Well, I’m only about a week late getting to this episode. It was kind of an interesting approach: a Valentine’s Day episode that doesn’t actually start out focused on the day. In fact, we are first faced with Kobeni’s (understandable) interest in Hakuya and Mashiro’s “other” forms. The fact that it’s almost Valentine’s Day doesn’t even come up until about eight minutes into the episode. This actually works out quite well: they aired the episode the week of Valentine’s Day, which at least makes it timely, but if they would have simply jumped into the subject without at least commenting on the previous episode’s revelations then it would have been a bit disjointed. As it is, they managed to tie in a Valentine’s episode without completely destroying the continuity. Bravo.
Admittedly, though, the episode does play out a lot like a stereotypical Valentine’s episode. Girl likes guy, girl makes chocolate for guy, girl has a hard time giving chocolate to guy, guy thinks girl hates him as a result. You know that old formula. For some reason, though, it doesn’t feel stale. In all honesty, the stereotypical approach didn’t hit me until I was writing this review. Maybe it’s because Hakuya is so dense that it takes overhearing another conversation for him to even draw his (wrong) conclusion. Maybe it’s because all of the typical stuff is broken up by Mashiro and Benio’s antics. Or, maybe, it’s because Kobeni isn’t treated like a brainless, love struck heroine, but rather as someone who is a bit confused. We actually get a very touching scene between her and Benio where Kobeni seeks advice about what to do in regards to marrying Hakuya. It doesn’t last long, of course, because… well, Benio.
As you’ve probably guessed, yes, Benio is still herself in this episode. I don’t recall her doing anything overly creepy, but her comments are still there, as is her little sister complex. She does refer to Kobeni (and later Mashiro) as “mai waifu”, but at this point are we even shocked by Benio’s creepiness? It’s kind of expected at this point, and it does get a bit old. Perhaps we’ll see some development in her character, though. That would actually be quite the surprising plot development.
Also note worthy is the fact that this episode had a much stronger focus on Kobeni. While I have nothing against Mashiro, Kobeni is supposed to be the main character by my estimation, so it’s nice to actually see her more in the spotlight.
A Christian Perspective:
Content wise, this week was clean. As always, Benio remains the divisive factor. Of course, if you’re creeped out by her then you’ve probably stopped watching this show long ago. I don’t particularly care for some of her antics, although at times she can be amusing. I think a good break down is that when she’s just doing absurd things/being an overly-attached sister, it can be amusing. When her affections/actions are bordering on yuri/lolicon motivations, then it’s over the line and disturbing. Or maybe that’s just me. I could easily take this series sans-Benio and be completely fine. I think she detracts from the show more than she adds to it, anyway.
Alcohol/Drug Use: None