Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better…

In episode 8 of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, we see Kobeni finally deliver the metaphorical slap to Benio’s imouto fetished face, Kobeni hiding Suetsugi’s secret in the name of peace and also because she’s unfamiliar with the situation she’s been placed in. Benio became the focal point of episode 8’s comedic moments, her fall into depravity leaving her broken and completely disillusioned (as if she wasn’t already) by the end of the episode, and it’s here that we see Mikakunin de Shinkoukei keepin’ it fresh. Sure, Benio’s fixation on Mashiro is funny to watch, but there comes a time when many a viewer will being to as – “are they overusing it?” Luckily for that viewer, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei delivers Benio her just desserts for terrorizing our favorite loli and mother-material (those child bearing hips!) combo, and they do it perfectly, the execution of Kobeni’s lines in this episode being spot on and the animation matching it to boot – “Nothing to do you with you!” Kobeni chirped, hands held behind her back, smile splayed across her face. I welcome the rebellious stage!

Another part of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei that is done excellently (and is so often overlooked in other anime) is the ‘friends’ aspect of the show – the background/side characters. Mayura and Nadeshiko don’t receive a lot of screen-time, as you would expect, but the screen-time they do receive conveys their individual personalities perfectly and both of them compliment their respective Yonomori sister. Take Mayura, for example – her direct nature compliments Kobeni’s reserved nature in that, firstly, it evokes many a comedic moment (namely, the breast observation in the clothes store), and, secondly, it helps to move the show along. Without Mayura, we’d probably still be stuck with Kobeni oscillating between the thought of whether or not to talk to Hakuya or not – Mayura solved that issue four episodes ago by talking to Hakuya directly for KobeniAnd in Benio’s case we have everyone’s favourite dan-dere Nadeshiko. Whilst receiving less time in the spotlight than Mayura, she stills manages to make herself shine, the main reason being because she can handle Benio’s crazed antics in a humorously dead pan manner that makes me think, “Thank you!” and “Thank God you prevented that from going way over-the-top.” The side characters are great. What more can I say?

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei Episode 8 Image 0015

Hakuya is also great. Once again in this episode, Hakuya intervenes when Niko is scouting out Kobeni’s big butt in the clothing store, attempting, somewhat unsuccessfully, to remove Niko’s annoying ass from their presence whilst almost complimenting Kobeni’s butt and breasts in the process…nice jobHe, Hakuya, is also a great brother, following Mashiro from a distance when he suspects she made need his assistance (or at least a restraint if she were to go…beserk (I’d like to see that). Little did he know that she’d start crying and require chocolate – providing me with a heartwarming scene and a cute image of Mashiro nomming away on a chocolate bar…she’s so cute. It’s interesting to note that he made himself apparent when Mashiro started crying, despite his earlier statement in which he claimed he would not intervene. Too many times in anime (and in other mediums of media) have I seen those siblings and parents who do nothing when a family member is scared or crying…it’s just good to know that we can always rely on Hakuya to do the right thing, you know?

Speaking of Hakuya again…did…did Suetsugi just propose marriage? All these plot twistsI just can’t keep up… It’s interesting to think that Suetsugi, obsessed with Benio as she is, would push that aside in order to marry another one of her kind? It fits in well with the underlying theme of the series – imposed love and the love that grows. Kobeni and Hakuya don’t exactly love each other, you know? They’re simply engaged in lieu of Kobeni’s (almost) death. That said, it’s clear to the viewer that there’s something between them and it’s clear by the look on Kobeni’s face at the end of the episode that she’s just as shocked about it as the rest of us. I mean, who would’ve thought it? I certainly didn’t see it coming… It’s going to be very interesting to see whether or not Kobeni’s going to fight for her man, even though I feel as though Hakuya will not accept Suetsugi regardless – he has too much ‘history’ with Kobeni to simply throw it all away in the name of sticking to his species…actually, in order to prevent infertility amongst the cross-bred children, it might be for the best! Who knew that GCSE Biology would come into handy in anime, eh?

On a final note, maybe it was just me, but…I felt as thought the latter half of the episode dragged somewhat. In retrospect, this may simply be because I was eager to know what was going to happen next (as I am now, waiting for the ninth episode!), but I’m curious to find out if any other viewers feel as thought, sometimes, there are pacing issues, especially when Mikakunin de Shinkoukei attempts to entwine plot and comedy – the “Nothing to do with you!” scene being a perfect example of this. But I digress – the animation more than makes up for any short comings that may or may not exist, so what’s there to complain about?

On to episode 9!

– Chris.