Mikakunin de Shinkoukei continues to surprise me, again and again.
In the penultimate episode of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, we see Benio finally snap…oh who am I kidding – Benio’s always been absolutely insane. Borderline yandere, even. Watching her become angry over the fact that Kobeni hasn’t receive enough exposure, yet struggle with the idea of her Kobeni being sought after by strange men, was comical. Benio is comical. She’s also, at times, a bit much. Plot wise, she’s dead weight, but, in the grand scheme of things, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei would not be the same without her. She exists solely for the shows comedic enterprise. Nadeshiko keeps her in check and that’s great, Benio sometimes needing a pull in the right direction to keep to plot from…well…remaining stagnant. Because, if Benio had her way, Kobeni and Mashiro would be locked up, Hakuya exiled into oblivion where he can corrupt Kobeni no longer…yeah, she’s insane.
Also, Mashiro, whilst attempting to take the ‘short cut’ home, was seen on the roof of a house, jumping around like the unidentified “thing” she is. Naturally, it’s Niko who sees her, igniting her desire to write the story of a life time – which she fails to do in this episode, she having restrictions placed upon her after her last story brought about Benio’s fury, and therefore the fury of all her admirers. Honestly, I don’t think this side-plot will go anywhere, seeing as there’s only one more episode to go after this one, so I can only assume we’ll receive some modicum of a resolution before the final curtain call, and that’ll be something at least.
DATE?! Yes, finally Kobeni and Hakuya have the chance to go on a date and…they end up going on an outing with the kids?! Well, at least they’ve had some necessary practice… The date itself shows just how close our cast (barring Benio) have become, the heartwarming scenes of the kind Kobeni and the understanding Hakuya being led around by the blithe Mashiro made me think, “Yes, this is how you do a slice-of-life montage in anime.” Sure, I would’ve loved to have seen Kobeni and Hakuya on an actual date, but we’ve got episode 12 for that and it’ll make it all the sweeter if they actually, finally, progress past the lovey-dovey phase.
And then we got ‘Hakuya’s bangs’. I, ignorant fool that I am, took note of Koebeni’s passing remark, taking it to be just that – Kobeni desperately searching for something to talk about with her stoic companion. So she asks him about his bangs, telling him that they look nice. Sweet, right? Wrong. Hakuya has a scar, a scar that was almost certainly placed there during Hakuya’s rescue of Kobeni all those years ago. And now Kobeni feels bad. And now Hakuya and Mashiro are gone…plot twist! Once again, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei has spiced things up, preparing the viewer for, what can only be, a great finale. We’re going to see Kobeni (hopefully) rexamine how she feels about Hakuya, especially seeing as he’s no longer ‘in the way’ to disturb her feelings with those moe moments (so kawaii…)…
Episode 11 of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei was one of the best yet, perfectly setting up our final episode whilst delivering yet another comically tasteful and filling episode in and of itself. As we finally approach our stop in a series that has so far surprised me to no end, I’d like us to take a moment and appreciate Hakuya and Kobeni for what they are because we’re certainly not going to see a romance as enjoyable as theirs in slice-of-life anime (or even in some romantic-comedies) for a long time now…savor it…savor it, I say!