TV Tropes Org

Forums

Live Bloginations, an archived forum.:
IT'S AZUMANGA DAI-*BLOG*
search forum titles
google site search
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
X
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Total posts: [15]
1

IT'S AZUMANGA DAI-*BLOG*:

 1 Nyperold, Wed, 17th Feb '10 8:07:27 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Because you can never have too many liveblogs ( [wink] ), I'm starting one on the anime Azumanga Daioh. I'll be watching each episode with both the English dub and the English subtitles on, then listening to the Japanese (just for the voices, really, I can only pick out a few words here and there). I'll also be comparing scenes to their manga counterparts. (If I refer to a page, I'll be using the 2007 Omnibus pagination.) I'll also be incorporating things I've found out from different sources like Wikipedia, the translator notes for both the anime (which I had to find online) and the manga (which are in the Omnibus).

Now, let's get a few things out of the way first. I personally like the voices in both' the English and the Japanese, and find practically none of them ill-suited. I don't universally like the voices in one language better than in the other; I go on a case-by-case basis.

English language voices I like better than their Japanese counterparts:
  • Kagura
  • Kimura
  • (Ko)yomi
  • Minamo
  • Sakaki
  • Yukari
  • The floating yellow cat-thing

Japanese voices I like better than their English language counterparts:
  • Chiyo

Roles for which I like them roughly equally:
  • Ayumu
  • Kaori(n)

So what I have here is Azumanga Daioh: Class Album. This is not the one with The Very Short Movie in with it. It has five volumes: 1 & 2 are the first year, 3 & 4 are the last moments of second year up until second year is over, and 5 is the last year and finding out about their educational futures.

Volume 1: Entrance!

As a note, the O Ps for episode 1, 3, and 5 are accompanied by their translations; 2 and 4 are accompanied by romaji.

Episode 1: Miss Yukari

A bird's-eye view of a section of city. The birds are twittering. Some disc thing is hit into the sky. A front view of girls with seifuku (in this case, salmon and white long-sleeved tops and brown pleated skirts) on and boys in gakuran walking. One girl, short enough that only her eyes and pigtailed red hair are visible, walks diagonally (and squeakily!) through the sparse crowd. Another disc is hit into the sky. Side view. (Some really cute extras in both views!) The aforementioned girl walks faster than the others. Only her hair is seen. The show logo appears in the sky, and the show's name is said, cut off by a "BAM!" when another disc thing hits it.

A light turns green.

Child High School Student

Along the side of the road, a woman rides a bicycle. She checks her watch (turned so that she's looking at the inside of her wrist), and is surprised at how late it is. She increases the effort she puts into pedaling, riding past stopped traffic, through the park, and through a residential area... but then it stops. She pulls over to the side, puts down the kickstand, and gets down for a look. She turned the pedal, but it doesn't move the bike forward.

A male student, concerned about his own tardiness, rides a bicycle, as well, but then he notices Miss Yukari, and stops, asking about her bike. Yukari is kvetching about what the vice-principal will likely say to her for being late on the first day of school. She mimics what she's probably been told before, about setting a good example and them being impressionable, which she doubts. The thought raises her ire, and she starts kicking the bike. (Fiery background!) The student tries to restrain her, saying she'll break it, but this just puts her in a position to kick it more rapidly.

She apparently lets him at it, because he's able to diagnose it as simply being dechained. He's relieved, as he believes his tardiness won't count against him if he's with a teacher. He starts to say something, only to find that Yukari is riding away, on his bike! He yells after her.

(In the manga, this sequence doesn't occur on the first day of school.)

Exterior shot of the school. The flying yellow cat thing flies by, waving a noodly arm as "Westminster Chimes" plays.

Inside, a panting Yukari is leaning outside the room. She thinks she's on time, if barely, and curses the bike chain, promising repercussions for it. But she puts on a cheery face before she opens the door. She effervesces into the room, spins a few times, and writes her name on the board, and tells them she's the homeroom teacher for class 3. She encourages them to ask if there's anything they don't get, but when one boy stands up to ask, she (against a bubbly pink background, with sparkles crossing the upper and lower foreground) tells them she's not telling her measurements. She makes it clear, however, that it's not because she's embarrassed about her figure, as her measurements, she says, are pretty amazing. She then flirtatiously scolds him for what he "made [her] say" on the first day. The embarrassed boy, however, causes a Color Failure by telling her that she's in the wrong class: that's class 4. Yukari drifts out the door on the wind.

In the right classroom, we see a squeakily bobbing pigtail, the first two rows, and the doors. Yukari walks in, and we cut to the various girls that we'll get to know over this series. Each has a black balloon with a pointer pointing at them. Inside is red kanji and hiragana telling us what their names are and what they're called. A girl raise her head. This is Takino Tomo, called Tomo. A girl pushes on her glasses. This is Mizuhara Koyomi, called Yomi. A girl gazes out the window. This is Sakaki-san, no given name, well, given. A girl looks straight ahead. This is Kaorin, no family name given.

(In the manga, sometimes you have to wait a while to find out characters' names. She first appears in an April strip — see the "bread run" sequence for the equivalent anime segment — and then you don't find out her name until March rolls around.)

Yukari walks to the front of the class, beside the girl standing at the front. She introduces herself, rather less enthusiastically. She notices the bobbing pigtail and pulls on it until she remembers why it's there. Cue the knees-to-face shot! She introduces us to Mihama Chiyo, the new transfer. (She gets one of those black bubbles, too!) She restates her name, and thanks them for having her. Yukari tells them that even though she's 10, she's been allowed to go to high school. The class-cloud is impressed. Then she tells them not to pick on her just because of her smarts relative to her age. This causes blue vertical lines to appear on top of the class-cloud. (In the manga, they hope Yukari doesn't pick on her.) A girl and boy cheer her on, and she thanks them.

A man with the logo on the back of his head passes us, then stops, turns, and says "Uu Uu Uh..."

Now, Chiyo mixes with bowl and whisk against a pink gingham background with pink blobs. She wears an apron with a sunflower on it. She sings a short little song, and says it's ready: it's... a small white cat on the head of a larger one? She sings again, tilting the pan a bit from side to side, and then says it's ready: it's... a yellow cat-thing? She holds the items, and says they're not cooking at all, and laughs a bit. Awww! :grin:

She's a Prodigy

In the classroom, which is sparsely populated at the moment, Chihiro (no family name given; she also gets a black bubble) and Chiyo talk, but we can't hear them until Chiyo affirms that Chihiro has gotten a certain point. Yukari walks up and encourages Chiyo for getting help, and spouts Gratuitous Italian(?), German, and Spanish (Engrish only, in the original) before telling her to get help from her classmates if she's stuck. Chiyo tries to hold back tears, but fails as she lets on that she was the one being helped, and asks if she's stupid. Chiyo doesn't see what's wrong. Kaorin and another girl set out their bento boxes as a girl in braids attempts to comfort Chihiro. (In the manga, these are separate events, and it's Chihiro and another girl.)

Kaorin invites Chiyo to have lunch with them. Chiyo says that it's kind of fun to bring her own lunch, since there were only special times when they would do so in elementary school, rather than having it made there. Kaorin sounds dubious about that. Chiyo then mitigates it a bit by noting that it's hard to get up in time to make it. Kaorin and the girl are shocked that she makes it herself, since even most girls who arrived at high school age over the normal course of time have their lunches made for them. She opens her box, and it looks really good to the two. They're kind of intimidated by this.

Chiyo looks really closely at a string figure, then takes it from Yomi's fingers and puts her fingers just so, and makes the Double bridge. Yomi thinks she must be good at everything she does, but Chiyo comes up with something she's not good at: tongue twisters. Indeed, no two iterations are the same. (In the manga, the tongue twister is "Rubber baby buggy bumpers", but here, it's different.) However, Yomi just notices how adorable this makes her in addition. (Although maybe the giggle afterwards is partially responsible.)

An unnamed teacher in an unidentified class tells all the students who didn't do their homework to raise their hands. Several do, including Tomo, who's not particularly concerned, while others, including Chihiro, are anxious. Chiyo herself is terrified. The teacher has them line up at the front. They do. Last in line is Chiyo, who's making scared noises. He tells them he'd better see finished assignments. The first girl says "Yessir, " and the teacher begins tapping the tops of heads. She and Chihiro grunt when tapped, while Tomo just takes it. When he arrives at Chiyo, he's expecting someone else of teenage height, and instead looks down to see a trembling 10-year-old girl with big eyes, explaining that she may have been careless... but she was really planning on doing it all... but she just forgot to! *tremble* The teacher hesitates, but taps her head anyway... just not as hard. (In the manga, a couple of students think the teacher "likes 'em young.")

Cooking time again! The result of Chiyo's mixing is... a pink cake with strawberries... and is that pineapple?

And her pan tilting skills culminate in... cookies! The checkered variety reminds me of [[Super Mario Bros. Yoshi's Cookie, which probably indicates that the game got it from the culture or something.

This time was a big success, so Chiyo wants them to sit together, but Yomi and Tomo start eating from it, much to her distress.

The divider features the yellow cat thing, and Chiyo.

Scary Maybe?

Chiyo, on Day Duty, goes around collecting career questionnaires. She gets around to Sakaki, whom she thinks seems scary, but then reads that she would prefer to be a veterinarian, a florist, or a seller of stuffed toy animals, and decides that maybe she's not so scary. (In the manga, the last item involved a full-fledged toystore, instead of on that specializes so.)

In the girls' locker room, where the girls are changing for P.E., the braided girl and Kaorin are gushing over how cool Sakaki is; how she's better than most of the boys, and a woman of few words. Then we see a gray kitty against a white background, wearing a bell and flanked by paw prints. Then the braided girl notices Kaorin's Blank White Eyes and asks if something's the matter. Kaorin responds that she thought she saw something really cute.

(In the manga, the girls' tops aren't pulled down all the way yet, so their bellies are bared. Also, Kaorin's thoughts make it clear that the image is a design on Sakaki's panties.)

Later, after class, Kaorin approaches Sakaki and asks if she's in any clubs; she's not. Kaorin says she's in the astronomy club, which she explains, and begins to ask if she would be... but Sakaki prompts her to finish her question, which scares Kaorin, thinking Sakaki is upset at being invited, and backpedals before taking off, embarrassed. Sakaki wishes she'd invited her...

It's a lovely morning outside, and the students are walking to school. There are a few others on the same path. Sakaki enjoys the scenery. Birds in flight. A little doggy being walked. She stretches, then takes off running for the joy of it.

She walks through a residential area where she sees a gray cat on a wall. She reaches up to pet it, but withdraws a bit before bringing her hand in close... where it clamps down on her fingers.

At school, she stares at her wrapped-up hand. Chiyo asks why her hand is wrapped up. Sakaki speculates that "he" was in a bad mood. Chiyo wonders if she got into a fight.

After school, she walks through again, and sees the cat. He meows, approaches her, and meows again. She squats, and takes this as a good sign. She reaches out with her bandaged hand... and is bitten again.

Tomo introduces herself. She says she's the best at being hyper. She runs from the hallway, swims, and pole vaults, the last of which ends with her landing flat on the ground.

She opens the door with an enthusiastic greeting, then sees that Yukari is here, and if Yukari is here, that must mean that she herself is late. She assigns her own punishment: standing out in the hall with buckets of water. Yukari doesn't particularly care.

Wildcat Tomo-chan!

Tomo has always wanted to try that, remarking that they don't assign that as a punishment as often as they used to. (Probably partially because if you're already late, it's better to get what you can out of the class instead of being forced to miss more. It's likely a punishment better suited to the disruptive so maybe they'll be occupied for a while.) She thinks she's going to set a new record.

5 minutes. Not too bad.

10 minutes. The strain is increasing.

15 minutes. She's feeling it, and finds it to really be punishment.

20 minutes. She's determined not to lose, and starts apparently conversing with students. She seems to be shoved, and threatens to get the shover. Then she falls over, and panics over the spill, calling for something to wipe it up with. Yukari calls her noisy.

Tomo decides to challenge Chiyo in the classroom. She punctuates this with... karate strikes? Yukari has asked a question, and calls on Chiyo to answer it. She can't, so Tomo gets Yukari's attention. She doesn't know, either, so calls it a tie.

It's lunch time, and "bread" is on the menu. (Trivia note 1: "Bread" apparently includes things like sandwiches, cream-filled pastries, and flavored buns. Trivia note 2: "Pan is the word for bread. The word came to Japan via the Portuguese. I had wondered, as I knew the word from Spanish.) Tomo announces that she's on a bread run. Yomi and Chihiro ask her to get bread for them, as well. (In the manga, this is Yomi's first appearance.) She acknowledges, and takes off. Yomi remarks positively on her dependability with regards to this kind of thing, and Chihiro agrees. (Also in the manga, the corresponding panel has no dialogue.) Shortly, she's back, bearing bread. They remark that that was really fast. Tomo asks her time (9 seconds), but Yomi wasn't timing.

Tomo, in her 2-part Challenging series, now wants to challenge Sakaki to the 100m dash. ("What's this about a series?" asks Yomi.) Kaorin cheers for Sakaki. At the starting line, Sakaki is ready, even though she doesn't know why. Kaorin is pondering the match-up, as Sakaki's really athletic, and wonders if Tomo has a secret plan to beat her. Yomi doesn't think so. This confuses Kaorin all the more. Chiyo's about to start the race, but Tomo decides that Sakaki needs to start farther back to compensate for her bust size. Kaorin considers that cheating, but Yomi is surprised by the difference. Yes, Yomi, she said 8 centimeters.) Chiyo starts the race in earnest. Tomo takes an early lead, worrying Kaorin. Yomi isn't concerned, though, Indeed, Tomo falls behind, and depsite her struggle, fails to keep up. She crosses (by collapsing) 6 seconds after Sakaki runs across. She pulls back to look. Kaorin compliments her, bringing her a damp cloth. Chiyo asks if she's all right, and Yomi asks "How's our loser?" Tomo insists that she's the runner-up, and that she didn't lose. She continues to insist after Yomi says she gets it, prompting Yomi to tell her to shut up. "I'm number 2!" "Moron..."

The Osakan Gal

Yukari announces a new transfer student. (Some students wonder how old this one will be...) She comes from Osaka, which makes Tomo think of food, the Tsutenkaku Tower... and some guy in a stripey outfit playing a drum? As well as some kind of "How's business?"-type greeting. She figures that the new girl will be her new archrival. She bets that the girl will be a challenging tsukkomi and that she'll need to practice reacting to her comebacks. Yomi gives her a half-hearted "Why-in-the-heck?" ("Fuggedaboutit" in the manga and "Nandeyanen" in the original), to which Tomo reacts by yelling and flying backward, knocking down desks. She asks if she should do that when she "takes her stab" at her. Yomi responds, "Whah the heck woulja?"

Kasuga Ayumu's name is on the board now, and now that their desks are straightened up, Yukari introduces her. The door opens, and she walks in. The view jumps around, from feet, to chin and shoulders, to thighs, to tummy, chest, and face before she walks up beside Yukari, who tells her to tell the class about herself. (She gets a black bubble, but with the kanji version only.) She introduces herself, but is interrupted by Yukari thinking that while it's nice of her to speak standard Japanese, she can say something more stereotypically Osakan, like "Darn pleased ta meetcha" (or, in the manga, "Yo, how you doin'?" ...uh, I don't know what she says in the original, so... She tries to say that even in Osaka, she doesn't talk like that, but Yukari urges her, so she acquiesces.

Chihiro asks her if Osakans cross the street even when the light is red. Ayumu doesn't know; she doesn't, and doesn't really like crowded places. Yomi finds that Ayumu is not behaving like the stereotypical rowdy Osakan, and Ayumu points out good-naturedly that the stereotype isn't true of all Osakans. Tomo calls her an impostor, which alarms her. Tomo challenges her to show her lunch, thinking that if she's really Osakan, she'll have takoyaki in there. Ayumu doesn't think that she should have to bring takoyaki every day in order to be considered Osakan, but Tomo glares with a "what?", prompting a "Nandeyanen!" Tomo enthusiastically accepts her response.

In class, Yukari explains the function of "too" in a sentence, but Ayumu is thinking about being called "spaced-out" back in her hometown. She decides this is her opportunity to shikkari, or "get it together". She repeats the word to herself, but then Yukari calls on her, and asks if she was listening. She was not, so Yukari tells her to get it together, and calls on a student with the surname of Oyama. (In the manga, this was the student that got a perfect score on a pop quiz that Yukari herself had a hard time with.) Ayumu goes back to repeating the phrase.

"Westminster Chimes" sounds, telling Yukari she's done. She leaves with an "Adios!" School's out, and Ayumu decides to get it together tomorrow. She repeats the phrase again, until Tomo comes up, calling "Osaka! Osaka!" Ayumu turns her head, confused. Tomo asks her if okonomiyaki meals exist. Ayumu asks about the "Osaka" thing. Tomo says people from the Kansai region are "totally whack". She asks if "Osaka" eats a full bowl of rice with her okonomiyaki (this is compared to having a baked potato with your pizza.) Ayumu asks again, additionally asking if Tomo is addressing her. She does, and explains that it's because she's from Osaka. She starts to protest, but Tomo tells it to everyone in the room. Yomi, Kaorin, Chiyo, and Chihiro acknowledge, making it "official" in Tomo's eyes. She welcomes her to the class. Ayumu is not happy about it, but despairs of reverting it.

Her black bubble appears again, this time with the kanji for "Osaka" added.

Next time: Episode 2!

Chiyo is squeaky in english! xD
"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
 3 Akaso Rekaso, Thu, 18th Feb '10 3:27:59 PM from some other website
Wait. You like Chiyo's Japanese voice better? You mind if I ask why? Or better yet, how? Christ, the main reason I watched the show dubbed to begin with was because I couldn't listen to Chiyo's Japanese voice for more than 4 seconds. When I learned that that was the voice actress' actual, unchanged voice, I actually felt pity. Fuck, her English voice isn't much better in the Not Ridiculously High-Pitched department, but at least her voice actor has a normal pitch in real life.

As for the trailer movie, it's right here. Pretty low quality, but whatever works, right?
Got sick of my old avatar.

But I still can't resist one last Jiiiii~
IIRC, not many people liked Nel's Japanese voice for the same reason — Tomoko Kaneda voices both characters. I found both languages cute, so Your Mileage May Vary.

The floating yellow cat-thing

*tosses a flame shield* Get ready to run.

edited 18th Feb '10 3:52:15 PM by PikaHikariKT

 5 Nyperold, Thu, 18th Feb '10 11:14:31 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Hmm, first time I've heard that complaint. Usually what I hear is people having a problem with the English dub voices. Well, first time for everything.

But anyway, I think that voice makes Chiyo sound cuter. Listening to her explain Yukari's bad driving habits in Japanese, for example, makes me wanna pick 'er up and hold her until it's all better. That kind of thing. The English voice doesn't seem to have that effect on me. Maybe it's related to that thing you said: the English voice is not her natural voice, so it retains elements of her natural voice combined with the voice she's going for, while the Japanese voice is what she sounds like, so it's not a mix like that.

For me, it's because I can't actually understand the japanease, so somehow it sounds less jarring...

-sweatdrop-
"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
 7 Nyperold, Sun, 21st Feb '10 1:59:26 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Yeah, I think I might know what you mean. In English, if something's phrased really oddly, it can be jarring to someone who knows English, especially to someone who's been speaking it all his life.

If someone's doing the same thing in Japanese... well... I know I can't tell the difference, so I just assume it's normal.

Also, a squeaky voice in english, it's hard to ignore. But in japanese, you just kinda half listen and read the subtitles.
"You fail to grasp the basic principles of mad science. Common sense would be cheating." - Narbonic
 9 Nyperold, Tue, 25th May '10 11:48:14 AM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Episode 2: Osaka's Day

Don't walk. "Osaka", as she will mostly be called unless it's relevant to do otherwise, waits at a crosswalk for the light to change. She starts narrating in voiceover. She introduces herself with her real name, and says she just transferred the other day.

Osaka Today As Well

She contrasts the people of Tokyo with those of Osaka with regard to crossing: In Tokyo, they stop when the crosswalk light is red. The light changes, and everybody except her crosses. In Osaka, they cross regardless. (Remember, she didn't really seem to know if they did or not last chapter, but she herself did not.) After a few seconds, she realizes that the light has changed, but it's too late, and it changes back.

She says that school there isn't much different from the one in Osaka. Then she notices Chiyo. She asks what a little kid like her is doing there. Yomi answers that she's Chiyo-chan, the child prodigy. She's there because she's super-smart. Osaka recalls a boy from her hometown named Shouta, whom people said liked to smart off a lot, so she thinks Chiyo must be The Same but More of that. Yomi... doesn't.

Osaka stands washing her hands at the sink, holding her handkerchief in her mouth by a corner. (Reason being that in Japan... well, I don't know if they don't have them at all or not, but they tend to neither have paper towels nor hand driers in restrooms, so you carry a handkerchief with you to serve that purpose.) She recalls that people in Osaka said she was slow or spacy, to the point where she's wondering about it herself. The bar of soap starts slipping from her hands, and while she can grab it, she just can't grip it. As it completely flies away, she yelps... letting the handkerchief fall into the sink. She laments that it's now soaking wet.

In the classroom, Yukari is writing something. Osaka is looking forward. Then she notices something, and starts trying to follow it. Kaorin notices, and asks what she's doing. She replies that she's tracking eye floaters. Kaorin warily wishes her good luck.

Yukari begins to explain the "have + past participle" construction in English, when a girl screams. Then one of the boys stands, having spotted the reason for it: a huge cockroach. The braided girl stands and points out its direction of travel. Chihiro lets out a scream of her own, including a statement of her hatred of cockroaches. A bunch of simplified human figures kick up a cloud of dust and make noise. Yukari makes a general call for someone to catch it. Tomo rises to the occasion. She energetically swats... Chiyo, then Yomi, apparently into the distance. She remarks that the bug is PDQ, but Chiyo calls her on her aiming skills. Yomi thinks it may have been deliberate. The bug flies in front of Osaka, and Tomo chases it, first one way, and then the other. Osaka, however, is too absorbed in the floater hunt to notice. Tomo finally smashes it. Many of the other students cheer and hoist her. One of the boys not doing the hoisting wonders to another whose initial scream that was. The other doesn't know. (It is heavily suggested by the "camera", both here and in the manga, that it was Sakaki.) Yukari is ready for the room to settle down, but Tomo comes to the front with one last bit of business: there is now a dead cockroach on her textbook, and she wants advice. Yukari is too squeamish to do anything but try to get away and yell at Tomo not to bring it closer.

Osaka recalls that she was always the slowest runner back home, but now there's someone whose chronological age is more typical of grade schoolers.

P.E. - Volleyball

Miss Kurosawa starts the runners. Osaka does not figure she'll lose. How can she? She has five years on her competitor! A shining Osaka runs against a black background as her thoughts echo. Her face gives off sparkles. It's a close race, but Chiyo wins. Osaka drops to her hands and knees in defeat and exhaustion. She wonders if she's just not smart enough. Yomi points out that Osaka is the first to lose to Chiyo in a race.

Miss Kurosawa blows her whistle, and announces that they're playing volleyball, and has them divide into groups of six.

Yomi slightly adjusts her glasses and repeats the group cap. She wonders if this is their winning combination. The combination? Sakaki at the left of her side, with Kaorin standing a couple of centimeters away, gazing adoringly; Chiyo at back center; herself at front center; Osaka at back, near the right; and Tomo at the right, almost to the front. Tomo says something about aiming for the 10 million (yen, probably, as the anime sticks with Japanese currency) in prizes, and tells wimbledon to watch out. Osaka gets into that idea. Yomi points out that there's no such thing for P.E.. Chihiro announces the 0-0 score, and serves. Chiyo hits it, and it goes to Yomi, who sets up Sakaki for a spike, which is blocked neither by the girl with the short brown hair who jumps for it, nor by the braided girl who dives for it. The whistle blows as she lands, and Chiyo compliments her. Sakaki puts her hand up at shoulder height so Chiyo can give her a high five without leaving the ground. Kaorin says Sakaki is too awesome for words. Osaka asks if the girl who just spiked the ball is indeed Sakaki, and says she seems pretty cool. Kaorin says that no one's cooler. Osaka decides that Sakaki will be what she's aiming for. This alarms Kaorin, but Osaka says that one day, she'll reach that goal and be just as cool. Kaorin is relieved that that's what she meant, and wishes her good luck... because she's going to need it.

Tomo does a power serve. It could have done with a little less power and a little more control, however, as it ends up pegging Chiyo in the back of the head. Tomo apologizes sheepishly. Chiyo says it hurts a lot. Tomo says she'll be okay, but Yomi doesn't think it's her place to say so.

Kurosawa blows the whistle and decides that playing a match right off seems dangerous, and decides that working on overhead passes would be better. Chiyo and Osaka pair up. Osaka throws an overhead pass, but it hits Chiyo on her head, and she runs after it as Osaka tells her not to sweat it. Chiyo passes it back, with the same result happening to Osaka, and Chiyo asking if Osaka is all right; she is. Osaka passes it back; this time, it hits Chiyo in the face. Osaka asks if she's okay. She is, but she now has a round, red mark on her face. Chiyo passes it back, giving Osaka a matching "facial". Now we see them from a distance, as Kurosawa watches. After one iteration, we look at the school from the other side of the fence as we hear the sounds of them missing each other's overhead passes and getting hit in the head by the ball, over and over...

The divider features the yellow cat thing, and Chiyo.

Hiccups

In the cafeteria, Osaka is carrying a tray of food over to where Yomi, Chiyo, and Tomo are already seated. Yomi remarks that she looks precarious. She nearly spills, but makes it safely there. Tomo is ready to open her bento box. When she does, she discovers her top three favorites on one plate: fried chicken, omelette, and meatballs! (That last one is interesting, considering what she says in a much later episode.) Looks like she also has rice, some kind of green, and... cherry tomatoes? "Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub!" Well, that's what she says... in the dub.

Chiyo notices Osaka concentrating hard, and asks what's wrong. Osaka asks her not to talk to her right now. With precision force, / she splits her disposable / chopsticks quite cleanly. She shows them off to the others. They don't seem impressed. Chiyo wonders to herself if she's happy just because of that. Tomo notices that the inside of Yomi's croquette is red inside, and asks what's up with that. Apparently, it's a super-red-hot chili pepper croquette. Tomo remarks that Yomi likes her food "crazy hot", and asks Osaka if she likes spicy food. Osaka is terrible with it. Yomi's glasses go opaque and give off a shiny dot of a mischievous idea. She offers it to Osaka, but she turns it down, reiterating. Yomi tells her not to worry, as it also has a lot of cayenne in it. This is a risky move, as it counts on Osaka not knowing what it is, but indeed, she doesn't know. Yomi compares it to shark fins or swallows' nests in terms of rarity. Osaka decides to taste it, over Chiyo's attempts to warn her. She takes a bite. A few chews later, she discovers it is, as described, super red hot. She screams in pain over a shot of the sky.

Later, in the hallway, Osaka tells her she's awful, and thought she was going to die. Yomi apologizes, but she's obviously still amused. Osaka feels something, and gives a hiccup. Yomi asks the obvious, and Chiyo attributes them to eating spicy food. Osaka wonders what to do about them. Tomo asks if you can cure it by drinking water.

They go to the beverage-vending machines. Osaka asks if juice would be an acceptable substitute; Tomo doesn't think it matters. She does get the idea of carbonated beverages working better, but Osaka is "no good" with that. The machine dispenses the beverage (a form of tea, perhaps?) into the cup, and drinks. Nope. Tomo calls the hiccups "stubborn" for not succumbing to the first attempt. Chiyo relates that it might works to pinch your nose as you drink; Yomi heard that you have to plug your ears. Tomo figures combining them should do it. Osaka will handle the nose and drinking parts, while Tomo holds Osaka's ears. Osaka takes the drink. Tomo asks if she's cured. Osaka can't say for sure. (You know, you don't really have to ask, because they tend to make themselves evident every few seconds if they're not. Case in point.) She hiccups. Yomi states the obvious.

—>Tomo: Oh, wait! I know!

A beverage (orange juice?) is balanced on disposable chopsticks, this time not split cleanly. The holder of the chopsticks is Osaka. Tomo explains that drinking from a cup so balanced is supposed to work. Yomi is unsure. Well, it might... if the cup doesn't fall off the chopsticks and onto the ground. Which it does. Good thing they were outside! Yomi and Tomo decide to go, as the next hour, Music, starts soon. Chiyo is reluctant to just leave Osaka, but decides she should go.

The Brain...

In Music class, Osaka is playing a recorder. While she still has hiccups. (For the unaware, a recorder is a wind instrument. So it's quite intelligent of the teacher to have her do so. Good job, there.) The sound causes sparse scrawly vertical black lines to appear over the other students' heads.

In Language/English class, Osaka still has hiccups, and is, for some reason, still playing the recorder. Because she's Osaka. This irritates Yukari, who initially expresses this by scratching her chalk downward against the board (in the middle of writing in cursive English), then yells at Osaka to knock it off.

At the end of the school day, the hiccups are still there. Yomi gauges the duration at more than 2 hours. Tomo is reminded that she heard you can die is you hiccup for a whole day. This alarms the others, and Chiyo tells Osaka to be afraid as she waves her arms and roars cutely. Unsurprisingly, it doesn't scare Osaka.

Tomo tries back slaps. This only succeeds in making Osaka say "Ow!" each time. Chiyo points out that (despite Heimlich spreading the false notion that this method is dangerous so he could get people to use his now-famous maneuver) that's for when something's caught in your throat. Tomo apologizes, though Osaka still calls it mean.

Yomi recalls that they're cause by something convulsing. Chiyo confirms that it's spasms in the diaphragm. Osaka asks where that is, and Chiyo says it's right underneath the lungs. Tomo decides to demonstrate with a punch. Chiyo points out that that's the solar plexus, and Yomi says it's a vital point on the human body. While Osaka is still doubled over, Tomo asks if she's cured. Osaka straightens up and waits a few seconds. Hic. Sakaki, appropriately, suggests brewing persimmon (kaki) sepals and drinking the tea. Yomi calls it a folk remedy (which doesn't necessarily mean it's ineffective), but more to the point, Osaka points out that they lack persimmons. Sakaki then suggests holding her breath. She does... for 3 seconds. Sakaki's next suggestion is applying pressure... to the eyeballs? Tomo does so. PAIN. Sakaki says, pull her tongue. Tomo does that, too. Nothing works.

Yomi says it isn't going away. Chiyo asks for other ideas. Sakaki comes up with giving it to someone else. Yomi thinks it's all sounding a bit hokey. Osaka repeats the suggestion. She looks at Yomi, who wonders why.

Sakaki figures that if they're not getting better, she might be sick, and should get it checked out. Tomo wonders what she might be sick with. Sakaki says it might be the brain. This confuses Osaka, but apparently makes sense to Tomo and Yomi. Yomi, for example, says her brain might have a few problems. Tomo points out that Osaka is kinda weird sometimes. Osaka wonders if they're talking about symptoms. Tomo doesn't really think they're talking about symptoms, but Yomi says that the symptom is sort of that she's not aware of the symptom. Osaka doesn't get it.

Finally, Chiyo points out that the hiccups seem to have stopped. A few seconds of waiting to make sure, and indeed, no more hiccups. It's happily ever after! Chiyo brings up the puzzle of what worked. Yomi considers it, but doesn't come up with an answer before...

...Chiyo starts hiccuping. Osaka assumes that she must have given them to her. Yomi is doubtful that it's possible to do that. Tomo decides that a good course of action would be to try everything that they tried on Osaka before. Osaka thinks that sounds good; Chiyo does not. Osaka also wonders what came first. Yomi says to smack her on the back and hit her solar plexus. (Actually, wasn't it "drink something"?) Tomo seems to remember it that way. "This can't be!"

Brand New

Osaka wonders something: if sharks are fish, and whales are mammals, would that make snails bugs? Yomi doesn't understand how the classification of marine life connects with the classification of snails, but she doesn't think snails are bugs. (They may count as bugs in Animal Crossing, but if I recall correctly, Blathers at least notes the distinction.) She's not sure, however. Osaka figured she had it right, thinking it would be weird if there was a snail in an insect collection. Yomi doesn't think that's relevant...

Osaka brings us grains of truth. (Alternatively, "bean knowledge", an idiom for trivia.) She tells Tomo that rice is the most popular grain in the world. (Or that edamame is a type of soybean.) Tomo is confusedly impressed. Osaka tells Tomo she's no good, confusing her more. She tells Yomi the same bit of information, and Yomi asks, "Really...?" Osaka finally lets on that she was expecting someone to say that that's not "grains of truth", but "the truth about grain". (Or not "bean knowledge", but "knowledge about beans".) Yomi apologizes for not fulfilling her expectations.

In class, Yukari is writing on the board. Osaka tells us she's thought about a lot of things today.

Contemplation #1: Chiyo's pigtails are directly connected to each other. She moves Chiyo's right pigtail up and down experimentally, and her left one mirrors it, just as Osaka though it would.

Contemplation #2: Osaka then gingerly taps Chiyo's pigtails from behind, and they fall off. As Osaka suspected, her pigtails are detachable.

Contemplation #3: Given the above, she considers it possible that a scenario like the following could take place: Chiyo could show Osaka a present, which turns out to be a new pair of pigtails.

In reality, however, it turns out that these contemplations are All Just a Dream. Four of the visible boys watch her sleep, though more in the "uh oh, she's going to be in trouble" sense than the "Edward Cullen" sense. Yukari approaches, calling her. When this doesn't work, she takes a more "hands-on" approach, shaking Osaka's head a bit, which does work. Osaka tells her "Hi", but Yukari tells her that she's working, and therefore warns her not to fall asleep.

Osaka rubs her eye and narrates that she fell asleep without realizing. She figures that it's because of all the thinking she's been doing. She decides she should go to bed early. She yawns, and her face goes behind the book. The yellow cat-thing waves as Yukari yells at her not to fall asleep.

Next time: Episode 3!

edited 24th Jun '10 9:49:01 PM by Nyperold

 10 Nyperold, Thu, 24th Jun '10 9:54:47 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Episode 3: Nyamo

Chiyo enters an office where Kurosawa-sensei is seated at a desk. She asks if she wanted her for something. Kurosawa tells her that she had to call her in because she just received a package in the mail: it's Chiyo's school swimsuit. She hands it to Chiyo, who thanks her. Kurosawa tells her that while she can special-order swimsuits, she can't special-order the size of the pool; it's going to be deeper than she might be used to, so Kurosawa advises her to be extra careful. Chiyo agrees.

Just then, Yukari shows up and suggests to "Nyamo" that they go out drinking. Apparently, there's a special on draft beers, and it's "Ladies' Night", to boot. Kurosawa points out that she's trying to have a serious conversation, and tells Yukari to stop bugging her. Yukari tells "Nyamo" that it's not good for her health to be so serious. Chiyo confusedly asks what "Nyamo" is. Yukari tells her it's short for "Minamo", Kurosawa-sensei's given name. It comes from their school days. "Nyamo" tells Yukari to stop using it at school. Yukari asks who cares. (Well, Minamo, for one, and that should be good enough, but...)

Yukari sits down and munches some chips (crisps, not potato wedges). Kurosawa calls her on her messy desk, but Yukari understands how she organized it, and knows where everything is. Kurosawa tests this by asking for a lent dictionary back. Yukari finds it within seconds, and pulls it out. Unfortunately, this destabilizes the pile, and Chiyo rushes to stop the avalanche. They applaud her efforts, but she wants help. She can't hold it for long, and is buried under the mess. She pleads with Yukari to tidy up. Yukari agrees, but doesn't sound serious. Some more of the stack falls on her.

In the hall, Osaka sounds impressed. Apparently, Chiyo told the group that the two went to high school together, so Osaka's repeating it for us. Chiyo further reveals that they went to the school they're attending now. Tomo says that she and Yomi outrank them in terms of time being in school together. Like, since the start of grade school. Chiyo is impressed; she doesn't have anyone like that! Yomi bets she doesn't.

Tomo proceed to let on that she knows secrets about Yomi. Yomi is concerned about what Tomo's going to say. Tomo proceed to tell about The Terror of the Moldy Bread. She relates that some bread Yomi once left in her desk in grade school grew moldy and evolved, gaining cognizance. They found themselves taking refuge in the science preparation room, using an alcohol lamp, and keeping the mold back. Tomo then had the idea to defeat them with mold remover. In the present, Osaka realizes that the story was made-up. Yomi wonders why she thought it was real. Osaka thought there was a real sense of reality to it. Tomo claims it was based on a true story. Yomi says it wasn't.

Kurosawa approaches, and Tomo calls her over. When she gets there, Tomo relates what Chiyo said, and Kurosawa confirms it. Osaka asks what kind of student Yukari was. Kurosawa thinks there are a lot of stories to choose from—

"LOVE LETTER! LOVE LETTER LALALALALOVEY LETTER, LOVE LETTER, LOVE LETTER, LOVEY-DOVEY-DOVEY-DOVEY LETTER, LAA LA LA LA-LA-LA-LA LOVE LETTER, LOVE LETTER..."

Yukari sings as she passes, prompting Kurosawa to claim that most of the stories were boring. Yomi figures Yukari has something on her.

Factional Rivalry

In the classroom, one boy asks another who he thinks is the cooler teacher of the two female teachers we've met. Easy, right? Yukari walks up behind the boy who asked the question, and who didn't hear the foley artist. The boy who was asked wisely answers "Yukari-sensei". The first boy laughs at his answer, prompting Yukari to hold up a folio and start laughing, as well. The boy is about to explain what's so much cooler about Kurosawa-sensei when we get an exterior shot of the corner of the building, but he's been thwacked.

A girl with long braided pigtails advises another girl with short hair to talk to Kurosawa-sensei about problem that is not elaborated upon. The other girl decides it's a good idea, thinking she might understand. Yukari comes up angrily and asks if anyone needs a teacher they can easily talk to. The two girls scream and run off. Yukari wonders what makes Nyamo so popular. Oh, I don't know, her approach, perhaps? Then she spies her hitting a ball around with some students. Yukari thinks she understands, but—

"BASKETBALL!" she yells, opening the door to the classroom where Yomi, Kaorin, Tomo, Chiyo, and Osaka are sitting and standing around. They turn to look, confused. Yukari calls it the basketball era. (What, the Heisei era is over already?) She wants them to go to the gym and play basketball with her. When they don't come right away due to standing still in shock, she opens the door and yells at them to "ASSEMBLE NOW!"

In the gym, Yukari names her team "Yukari Chi-mu", which is herself, Yomi, and Tomo. "Yaaay, " they say. Osaka names their team "Namako Chi-mu", or "Team Sea Slug", shocking teammates Kaorin and Chiyo. She gives the name again, and the two also give a "Yaaay."

Yukari decides that the winner of one game is the ultimate victor, and that the losers buy the winners juice. The students seem shocked that she's making a bet, but Yukari says it won't be exciting otherwise, and also that she's not going to go exercise without incentive.

So they start playing.

Kurosawa approaches the gym, seeing the door open a crack and hearing sounds of basketball. Yukari makes a basket. A cut to the scoreboard shows the score at 0-12. It also shows that they've ditched the "Sea Slug" name and named the team after Chiyo.

Speaking of whom, Yukari is teasing her by keeping the ball out of reach. The other players are just kind of standing around. Kurosawa comes between Yomi and Tomo (instead of walking around them) and asks Yukari what she's doing. Yukari is surprised. Kurosawa offers to switch with Chiyo. Chiyo takes her up on it. Yukari says it's not fair to add in a teacher, but it's obviously because the deck is now not stacked so heavily in her own favor. Kurosawa points out that Yukari is a teacher, but Yukari claims it's different because she's a P.E. teacher. While Yukari is explaining the difference, however, Nyamo steals the ball and starts dribbling down the court! Tomo and Yomi move to block, but Nyamo dodges between them! Yukari attempts a steal, but fails, and Nyamo makes a jump shot which goes around the rim before falling in! Nyamo lands dramatically, but Yukari is sprawled out on the floor.

The girls praise her playing, but Nyamo says she just played a little in high school. Yomi still thinks it made a difference. Nyamo says she only joined when they were short. The girls praise her some more, until Yukari's rage, indicated by the whistle of a teakettle, builds enough for her to yell and go on some sort of rampage while the image is that of the exterior of the gym.

A can falls out of a machine. Yukari retrieves it and confirms that Nyamo wanted cola. Nyamo thanks her, but before she claims her prize, the girl from before calls her over to talk. Yukari gets the idea to shake the can. Nyamo comes up, somehow not seeing her do so (or maybe seeing, but not letting on), and tells her that it's urgent, and that Yukari can have the soda if she wants. Yukari is now stuck with it, so after a few seconds, she opens it because it's funny when she gets a faceful of carbonated beverage.

The episode dividers feature the yellow cat-thing, and Chiyo.

Yukari's Here

A doorbell rings. Nyamo, sitting on the floor reading, asks "Yes?" Yukari announces her arrival, and Nyamo goes to open the door. Yukari gives a greeting. Nyamo points out the rarity of her visits; Yukari isn't sure that they're that rare. Nyamo invites her in. Yukari says that there's been lots of construction that morning, and it's noisy. So, she slips under the covers of Nyamo's bed and lies down. Nyamo is shocked that she came over just to sleep. Except that Yukari suddenly screams in frustration. She points at the oddly-shaped thing she had her head on, asks what that squishy thing is, and starts squishing it. Nyamo relates that she bought it the other day. Yukari asks how much it cost. Nyamo says it was about 10, 000 yen (under $100 USD). Yukari calls her a "damn bourgeois", and tells her to get out. Nyamo asks where she would go. Yukari describes the texture, and Nyamo says it helps you sleep. Yukari thinks it's French, but Nyamo says it's made in Denmark. After another squeeze, Yukari comes to the conclusion that Nyamo is right, but Nyamo is surprised she's able to tell without looking at a tag or something.

Yukari puts "Dutch Boy" to the test. Nyamo wonders about the "Dutch" part; it should, of course, be "Danish". (Of course, in subtitling, and probably Japanese, as well, "Dutch Boy" doesn't come up at all, so Nyamo says nothing.) She tries to point out to Yukari that she's placed the pillow the wrong way around, with the bump that's supposed to be under your neck ending up under her head, but Yukari is already asleep.

Later, a courier pulls up and rings the doorbell. Nyamo had gone back to reading, but she responds. He delivers a package from Yamazaki-san in Hokkaido. Apparently, this is her uncle. Also apparently, Yukari's attention has been grabbed. She yells "Hokkaido!" before running up, taking the package from Nyamo, and running back with it, over Nyamo's protests. She starts furiously opening it. What on earth could she be thinking? Crabs, sea urchins, and salmon stew, it seems, but she is soon sorely disappointed: it's a bear statue. Nyamo remarks about it not being food. Yukari springs into action, quickly dialing Nyamo's uncle with the stated intent of having Nyamo's bear statue exchanged for fresh crab. Nyamo, too, leaps into action, grabbing the phone, telling Yukari she can't make demands about gifts, especially gifts that, um, AREN'T FOR HER, and telling the call recipient that she got the wrong number, evading Yukari's attempts to grab the phone. Call crisis averted, Yukari asks what Nyamo is going to do with it; Nyamo figures she'll display it by the front door. Yukari says you can display crabs, but Nyamo says you don't get crabs in order to display them. (And yes, I mean Infraorder Brachyura, not Genus Pthirus.) Yukari wants to return it, but Nyamo grabs her in the act of trying, and Yukari drops it. Nyamo tells her to knock it off, but Yukari makes reference to her being too worried about appearances to find a boyfriend. Nyamo says that has nothing to do with this, but Yukari continues, relating how it caused her to "drag her feet", allowing a junior to go right under her nose. This really freaks Nyamo out.

The two children women start pulling at each other's cheeks for some reason, because Yukari said something she wasn't allowed to say. I guess. As they argue, the poor courier is still standing there, waiting for at least one of them give a stamp of receipt. (Well, in English, it says he needs one of them to "sign for" the package, but...)

Not My Fault

Well, it turns out after all that that the bear broke. A plant, a chair, and a table have been knocked over as well. Yukari suggests going for drinks, and Nyamo agrees.

They walk on. Nyamo wonders if they're going someplace close, or to the station. Yukari is leaving the decision up to the sponsor. Nyamo asks who that might be, in a tone that makes you to know that she knows perfectly well who Yukari intends to be the sponsor. Yukari says it's Nyamo's turn to treat her, but Nyamo wants this bit of nonsense explained. Yukari starts to explain, but Nyamo doesn't want to hear it. Yukari says she'll reciprocate in the future, but Nyamo knows better. Yukari asks when she's ever lied to her, but then notices something and runs in the opposite direction, telling Nyamo to stay there.

As Nyamo is wondering where she's going, a man approaches her, obviously foreign, and proceeds to speak blah-blah. (Or "pera-pera".) Nyamo, flustered, says she'll go get her friend who speaks his language. She looks around, wondering where she got to... but then spots her peeking from behind a building. She yells at Yukari for hiding like that, but Yukari says it was too funny to pass up. Nyamo pushes her in the direction of the foreigner. Yukari starts with Spanish and French before settling on blah-blah. The foreigner seems pleased at this. They start to converse. Nyamo notes that it's almost like Yukari's not stupid. Yukari asks what the P.E. teacher said, and continues conversing. They both laugh, prompting Nyamo to ask what was so funny. Yukari relates that he says P.E. teachers are stupid where he comes from, too. Nyamo tells her to shut up.

So now Yomi and Tomo are walking along when Yomi notices Osaka. Tomo calls to her, and she turns around, says she'll never forget them. Tomo wonders where that came from, and Yomi wonders if she's transferring again. She replies that it's ichiko, ichie, "one life, one meeting", which is expanded in Japanese writing to "To meet only once in one's lifetime; something limited to once in a lifetime." Tomo wonders what she's talking about. Yomi explains that when you meet somebody, it's supposed to be treated like you might not ever see them again. Osaka doesn't really understand it, but she knows to cherish it. Tomo relates it to "shame on the road is written off, " shocking Yomi. Osaka thinks that could be fun. Tomo wants to sing at the top of her lungs, and Osaka wants to try slipping on a banana peel. They then shout "Ichiko, ichie!" at each other a few times.

Soon enough, though, a struggle between Yukari and Nyamo passes by. Nyamo tells Yukari something about tomatoes and fruit, but what she says depends on the sub or the dub. The subtitle says Yukari used to think a tomato was a fruit until she got into college, while the dub says she didn't know a tomato was a fruit until then. Not speaking Japanese myself, I don't know how the original dialogue falls. (The apparent real answer? Botanically, it's a fruit, while culinarily, it's a vegetable.) Yukari counters that Nyamo was secretly taking commemorative photos in front of Takeda-sempai's home. It's ancient history, but Yukari loves digging up people's pasts.

The struggle having passed, Tomo is ready to go home. Yomi wonders what happened to singing, but Tomo figures that being able to write it off doesn't mean doing stupid things just because. Yomi thinks that's wise.

Forever and Ever

The scene changes to Yotchan. (I guess they decided to go there after all, then.) Yukari downs some sort of beverage, and says something about that "shame on the road is written off" thing. Nyamo thinks they're still in their neighborhood, but Yukari measures "neighborhood" by the walkable distance in flip-flops. Nyamo lets the definition stand, as she doesn't care that much. Yukari decides that she's won, and that therefore, Nyamo should pay the bill. Yukari tells her not to sweat the small stuff.

Yukari seems to be having trouble picking up a croquette with chopsticks. Nyamo finally lets on to Yukari that she doesn't hold her chopsticks right. (In the manga, it's Kimura-sensei who randomly stops by the table to tell her that. Either way...) Yukari asks about her "shopsticks". Nyamo says that it doesn't work when the chopsticks are parallel: they're supposed to be open in the back. Yukari tries it one way, but it's still not right, so Nyamo gives her a better look. Yukari still doesn't get it right, and starts breaking apart the croquettes. Nyamo demonstrates again, this time by picking up some food with it. She demonstrates again... and again... and again... and again... and again... and again... Yukari's rage builds until she hits Nyamo in the face with her chopsticks. They fall to the floor.

Later, the food is almost gone. Yukari downs another glass and says something about why she's the chicken. Nyamo suggets that she's had a bit too much. Yukari tells the "captain" she'll be fine, and that she must continue until the end. Nyamo wonders what end. Yukari down another drink and clarifies: "EDUCATION!" She goes on to compare it to a yakitori: according to her, she's the meat, and Nyamo is the green onions. Nyamo doesn't get her at all. Yukari says that's what makes Nyamo the stupid one. Nyamo gets irritated at that, and Yukari gives off flowers and sings something about becoming a language (English) teacher in order to marry and get richer. She sinks to the floor, in her happy place. Nyamo becomes concerned that she'll fall asleep there, because she knows what happens when she falls asleep while drunk: sleep-barfing, as Yukari says. Nyamo warns her not to, as she's not her maid. She repeats her warning not to fall asleep. (Say, this is reminding me of the end of episode 2...) Yukari reminds her that she bought the pillow. Nyamo wonders what she's supposed to do with her.

Outside, Nyamo is attempting to support Yukari as she walks. She's trying to get her to walk straight. Yukari goes down to let some food out. (What we see, however, is a white background with the Azumanga Daioh the Animation logo and Chiyo riding Tadakichi-san on it.) Yukari's in a pinch. Nyamo agrees: Yukari always drinks too much, to the same result. She returns to crutch duty. Yukari yells, "Believe in yourself!" (And yours will be the grill that pierces the scallions?) Nyamo decides to get a taxi, but first they have to get to the street. Yukari starts yelling things: "Fire the engines! Damn the torpedos!" (Or "Retro-firing! Volley firing!") Nyamo yells at her to stop it, as we tilt to the night sky...

Next time: Episode 4! Look 4ward to it!

 11 Nyperold, Thu, 8th Jul '10 7:22:04 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Episode 4: Pool, Pool, Pool

A Fun Profession

A man is writing kanji on a chalkboard. Apparently, it means "On a great road, sheep are lost at the forks." He asks what this means, and then explains it: The forks are forks in the road, in case you were imagining those cartoons where predatory animals wear a bib and hold up silverware when they're hoping to get some prey. Big roads have lots of forks, and let sheep escape without you noticing. The idea is that it's easy to get lost on the road of life, so it's best to have goals to work towards, and career paths to follow. (Kaorin is busy gazing at Sakaki.) Tomo asks the man, Kimura-sensei, why he became a teacher. His answer: "'CAUSE I LIKE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS, THAT'S WHY!"

o/` West-min-ster Chimes... Some-thing that rhymes... o/`

After class, Tomo asks what was up with him. Yomi wonders how he could be so blunt. A group of male students rush to his defense, having been moved by his honesty. Osaka figures it could be a problem if there are others. Tomo feels that the one they know about is enough of a problem as is. Yomi is surprised there hasn't been any trouble yet. Tomo speculates that the school might be covering it up. Osaka interprets it as a suspense story, but Yomi doesn't think that's it. Chiyo gets their attention and tells them next hour is swimming, and that they should change so they won't be late.

In the changing room, three extras are leaving with their school swimsuits on. (I get the concept behind the attraction, but to me... it's a one-piece swimsuit, and it's not particularly pretty, to boot. I suppose there's something to the high contrast between skin and suit, but... eh.) Chiyo recounts to the others that she'd had Kurosawa specially order it. (I wonder what the people who make those thought when they got the sizes. "Who is this suit for? A 10-year-old?") Tomo is already wearing hers under her uniform. Yomi considers that very grade school. Osaka notices Sakaki as she passes, and is surprised, saying there's an "American" among them. Tomo comes over and looks, agreeing with that assessment, finding it hard to believe Sakaki was in middle school a year ago. Sakaki blushes. Osaka examines Tomo, and classifies her as Japanese. Tomo freaks briefly before saying that she is, but it's difficult for her to accept. (Sakaki takes this opportunity to go somewhere else.) Osaka says there's nothing wrong with it. Tomo asks for an assessment of Yomi. Osaka's response? Hawaii. Yomi says it's part of America.

For those of you who are just scratching your head, having thought, "...Aren't they all Japanese...?" Well, basically, they just had part of a discussion of bust size without you realizing it.

Yomi goes on to split it into three groups: Sakaki's group, which... is there anybody else in her group? Next, Kaorin and Chihiro's. (They entered and got changed without us noticing! Chihiro is just putting her right strap on her shoulder.) Osaka wonders if that's the category where she and Tomo are. Yomi decides that they're in Chiyo's group. Tomo is a bit angry at having her bust compared to a 10-year-old's, for some reason. ;) (I think she would get more favorable results in the classification system used by Hiyori in the Lucky Star manga vol. 4: it uses 6 categories, from "Absent" to "Giant". Tomo would probably fall into "Minimal" or "Small", I guess...? Being a literal American, myself, and a guy, to boot, I may be gauging it wrong.) Chiyo asks what it is. Osaka tells her, "Let's work real hard." Yomi think it's possible that Chiyo will only stay in that group for a couple more years. Osaka isn't liking this news. Kaorin thinks it's even possible that Chiyo could end up like Sakaki. This doesn't go over well. Chiyo doesn't understand. Osaka and Tomo feel betrayed, and it's only speculation. They distress Chiyo by calling her a traitor. Yomi tells them they're leaving them behind.

Yomi, Sakaki, Kaorin, and Chihiro leave... and run into Kimura, who asks how it went. We get a first-person perspective of his Male Gaze. Yomi asks how what went. Kimura dings a lot... then, after an awkward pause, walks off as if pulled by a mysterious force. Yomi asks what that was. Sakaki figures he was mimicking a bell. Yomi isn't sure if it was supposed to mean (SUB) they passed or (DUB) got the right answer on a game show, or what.

Pool, Pool, Pool

Tomo places a foot on a diving block. She says play hard, study hard, and that there's nothing like going in the pool after studying, but Yomi point out that Tomo hasn't studied. Tomo says that has nothing to do with it.

Chiyo flips her towel onto the fence. It has Neko Coneco (Nekoko Neko?) on it. It catches Sakaki's attention, and she hangs her towel beside it so the smaller yellow cat looks like it's looking at the Neco Coneco.

Kurosawa-sensei has everyone line up. Once she's determined that everyone's here, Kimura wants them to go to the gym for basketball... except that it would be better if they were wet... Kurosawa starts to ask something, but Kimura gets the idea of having them take a little dip first and then play basketball. Kurosawa nixes that idea, so Kimura suggests volleyball. (Early sighting of Kagura!) Osaka asks about water polo. Kimura is dubious about that idea. Where would that leave him? Kurosawa asks about his class. Well, he got Gotoh-sensei to sub for him. Kurosawa is disturbed that he went that far, but reluctantly allows him to stay and observe, just asking him to be quiet. He understands; after all, it's only the first day of swimming. Kurosawa is even more disturbed that he plans to keep coming.

The girls exercise, led by Chihiro. Then they do some stretching. Yomi notices that Osaka's not getting very far, and asks if that's her limit. Seems so. Yomi points out that she's pretty stiff, and demonstrates how you're supposed to be able to stretch. Osaka, upon seeing this, says something about an octopus. Tomo squishes part of Yomi's back, and says she's flexible because of her fat. This earns her a "DOUBLE CHOP!" Yomi yells at her not to be rude. Tomo says it's the truth, but Yomi denies it, and goes after her. Tomo says she made a jiggling noise. Kurosawa calls at them to get back to stretching.

Kimura tells Kurosawa about his leaky water pipes. He says that the rubber packing is likely brittle and dry, which happens when it gets old. Then he turns to Nyamo. "Have you grown brittle and dry?" She yells at him to get out.

Now he's beyond the gate, with Kurosawa shutting and locking the gate, and telling him to go back to his class; she's in charge of P.E.. Kimura proposes a trade, which Kurosawa declines. Kimura reaches through the gate, but it's no good. Kurosawa tells everyone to continue with class. Kimura collapses, crying. He just wanted to be at the pool! (I thought he wanted to see teenage breasts bouncing around in their fabric packaging...? I suppose he couldn't come out and say that...) Yomi points out that he's crying, and Tomo sees it, too, sort of amazed.

The episode dividers feature the yellow cat-thing, and Chiyo.

Ribbon

Kurosawa has everyone get into the water. Tomo and Chiyo jump in, but while Tomo resurfaces and stays there, Chiyo sinks slowly. She makes it to a ladder, with help from Sakaki. She thanks her. Yomi guesses she can't swim. Chiyo can sort of doggy paddle, actually. (It's just diving that's not a good idea yet.) This gives Osaka a thought: if dogs dog paddle, what do cats do? Tomo figures that would be kitty paddling. The thought blisses Sakaki out. Osaka extrapolates that to Chiyo-chan paddling. Tomo gets it. Osaka goes on to say that Yomi would use a Yomi stroke, because she practices kanji in the pool. Tomo asks if she's that desperate to get good grades. Yomi calls her a moron. Tomo asks if she wants to study that badly. Kurosawa tels them to keep it down. Kimura is still watching from the fence. Yukari passes cheerfully behind him, singing a pool song.

Kurosawa holds Chiyo's hands as Chiyo practices kicking. Osaka approaches her and asks for a trick to getting faster at freestyle. Kurosawa starts with posture and timing, but then Osaka first wants to learn how to float; she keeps sinking. (Looks like we have a kanaduchi here!) Tomo calls that not being able to swim. But Osaka says she can swim; it's just a matter of staying afloat. Tomo asks why that is; after all, people are lighter than water, so you should be able to float just naturally. (She does that thing where you take water into your hands, then squeeze it out, spraying it above water.) Osaka thinks that if that's true, people wouldn't drown. Tomo says that people who drown float. Osaka then decides she has to be a dead body. She takes a breath and puts her head underwater. Yep, kanaduchi. Chiyo brings her head up. Osaka comes up for air. Chiyo asks what's wrong. Osaka thinks she's mastering the secret of floating. Chiyo thinks that's amazing, and asks for the secret. Osaka starts to say, but Yukari, now in a bikini, jumps right into the middle of the group! This washes Chiyo away, at least. Yukari pops up to say your body learns while it's drowning. Problem is, Chiyo and Osaka are sinking. Kurosawa goes under, and comes up with Chiyo. Sakaki has Osaka.

Kurosawa asks what happened to her class. Yukari made it into a study hall. Kurosawa says she shouldn't do that, but Yukari doesn't care; it made them happy. But moving past that, she wants to race: it'll be the Steak Cup Relay! She asks why their pay is the same, when Kurosawa gets to be at the pool instead of stuck in a classroom. Kurosawa points out the kinds of teachers they are. Yukari says she quits being the kind she is to be the kind Kurosawa is. Kurosawa tells her not to be absurd. Kimura pops up, startling Kurosawa into letting go of Chiyo. He suggests that English/Language and Classical Literature be held in the pool. (Chiyo struggles again.) Kurosawa asks how they got in. Yukari used an extra key. Kurosawa asks about that. She got it from Nyamo's drawer. Nyamo goes after her for getting into her drawer. Kimura proposes bikinis as the mandatory school swimsuit for girls. (His face is kicked in the struggle.) Yukari brings up that Nyamo borrowed her coat for a date with Sakurai-sempai. Nyamo points out that that was back in high school, but Yukari says it's accrued interest. (Chiyo bobs up in front of Sakaki and Osaka. Osaka is impressed, but Sakaki is distressed.)

Just the Two of Them

Chiyo dries her face off. Sakaki asks if she's okay; she is, and she thanks Sakaki for the repeated help. Osaka thinks Chiyo was amazing. Chiyo asks why she says that. (Sakaki notices that the way Chiyo hung her towel back up puts the Neco Coneco lower.) Osaks says Chiyo mastered the secret already. Chiyo asks if she really thinks so. (Sakaki approaches her own towel...) Osaka says she's really something... (...and adjusts it...) ...but asks why she's still alive. (...to compensate for Chiyo's repositioning of her towel.) Chiyo doesn't understand.

The two teachers are on the starting blocks, each with a group of students cheering for them. One such student calls her "Nyamo". This would be the first time that a student does so. (Kimura has been exiled to the outside again, but he gets a frontal view of everyone facing the water on the far end, so he's about as well-positioned as you can get if you're not into looking at backsides that much. And considering that he's not necessarily exclusive about the whole "high school girl" thing, maybe he's also enjoying the view of the ones currently on the blocks? I mean, in vol. 1, September part 2 of the manga, pg. 106, "On the Prowl", he asked to go have a drink after work with the two... and when Kurosawa declined, he said something about "the bitterness of defeat".) Chiyo announces the race. Tomo, Yomi, and Osaka appear to be on Nyamo's side, while Kagura, Sakaki, Chihiro, and Kaorin appear to be on Yukari's side... though Sakaki doesn't appear to be doing any cheering. I wonder if she was reminded of that race with Tomo back in episode 1, where she was challenged to a race that she didn't particularly want to participate in, but she did it anyway. Chiyo starts the race. Nyamo dives smoothly into the water, while Yukari does a belly flop. Chihiro observes that it must have hurt. Nyamo has a definite lead. Yomi observes that she's fast. Tomo says "That's our Nyamo!" Nyamo is on her way back. Yukari attempts to interfere by sticking her foot into Nyamo's lane, but Nyamo swims past easily, and Yukari causes a cramp in her leg. (Yeah, excellent strategy: do something that requires that you stay still in the water, and which doesn't seem to hinder the the other side all that much, and which may cause cramps. Even for a cheat, that's lame.) Yukari hollers about the cramp, and Nyamo stops to look.

She attempts to work with Yukari's cramp, while Yukari complains about the pain. Nyamo points it out she brought it on herself.

The girls have taken to sitting in wait. Chiyo announces that they'll be starting the race again, but with the teachers as the anchors, now. (In other words, the last member of a relay team. Think of Miyuki, if you're familiar with that one scene.)

Nyamo says she should've left Yukari there. Yukari makes the wise move of telling the one who's going to determine how painful her recovery will be that she's too soft when it comes to going in for the win, and telling her that's her problem with men. Nyamo does something that hurts.

First up on the blocks: Tomo and Chihiro. Chiyo starts the race. The two jump in. Chihiro is a few lengths ahead. Osaka observes that Tomo has a lot of energy, but Chiyo notes that she's "all splash and no speed". There's a nice view of Kagura jumping in. Then more cheering. Then a shot from underwater of Kaorin swimming. The teachers cheer: "Go for the gold!" "Go for the steak!" I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine who said what. Yomi backstrokes. An extra reaches the block, where Chiyo is waiting with a kickboard. The girls are now along the side of the pool instead of on the far end. Yomi yells at Osaka, asking what she's doing. Osaka, too, has a kickboard, and she's hung up on the lane boundary. Now a top view of Sakaki reaching the far end, turning around, going underwater, and heading back. The teachers are ready on the blocks. Yukari requests that they play fair this time. Nyamo points out who's saying that. Sakaki reaches the block, so Yukari confidently leaps in again. However, she didn't count on her cramp kicking in in mid-jump. She bobs up a few seconds after landing. Osaka has figured out how the lanes work, and passes back. The girls look on with concern. Sakaki's looking back from the block with Blank White Eyes. Nyamo jumps in, leaving us with a sparkly view of the splash and Chiyo in voiceover. "Team Miss Kurosawa wins the race..."

A Good Person?

At the shoe... cubbies... um... I guess that's as good a term for them as any; I'm familiar with cubbies, and these are like those, only for shoes, but anyway, I guess students are getting ready to leave. In the classroom, Chiyo packs her case. (Osaka's asleep.) Yomi notices one particular book, one on swimming, which Chiyo says she borrowed during lunch break. She's sure they'll win next time. (Yeah, maybe if Yukari plays fair the whole time and doesn't make problems for herself...) Yomi notes that Chiyo was on Team Yukari. Chiyo is sure Yukari will get her steak dinner next time. Yomi gives an unsure but mildly amused "Yeah..." Tomo figures she can try all she wants, but they'll win no matter what. Chiyo doesn't think Tomo's contribution warrants being worth listening to. Tomo figures it doesn't matter, as long as the team won, and starts mocking her team. Chiyo's getting really annoyed with this. Tomo says that even though it was "Steak Cup", she'll lower the ante by allowing her prize to be soft-serve ice cream. (The book's translated title is "Easy Way to Improve Your Swimming!") Tomo goes back to mocking. Yomi asks if they're in grade school.

In the offices, Yukari recline in her chair, and remarks that she doesn't know what got into her today. Kimura leaves, and he and Kurosawa exchange goodbyes. Nyamo prompts Yukari to go. Yukari asks where. Nyamo reminds her of what she herself called the race, and that she won. Yukari claims that she didn't mean the winner would get steak, but that the name was in honor of all the steak they'd eaten over the years, sort of like the Japan Cup. (They've eaten a lot of Japan?) Kurosawa is pretty sure the original intent was that the loser treat the winner. (Well, yeah. I'm sure she knows that if Yukari had won, Nyamo would have had to buy her dinner.) Yukari makes the concession that the next time they do that, the bet will be for real. Nyamo doesn't want to do it again.

Osaka, Chiyo, Yomi, and Tomo are sitting and leaning on a wooden fence and eating ice cream. (I wonder if any of them does a push-'n'-shove thing...) Osaka notices and points out Kimura. He's carrying a case and a white plastic bag. He walks to the side of the road, bends down, and reaches into the bushes. Yomi wonders what he's doing. He looks around. Chiyo thinks he looks like he's looking for something. Tomo wonders if he lost his wallet; Yomi wonders if it was a pet. Osaka has the idea that he's looking for the entrance.

In a more urban area, the girls go walking. Tomo thinks the way he was acting was suspicious, as though he buried something under the tree. Yomi wonders if she means money, but Tomo thinks it was a body. Chiyo trembles, asking if she's talking about murder. Yomi thinks, in light of this speculation, that the bag would contain the weapon. (Which... uh... wouldn't he have disposed of the weapon? Or at least tied the bag shut? I mean, maybe he could count on the idea that the more it's concealed, the more curious people are, but if a single glance could blow all that...) Osaka thinks it's a mystery. Chiyo points out that they don't know if it's true. Osaka cautions Chiyo to be careful, or she'll be buried. She says they should all be careful. Kimura passes them by. The three older girls notice, and Osaka says, "There goes the suspect now." Chiyo turns quickly and gasps. Kimura goes up to a man with a donation box, "Donations of Love". The man thanks him for his contribution, "as always". Tomo is surprised. Osaka says it was 10, 000 yen! (Man, he's really going for that Piece of Heart, isn't he?)

He heads back, but stops when he sees the group. Chiyo's wary of him. Yomi asks about the "always" that the man said. Kimura considers his contributions his duty as a teacher. Osaka asks what's in his bag. He says they're empty cans, and points out that trash should be properly disposed of, and sorted. (I wonder if he'd think Monk was going too far...) He takes his leave. Chiyo remarks how he turned out to be a normal person after all. Yomi figures he's just easily misunderstood. Kimura muses from a couple of meters away, before he gets out of their hearing, how much he'd like to watch them changing. "Uh, okay. It's called your inner voice. Ya gotta keep it inside." Tomo questions the "misunderstood" characterization. Yomi doesn't want to think too hard about it. (What's to think about? He cares for the environment, donates to charity... and wants to see high school girls in states of undress. These things are not mutually exclusive.)

Next time: Episode 5!

edited 18th Jul '10 8:12:00 PM by Nyperold

 12 Nyperold, Sun, 18th Jul '10 8:30:24 PM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Episode 5: Summer Break

Yukari opens the door, comes in, slams her papers on the desk, and quickly writes up the kana for "summer break" on the board. She announces that their break will be starting tomorrow, and asks if anyone has plans. A boy says his family is going to New Zealand. "Oh my! Sounds great." Kaorin has Astronomy Camp. "Oh my! Sounds great." Chiyo asks in Yukari's going anywhere; she replies that she's flying to Neptune. (horn honk, enhanced by Doppler effect)

She passes out report cards. A boy notices that his report card is accompanied by something much thicker: it's a book of buildup drills for English Reading Comprehension. He wonders what that's about.

Summer Break

Yukari explains that the ones who got drills are to stay there and finish.

That scene is peeled away from the lower left corner, revealing an outdoor scene. The kana for "...and summer break" appears. That gray cat is 'laxing on a wall. He looks up, seeing Sakaki looking at him. She wonders if he gets hot from the sun. She reaches out and approaches him; he bites the hand that would pet him. He look at the hand afterward, and there's a red ring around her index finger at the knuckle closest to the end. She looks at it, and licks it.

A bell rings. It's Nyamo. Yukari gives her a sleepy "Good morning..." but Nyamo says it's early evening, and asks if she's turned night owl. Yukari says she sleeps at night, and gets back into bed. The room has random things scattered on the floor. Nyamo doesn't believe this, and tells her to sit at a table. She has to tell her twice. Yukari tells Nyamo to shut up and tries to get back to sleep, but is somehow persuaded to sit. She asks what Nyamo wants to do so early in the morning; Nyamo repeats that it's early evening.

Nyamo is having her set up a daily schedule. She tells Yukari that she shouldn't be so lazy just because it's summer break.

Yukari asks if she's a teacher; Nyamo points out that they both are. Yukari says she can't do it with Nyamo watching, so has her turn away. She finishes... it's a pie chart, indicating that Yukari's idea of a schedule involves spending 2/3 of the day sleeping, with 1/3 devoted to free time. Nyamo tells her she has no drive, and Yukari agrees. (Or, in the subtitling, Nyamo tells her she's unmotivated, but Yukari says she's not.) Nyamo tells Yukari (who has gone back to bed) that summer break is a great opportunity, and asks if she doesn't want to spend some of her time productively, such as reading, lesson planning, etc.. Yukari wants her to put a lid on it, but then has an idea.

She wants to have fun somewhere tomorrow. "Have fun, huh?" Yukari lies on her back and kicks and hits the floor, and curls up and rocks side to side, saying it's better than being lazy. Nyamo can't. Yukari, instantly back in bed, repeats it mockingly. Nyamo can't help it; she has swimming. Yukari repeats this too, but then realizes. She's back at the table, saying she'll go with her. Nyamo points out that it's the school pool, and she's the swim team adviser. After a few seconds, Yukari asks if the school pool wouldn't be free. (I assume she means that you wouldn't have to pay to get in, not that it would be unoccupied.) Nyamo says she's not going there to have fun. After a few seconds, Yukari starts kicking and stuff again, and saying what she was the last time. Nyamo can't help it; she's the teacher. Yukari stops, but says she is also a teacher. Nyamo is aware of that...

Yukari gets another idea. She revises her schedule. She's taken a little less than 1/6 of the pie for swimming... out of the Free Time slice. Nyamo reiterates Yukari's lack of motivation. Yukari agrees.

On a wall, the gray cat yawns.

Yukari says you've gotta be in a swimsuit for the summer. And she is: she's wearing a pink bikini with white stars here and there. She's going for more Fanservice: two times as much!

She relaxes on a lounge chair with some kind of green drink.

Then she's poolside, inflating a shark with a foot pump.

The team members stare, the boys with blank white eyes. (Is it fanservice or Fan Disservice for them?) One of the female team members, is, of course, Kagura. She tells Kurosawa that the woman in lane 8 (Yukari, swimming back and forth with her shark) is in a world by herself. Kurosawa tells her not to let it bother her, but Kagura can't help it.

A crayon-drawn sign appears. It's time for Summer Break Home Inspections! Part 1: Chiyo-chan's residence! Yaaay!

Welcome to Chiyo's Room

Osaka, Tomo, and Yomi are standing in front of the station. Tomo's making the V Sign. Yomi starts walking away, Tomo trying to slow her down. Yomi is embarrassed by Tomo shouting in front of the station. Tomo tells her not to let it bother her; after all: "Three makes a rowdy bunch!" Yomi knows the saying, and doesn't want part of that. Osaka turns and asks an elderly man selling sweet chestnuts if they're a rowdy bunch, but Tomo clamps her mouth, saying she gets it. (There are hiragana "A"s all over that stand.)

She starts over, but quietly. Yomi still walks away, as Tomo's presence hurts her ears. Tomo doesn't think it should bother her that "their" presence is rowdy. Yomi doesn't want to be lumped in with... them? Uh, Osaka's not generally that rowdy, or loud... Osaka asks the man if their presence is too rowdy for him. Tomo clamps Osaka's mouth again. Just for that, Tomo says she's not going to let Osaka make copies with her when they're at Chiyo's. Osaka wasn't aware that there was going to be copying involved. See, Tomo made plans to copy Chiyo's homework so they don't waste their summer actually doing it themselves. Yomi realizes that that's why they're going, or at least that's why Tomo was going. And so, Osaka's out of that loop. Yomi doesn't want to do that, at any rate. Tomo asks why she doesn't. Yomi's going to do it herself. Tomo mimics Yomi's pose while saying that's great for smart folk, and how it's nice that she has her figure, and getting carried away with her oh-so-cool summer style. Osaka asks if they have boyfriends to show off their style to. Yomi goes to buy cake for a visiting gift. Tomo gets excited about that, and after a second, Osaka does too.

Back to the gray cat. This time, Sakaki has a popsicle. She waves it in the direction of the cat as she approaches, but it bites her finger, this time closer to the hand. (The other spot is bandaged.) She licks this new bite.

Yomi, Tomo, and Osaka are on a street in a residential area somewhere. Tomo asks if they shouldn't be getting there soon. Yomi says they're in the right neighborhood, based on the address. They find themselves in front of a large, green opaque gate with a fence on top of a half-wall. Tomo asks if it's really the place. Yomi points out the nameplate. Osaka is certainly amazed. Tomo reaches for the button below the Mihama nameplate. She's scared to push it, thinking it might be a self-destruct button. (You know, because the self-destruct button for a house is normally put out by the street.) Yomi doesn't think it likely. It rings when she presses it. Tomo starts to run off, but Yomi grabs her. The video intercom comes on. Chiyo's been expecting them, so she says to come on in. The gate slides open; Tomo is still trying to run off, and Yomi is still keeping her from doing so.

Now, while this mansion of a house is impressive, what really indicates the family's affluence is the amount of land. There's a long, wide brick walkway to and around the house, and grass, bushes, and trees filling space on either side of the walk. Tomo muses that maybe they should've gone with a melon (which would've been more expensive than getting cake). Yomi thinks they're fine keeping it simple.

From the bottom of the stairs, Chiyo welcomes them to her home. She's excited because it's the first time high school friends have visited. Now we get a look at the large foyer. From the... mezzanine? she tells them not to be so formal, and come in. They're still downstairs, probably in awe still. Tomo thanks her for having them.

In her room, Chiyo says they have lots of rooms, that one being hers. They're awed by it. Chiyo pours tea. Tomo says the place is awesome, but Chiyo says it's not that great. (I wonder if it's one of those cultural things where the protocol isn't just that you thank the person, but you downplay compliments you receive.) Yomi figures it's pretty great. Tomo thinks Chiyo may have won already. She asks Osaka to confirm, but she was looking out the window. She wants to have fun somewhere. Tomo figures they would've if they could. Osaka wonders why they don't. Tomo collapses on the table and says it's because of the money. Yomi sighs. Chiyo gets the idea to invite them to her... summer home!

Tomo & Yomi: S...summer home?!?

Osaka: Summer home?

The episode dividers feature the yellow cat-thing, and Chiyo.

The Summer Break Special sign makes a return.

Part 2: Chiyo's summer home! (Believe it!) Yay!

Invitation

Osaka says it turned out to be a nice day, and the perfect day for going to a summer home. Tomo thinks it may or may not be, but... she asks if Chiyo invited Sakaki. Chiyo did, and asks if that was wrong. Tomo says that was good, but... who invited these guys (Yukari and Nyamo)? Yukari tells her not to call them "these guys"; because of them, they're getting free transport to this summer home! Tomo is still dubious about it, so Yukari points out that she must be taking the train. This makes Tomo much happier with the idea. Since neither car can take the full complement of seven, Yukari asks who wants to go in her car. Actually, it's her parents' car. It costs more, she claims. (Now whether she means the initial price, bringing it up to inspection, just keeping it from falling apart, or a combination of the three, I couldn't say.) Osaka is more concerned about the quantity of dents, and what they might imply. Yukari tells her not to worry about it, and that she won't live a full life if she just worries all the time. (The thing is, Osaka generally gives off this "relaxed" vibe...) Osaka doesn't seem entirely sure. Nyamo decides to take three, leaving two to go with Yukari. Chiyo, the smart kid who doesn't know what dents imply, points out that Yukari's looks roomier, and asks if it wouldn't be better to swap quantities. Nyamo figures it's better to minimize fatalities.

"JAN-KEN—PO!" (a.k.a "ROCK, PAPER— [[SCISSORS!]]"

So they've arrived. Yukari compliments the appearance and location of the summer home. Yomi looks in on Chiyo and Osaka.

Both have twitching eyes and have experienced Color Failure. Yomi saw everything. Osaka says they're not afraid of roller coasters.

Tomo is excited about the ocean. In a salmon pink bikini, she holds a watermelon over her head and says it's time to smash it. Yomi, in her lavender bikini, asks if you don't need a bat or stick for this classic pastime. Tomo starts looking around for one. Chiyo, Sakaki, and Osaka, in a light blue bikini, yellow bikini, and pink one-piece respectively, look on. (This is the only episode where Chiyo wears a bikini.) Then we see Osaka and Sakaki's fronts as Osaka repeats the name of the pastime. Now it's Chiyo and Sakaki. (And here's the best shot of Chiyo in it. By the way, the top is almost like a sleeveless shirt, but it comes down to the level of the bottom of her ribcage. Sakaki's is quite a bit more revealing.) Sakaki notices Chiyo looking at her, seeming awed. She asks what's up. Chiyo asks how you get big like that. (Well, generally, you be an age other than 10... I suppose she wants to be big like that when she's 15, and wants to know how to get there.) Sakaki gasps, and hides her breasts with her arms. I don't think she knows; she doesn't seem the sort to aim for it or anything.

Tomo decides to use spirit to smash the watermelon. (She's going to use a Spirit Bomb?) She ties a blindfold on, kneels beside it, and starts chopping away... at the wrong place. As in, the same wrong spot each time. Yomi looks on. (Is that heat distortion or some kind of emotional indicator?) The teachers, in their bikinis, have currently opted for the shade of the umbrella. Yukari looks asleep or something, but Nyamo is propped up on her hands and actually watching.

Tomo, Yomi, and Chiyo splash about in the water as Osaka and Sakaki relax on shore, looking on. Out of the blue, Osaka mentions hemorrhoids. If you're writing it in hiragana, you put the dots on the chi rather than the normal shi. But when she looked it up, she saw the normal dotted shi. (As I understand it, the chi ending was popularized by an error on a product for them.)

Next is seals (azarashi), which in kanji is written as "sea" + "leopard". Osaka extrapolates that they must be ferocious, even though they don't look it. Sakaki thinks she's pretty knowledgeable.

Osaka thinks she'd like to ride a dolphin. Sakaki agress that it's be nice. Osaka recalls that they write dolphins (iruka) as "sea" + "pigs", but if you write "river" instead of "sea", you get "puffer fish" (fugu). (That "river" doesn't look like two parents with a child sleeping between them...)

Sakaki imagines riding a dolphin in the moonlight. Yomi asks what the two are up to, and Osaka says they're thinking about hemorrhoids. Sakaki didn't think they were. (Maybe Osaka still was...)

Summer Break Special: How to Fully Enjoy Summer Nights

Osaka figures you have to tell horror stories.

Someone With Experience, Speak

They're inside, now, wearing the clothes they wore up there. Yomi notes that that's pretty standard, but asks if she knows any really scary ones. She doesn't, which causes Yomi to ask who cares. Chiyo is reminded of something. (Sakaki gets up and walks somewhere.) She thinks of a story about another summer home. Yomi urges her to tell it. Well, there was an enormous outbreak of cockroaches. Giant cockroaches all over— BONK.

Tomo ends the story abruptly with a chop, and says summuh naghts ah fuh duhty tales. So she goes to the teachers for stories that they can really learn from. She assumes they have a vast store of adult experience. She goes first to Yukari. Chiyo covers her ears and makes a little noise so she won't hear. Yomi tells Tomo to lay off, as they're too stunned. Yukari just says that being a single woman isn't that bad. Tomo doesn't think that helps, so turns to Nyamo, at least partly on Osaka's suggestion that she looks popular. She says she's single, so doesn't have that kind of story. She apologizes for letting them down. Yukari points out that she wasn't single last summer... causing Nyamo to shake and growl. Tomo figures the mood has been killed.

Speaking of killing, Osaka recalls that situations like that, in the drama genre, sometimes are the settings for serial murders. Yomi finds that true.

Osaka: First one, then another. Y'think thatcha haven't seen someone for a while, but actually...

Tomo: Ooh, creepy... (gulp) So, so then what?

Osaka: Victim #1 would be Tomo.

The image is of Tomo lying dead with a thick string around her neck.

Osaka: Then, one bah one, y'all get killed...

The next series of images:
  • Chiyo lying on her face with a frying pan bearing the imprint of Chiyo's head in it. How do we know it's Chiyo's? The pigtails! Man, Chiyo has hard hair in Osaka's imagination...
  • Sakaki lying on her back, dead from drinking Poo. (Seriously, that's what the bottle says. Hopefully, it's just romaji for a Japanese word that means something entirely different... the picture is of some animal head, possibly a bear. I don't see Poo's head on it.
  • Yukari and Nyamo lying on their faces near each other. Nyamo has, uh, something on her neck, while Yukari has written something in kanji on the floor in ketchup. It's not "Osaka", "Ayumu", "Kasuga", "murder", "blood", "ketchup", "red", or "rum", at least as far as the translations on Answers.com go, so I'm out of guesses. If you know what that kanji is, you're welcome to tell us.
  • Yomi lying on her back, with a plate of rice and... curry, I guess.

Osaka: So y'see...

Tomo: What? See what?!

Osaka: Ah am the murderer!

Yomi repeats the denouement, and Tomo pronounces it lame. Granted, it's not a good story, but it was well told. Now Tomo knows what summer nights are for...

Fireworks! A lot of aerial fireworks. Yukari's hyper over them, Tomo's... just standing there, Yomi's squatting and watching, Nyamo's sitting on a rock, and Sakaki and Chiyo are holding sparklers. (See my description in Yotsuba&! chapter 16.) Nyamo remarks that she's excited about them now, given that she didn't have to pay for them. Chiyo tells Sakaki she's good with sparklers. Osaka's walking side to side. She rummages through a bag of fireworks, and pulls out a spinner-type firework. It has a traditional heart shape, and it says "Light Your Heart". She obeys this instruction, and stealthily sets it behind Chiyo. After a few seconds, Osaka gets impatient and leans over to check the fuse... and it goes off. (Did it set her on fire...?)

They watch fireworks in three groups now: the teachers; Sakaki, Osaka, and Tomo; and Yomi and Chiyo. Yomi remarks that the place is great, and wishes they didn't have to go home. Chiyo agrees, but... thinks that if they are to go home, she at least wants to make it alive. She's suffered Color Failure again. Yomi figures she's talking about riding in the Yukari-mobile again. Chiyo laments her lack of skill in Rock, Paper, Scissors.

It's that cat on the wall again. Sakaki with a popsicle again. Same intent, but this time, the cat jumps high into the air and escapes being petted. Sakaki notes that it's the last day of the break. She licks the popsicle.

Done For

At school, Tomo lets out a hearty "Good morning!" and asks how the others have been. She's brought photos from the trip. Kaorin wants to see, as does Chiyo. Kaorin wishes she could've come. She looks through the pictures, remarking that if her camp hadn't been as the same time, she would've—

Then she sees a picture that impairs some of her brain function: Sakaki in a bikini. She trembles and stutters, asking if Sakaki went with them. Tomo gives an affirmative answer in an "Isn't it apparent?" kind of tone. Kaorin asks why she didn't go. Tomo reminds her that she said camp got in the way. Kaorin sweats profusely, even through the pores in her clothes. She starts hyperventilating, then swiftly looks through a few more pictures. She reacts strongly to one of a sleeping Tomo with an arm over a sleeping Sakaki. Tomo notes that she apparently tosses and turns a lot. Kaorin asks her why, but Tomo doesn't think there's a reason. Kaorin hyperventilates again, then flips through more pictures until she comes to one that stops her: it's Tomo with a dented car. Kaorin asks what it is; Tomo identifies it as the Yukari-mobile. Kaorin apparently heard about it, and that Chiyo had a rough time. Oh dear, now her color has failed again. They notice the look on her face. Kaorin says her name cautiously while waving a hand in front of her face. Tomo says it while wiggling her pigtails.

Chiyo: Would you please stop the car?

This startles them.

Chiyo: Miss Yukari, please stop... please stop... please be more careful... I'm sorry... oh no... we're going to die... grandpa... LOOK OUT, MR. GRANDPA! MR. GRANDPA, LOOK OUT! RUN AWAY, RUN AWAY!

Kaorin doesn't know what to do, but Tomo has decided to wait it out.

Somewhere, a cat on a wall yawns.

Tomo tells Sakaki she's got photos. Sakaki thinks to herself that these are photos from her very first trip with friends. She thanks Tomo. Tomo looks at one of them, and thinks she sees a ghost face behind Sakaki. This shocks Sakaki. Yomi sees it, too. Sirens accompany the turning of heads a lot in this sequence. (And I don't mean the sirens that turned sailors' heads in mythology. These are the sirens of emergency vehicles.) Sakaki turns her head and looks at Yomi. Chiyo thinks Sakaki is lucky to have such a photo. Sakaki looks back at the photo. Ayumu thinks it looks like an old neighbor of hers, Horikoshi-san. All three turn to look at her, then back. Osaka adds, "Well, prob'ly."

Yukari opens the door, comes in, slams her papers on the desk, and quickly writes up the kana for "Second Semester". Yukari announces it, and wants to make sure they study hard. She asked if anyone went somewhere fun. The boy from before? Well, a lot of stuff happened, so they didn't go anywhere. "Oh, my! Isn't that just too bad!" Kaorin did go to astronomy camp, but she's less than thrilled about it. "Oh, my! Isn't that just too bad!" Chiyo knows where Yukari went, so she doesn't ask, so Yukari doesn't claim to have been to Neptune.

Yukari says that the size of your summer break hangover is related to the amount of fun you had. Tomo figures Yukari must be in the worst shape of all. Yukari agrees, and sits down, wondering when winter break starts. (My guess? In or around winter. But I could be wrong on that count.) She puts her head on her desk to sleep.

Next time: Episode 6!

edited 18th Jul '10 8:37:14 PM by Nyperold

 13 Nyperold, Tue, 3rd Aug '10 1:43:36 AM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
New volume time! This is Volume 2.

Episode 6: Sports Fest

Equation For Victory

An airplane flies by. I guess this reminds Kimura-sensei to say that the Sports Fest is coming up. He draws two female figures on the chalkboard, one with her shirt over her bottoms, and one with the shirt tucked in. This confuses our main characters, at least, until he explains that he feels that the tucked version is better. He's encircled the tucked one. However, when a boy asks the same thing about guys' uniforms, Kimura doesn't see the relevance.

After class, Osaka is extra-excited, because she's never experienced a sports fest in Tokyo before. Yomi asks if there's a difference, Osaka says it's real different. Kaorin asks how, and Osaka says the prize for first place is takoyaki... before saying she lied.

Tomo says the spotlight's going to shine on her. Yomi wonders what for. Tomo aims to take first place in every event. Yomi remarks that aiming to win is easy enough. Kaorin thinks Tomo has no hope, as she'd have to beat Sakaki, who's good at every sport, and who Kaorin believes will be totally cool out there. Tomo thinks she can mitigate that with her cuteness. She thinks that if she appeals to people with that, she'll win. (Good job limiting it to her and Sakaki; if she included the other students in this contest, Chiyo would probably win, hands down, and Osaka and Kaorin, as well as some extras, would also put in a better showing.) Kaorin counters that being cool is way better, but Tomo says it's being cute. They go back and forth about it unto Tomo asks Yomi her opinion; she couldn't care less.

The bell for starting class sounds, and Yukari comes in. She has one word (or two kanji) she wants to say, and that word... is "FIRST PLACE!" She wants them to put their fighting spirit into it, so they'll win, specifically against class 5. Osaka doesn't understand why that class, until Kaorin reminds her that that's Kurosawa-sensei's class. Yukari frees them to use "whatever means necessary". Tomo proposes that if they win, they each get a can of jusu. Yukari considers this: 120 yen/can... means that Yukari still profits if she wins, so she agrees, leading Yomi to wonders how much she bet on it.

As Osaka, Sakaki, and Chiyo walk home, Osaka hopes it'll be clear. Chiyo decides she'll put up a teru-teru-bouzu (which supposedly wards off rain, but which was probably invented by a harried parent of children made antsy by not being able to go outside as a means of keeping them occupied. wink ) Osaka figures she'll do something right now: kick off a shoe to predict the weather. (Sakaki wanders off.) She does so. It does not, as you may have seen in animated GIFs, explode, nuclear or otherwise; it merely lands in a truck. No adventure to go get it back, it's just... lost. Sakaki pops in behind them, a gray cat latched onto her fingers. "OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW..."

At school, three fireworks go off. Of course, it's daytime, so it adds three puffs to the sky for a couple of seconds.

Kaorin asks Chihiro what events she's in: she's in the relay and the cavalry battle. Tomo says it's too bad Yomi can't ride; Yomi tells her to shut up. Chiyo notes that it's a clear day. Osaka deduces from this that the shoe landed right side up.

Sakaki of Class 3, Kagura of Class 5

A loudspeaker announces that the sports fest will begin soon, but first, a speech from the Executive Sports Fest Committee Chairman. Kimura walks up onto the platform, goes to the mike, clears his throat, takes a deep breath, and...

"FIRRRRRRRRST PLAAAAAAAAAACE!!!" (feedback)

Then he leaves the platform.

Kaorin and Chihiro set up the First Aid tent. Sakaki stretches, while Chiyo watches her, um, move. Osaka calls Chiyo over. Osaka is seated on the ground, ready to stretch. Chiyo is ready to push her from behind. When she does, however, it's only good for a single degree. They laugh about it, and she tries again, but it's no better that time. Tomo is ready for stretching. She offers to push Yomi from behind; Yomi is dubious about this, but apparently takes her up on it. It apparently hurts this time, though, partly because she didn't spread her legs like in episode 4, and partly because Tomo is using her shoe-clad foot to push.

Yukari declares that her class won't lose to Nyamo's. Nyamo says that she wouldn't be all that sure about it. Yukari points out that she has Sakaki. (Yomi chases Tomo angrily behind them.) Nyamo counterpoints that her own class also has a star athlete. Yukari calls it cheating; Nyamo wants her to explain. (The explanation, like in episode 3, is that the deck is no longer necessarily stacked in her favor.) Yukari goes to ask Kaorin and Chihiro (who are laughing about something) who Nyamo's mystery athlete is. Kaorin identifies her as Kagura, and points her out. (Kagura gets one of those black identification balloons, too.) She also tells of the rumor that she's good at all sports, not just swimming.

Yukari goes over to Kagura to over her a sweet bun. Kagura starts to decline, but Yukari presses her, and she's only saved from it by Nyamo coming over and asking Yukari what she thinks she's doing.

Tomo calls her team to gather around, then asks Chiyo to offer a word of encouragement. They all think that sounds good... except Chiyo, who's too worried about being the one whose efforts everyone else has to make up for to be much encouragement. Yomi tries to calm her by downplaying the importance of the Sports Fest, but Yukari comes up right after and essentially contradicts this. (She still has the sweet bun.) She calls for some spirit, and gets... not as much from Chiyo as she wants, so calls for it again.

The loudspeaker announces the soon-to-start 400m race, and calls for entrants to assemble.

Chiyo is still worried about her performance, but Sakaki puts a hand on her head and tells her not to worry, and to leave it to her. She walks off, Chiyo looking after her in awe. Kaorin is suddenly standing beside her, emitting an adoring "Wo-o-o-o-o-ow!" This scares — well, startles — Chiyo. Kaorin says Sakaki is just so cool.

The divider features Osaka, then Kagura.

Runaway Victory

The loudspeaker announces the 400m race. Kagura's there, rubbing one fist into the palm of her hand. An extra with a light-blue-ribboned ponytail is making the V Sign. Another extra is holding her left arm up over her head and holding the elbow of that arm with her hand, and twisting her torso. Sakaki is doing the same thing, but with the other arm. From the sidelines, Osaka is clapping. Kaorin yells a good luck wish, and Tomo shouts "Go!"

"ON YOUR MARK..."

Yukari gulps. Now we see some of the runners.

"GET SET..."

BANG!

The runners start. The other students starts cheering. One thing I notice is that while the other runners hold their hands in fists, Sakaki holds her hands out. Tomo notices her speed. Chiyo agrees. Kaorin isn't surprised; after all, it's Sakaki-san! The runners round the turn. Nyamo cheers on Kagura, who passes them, and who knows what Yukari is saying. Sakaki, too, passes them, and is almost caught up...she gets ahead. Yukari tells Sakaki to run to the finish line. (You know, because she might start running back to the starting gate at any moment.) Nyamo tells her to catch up even if it kills her. (Kinda drastic; I don't think she would actually want to risk Kagura's well-being for the sake of the win. I know, I know, hyperbole...) Though Kagura strains, Sakaki pulls away, the finish ribbon laying neatly on her "shelf". The other students cheer, and Tomo remarks that it's a runaway victory. Chiyo recalls that she was first in 100m, as well. Kaorin says she's like the best ever.

"Don't be so hasty."

It's Kimura-sensei.

"Huh?"

He's referring to dressing sloppily. They all experience temporary Color Failure. He tells them to tuck in their shirts. They run for it, Tomo telling him to shut up about it.

The loudspeaker announces the three-legged race.

("Camptown Races")

(Are songs by Sutiven Fasuteru a popular choice for such events?)

Cute lineup! Girl with ponytail/girl with pigtail held with a band adorns with yellow balls. Girl with short hair/girl with a little bit longer hair. Osaka and Chiyo. Though with Chiyo, you can only see the top of her head, until they pull out and down. "Let's do it!"

"Ready?" BANG!

The other racers take off, but Osaka and Chiyo fall on their faces. Chiyo suggests that they take their time and count their steps. They get up to 1 before falling again. The other racers run by the portion of the students that includes the other mains, who seem unimpressed. They try again, to the same result. The loudspeaker announces the tug-of-war, instructing participants to gather in front of the central gate. Yomi gives a flat "Shall we?" and the other mains and two supporting characters agree.

The loudspeaker announces the tug-of-war: Year 1 Class 3 vs. Year 1 Class 5.

Tomo decides to take encouragement duties into her own hands this time. The others (unnamed braid girl, Osaka, Chiyo, Sakaki, Yomi, Kaorin, unnamed long-haired girl, Chihiro, and unnamed short-haired girl) cheer, and head for the central gate. Nyamo calls it a "direct competition". (Does that mean they seem evenly matched, or that they're not messing around with competing with other classes at the same time and just trying to beat each other?) Yukari figures they're taking this one, but Nyamo tells her to just watch. As they talk, the class 3 participants pass: Tomo, Sakaki, Yomi, Kaorin, Chihiro, braid girl, unnamed short-haired girl, Chiyo, and Osaka.

The dude with the red flag waves it, and they start pulling, and chanting: "Heave-ho! Heave-ho!" (Or "O-S! O-S!", which I've read is thanks to French.) The first shot has UBHG, Kaorin, Sakaki, and UBG; the next shot has Kagura pulling with one of her classmates. The teachers cheer them on. Next, we see Tomo and Yomi. Then, Osaka. She stops chanting, and wonders what they're chanting for (or what "O-S" is). She asks Tomo if she's ever wondered about it; she hasn't, but wants her to shut up and pull. This is good advice, as they're losing ground as is. We see Chihiro, and Chiyo on the end, sliding steadily forward. Chiyo's at the end of their rope. Finally, the pull from the other side is too strong, and she's dragged on the ground across the line. Class 5's win is announced. Nyamo applauds, then turns around and quietly shows the V Sign to Yukari, annoying her.

The loudpeaker announces the boys' team gymnastics. A whistle is blown, and a pair of boys do handstands, each with a separate boy supporting him. Most of the student spectators applaud. Tomo thinks it looks like fun. Chiyo says they're amazing. Tomo decides to have her do a handstand, saying she'll support her. They get into position. Tomo tweets like a whistle, and Chiyo does the handstand... only for someone (Yomi?) to call Tomo, making her miss supporting Chiyo. Ow.

The current score chart is displayed in bar graph form. Classes 2 and 4 are doing the worst at 52 and 68 points, respectively; Class 1 is faring closer to the others at 109. Class 3, Yukari's class, is at 123, while Class 5, Nyamo's class, is at 136.

Yay (Wa~i)

Yomi's notes that their score isn't that bad. In fact, Chiyo says they're in the running to win. Tomo points out Nyamo's score. Yomi notices it. Chiyo thinks it's because she's a burden. Yomi tries to reassure her that it's not the case, but Chiyo counters that she hasn't had any useful impact on their outcome.

Analysis:
  • Three-legged race
    • They never got a significant amount past the starting line.
      • How much of this is because of Chiyo and how much is because of Osaka is unclear, but some blame has to go to the person who decided to have it be run by the 10-year-old and the first person to lose to her.
  • Tug-of-war
    • After a decent struggle, they lost.
      • I'm definitely not sure how much of this loss is due to her being in there, and Ringelmann isn't helping me figure it out much.

Anyway, Tomo agrees that she hasn't been any use, but asks who cares. Chihiro comes up to tell Chiyo it/s time, but finds her frozen in place with Blank White Eyes and an agape (English, not Greek) mouth. Chihiro asks if something happened; Yomi just says, "Well, this and that..."

The loudspeaker announces the cheering contest.

Class 5's cheerleaders, in light blue tops and dark blue skirts, chant "Let's go, Class 5, let's go!" (Or "Class 5, Class 5, let's go!") The spectators watch their routine with cameras both still and video. Then one notices the other cheerleaders. It's Chihiro, Chiyo, and some other girl. Their chant is "Class 3, all right, stand up and fight!" (For the sub, take out "all right, stand up and".) The woman wonders who she is, finding her so cute. Everybody's looking the same way she is, and when that cheering team jumps, whoa, the flashbulbs go off like a strobe light. Nyamo notices that they're a big hit, but Yukari doesn't care, as it's not a scored event.

The loudspeaker announces the scavenger race. Chihiro yells a good luck wish to Osaka. (Kaorin's absorbed in standing next to Sakaki.)

BANG!

The racers go up to the tables to grab their papers, each with an item. Osaka's item? Glasses! Hey, she knows somebody with glasses! She requests Yomi's pair. (Poor Kagura's stuck looking for a school swimsuit.) Yomi lends them to the cause... and Osaka puts them on and tries to walk back. She has difficulty maintaining her balance with the disparity between sight and spatial sense. Yomi tells her nobody required her to wear them.

The loudspeaker announces the last competition: the class vs. class relay.

Chiyo says a win here will put them in first. The race is ready to start. The first one in the race: Chihiro. Nyamo guesses this is it. Yukari says "Win" repeatedly.

BANG!

Chiyo cheers on Chihiro. She's in last. Nyamo warns them to be careful when they pass the baton. Chihiro passes to Tomo. Tomo yells as she runs for it. Chiyo notices that she's getting into it. Kaorin points out that she isn't getting closer to winning. Osaka finds her falling behind. Tomo passes to Yomi, who really puts some speed into it, actually closing in on the next runner. Yukari, who had been despairing, sees hope. Nyamo tells her runner to get it to Kagura. Yukari calls on Yomi to get hers to Sakaki and warns her not to drop the baton. Yomi passes another runner. Kagura gets her class's baton, another runner gets hers, and Yomi passes her baton. Sakaki has passed the other girl, and, after Yukari tells her to come from behind and Nyamo tells Kagura not to lose it now, catches up to Kagura and passes her. Then Kagura repasses her. Yukari squeezes her own face from the sides, making it taller. Nyamo tells Kagura to leave Sakaki in the dust. Yukari objects to that, but Nyamo asks what's wrong with cheering on her own class. Yukari says, "Nothing! Nothing at all!" Sakaki and Kagura pass each other as they approach the finish line... but ultimately, the finish ribbon ends up back on her shelf.

"She even remembers to give the audience Fanservice."

She classmates rush over to her.

Yukari realizes they won. Nyamo takes it with dignity.

Tomo comes up behind and puts a hand on her shoulder and holds her inside elbow. (Kaorin doesn't seen to mind this... or maybe she doesn't notice.) Chiyo tells Sakaki she's awesome, and that they're the winners in their year. Kimura appears out of nowhere, popping up with a big "HOORAY!" and knocking Chiyo away. Yomi says it has nothing to do with him.

Dancing the Grand Finale

The loudspeaker thanks everyone for their hard work, and announces that the conclusion will be with a folkdance. All participants are to gather on the grounds. Tomo runs to the grounds to participate. Chiyo pulls Osaka. Chihiro pushes a blushing Kaorin. (It's kind of a scribble blush.) Yomi's right with them, and Sakaki brings up the rear.

("Turkey in the Straw")

...What? I'm serious! Go look up this sequence!

Anyway, we first see Chihiro, and Chiyo. (Say, isn't that the guy who said he thought Yukari was cooler so he wouldn't get thwacked?)

Yukari finds it bringing back memories. She asks Nyamo if she isn't going to join in... before noticing that she's not there. She runs off to find her.

Now we see Tomo and Yomi... and Kaorin. We come the point in the dance where the outer circle rotates clockwise and the inner circle rotates counterclockwise. This rotation brings Kaorin up with... SAKAKI! Kaorin is surprised, but Sakaki explains that they put her on the boys' side to make it even.

In Kaorin's mind, she's surrounded by yellow roses as a bell tower rises in the background, ringing its bell as jets fly overhead, making rainbow contrails which aren't like, significant or anything. She hopes they're good partners!

Pink and flowers play across the yellow background of Kaorin's mind's eye as she repeats Sakaki's name.

The yellow background is now blue as she repeats "our hands".

The next background is pink as Kaorin says she's in Heaven (of the Raspberry variety?) over and over.

Now it's orange with bubbles and red flowers, and a ton of her, waving her arms and legs as though swimming, thinking that if they could just stay like that... she could die. Happy, I presume she means.

Then it becomes time to switch. She apologizes. She's so glad she participated... until she sees her next dance partner...

"HEY, BABY! LET'S TANGO!" (Or "Welcome! I'm next!")

Now here's the deal: the next boy in the rotation was not Kimura-sensei. It was just some random male student. What happened to him?

She screams. Instead of a bell tower, there's this big stone bell-like thing that's rung with a wooden log. The bell breaks and crumbles to the ground. (What is that? I'm sure it has some cultural significance, but I've never seen it explained...)

Black birds fly against a black background as Kimura laughs.

The background switches to blues and grays as Kaorin says with loathing that he's touching her hands.

It changes to greens as Kaorin wishes she were dead.

It switches to some kind of weird white, gray, and black background, and Kimura asks if Kaorin's having fun yet. She says only her friends can call her that. (Remember, the "n" ending on given names is not actually part of the name. It's supposed to be an ending friends can use, like when Konata calls Kagami "Kagamin". That's really a closer relationship than Kaorin wants with Kimura. I suppose he should really call her by her surname followed by "-san", but we never learn her surname. "Kaori-san" might be acceptable; I couldn't say.)

The mood on Class 5's team is down. Nyamo tells them that even though they didn't win, they all did well, and encourages them to work at it next year. They give a "Yes, ma'am..." Kagura, sensitive soul that she is, is actually crying over it. Nyamo gently tells her there's nothing to cry about.

Yukari calls Nyamo over to collect. Kagura wonders what Nyamo promised, but she says it's nothing in a way that let's you know it's something. She goes over to Yukari and tells her that's why she didn't want to do it. Yukari urges her to hurry up. Nyamo gets out 10, 000 yen and gives it to Yukari... only to take it back as payment for an outstanding debt. Yukari is stunned, staring at the empty space between her fingers.

Nyamo goes back to her team, saying it's time to go home. Kagura asks what the money's for. Nyamo gives a "nothing" answer, but then gets the idea to treat her team to "jusu" with it. This lifts their mood considerably. They head off.

Meanwhile, Class 3 approaches Yukari. (Notably, Tomo calls her "Yukari-chan" in the sub and probably the original.) Tomo reminds her of her promise. She repeats it, and they all nod. She points, and when they turn around, she runs off. They realize she's not going to make good on her promise. Yomi points out her speed. Osaka thinks she should've been in the sports fest. (Will she still think that after the third year?)

Next time: Episode 7!

edited 3rd Aug '10 1:49:28 AM by Nyperold

NOT holding a Shoe Phone
(Or "O-S! O-S!", which I've read is thanks to French.)
The actual French phrase is "Oh ! Hisse !", where the second word is the imperative form of a verb that basically means "to pull on a rope".
Liveblogging of EP 8 of Umineko no Naku Koro ni to start... sometime.
 15 Nyperold, Wed, 27th Oct '10 10:31:51 AM from a certain point of view
(points) "Crab Nebula."
Episode 7: Culture Fest

Fairyland Class

From the lectern, Chiyo announces that she'd like to decide what to do for the culture fest, and asks for ideas. One boy suggests a haunted house. Assistant rep Tomo writes it down. Chihiro suggests a café. While Chiyo asks for more ideas, Tomo isn't writing; she jitters instead. It turns out she doesn't know (or remember) how to write the kanji for it. (I suppose she could've written the hiragana for it, but with so many homophones...) She makes some kind of vertical stroke. Chiyo, seeing her difficulty, quickly writes a kanji for her to copy. Now that Tomo's written the rest, and nobody's said anything else, Chiyo decides to take a vote. Yukari, however, thinks they should go with something out of the ordinary, like... well, she can't come up with anything, either, so she says a café is a great idea.

A comment box has been mounted on the wall, which Osaka notices. Yomi states its purpose. Osaka thinks it would be a good idea for just their class to have a sports fest. Yomi asks if she heard what she just said. Tomo thinks the comment box looks hungry. Yomi suggests she stop admiring it and put something in, so she does. It sounds suspiciously like a not-piece-of-paper-with-an-idea-on-it, so Yomi asks what it was: it was a 5-yen coin. Yomi clarifies that it's for project ideas. Tomo starts to tell us the legend of that comment box, but Yomi says it doesn't have one.

Culture fest ideas, take 2. Chiyo shakes the comment box, and a 5-yen coin falls out, conveniently landing in front of Tomo, who reclaims it. Chiyo wonders if nothing else is in there. She looks, and sees a piece of paper, which she pulls out and reads. The idea is for everyone to bring their stuffed animals and put them on display. (Stuffed animals are shown floating against a light green background. Among them: a biting cat, an Iriomote cat (!), a penguin, and the yellow cat-thing that we'll properly meet next episode.) The suggester feels that the stuffed animals would be happy to make new friends. The response to the idea seems positive. Kaorin is curious as to the identity of the one who suggested it. Chiyo says that the person wanted to remain anonymous; the camera seems to imply that it was Sakaki.

Osaka has the additional idea of making fanciful uniforms and wearing them. The word meruhen, which Google leads me to believe means "fantasy-like", is shown against a pink background with flowers and cherubs. (That is, the naked babies with wings and halos. If I were talking Biblical things, I would've written it proper-like.) The classroom door slides open, revealing Kimura-sensei, who just happens to have a suggestion for that. He starts to turn the paper around and show us, but Tomo blocks our view. "NO THANK YOU!" Chiyo thinks they should have a class mascot; Yomi suggests one big enough to wear. Tomo thinks this is a good idea, and says they should make it at Chiyo's. Sakaki starts drawing some sort of quadraped. All this time, Kimura is describing his idea, until Yukari, offscreen, gets him outside and closes the door over his protests. Sakaki erases her drawing.

Man of Character

At Chiyo's, Osaka is being traced around by Kaorin as Yomi, Chiyo, and a large white dog look on. Kaorin finishes, but Osaka is unsure if her size will fit everyone. Yomi thinks it'll be fine.

Let's look at our height charts, at least as of second year.

133cm: Chiyo 154cm: Tomo 156cm: Osaka 158cm: Yukari 163cm: Yomi 174cm: Sakaki

So from that, it looks like Yukari might have been a better choice, if they're not making it to fit Chiyo or Sakaki.

Chiyo heads to the store to get some jusu, as they're out. Kaorin apologizes for the trouble, and Yomi thanks her. Chiyo tells Tadakichi-san (Mr. Tadakichi, in the dub), the dog, that it's time to go. He barks.

Sakaki walks, carrying a bag. She stops when she sees a dog sitting in the middle of the street. He gives a bark. Chiyo emerges from behind him, having been completely hidden, and says "Sakaki-san!" She notes that they've been waiting a while for her. Sakaki apologizes, and points out that she brought some jusu, and hands it over. Chiyo is thankful, as she was going to get some. After a beat, Chiyo divines her unvoiced question, and introduces her family's pet dog, Tadakichi-san. Sakaki asks if it's okay to pet him. Chiyo says it is, and performs a chapter Title Drop, adding that he never gets angry. Sakaki still has reservations. (After all, there's this cat... and if a cat bites like that, a bite from a Great Pyrenees...) Chiyo insists that he's perfectly safe. Sakaki takes a while to reach out, and even then, she hesitates when she actually reaches his head. Chiyo reiterates that it's all right. She starts rubbing his head. Not only does he not bite, but he doesn't react at all. It's as though she's petting Hachiko. As she pets him, crows start to caw and crickets chirp, as the sky goes from blue to orange. At this point, Chiyo suggests they head back. Sakaki blushes. She realizes that Chiyo could almost ride him. Chiyo demonstrates that she can. Sakaki is startled. Tadakichi turns, and Chiyo urges Sakaki to come on. Tadakichi starts walking, and Sakaki follows a while before stopping to marvel at the sight. She thinks Chiyo is lucky to have him.

The chapter dividers feature Osaka and Kagura.

Go With Enthusiasm! (Nori nori <go>-!)

The culture fest archway is set up, with Yukari-sensei and Kurosawa-sensei standing in it. Minamo remarks that culture fest season is here again. It's been a while since theirs, but it brings back memories for her. Yukari thinks a while, then laughs. Minamo takes this to mean that she doesn't remember... at all.

1-3 is the Fairyland Class, which is some sort of pun in Japanese. A braided girl adjusts the original stuffed animal exhibit. Chiyo tells Sakaki they've had a good turnout. Sakaki adjusts a slouching teddy bear.

Chihiro has ears for everyone to put on. Kaorin has a pair, as well as a pin that says "Kaorin" (Wait, "Kaorin"? Shouldn't it be "Kaori" to the general public? I guess they'll know not to use the "n" if they're not supposed to) and has a cat head on it, and a "cat keeper" armband. Sakaki wears a pin with "Sakaki" and a larger cat head, and an armband that definitely says "cat", and may also have the kanji for "keeper", but if so, it's on the other side of her arm. Kaorin, sporting Blank White Eyes and a Luminescent Blush, tells Sakaki she looks wonderful. Chiyo thinks it suits her.

Osaka comes up in the cat suit. (As the template, it's only fair.) It's off-white with Blank White Eyes and a red bow. She asks how she looks. Chihiro thinks it's really cute, while Chiyo says it's incredible. Tomo is unsure. She clarifies that she doesn't think Osaka is wearing it well, and offers to switch. Osaka starts by taking off the head and handing it to Tomo.

Once she's fully costumed, Tomo gives an "Up... up... up... and away!" She spins a bit, making Chiyo giggle, before dashing off. She runs full tilt down the school hallways, inadvertently scaring people, including Nyamo, as she goes. She spots Yomi at the shoe cubbies, and jumps up and down, waving her arms, freaking Yomi out.

Back at the classroom, Tomo is exhausted. Chiyo asks where she went. Tomo, it seems was advertising by "sprinkling cuteness all over school."

Yomi: Topped off with a nice heavy dash of scary.

Nyamo is walking around, looking at the outdoor booths. The swim team's booth has a girl trying to attract people to the booth by mentioning their diversity of drinks, and telling people they're thirsty. Kurosawa approaches her, compliments her on her work, and asks how thinks are going. The girl points out Kimura, who apparently has a complaint. As it turns out, he finds it rather odd that the girls working the swim teams booth aren't wearing swimsuits. He decides to drop the complaint, however, and order... a glass of pool water. As in, the water from the pool that they swim in. Kagura, his waitress, says they don't have any of that!

The Mascot

Sakaki and Osaka are (wo)manning the original stuffed animal table. Osaka, of course, is calling out the general "Welcome to Fairyland! Come over and take a look!" A woman comes over and calls the toys adorable. Then she notices a pair of nondescript white mammalesque stuffed blobs, which floating text tells us were made by Sakaki. She asks what they are. Sakaki says one is a dog, and the other is a cat. ...Or is it the other way around? (Nui... kone? ...Sewing Connection?) The woman picks up a pinkish one, and wonders what it is. Osaka identifies it as Tsutenkaku Tower  *. She puts it down and points out another, which Osaka calls "Hanshin." This seems to break the woman's brain.

Kaorin, in the mascot suit, is welcoming people. Chiyo comes up and says "Omatase shimashita" (well, probably) and that it's the next person's turn. In the classroom, she takes off the head, giving off sparkles as her hair comes down. She remarks that it's hot in there. Yomi tells her "good job" and gives her a bottle of water, which she gratefully accepts. It's Yomi's turn, but Chiyo wants to try it. Yomi allows it, and Chiyo puts it on. It's way too big for her, though, and hangs off her disturbingly... not too mention it's a touch heavy, and badly balanced. Kaorin says it's kind of scary. Yomi says her name, and Chiyo turns at hearing her name. They somehow see the costume as a large cat monster, and run away from it in circles, screaming as it follows them.

At the original stuffed animal booth, two girls are looking them over. One says "they're" cute and weird at the same time. The other agrees about the weird. Apparently, they're talking about the vaguely canine/feline blobs. The first girl picks one up, wanting to buy it. Sakaki asks if she won't take the cat... err... dog? with her, as well. She doesn't, and Sakaki silently wishes "you" happiness. (The purchaser, or the stuffed whatever?)

Back to a de-Chiyo-ed and oddly silent mascot suit. Clearly, it's occupied. Chiyo gets Sakaki to take a picture of her with it. Awww! She has her arms around it, and it has an arm around her. Sakaki decides to have her picture taken with it, as well. It has an arm around her shoulders and a paw at her hip. Chiyo wonders who's inside. The head is removed. It's Old Man McCready Kimura! After processing the shock, Sakaki denies the fact and runs away, leaving sparkles behind.

Osaka is still welcoming people.

Enemy?

At a café, Nyamo and Yukari are having something to drink: an orange juice on one hand, and what may be a root beer float or possibly a cola float on the other. Yukari sounds like she's remembered. It was a café, as Nyamo remembers. Yukari can hardly remember what her students did last year, let alone what they did when they were students. Nyamo tells her not to brag about it. Yukari enthusiatically extolls not being a slave to your past, and living in the here and now. Nyamo warns her not to get drunk on orange juice; Yukari claims being drunk on youth.

Back at the OSA booth, three stuffed animals remain, and one is Sakaki's. (It seems even Tsutenkaku and Hanshin were bought by then!) Sakaki looks at it. Then a pair of small hands pick it up. Awwwww! It's a little girl, about 4-6 years old, looking at it. Then she notices Sakaki looking at her, and looks back. Sakaki tells her she made it herself, and offers to let her take it. She declines, gives it back, and leaves. (And for this act, someone on MAL made a hate group focused on her. *eyeroll*)

Afterward, Chiyo announces a toast-with-jusu to celebrate. Yukari comes in and congratulates them on their hard work. Now she wants to take the remaining stuffed animals and burn them. (Hey, wait, do I see both of Sakaki's contributions there? Did the girl who bought one return it?) Most of the students are not pleased, but Chiyo and Sakaki look horrified. Yukari thought they were going to burn them as a memorial, but Yomi asks what it would be a memorial for.

Tomo in the mascot suit, Chiyo, and Osaka in the ears are in the sparse classroom. Tomo remarks that there seemed to be quite a few visitors. Chiyo adds that they got a lot of surveys back, and sold a bunch of stuffed animals. As Tomo munches a sandwich, Osaka concludes that it was a huge hit. Then Yomi comes in and sighs. Tomo asks about it. Chiyo asks if she's really tired. Yomi says it's just that it's the end of the day, and she felt a twinge of sadness. Osaka understands, wishing that tomorrow was also part of the culture fest. Yomi admits it's probably not possible. Tomo comes up with the idea of a victory parade. Osaka gives a "Yeah!" Yomi wonders what the victory is.

Outside, Chiyo, Osaka, and Yomi follow Tomo with the full mascot suit on in a small parade. The background music, played on guitar and harmonica, feels... wistful, as though something is ending that you don't quite want to yet.

That night, at the Mihama residence, Tadakichi-san is barking... because Chiyo has come home in the mascot outfit. Tadakichi-san is apparently going by sight rather than scent... unless... ! Does he, perhaps, smell Kimura? Chiyo says "Tadakichi-san..." and the episode ends.

Next time: Episode 8!

edited 27th Oct '10 11:07:17 AM by Nyperold

The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.
Total posts: 15
1


TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy