Minami-ke Tadaima Episode 02 Review
Makato comes by the Minami residence while Chiaki and Haruka are out, allowing him to change into Mako-chan. He tells Kana that he wants to end this charade and wants Kana's help since she put him up to this. Kana thinks he'll be fine despite his protests, but which the two sisters return, Mako-chan happily shows Haruka the cookbook "she" bought so the two can make dinner together.
At the other Minami residence, Touma causes a panic when she pulls an April Fool's prank on her older brothers. They debate what punishment she should get, so she flees to the female Minami residence. Kana wants to pull a prank too, but her thoughts are interrupted by a visit from Fujioka. Fujioka discusses soccer practice with Touma, thinking they should do more, and chides Touma for acting like a girl. Kana scolds Fujioka for being so hard on Touma since Touma is a girl. Touma freaks out, but Kana assures her that this is the perfect April Fool's joke. Fujioka takes it in stride and calls Touma cute, causing her to flee back home while Fujiko tells Kana that he knows she was pulling an April Fool's joke on him. Touma hides in her futon as her brothers worry over how hard Kana punished Touma since they'd requested she do so.
At school, Makoto tries to be more manly as Chiaki tells Uchida and Yoshino how Haruka and Mako-chan made delicious pork stroganoff. Since Chiaki sees Mako-chan as one of her best friends, the two girls ask Chiaki her feelings for Makoto. Chiaki doesn't hate him, but doesn't like that he's not manly enough. Makoto is disappointed to learn this, but when Chiaki leaves, Uchida and Yoshino say he was very manly at the Minami residence when he took care of a wasp. Uchida and Makoto then panic since it might reveal that Makoto and Mako-chan are the same, but Yoshino plays it cool. However, Makoto suspects that Yoshino may actually know the truth.
Makoto returns to the Minami residence as Mako-chan, again vowing to Kana that he's going to stop being Mako-chan. Kana tells him this if the 56th time he's claimed this. Makoto takes the hairpins from his hair, and when Haruka returns, he starts to tell her. However, since Haruka noticed the missing hairpins, she gives him a spade one as thanks for being Chiaki's friend as well as thinking that the hairpins make Mako-chan look cute. Chiaki comes home and seeing the hairpin, tells Mako-chan that the spade symbol was derived from a sword and that it suits Mako-chan. So, Makoto decides he is a knight for Haruka, thus he will remain as Mako-chan to her and Chiaki.
At the male Minami residence over breakfast, Haruo decides that Touma isn't very ladylike. Touma seeks advice from Yoshino, who claims she's not an expert. As such, she suggests they consult Makoto for a male perspective on the subject. Joined by Uchida, the three ask Makoto, who's offended until Yoshino says it is for a male perspective. However, Makoto claims to not have an answer and sends them to Chiaki. There, to Chiaki's irritation, figure out that Chiaki is most feminine at home with her teddy bear. So, Touma decides to make one at home, but when Natsuki finds it, he discovers a cushion was destroyed to make it.
Touma shows off her blue bear to Kana, which is designed like Chiaki's. Touma notices something different about Kana as Kana decides to pull a prank on Chiaki by switching the bears. Chiaki comes home and noticing the blue teddy bear, she immediately assumes that Kana did something to her bear. Kana tells Chiaki that change happens all the time. After a brief fight, Touma tries to guess what is different about Kana. She guesses wrong, making Kana more irritated. Touma tries to get Chiaki to help, but Chiaki won't, citing change. Kana finally tells Touma that her twin tails are tied lower as Chiaki discovers her real teddy bear. When Haruka comes home, the three sisters learn that Touma is a good sewer, so they ask for different outfits to be made for them in exchange for dinner, which Touma agrees to.
Heh! Two pretty good episodes out of the box for Minami-ke Tadaima and we haven't even used Hosaka yet, save for a flash in the intro scene. Regardless, for this outing, we get a helping of everyone's favorite trap and reverse trap characters. ^_^
On the trap side, I liked that Kana is keeping track of how many times Makoto has vowed to stop being the trap Mako-chan. I can't recall her doing this before, but it is a nice way of the writer's saying, "Yeah, we've done this joke a ton of times" (and that includes the manga-ka).
On the reverse trap side, I'd forgotten about how awesome a character Yoshino is. In my mind, there's no doubt that she knows Makoto is Mako-chan, but for her own purposes, she's just going with the flow. There was a certain, deliciously wicked air about her when she suggested Touma consult with Makoto on being feminine, all hidden under a polite, friendly smile.
Despite being very smart, it is funny to me how easily Chiaki is fooled by things, such as Makoto being Mako-chan. She's so disdainful of other's stupidity, yet she's easily fooled into thinking that Touma's bear is actually her Fujioka bear. Kana, the dumb one of the family, was completely right in knowing that Chiaki would be fooled by it.
And speaking of disdain, I laughed out loud when Chiaki used her trademark "bakayarou" insult at the viewing audience. Good times. ^_^
Basically, this episode was a whole lot of smiles with a few laughs thrown in. While we still may not be up to the bar set by the first Minami-ke series, this current outing has two solid win episodes. Here's hoping for more and better stuff to come. ^_^