Note: This review was written for #Anitwitwatches, a weekly community event primarily held on Twitter and led by Jon Spencer at Jon Spencer Reviews, in which participants watch and discuss the featured anime. Per the event’s schedule, Episodes 5 & 6 were watched together.
In this episode, Kanata gets her paycheck and she decides to splurge it during a market square being held in town. In actuality however, the gang actually gives her check early to get her out of the way while they illegally sell some calvados that Rio’s mother produced (seriously, who is Rio?). I’m not entirely sure why Kanata isn’t included in this operation. Maybe the gang’s worried she’s too much of a good two shoe to be a part of this though I can’t imagine Kanata reporting her friends to HQ over this.
While loading up the goods, the girls learn from Naomi that some gangsters have caught wind of the deal and want in on it. To scare them off, the girls collaborate with their buyers to mock a shoot out. The girls get really committed to the bit too, dressing up and acting as members of the mafia. Most outrageous is Kureha and Noel wielding giant assault rifles to “shoot” with. I imagine the get up is to keep their military affiliation a secret but I still can’t believe the lengths they went here. This scene is so ridiculous that I half expected it to reveal that it actually a dream Kanata is having in her sleep.
As for Kanata, her shopping spree goes awry when she bumps into Mishio (Mayuko Takahashi), one of the orphans Yumina looks after and the girl she played with during the Flame Maidens festival in Episode 1. Turns out, Mishio has run off from the church to search the market square for a box with hair accessories that belonged to her. After finding out about the situation from Yumina, Kanata searches for Mishio, eventually finding her sulking on top of Naomi’s apartment.
The two plots of the episode do intersect a couple of times. It would be a missed opportunity if they didn’t. The ways in which they intersect is also pretty funny. Naomi finds out the gangsters when they bump into Kanata as she eyes one of the glass dolphins in Naomi’s shop. It’s also Kanata who gives Naomi the idea of scaring off the gangsters through intimidation. Later, both the fake shoot out and Kanata’s search for Mishio occur in parallel. Mishio overhears the shoot out, which throws her off and almost causes her to fall off the rooftop. Kanata saves her in time though in the process, she and Mishio cause some rocks to fall down and coincidentally smash into the gangsters’ car. Funnily enough, this convinces the gangsters even more that they should skedaddle out of Seize.
This is a nitpick but I do find the resolution to Mishio’s plot too convenient for my liking. It’s one thing for her mother’s box to actually be in the market square but the fact that the gangsters end up buying it and Naomi claims it after they flee, thereby allowing Kanata and Mishio to receive it, is too much of a coincidence. I also find it hard to believe that this box is so unique that it had to be the one Mishio is looking for as well as the fact that it still contains the accessories.
However, I really like the resolution for its character development. Yumina fears she’s done a poor job taking care of Mishio but as it turns out, Mishio has long accepted her as family. Mishio was told by her mother to have her hair braided by whoever would care for her the most. She’s wanted to Yumina to do it but she also wanted it done with the same accessories her family gave her. She sought her box not just because it’s a memento but to also show her appreciation to her current caretaker, bringing both her past and present together.
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