached this level, huh? Same case for Fuyuki. But we know his is due to his nice character. As for Mako-chan, he’s thinking of giving chocolates to… Makoto! Oh well, his split personality has reached this stage too. Fujioka then decides to get rid of all his accumulated chocs so when Riko asks Keiko why he’s doing so, Keiko replied that he may hate chocolates, Riko is devastated. Poor girl. Misunderstood. When Fujioka finally gets rid of all the chocolates, he still finds Kana hasn’t given him hers. Yeah, Kana has a mountain of chocolates now but seeing Fujioka has none, he gives him 1 out of pity. Fujioka is happy but he doesn’t know that the chocolate he received is borrowed from the most popular guy in school. Oh well, better he knows not. Back home, Chiaki and Kana to their surprise, receives hand-made chocolates from Haruka. Chiaki decides to cherish it by not eating it when Kana eats it on her behalf! That greedy monster! She deserves to get another abuse.
 
It’s the pools in episode 8. And you know what that means. More fanservice! Since Haruka won several tickets to a pool amusement park, might as well put it to good use. Kana as usual rounds up Uchida, Yoshino, Mako-chan and Touma. Chiaki is researching over the internet on how to swim when Kana teases her for surfing at porn sites! Hayami overhears Haruka’s plans and decides to go but of course Hosaka has eavesdropped about it and plans to go anyway. Fujioka on the other hand too has tickets to that park and asks Kana if she wants to come, in which she replies to meet her at her home. Don’t take it the wrong way buddy. The day arrives and Takeru once again plays chauffeur. He’s still suspicious of Fujioka’s relationship with Kana. Anyway Mako-chan has got his swimsuit old fashioned style so as not to give away his real identity. As usual, Takeru got lost so when they arrived, he’s ‘knocked out’. Hosaka is working part time as a life guard and he’s taking out his fantasy by doing his CPR on Haruka on an inflatable! Sick guy. Besides Kana teasing Chiaki about her princess title and getting her own medicine of it, Kana teaches Chiaki how to swim but it’s not without annoyance. Lots of them. However Chiaki seems to be struggling so Fujioka ‘saves’ her by holding Chiaki in his arms. Uchida says how nice it was to be hold like a princess which causes the duo to blush. Fujioka fears he may send Kana the wrong signal (like she cares) when Chiaki pushes him away as they both fell into the water. Back to struggling Chiaki.
 
After more weird training, Chiaki decides to take a break and lie on the ground. Just then, Kana comes up to her and does a mouth-to-mouth CPR! OMG! Second kiss stolen from her idiotic sister (remember the 1st one was back in the 1st season). As expected, she punches her away. Keiko and Riko are there too and as Fujioka shortly bumps into Riko, this made her happy of achieving her goal to bump into Fujioka. At the same time, Touma and Mako-chan are uncomfortable with themselves because their real gender may be exposed. When Chiaki decides to swim and achieve 25m, to her disappointment, it’s only 15m (because Kana caught her by then so she thought she has achieved it). She loses hope and faints. Kana quips how she’s suffering from heartbreak. After the rest hears about Chiaki’s goals, they too thought up with their own bizarre goals. Just keep dreaming you people. But the most heartfelt one was Haruka. Her goal is world peace. Erm… It’s going to take a while because as she is sleeping on the deck chair, Hayami and her pals toss her into the pool.
 
Kana isn’t her usual self in episode 9. Over dinner, she tells them about the strange dreams she has which turns out to be true. I know her dream is weird (which includes Makoto being a real girl) but Kana being afraid of her own dream powers? I thought she’d be so looking forward and scheming with it. At school, Haruka gets word from her teacher about travelling abroad to study as an exchange student. At the same time, Kana is having trouble interpreting her dreams so she bugs Keiko about it. As Chiaki’s pals head to Chiaki’s place to study, Uchida and Makoto had a discussion about his cross-dressing. Yoshino almost suspects that Makoto and Mako-chan is the same person. Looks like Makoto can never turn into a guy in this house. Kana will threaten to throw him out so he has to come back as Mako-chan. When everyone has left, Kana tells Chiaki about her dream seeing the former eating carrot sticks. But Chiaki says it’s ridiculous. Over dinner, Kana finds out that it isn’t carrot sticks but crab legs and decides not to reveal her dream mistake. Chiaki is pondering on the subject of change and wonders if Haruka has changed. Earlier on Chiaki did mention how she has changed as she’s better with people now. The next morning, Kana notices that Chiaki has 2 plum-like hairs on her head. At school, Hosaka decides to eat Haruka’s bento when he bumps into Hayami. Hayami plays some psychology thing on Hosaka by saying he has to make a choice between eating Haruka’s bento or cook for her. I don’t know why Hosaka is taking it all out on poor Maki. But in the end, he decides that either way, they’ll both be delicious. Huh?
 
In episode 10, Atsuko and Maki stop by the Minami’s apartment while they were buying groceries with Haruka. I don’t know but it seems they have been allowing stray cats to enter their apartment from time to time. During a conversation, Chiaki misheard and says hanami (sakura flower watching) as opposed to Kana’s desire to eat harami (some steak). This causes Chiaki to be embarrassed. Kana takes the opportunity to tease Chiaki because it’s always been the other way round. But since Chiaki has mentioned that, the gang decides to do a hanami of their own, even if it’s not the right season. They managed to invite Fuyuki to join them and also the rest of the jin-jang gang. They decide to delegate the jobs. Kana, Chiaki, Uchida and Yoshino will do some shopping for snacks while Haruka along with Atsuko and Maki cook some food for the hanami. Which means, Fujioka, Mako-chan, Touma and Fuyuki has to pick a spot. Well, in the midst of leafless trees next to a trashcan. Yeah sure, such a fine place to be. Because of the way Mako-chan acts, Fuyuki asks him if he’s really a girl. They both just laugh it off anyway.
 
When Kana and co gathers at the spot, she finds Haruka’s team missing and decides to go back and check on her. However it seems that Hayami was there and you know her juices really make you one kind. Uh huh, they’re all knocked out. Hayami gives Kana her juices to be brought back to the rest. I guess Kana didn’t want to return empty handed. Everyone starts drinking the juice except for Chiaki, who has left with Kana soon following and Fujioka who is looking for Kana (on the way he passed Hosaka with his unbuttoned top showing his abs!). Dangerous! Everyone going wild! Fuyuki must be scared to see everyone like this. Hope this doesn’t scar him. Later on a rainy day when Kana comes back drenched, Chiaki tells her to go take a bath or else she’ll catch a cold (ironically idiots don’t catch a cold as believed by Japanese). As Chiaki prepares the hot water for Kana’s bath, Kana notices her delicious cup noodles and you guessed it, she eats them. Chiaki is devastated to find and catch Kana in the act of slurping down her noodles. However, Chiaki didn’t attack her verbally or physically. Because of Chiaki’s sad teary expression, Kana goes and get another noodle cup. This made Chiaki happy once more. Aww… At least Kana isn’t as bad or selfish as she was. As the duo enjoy their noodles, Haruka comes home and decides to join them.
 
Kana is back to her lazy and scheming ways in episode 11. When Keiko reminds her about her class cleaning duties, Kana feigns illness. Fujioka goes to check on her back home but is surprised to see Touma there in a school uniform. Kana comes up with a crazy idea by saying that today guests have to cross-dress and decides to strip Fujioka and put on a girl uniform on him! She’s sick in the head, that’s for sure. The coming weekend when Haruka wants them to go help volunteer cleaning up the city, Kana uses the same excuse that she’s sick. Haruka has Chiaki look after Kana while she herself go do the volunteer work. Furthermore, Haruka gives Kana a bell so that she could ring if there is anything she wants. Chiaki suspects something amiss but continues to observe and let her be. Of course Kana misuses her new found privilege and eventually Chiaki tells her that she’s faking it and has had enough of it. The next morning when the sisters are to go shop for ingredients for tonight’s steak dinner, Kana finds herself sick for real. Haha, what goes around comes around. Because of that, she has Uchida and Mako-chan come over to help cure her sickness before Haruka and Chiaki comes back. Too bad it has only gotten worse. When the sisters come back, Chiaki then says how Kana is sick for real. A desperate Kana comes clean and begs to Chiaki for mercy that she’s in pain. Chiaki shows her compassionate side by not getting mad at her. Aww… Once Kana is well, in an unrelated incident, she confronts Fujioka on the reason she addresses the Minami sisters (Fujioka always call Kana by her surname). I think it’s a ploy to let his guard down because when Chiaki suggests Kana to ask Fujioka to call her by her first name, and when he’s distracted, she should go in and attack. After doing so, Kana is going to do some submission move but finds herself too weak to pull it off. Yeah, it seems like Kana is hugging Fujioka from the back. I’m sure Fujioka is the world’s happiest man right now.
 
Episode 12 begins with Chiaki visiting the infirmary and the school nurse seems interested in her (nothing yuri though). So when Makoto comes in, she quickly gives him candy to make him ‘go away’. On the way home, Touma wonders why Chiaki won’t walk with Fuyuki even though they walk the same path home. Another surprising revelation is that Fuyuki is going to move soon! He has just made his debut this season and now he’s leaving? But this episode is mainly about the school sports festival at Chiaki’s school. Though Kana and Haruka expresses their wish to come support Chiaki, Kana has Uchida and Yoshino in some weird training of hers as they are taking part in some run. But on the sports day itself, they flop. They tripped when the race starts! What was all that training for anyway? Then in a scavenger hunt race, Chiaki took Fujioka to the finish line and when Kana found out the reason for her doing so was that Chiaki thinks Fujioka fits the item’s description as father, Kana laughs out loud. Then Yoshino’s suspicion of Makoto cross-dressing as Mako-chan increased when she spots him doing some costume parade in a maid uniform but Uchida tries to dispel it. As the gang gathers for lunch during the break, Chiaki notices Fuyuki eating alone so he drags him to eat along with them. Since Haruka did say how she wish she could participate in the next event, a tree-legged race, with Chiaki, likewise Kana says she’s going to do so with Fuyuki. This causes Fujioka to question and be suspicious of Fuyuki’s relationship with her. Jealous, isn’t he? Just like Takeru’s case. Also, Hosaka was originally there to cook Haruka some food but his stall is quite a crowd puller as he is made busy making ramen for the many customers. No time to remember about Haruka, huh?
 
But when the event resumes, Fuyuki has left when his dad comes to pick him up. What a sad end. He left without saying anything. Chiaki must really cherish the moment she and Haruka has during the three-legged race. Fuyuki can only look on in disappointment. When the day is over, Touma helps Chiaki clean up and it is only then that Chiaki found out from Touma that Fuyuki had left. Even back home, it feels even emptier now that their neighbours have moved. I think Chiaki is still bitter over Fuyuki’s attitude of not expressing his true feelings properly. Another shocking revelation is that Maki discovers of Haruka’s offer to study abroad and goes to tell Atsuko and Kana at an ice cream parlour. Kana drops her spoon upon hearing this. Gasp! Can it be true?
 
Episode 13 has Kana returning home to tell Chiaki about it but the latter refuses to believe her beloved Haruka is leaving. Chiaki wants to ask Haruka directly but is stopped by Kana who says that it is ultimately Haruka’s decision and that all they could do is send her off with a smile. Soon everyone of their pals knows of Haruka’s plans. Even Hosaka is thinking he needs a passport to go where ever Haruka goes. When Kana tells Keiko about it, Keiko misinterprets that Kana is the one who’ll be studying abroad and tells her that they’ll still be friends. Until she realized that it was Haruka she’s talking about. Hahaha. Though not mentioned, I think Keiko is rather disappointed that it wasn’t her dumb friend who’s going away. Her life would’ve been trouble free. The gang gathers and discuss some ‘S’ words and thinks it’s some household chores. Thus, they decide to do household chores to prove that they are independent before Haruka leaves. Kana starts off with cooking and has Touma and Mako-chan as taste testers but you know Kana’s cooking sucks so much so the duo are unfortunately made permanent residence of their toilet. Fortunately, her cooking improves. But at the expense of Touma and Mako-chan’s stomach. That night, Chiaki and Kana remain sleepless of Haruka’s decision. I believe I have never seen both of them slept together so sisterly like this. At times like this I think it pulls them closer. They are determined not to let Haruka down.
 
The next morning, Haruka wakes up to some noise and finds her sisters cleaning the house. Haruka wants to help but the duo tells her that they can handle it. Well, maybe just a little clumsy. It must be uncomfortable for Haruka just to sit in her room while her sisters do the work. Once done, Chiaki and Kana prepares dinner and Haruka gives them the green light, making the duo happy. Kana then says she can fly off without any worries but Chiaki starts to cry. She can’t hold back her emotions anymore as she tearfully hugs Haruka and tells her that she doesn’t want her to go away. Kana soon starts following suit. I guess deep down in her heart, they don’t want her to leave. However, Haruka once realized things, she tells them that she’s not taking up the offer to study abroad because she couldn’t bear the fact of leaving them. The sisters rejoice. Thank goodness. In the final scenes, we see the characters continuing with their daily lives. I think Hayami was going to give Maki a volleyball slam after finding out that Haruka’s staying. Chiaki receives a letter which I think it’s from Fuyuki. But this last scene has got to be a classic one. We see Hosaka in a flight heading towards San Francisco and laughing how he’s coming for Haruka. Hahaha! Bye bye. Hope he stays there for good.
 
For this kind of series, I wouldn’t say it was much of an ending. But the last episode suspense did make me feel a little nervous because I too didn’t want Haruka to part with her sisters. Yeah, no matter how dumb or troublemaker Kana is, she is still HER little dumb troublemaker sister. I’m glad we get to see the strong bond of the sisters in the end. And that the Minami sisters too underwent a little change themselves. Like Kana isn’t totally a bakayaro for this entire season as she has shown her compassionate and sisterly side, albeit for short occasions only. Chiaki doesn’t really hate those around her anymore and because so, her character is less scathing towards others. While Haruka remains the graceful one but we get to see her other side. This goes to show that she can be nasty whenever necessary to put her foot down.
 
As for the other characters, I feel that Keiko and Riko aren’t too prominent in this season. I mean, they’re supposed to be side characters but their presence and role here seems lesser than in the previous season. Because of that, I think Uchida, Yoshino and Mako-chan appeared a lot more than them. I wonder why Kana loves to call Uchida and Yoshino over or for her schemes. Maybe she likes picking on people younger than her or Keiko and Riko don’t want to be part of her silliness. And if you notice, this season is completely void of the Minami brothers! There is not one single appearance from them. What happened to them? Well, I think viewers would care more about the Minami sisters. And what about Hosaka’s fantasy simulation of Haruka? I miss that one too. And Fuyuki’s short appearance is really a question-raiser. He’s like here today, gone tomorrow and there wasn’t much revealed about his character. Perhaps that’s all to it.
 
There are several differences which noticeably sets this season different from the previous. As mentioned earlier on, it’s the drawing. There is something about the character’s eyes which made the whole art different. Because of that, I still kinda prefer the drawing of the 1st season. I’m used to that one. Yeah, I kinda noticed that Chiaki’s eyes are not half opened as before. They’re fully opened! At least it doesn’t make her look sleepy. That way she could ‘see things better’ and have a ‘wider view of things’. Also there is no more initial on screen narration of telling viewers not to expect much from the ordinary lives of the Minami sisters. I think after watching the 1st season, viewers may find the stories extraordinary. Maybe with the few fanservice scenes, I guess it enhances it all :). Then, for all those ‘insignificant’ or ‘unimportant’ extra or background characters, this time they are all without facial details and their skin tone is completely black! Even their hands! What in the world is this?! It felt like the producers didn’t want to waste time giving them proper details. So they sometimes look like faceless Africans (no mockery intended. My apologies).
 
The mid-intermission has been replaced with several cats curling up and sleeping together. What’s that all about? Then there is the lack of those screen changers whereby the Minami-ke logo rolls by and the characters shout the series’ name out loud or some random lines. At least not in the initial episodes. Probably this is because since the story here is continuous and aren’t short random skits as in the previous season. Another noticeable thing is that, whenever the characters are surprised, shocked or baffled, you can see a white exclamation or question mark above their heads to indicate so. Remember those manly drawing the characters become when they are sorta thinking or scheming back in the previous season? Due to the nature of the drawing, it isn’t obvious in this season but there are and much lesser.
 
This time, the episode titles are said aloud and most of them has something to do with meals. Both the opening and ending themes are still sung by the seiyuus of the Minami sisters and they maintain their upbeat and liveliness. Kokoro No Tsubasa and Sono Koe Ga Kikitakute are the opening and ending themes for the 2nd season respectively. The opening animation credits still has that craziness whereas the ending animation credits show Kana taking a walk on a railway track through various sceneries before coming to a stop when the song ends. After every few episodes, the scenery changes. I wonder what is the significance of this. Furthermore, the animation seems to occupy approximately 1/4 of the screen only. Except for the final episode where it occupies the full screen. As for the background music, viewers can still identify some of the old ones from previous season and I’m not sure if there are any new ones. Surely there should be but I guess it wasn’t memorable to me.
 
Not to say that I have turned into a big fan of this series but if there is going to be a 3rd season, I’m sure I will not hesitate to go watch it. Yeah, asking for third helpings already. Wouldn’t that sound a little greedy? Not with Kana is around. One can never get enough of her. So people, don’t be shy and let’s ask for more helpings. Okawari onegai shimasu!
 

Minami-ke: Okawari

Minami-ke

August 2, 2008

This show seems to bring back memories of Ichigo Mashimaro and Lucky Star. Yeah, Minami-ke is another one of those slice of life comedies. How does it remind me of those 2 animes? Well, there isn’t really a plot except it just show the daily ordinary lives of 3 ordinary sisters but told in an extraordinary way. Just like Ichigo Mashimaro. In addition, the skits are divided into several parts, in which they may or may not be related to each other, but are connected to the theme of that particular episode. Just like Lucky Star.
 
Those who enjoy those 2 series would definitely enjoy watching this one too. Of course, as mentioned by the opening narration, don’t expect too much. But expect to laugh out loud at their silly antics. So we are introduced to the 3 Minami sisters, living by themselves and supporting each other throughout their daily lives. Not sure the whereabouts of their parents, but I’m sure it’s the cute girls that we are wanting to know, right? :)
 
The eldest sister is Haruka. She plays the motherly role by taking care of her younger 2 siblings. She is quite graceful and soft-spoken but at times can be nasty whenever she needs to put her feet down. The middle child is Kana. You could say that she is the slightly dumb troublemaker. But she won’t match the mischief of Miu from Ichigo Mashimaro. Kana is the kind of girl who leaps before looking. In other words, speaks her mind without thinking. Because of this, Kana is partly the main reason why this series is funny as she adds a little ‘spice’ to the daily lives of the Minami sisters and those around them. But sometimes I think, life would be more pleasant without her. Finally, the youngest sister, Chiaki, has that sleepy look. She’s not a lazy person, but rather quite a rude gal to everyone except Haruka, whom she looks up and loves very much. Her very insult word is bakayaro, which means dumbass. To Chiaki, everyone is a bakayaro, especially Kana, except Haruka whom she’s quite attached with.
 
There are several other characters which revolves around the school going Minami sisters. They are mainly their classmates and we’ll get to know them as the episodes goes by in this 13 episode series. As seen in episode 1, we are introduced to the Minami sisters. This episode sees Chiaki having to reluctantly help Kana make dinner because the latter doesn’t know how to cook. If leave it all alone to Kana, the meal will turn out to more than just a disaster. Unfortunately, it turned out to be that. You know dumping lots of fruit into the pot doesn’t make it taste fruitier. What on earth is that cream stew?! They put everything in the pot and expect a pancake out of it? Also, in nearly each episode, there is a tearjerker television love drama series called Sensei And Ninomiya-kun, in which the main characters mainly have lines of saying each other’s name. This absurdly short series usually ends on a tragic note. Which in a way makes it funny. Due to that kissing scene in that show, Chiaki is asking questions about it. Haruka is quite embarrassed about the topic and wants Kana to explain it to her. Though in the end, yuri Kana lock lips with Chiaki! Woah! Chiaki’s first kiss stolen by her bakayaro sister! She gives her a deserved slap. Later in this episode, we see Kana trying to play mind games with her classmate Keiko and make her feel guilty about the former’s hunger. Kana’s other boy classmate and football club member, Fujioka, has a crush on her and decides to put a love letter in Kana’s shoebox. Kana is excited of receiving it and rushes back home to give Chiaki read aloud that letter. To us normal viewers, it sounded like a typical confession and love letter. Amazingly, Chiaki twists the meaning of every word in this letter and interprets it to be a challenge letter! So the next day when Kana confronts Fujioka, she kicks him in the shin (as interpreted as a footballer’s sign of weakness)! And Fujioka thought he was getting a reply. He did. Kana goes back home and gives Chiaki the thumbs up that her challenge was a success. People, remember that a love letter is a love letter no matter how you look at it. So don’t start doubting your boyfriend/girlfriend already.
 
Episode 2 sees Haruka’s classmate, Maki, trying to get her attention that she’s quitting school but nobody’s paying attention to her. So after much begging, Haruka decides to play along and asks why she’s quitting. Maki’s reply is because of the short skirt which allows one to see their panties. Maki then accidentally sees Haruka’s panties while looking under the table but before Maki could say anything out loud, Haruka gives her that scary impression, which is enough to make Maki understand her position and back down. The next skit has the word ‘weird’ the word of the episode. It all started when Kana thinks Haruka will be doing something weird and that there is a boy since the latter has to stay back late for a committee meeting. Of course Haruka doesn’t want Kana to say weird things nor give weird ideas to Chiaki. Due to the word substitution, you could say the misinterpretation is there. So when Chiaki’s classmates invite her to play, Chiaki wonders if they would do anything weird. Thus back at her home, and tells her sisters that they did weird things, Haruka and Kana are shocked and Haruka accidentally mentions how she hasn’t did so yet. Aha… Later in the episode, Chiaki’s classmate, Makoto, another one of those hyper loudmouths with no brains, wants Chiaki to give nicknames to everybody. Chiaki reluctantly does which resulted everyone in her class to be depressed because they’re quite insulting. Even Makoto admits that he’s dumb after being given such a nickname! So what nickname did Chiaki gave herself? Hime (princess), of course. Who would ever give a bad nickname for him/herself. Chiaki, the queen of giving nicknames, I’d say. Later Chiaki reprimands Makoto in doing his cleaning duties and that poor guy stood outside the class with a pail of water until who knows when. I guess, everyone just ignores him. Back home, Kana tries to prevent Chiaki from studying because it made the former look bad. I think without it, there isn’t any difference either. So as they test each other (I think those questions won’t appear in school exams), as usual, Kana looks bad. Even when they try to get help from their seemingly perfect Haruka, she herself too has some difficulties, but swiftly changed the topic to making dinner. Slick.
 
The test results are out in episode 3 and Kana isn’t happy that her smart pal Keiko has scored 100% as opposed to her 65%. Because of that, Kana chides and once again play guilty minds with Keiko. Something about scoring 100% isn’t human… Not when Fujioka appears, did Kana decides to challenge him. However, Fujioka always beat her no matter how Kana even tried to alter the marks! Trying to be a smart alec or real desperate. Too bad, girl. This is what you deserve. So when Fujioka finally asks for Kana to fulfil her promise, she kicks his leg instead! Sore loser! Back home, Kana learns that even Chiaki did very well in her exams so that troublemaker decides to drink all the milk in the fridge. Chiaki then tells Kana that Haruka needs to use those milk to make dinner. Kana has fallen sick after drinking all that milk to go buy some. So after another round of ticking off from Kana about Chiaki not being able to be a good wife, they try to make another meal, which ends up in another horrible looking one. Can anybody survive that? Haruka comes home and the 2 try their best not to let Haruka eat their poison cooking. So when Haruka finally makes dinner, they declare her the winner. Later as Kana is sleeping alone in classroom, she is being approached by Fujioka. He finally confesses to her. I guess Kana doesn’t really know the meaning of it as she excitedly rushes back home to ask master Chiaki (she interpreted that love letter, remember?) what does it all mean. Chiaki tells her that this is some sort of trick to get her defences down. Yeah, right. So whenever Fujioka approaches Kana, the latter will be in defensive mode. Poor Fujioka thinks he may have offended her. Surprisingly, Chiaki comes home 1 day to find Fujioka at their place. He’s being invited by Kana not because she wants to return his love but rather, wants to use him as a guinea pig to taste the curry she made the other day. Haruka returns and Fujioka had dinner with them. Haruka mentions to Chiaki how Fujioka resembles like their father. I don’t know why, but Chiaki decides to snugly sit in between Fujioka’s lap. Since the atmosphere is getting friendly, Kana thinks that Fujioka is trying to snatch her sisters away. "Killing 3 birds with 1 stone". In Kana’s haste, she quickly kicks Fujioka out and tells him to never set foot here again, leaving everybody else wondering what’s going on.
 
A relative named Takeru seems to be sitting outside the Minami’s apartment in episode 4. They let him inside and finds out that he has broken up with his girlfriend and is feeling depressed. Haruka cooks a meal for him and during dinner, he gets a phone call from his girlfriend. I think she wants to have him back so in his happiness, he leaves the apartment. Kana tells Chiaki not to let him in again and the next day when Chiaki once again sees him waiting outside, she refuses to let him in because of what Kana had said. I presumed broken up again. At school, we see that a girl named Riko has a crush on Fujioka but could only watch from a distance. She is suspicious and jealous of Kana’s relationship with him. So when she went to talk to Keiko, it’s kinda weird to see everytime Keiko tries to escape, Riko starts pulling her ponytail. Riko eavesdropping on them turns out to be a misinterpretation for her because she thinks they’re quite close (after he ate her curry) and Kana’s family as well (that friendly atmosphere during dinner). Riko decides to be friends with Kana to get closer to Fujioka but since Kana know who she is already, she walks away. Riko than pulls her hair and Kana retaliates too. But they both tugged Keiko’s skirt when the latter is trying to get away from it all. Looks like she can’t. Hehe. Back home, Kana and Chiaki are having a challenge through a video game to see who will go out in the rain to buy pudding. That game seems to be that Sensei And Ninomiya-kun parody of other video games like Mario. Because it’s so tough, the duo died easily with ‘Bad End’. WTF?! When Haruka returns, she finds them totally engrossed in the game. What about the pudding? All forgotten about it. At school during gym, Haruka’s classmate, Hayami and her senior, Hosaka, plots to have Haruka join the volleyball team. While Hayami has that scheming look, Hosaka is one of those guys full of himself and having feelings for Haruka. So it seems Hosaka tries to get info on Haruka by talking to Haruka’s reluctant pals like Maki. Whatever the girls said, Hosaka seems to be glorifying the events with his fantasy simulation. The reason why he wants Haruka on the team is because he wants her to wipe his sweat. What the? Yeah, talk about misinterpreting the situation too. He thinks Haruka is raising children when the girls mention that she has ‘2 little children’ to take care off. He goes off envisioning 1 of his sick fantasy about him being the dad, Haruka as his lovely wife while Kana and Chiaki are his 2 little mischievous kids. I think it’s best to leave him in his fantasy, no matter how silly he looks or even if Haruka is standing right in front of him. Go on, laugh like an idiot.
 
The gang heads to the beach in episode 5. The sisters are trying on their swimsuits only to find that they no longer fit into it. Ahem ahem. Kana and Chiaki decides to go buy for themselves and Haruka since the latter has to stay home to cook dinner. Haruka is surprised to find that they have bought a bikini for her but can’t refuse it since Chiaki approved it. But before they could head to the beach, it started raining. Kana decides to use Chiaki as a teruterubouzu (wish doll) and it seems she’s doing some negotiations with the rain cloud! Can it work? Yeah, seems like it’s working. But it soon starts to rain when Chiaki mood changes. Better be careful. The next day when Chiaki’s friends come by, they see her hanging like a teruterubouzu! And Kana’s still at it. Kana shows them Chiaki’s negotiation power to stop the rain and the whole gang gains a new respect for Chiaki. Luckily it’s all sunny when the girls head to the beach (you can thank Chiaki for it) but Haruka is too shy to show her bikini piece and remains clothed. Attempts to make Haruka take off her clothes failed. Not until Haruka’s pals showed up and she saw how busty they are, did she decide to reveal her skimpy swimsuit. Later as everyone goes to buy drinks, Kana and Chiaki have another round of quarrels. You should really be amazed with the quotable insults Chiaki comes up with. She’s telling Kana "Her level is like a slipper", "Your value to me is diminishing", and "Your idiocracy is skyrocketing". Woah. This causes Kana to run away. Chiaki regrets her actions when their friends come back. But Kana soon returns and back to her idiotic self when she puts a seashell on Chiaki’s head and tells her to be a kappa this time. She deserves a big slap. And Chiaki thought she was going to redeem herself. The sisters return home tanned and Chiaki receives a call from her friend, Uchida, who notes how it’s nice to have different sisters. Haruka then says that she loves them both because they’re unique. This made Chiaki and Kana to feel very touched as they both approached her. Kana then put a bowl on Chiaki’s head and says she’s a kappa. It won’t take a genius to guess that Chiaki throws the bowl back at Kana for spoiling the mood.
 
In episode 6, Makoto tries to prevent Chiaki’s classmates, Yoshino and Uchida, from going to study at her place, but ends up getting invited too. Well, anything as long as he stops his antics. Back at Chiaki’s place, Makoto seems to be wasting his time talking to Kana but once he sets his eyes on the charming Haruka, it’s like he’s falling in love with her and even goes help her out with her chores. What about studying? Chiaki notices how close Makoto is to her beloved Haruka and gets pissed off. Woah! She ripped her book in half! So when Makoto decides another group study, Chiaki instantly rejects. Because of that, Chiaki coldly ignores Makoto and that blur guy wonders why. It’s no surprise that Chiaki starts throwing things at him when he comes approaching her and calling her princess. He broke the ice. More like broke her patience. A short unrelated skit sees the Minami sisters watching the Sensei And Ninomiya-kun drama when a blackout occurs. Chiaki then wants Haruka to report and take action to the relevant authorities. Kana, after hearing Makoto’s situation (of how she wants to be closer to Haruka), decides to invite him over to her apartment and with the help of Uchida, gives Makoto a total make-over. That is, they turned Makoto into a girl and calls him Mako-chan. I don’t know what Makoto was blabbing about his manliness but donned girl clothing soon after. When Chiaki comes home, Kana introduces Mako-chan to her. It’s quite hilarious to see Chiaki’s idiocracy measurement vision. While her scanning shows Uchida as 50%, and Kana 100%, due to insufficient data on Mako-chan, she can’t determine her idiocracy level. Is the disguise so good that Chiaki has been fooled? Well, even Haruka couldn’t tell so much so when she undresses right in front of them! Makoto must be having the nosebleed of his life! His face turned as red as a traffic light before fainting. Later, Uchida caught Makoto shopping for a girl’s dress at a shopping mall. Makoto admits he likes Haruka and it occurred to Uchida that he’s trying to become Mako-chan again. No choice, Uchida decides to help him pick out some girl clothes. While choosing a bra, Makoto spots Haruka shopping in the same section. The 2 met and Haruka decides to help Mako-chan in buying a bra. Now how will Makoto get out of this mess. In the dressing room, Haruka tells him to strip and then starts measuring and caressing chest. Must be heaven for him. But then, Haruka notices something amiss and Makoto thinks he’s a goner and his identity busted. But Haruka indicates that it’s not time for Mako-chan to wear one since she’s flat. Makoto is shocked but Haruka misinterprets it and tells Mako-chan that her time will come. Once it’s done, Makoto blushes and faints once more and Uchida notices the traffic light redness of his face. Haruka returns home and takes a peek at Chiaki in a towel. After a short assessment, she thinks Chiaki will be fine without a bra.
 
It seems Makoto is pretty comfortable disguising as Mako-chan in episode 7 and has no qualms enjoying meals at the Minami’s place. That is, until Kana did some submission move on him, did he accidentally fell down and nearly revealing his personal thingy while squirming in pain. At school, Kana decides to borrow Keiko’s specs because it made her look more intelligent. But we all know her inside, right? Then back home, Chiaki has several of her friends over when Kana starts lecturing them about being approached by strangers. Takeru comes by and the girls take out what they have just learned on him. This prompts the Minami sisters to wonder how are they related to him. After making some calls and all that mother’s eldest sister’s son, they realized that Takeru is their cousin. Meanwhile that Sensei And Ninomiya-kun drama sees both lovers suffering tragic consequences like having amnesia and getting knocked by an impending speeding car. I find myself laughing more than crying in this in-show series. At the school library, Kana and Fujioka bump into each other. Kana can’t believe that he’s in the library reading because she thinks he’s a banchou (gang leader). Then the 2 also bump into their 2 senpai and overheard their conversation and proceed to tell them about their school’s legendary banchou, which was Haruka. Some pretty exaggerated picture she paints of Haruka there. Is she that scary? One of the senpai is currently holding the title of the banchou and Kana decides a match to settle it since there can only be 1 banchou. That senpai uses her chance to ‘relinquish’ her title through rock-scissors-paper game and lets Fujioka win. They soon find out that Kana is Haruka’s little sister but their surprise is just for a while and the 2 senpais walk away happily like they’ve never heard it all before. So even in Haruka’s class, everyone is calling her that banchou title even if she tells them not to. Haruka is being called by a teacher to the teacher’s room and he is worried that there is a banchou in school and wants Haruka to help nab the culprit. Haruka’s back is up against the wall. She tries to change the subject by predicting his future wedding will be soon. Surprisingly, the teacher seems to get excited and starts talking on the new subject. Haruka continues to rant as she holds up a flower vase when a classmate of hers comes by looking for her, calling her banchou title. This causes Haruka to startle as she spills the vase over the teacher, knocking him out. Oh oh. This increases her banchou reputation, I’d say.
 
Episode 8 focuses more on Hosaka. Yeah, expect to see more of his ridiculous simulations of him and Haruka. Here, Hosaka tries to get closer to Haruka by trying to get invited to her home but Maki notices this and tries to prevent him from doing so. While doing several of his cheesy fantasies, Hosaka asks Maki how he should confess to Haruka. Which is better, "Suki da" or "Suki desu"? On the other hand, Hayami decides to play along by bringing Haruka to see Hosaka. When Haruka arrives, it seemed like Hosaka was confessing to Maki that he loves her. In that simulation of course Hosaka sees Haruka but in reality… Haruka runs away as Maki tries to chase her to clear up the misunderstanding. Back at the Minami’s place, Chiaki decides to teach a pathetic Kana how to blow a bubblegum. Everytime Chiaki blows one up, Kana pokes it and smears her face. When Haruka comes by and has 1 herself, the duo are shocked to see her ‘Godly Technique’ because they spot her blowing a bubblegum inside a bubblegum. Respect. Later, Hosaka becomes interested in cooking after he finds that Hayami has tasted samples of Haruka’s bento. Hosaka went to see Haruka in her class but she was not there so he dragged 1 of her classmates, Atsuko, into a talk she doesn’t want to get into. Hearing that Haruka went to buy bread, Hosaka is disturbed that she may not get enough nutrition. After that talk, Atsuko concludes that Hosaka may be cool after all but notices that during his fantasy, he undressed his top shirt. What the? But the next day after making 2 bentos, Hosaka still decides not to give Haruka his homemade meal because he has yet to make the ultimate bento for her. Hayami decides to sample it but is shocked to hear that he made it with some other ingredients. The next day, because Kana’s failure to prepare rice for breakfast, Haruka is feeling unenergetic. Hayami goes and tell Hosaka about Haruka’s condition and in an instant he goes over to give her his bento. But upon approaching the class, he spots a hungry Haruko eating Atsuko’s onigiri. With that, he thinks it’s okay if Haruka’s satisfied and goes away without letting her have a taste of his bento. On the way home, Hosaka has his usual simulation of having a nabe dinner with his wife Haruka and kids but notices that Haruka isn’t smiling. He then vows to make her happy but in reality he’s hugging the fish at a market with his naked top! Sick guy!
 
In episode 9, Kana is jealous that Haruka gets a day off from school and thinks she’s having a great time staying home. But in fact, Haruka is real bored. On another matter, Kana decides to wake Chiaki up early just to ask her what she thinks of her. A bakayaro of course. A sleepy Chiaki decides to go back to sleep but Kana won’t allow her as she tugs her pants down! Kana forces her to talk through the night as the duo endlessly seem to talk about who knows what (Kana’s stupidity, I guess). I wonder why Chiaki didn’t just ignore her. It’s a wonder why Kana can stand her little sis talking bad about her. Soon the duo fell asleep in the living room and when Haruka finds them there the next morning, she punishes them by not giving them food because it’s already afternoon. Because of that, Chiaki decides to get revenge by writing a 10,000 page report on Kana’s stupidity! Extreme! Then Kana fell sick. In bed, Kana is touched to see Chiaki caring for her. A change of heart and character? Kana tries to return her goodwill by telling Chiaki not to mind her and go watch her favourite tv series which is soon starting. To Kana’s surprise, Chiaki says she doesn’t want to go watch tv but wants to watch Kana instead. Has this selfish rude sister finally changed? Well, until Chiaki reveals that it is more interesting to watch Kana suffer than to watch tv. Hahaha! Kana then had an instant revival and springs up and in her rage tries to get Chiaki to apologize but finds out that Chiaki has gotten ill. Looks like she has got Kana’s sickness as the latter fills better. Later when Chiaki recovers, Kana decides to try out Chiaki’s school uniform. Due to that, Haruka decides to try Kana’s while Chiaki gets into Haruka’s. Haruka is pleased that she can still fit into Kana’s uniform while Chiaki looks baggy. And when Chiaki tries on Kana’s uniform and fits, Kana falls into despair. Later, Kana wants to eat pie and comes up with a scheme to let Chiaki make it by saying it’s as repayment to Haruka for taking care of them. Chiaki bakes the pie finish and Kana can’t wait to devour it. Haruka comes home as Chiaki goes greet her. When they return, Chiaki is surprised to find the pie is gone and circumstantial evidence shows Kana is the culprit. She can really gulp it down fast. This upsets Chiaki very much as all her hard work has gone down the drain but Haruka says that it’s okay knowing that knowing their good intentions is enough. Kana feels guilty and you can see how her crying floods the table. She even admits that she’s a failure as a human being (right on) and tells them to hit her, in which Chiaki would gladly oblige. But Haruka calms them down by suggesting to make cake together in the future.
 
In episode 10, Chiaki and her pals decide to check out a girl named Touma in another class after hearing that there is another student by the name of Minami. Though they have the same surname, they’re not related anyhow. Chiaki thinks Touma is a boy because she is acting like 1 while picking a fight with a fellow classmate. Furthermore, seeing that that boy wouldn’t hit her because she is a girl, Touma declares that she is a he now. Chiaki doesn’t care for all this and prepares to leave but that boy was being shoved into Chiaki during the argument with Touma. A little showdown between Chiaki and Touma which resulted in Chiaki deciding to take in Touma as her little brother. During cooking class, Makoto brags about being able to cook only to get punch in the face by Chiaki after he says how he is one with the egg’s soul (?!). Later, Chiaki brings Touma back to her home (from now on, you’ll notice Touma prefers to hang around at their place quite often) and Haruka and Kana are surprised Chiaki has a little bro. Mako-chan then appears and Touma remembers to have seen him somewhere before. Mako-chan brings Touma behind the curtain and reveals his true identity and the need of doing so. Since Touma has to pretend to be a boy, they agree to keep each other’s identity a secret. Of course Kana is adamant that Touma is a girl as she flips up her skirt. Though Makoto still denies, Kana threatens to show Touma’s boobs.
 
Later, Makoto tells Kana and Touma that he wants to confess to Haruka his real identity. Kana says since she is the ‘father’ of Mako-chan, she allows ‘her’ to do whatever ‘she’ wants. But Touma refutes by saying Kana should be the mom (Ka-chan) and Touma herself by right should be the dad (Tou-chan). So when Chiaki and Haruka returns, Makoto confesses that he is a boy but the duo didn’t believe ‘her’ and laughs it off. Looks like he can never become a boy. Chiaki even mentions that if Mako-chan were to follow Touma being a boy, ‘she’ should at least try harder. Haha. Stuck forever as Mako-chan. Thus Makoto decides to confess to them separately and starts off with Chiaki first at school but fails because of his direct approach. Touma advices him to do it properly and this time Chiaki lands her foot in his face. At the Minami’s apartment, Makoto is still having problems with his confession and is confiding in Kana. Haruka and Chiaki suddenly returns which forces Makoto to quickly hide under the kotatsu because he’s not in Mako-chan form. As the Minami sisters sit around the kotatsu, Kana is kicking Makoto out of fun. As they watch the Sensei And Ninomiya-kun magic show (poor Ninomiya-kun’s clothes got all torn up after that magic trick), Kana decides to do a magic show with Touma to bail Makoto out. It must be getting hot under there. Depending on how you look at it. Touma starts putting on girl clothes for Makoto and in no time, Mako-chan appears and tadah! Surprise? Well, it wasn’t that shocking for Haruka and Chiaki.
 
Episode 11 introduces Touma’s 3 elder brothers who seems to be discussing about Touma but that girl just simply ignores them, though they’re in the same room. Having found out that Touma has been hanging out with the Minami sisters, they think that she’ll be more girly this way and the eldest brother (let’s just call him Aniki) sends the 3rd brother, Akira to go check on them. At the Minami’s apartment, Haruka calls Aniki to confirm and changes her voice. To her dismay, the end of the other line thinks it’s some sort of kidnapping as Haruka tries to resolve the misunderstanding. Next day at school, Kana teases Akira that he wants to have a girlfriend. Akira admits that he likes Haruka’s long hair. Kana then points at Riko’s, Akira then admits he likes her long hair too. Meanwhile Riko is admiring Fujioka from a distance and jealous Fujioka himself is worried who Kana is talking to. Akira wonders who Fujioka is and Kana replies that he is the banchou, surprising him. Fujioka comes by and Akira is sweating because he thinks this banchou is mad at him for liking Riko who is seen behind Fujioka. Akira tries to escape by saying that he likes the kind of girls such as Kana. But this causes more misunderstanding. Akira runs out from the classroom with Fujioka giving chase and challenges him to a challenge. In another development, Chiaki is seen kicking a little stone fallen off from a lorry and naming it Yamada. She kicks it throughout her journey and when she finally reaches home, Kana zooms pass by which made Yamada fell back into that same lorry which happened to pass by. Chiaki is upset and blames Kana for the loss of her ‘friend’. This girl needs to have more friends. Ah well, with everyone being labelled as a bakayaro…
 
Later, we see the 2nd Minami brother, Natsuki joining the volleyball team and sees Hosaka as his senpai. Hosaka wants Natsuki to try out a bento he made for the girl he likes (hint hint) but Natsuki manages to avoid it all by saying he doesn’t have experience in this kind of thing. When Natsuki visits Haruka at her class to thank her for taking care of Akira, Hayami pushes him so much so his face fell into her bosoms. Natsuki apologizes and even though Haruka knows that this is an accident (Hayami running away), she punches Natsuki in the face. Now, is this the legendary banchou we’re talking about? Or is that just reflex? Back home, Haruka seems to be dead tired and lying face down on the floor. Kana and Touma finds her lying there and her top shirt semi-unbuttoned. Sexy. Fanservice for Haruka fans. Touma then remembers he invited Natsuki and brings him in. Haruka is partially in dreamland and doesn’t realize her ‘exposure’. Natsuki comes in and has the shock of his life. His face fell flat to the table with a heavy thud. The nosebleeding isn’t stopping! Chiaki then comes in and points to Haruka about her clothes. Haruka is fully awaken and after pulling Kana’s hair for not trying to warn her (well, Kana said she indiscreetly tried to tell her), she rushes over to help Natsuki. But she got too close to him and her boobs are too close to his face, resulting him to faint and further bleed once more. And the advice to viewers… Take more iron.
 
Episode 12 sees how Chiaki once stopped believing in Santa Claus. Many years ago, she caught Takeru dressing up as one and ever since her dream was crushed. So for this year’s Christmas, Kana comes up with a plan. Takeru is seen arriving in a Santa suit outside the apartment but he meets Fujioka. Takeru decides to come back tomorrow after calling Haruka and leaves. Soon Kana dresses Fujioka in a Santa suit and later leaves a present at Chiaki’s bed. Chiaki caught glimpse of the Santa and knows that this isn’t Takeru. She excitedly tells Haruka and Kana, who both pretend not to know anything. So if you’re wondering about that teddy bear in the end credits, it’s for Chiaki’s Christmas present. Back at the Minami brother’s house, they are discussing what they should get Touma for Christmas. They also talk about their ideal girlfriends and Natsuki has a vision of that sexy Haruka before fainting while we find out Aniki’s girlfriend is just imaginary. Looks like Touma is ignoring them again while doing her own thing in the living room. Aniki looks at the list Touma wrote to Santa but finds out the insulting letter was directed to the brothers. The trio then go through the photo albums to get a clue how Touma turned out like this when Touma beats them all up soon after for not preparing anything but staring at the photo albums. They remember something similar happened to them the last time. It’s snowing and Fujioka is outside the Minami sister’s apartment waiting to give Kana his present. Takeru then arrives and they both realized the girls aren’t in. We see them eating at a restaurant and the usual spat between Kana and Chiaki. Kana is surprised by Chiaki’s 4-dumbass-hit-combo insult when Haruka thinks she may have forgotten something. Takeru and Fujioka decides to go home after waiting for a long time.
 
Later Touma is seen visiting the sisters again and wonders if she should pay for the food as she’s always eating here. Yeah, Kana wants her to pay 380 Yen per meal per person. Haruka says she doesn’t mind and Kana sees an angelic version of Haruka. Everyone soon digs into their cake except for Kana because Haruka thought she was going over to Keiko’s place to have hers. So Kana calls Keiko but gets pissed off when Keiko says she already has hers. As Fujioka laments the fact that he’s losing his chance of giving Kana his present, Kana seems to notice Chiaki is getting pretty acquainted with the teddy bear and starts asking irritating questions. Chiaki hits back Kana with the teddy bear and though it may seem like she’s abusing the teddy bear, Chiaki says that it is the teddy bear’s will. Plus, they decide to name it Fujioka since it was the first person that came to mind for Kana. Later Kana bumps into Fujioka in town and she tells him to consider one’s feelings when giving presents. Fujioka thinks deeply over it. Later, Fujioka comes by to give Kana his boneless ham presents and is excited that he has finally managed to give his present to her. Though the sisters think of it as a year end present.
 
Episode 13 starts off with Kana and Uchida preparing Touma and Makoto to wear traditional Japanese costumes for the New Year. Of course, Touma gets the male part while Makoto has to become Mako-chan (even though he was against it but gave in due to his weak will) to don the kimono. Yoshino then enters and says how it’s natural for one wearing kimono not to wear underwear. In an instant, Mako-chan frantically tries to take off his underwear in front of everybody but is being restrained by Uchida. Meanwhile Riko is at Keiko’s house and the former tries to call Fujioka when Keiko receives a call from Kana. At the same time, Fujioka tries to call Kana but the number was busy. Riko too tries to call Fujioka but was met with the same fate. Talk about the synchronization. Whenever Fujioka and Riko decides to try again, unbelievably they do at exactly the same time! That’s why the number is always busy. On the other hand, who knows what Kana and Keiko are talking for hours. It then dawned to Kana that she has been talking quite some time as pointed out by Chiaki. She tries to blame Keiko when she discovers that since it was her who called, Kana will be billed for the call. In another development, Hosaka is seen making ramen as his part time job at a restaurant kitchen. Because it’s getting hotter, he gradually unbuttons his shirt. He then goes into another simulation on cruise ship with wife Haruka and kids. Something about making a pun with his soba noodles and be next to her (which has also the same pronunciation). It’s like some sort of Titanic spoof when the restaurant owner is asking Akira (who’s also working there) about him laughing like an idiot while stretching his arms out while holding the noodle bowls. Akira replies that he is in love. Probably the heat got to his head. Later Hosaka has Akira try out his dish before setting out on his journey to deliver his noodles of love to Haruka.
 
Hayami visits the Minami sisters who are watching that Sensei And Ninomiya-kun drama. Yeah, I don’t know whether it has really ended or not, seeing that Ninomiya-kun fell off the cliff as opposed of being knocked down by a car as predicted by Sensei. Uh huh. It’s kinda obvious that the Ninomiya-kun who fell down the cliff resembles so much like a doll. Anyway, Hayami brings a lot of imported juice as Kana prepares them. Kana is quite suspicious of them and refuses to drink unlike Hayami, Haruka and Chiaki. I don’t know why but it seems Haruka and Chiaki are playing Twister together as Hayami and Kana commands them. Probably its the drink. It’s the drink alright. The duo becomes drunk and passes out with Chiaki snugling close to Haruka. That could be a sight for yuri. Maki and Atsuko then arrives. But to Hayami and Kana’s surprise, they too pass out very quickly. It then dawned to Kana that even though everyone has broken down, Hayami is the most ‘broken’ one and is turning into somebody dangerous after being drunk! Why, Hayami is trying to kiss Kana! Oh the struggle! Oh the fear! ARGH!!! How did it all end? Well, we’ll leave that to your imagination. She reap what she sow. Remember Kana kissed Chiaki back in episode 1? Meanwhile we see Hosaka on top of a snowy peak mountain overlooking the city. In short, he’s lost his way to Haruka’s place. Nevertheless he starts eating the messy spilled noodles and gives out that idiotic laughter. Happy New Year everyone.
 
If you think that’s over, it isn’t yet. Before this series finished, there has been an announcement that there will be a second season already. Wow. So fast. I wonder why they didn’t just continue from this season. At first glance, the drawing seems to be a little different and I read that the second season is an alternate retelling. But whatever it is, I’m sure we can all expect the same hilarious antics from the Minami sisters.
 
Speaking on the drawing and art, though the characters are given to bishie look, I find their facial features to be a little ‘simpler’. But nevertheless, the characters still look pretty like they should. Also, whenever the characters turn serious, the character’s facial drawing will change into a ‘manly’ one. Yeah, it looks kinda funny at first with all those extra lines and shadings. The all feminine Haruka looking so manly? The dumb Kana looking so tough?
 
I’m not saying that the background music of this series closely resembles Lucky Star, but from the way I hear them, those solo piano pieces and funny wind instruments reminded me of that otaku series. Some of the scene changer are quite amusing in the sense that we see the Minami-ke orange or purple round logo roll over and then the characters say, shout or huff a short line (aside the "Minami-ke" line). Since it happens so fast, it’s kinda funny. Sometimes they also show a still pic of a character during the mid-intermission. The most disturbing one is Hosaka with his top undressed… Needless to say any further.
 
The characters themselves are quite quirky and unique so it’s hard for me to pick which of them is my favourite, especially the Minami sisters. The voice acting does fit the characters nicely. Rina Satou is the voice behind Haruka and you may know her as the voice of Punie in Dai Mahou Touge. Likewise, Marina Inoue who voices Kana is recognizable as her role as Mutsuki in Manabi Straight while Minori Chihari did quite a good job in making Chiaki sound ‘lethargic’ like in her previous roles as Nagato from Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu. Daisuke Ono also did quite an excellent voice acting for Hosaka. He was the voice behind Koizumi in Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu and Maya in Mamoru-kun Ni Megami No Shukufuku Wo. Rika Morinaga voices the loudmouth Makoto/Mako-chan unlike her previous roles as Sousei Seki in Rozen Maiden and Francesca in Kaibutsu Oujo. The voice behind Touma is Nana Mizuki and to me she was unrecognizable because she didn’t sound like her cute squeaky voice like she should as Hinata in Naruto, Tsugumi in Jigoku Shoujo and Shinobu in 2×2=Shinobuden.
 
The hype and liveliness of the opening theme, Keikenchi Joushouchuu, brings back memories of the one in Ichigo Mashimaro. But unlike in Ichigo Mashimaro, the ending theme for Minami-ke, Colorful Days, is also quite upbeat as opposed to the former’s slow ballad. I also want to mention that about the parody subs that the fansubbers did during the opening narration of each episode. As the onscreen words tell viewers not to expect much from the ordinary lives of the Minami sisters and that to take necessary precautions like watching from a safe distance and good lighting, the parody subs put the translated narrations such as "This is a hot yuri sex between 3 entirely blood-related sisters…" or "Please send us more porn or hentai…" or "This show is about the Minami sisters who failed to get auditioned for Lucky Star but thankfully that series sucked…" or "This production is brought to you by Queen Haruka". It’s really funny if your Japanese is half baked and viewers will definitely be surprised by it at first. The last couple of episodes sees the actual narration being narrated in English with a Japanese accent.
 
Since I find the first season is quite enjoyable, I’ll be looking forward to the second season real soon. I can’t wait to see what antics will be in store especially from Kana and Makoto, and those flowery insults from Chiaki. You just got to love those kids. I’m sure that this series is suitable for most anime viewers in general, if you don’t mind a few fanservice scenes. Just like how the fansubbers put it at the end of each episode after the next episode preview: "You better watch the next one too, dumbass!", for those who haven’t seen this series, you better watch this anime too, bakayaro!
 
Minami-ke