I still maintain that Mashiro feels more like the main character in this show than Kobeni. While I didn’t keep track, I’m fairly certain she had more focus placed on her than Kobeni. Even commentary on Kobeni’s character is given by Mashiro. Not that I have anything against her character: she’s fairly adorable and amusing, but in a show that’s supposed to be about Kobeni suddenly ending up with a fiance and sister-in-law, it seems kind of strange that the sister-in-law would get more of the attention. Well, putting that aside, let’s discuss the episode.
While Mashiro certainly gets a lot of screen time, there are still some other significant occurrences within this episode. For example, we see more interaction between Kobeni and Hakuya than we’ve probably seen thus far. Okay, so it’s only the third episode, but still. From Hakuya’s compliment towards Kobeni’s cooking, to the two grocery shopping together, and even to Hakuya eating something that he would typically hate, there is at least some character building going on. We get a strong sense of Hakuya’s chivalry, as he refuses to let Kobeni shop alone or carry heavy items, and he even throws himself into the throng of crazed shoppers to spare Kobeni the trouble. He may be silent, but he certainly doesn’t seem to be a bad guy.
Much of Mashiro’s time is, of course, spent being a target for Benio’s less-than-natural affections. While Benio is still plain creepy, in retrospect it is humorous to watch the interactions between the two, and especially to see how Mashiro actually managed to tune Benio out. I don’t want to spoil the humor of it, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it. What’s funny is that, despite the amount of time spent on Mashiro, I don’t really have much to say for her involvement. She’s just amusing to watch.
Then of course there’s Benio who continues to climb the creepy scale. For instance, we see Kobeni wake up at one point, with Benio lying next to her in bed. Then there is the scene where Benio is helping Kobeni hang laundry, which leads her to come across a pair of Mashiro’s underwear. She gets eerily excited and is later shown looking through an underwear catalogue for underwear for Mashiro. Yeah. If there’s anything that might make you reconsider this series, it’s Benio. While some of her antics are amusing, others are just plain creepy (just re-read this paragraph if you need clarification). That’s not to say that she’s completely useless: thanks to her, we now know what happened in the past between Hakuya and Kobeni. This is pretty much how the episode ends, which actually leaves it on a bit of a dark note. Given the generally light-hearted nature of the show, it’s a bit surprising that they would choose such a path, and it makes me interested to see how the next episode will start.
It should also be noted that Kobeni’s nonchalant attitude towards Benio is simply amusing. It’s like it doesn’t even phase her anymore, which seems to frustrate Benio all the more.
In the end, ‘Engaged to the Unidentified’ continues to be an amusing show, and a fairly clean one to boot. Yes, I have some stuff in the N/S/F category below, but I probably could have left most–if not all–of it out. The inclusions are kind of scraping the barrel of, “Well, someone might want to know that” territory. Honestly, viewers are more likely to be offended by Benio than anything I’ve included below… except the stuff that involves Benio.
A Christian Perspective:
Benio remains the one constant here. Her affections for Kobeni and Mashiro are simply unnatural. If she was simply the over-bearing nurturing type, that would be one thing, but her love for them borders on the perverse. One could even argue that her love for Mashiro, at least, blows past that border. I mean, who gets excited over a pair of little girls’ underwear and then goes looking in an underwear catalogue to buy more underwear for said little girl? In America, we have lists for people like that, and you generally keep your children away from their homes.
Okay, okay, so Benio hasn’t actually done anything perverse, but her conduct is just creepy. Maybe I’m just focusing too much on it for the sake of commentary, instead of just sitting back and laughing at the absurdity of it all, but I’m not really sure what they’re going for. Is she simply a fan of cute things, much like Takanashi from Working!! had an attraction to small things, which had him mistaken for a pedophile at times? Or is there something more sinister in Benio’s mind? Maybe she’s just meant to be stupid. I somewhat hesitate to suggest that it’s a homosexual attraction, although they may play that joke with the blonde girl on the student council towards Benio. I’m not really sure.
Actually, I need to retract the first sentence of my previous paragraph. Squealing over Mashiro’s underwear and then proceeding to look through an underwear catalogue with the intention of picking out more underwear for her is kind of perverse. So is sleeping in your little sister’s bed and then getting upset when she has no reaction to it. Okay, Benio may truly be the make-or-break factor in this show for some Christian viewers.
Beyond Benio, you don’t have much to worry about. A couple of zoom-ins on Kobeni’s breasts (she’s well-clothed both times, so you don’t even see so much as cleavage, although I’ll still agree that the zoom-ins weren’t necessary) and a bit of slapstick violence are the only other things worth mentioning.
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: a breast joke is made in gym class in regards to Kobeni, with the camera centering on her breasts (though she’s wearing a sweat jacket, so you don’t see anything inappropriate); the camera again focuses on Kobeni’s breasts during a scene in the classroom, which is being narrated by Mashiro (again, you don’t see anything inappropriate, as Kobeni is wearing her uniform); some male students make a comment about Kobeni’s breasts; Benio pulls a pair of Mashiro’s underwear out of the clean laundry basket; Benio is shown looking through an underwear magazine
Violence: a character is smacked in the head repeatedly; a character is hit in the side with a book
Blood/Gore: Blood shoots from a character’s mouth after she is hit with a book