The story is lacking but the characters are still keeping this series afloat.
The first three episodes of this volume are stand alone stories with the boys (vaguely) attempting to turn Sunako into a woman. First, after Sunako gets sick for a week she comes out of it extremely depressed and no one can figure out why. What’s worse though is that while she’s sick, the boys manage to let the house become a complete mess leaving it up to Noi to clean the house and figure out why Sunako is so depressed.
This story is followed up by the arrival of the national executive gang leader who wishes to challenge Kyohei to a fight. This becomes even more complicated though when he lays eyes on Sunako and falls in love leading to a very bizarre love fight that doesn’t really exist. In episode seven, Kyohei is obsessed over having a hotpot dinner leading everyone to pitch in to get the ingredients which seems to be a lot harder than you would think.
The final episode of the volume starts a new story with Ranmaru getting an all expenses paid invitation for him and his friends to a hot spring from a mysterious woman named Sayuri. While there, Noi plots with Sunako to keep Kyohei busy while she attempts to get close to Takenaga. The episode ends on a cliffhanger though when the manager is mysteriously found dead.
Good and the Bad
This volume starts much like the first volume ended. The first three episodes are stand alone stories that really do little to advance the plot. Normally this is the portion when we get to see the most character development anyway so I didn’t think much of it at first. Getting further into these episodes though, I was amazed at how the character development thrown into these episodes is so thin and yet makes complete sense.
In the first episode alone, all four of the boys get a rather large dose of development when the audience learns that these characters really are mostly looks with little logic. Noi and Sunako get quite a bit of development themselves. Noi is pushed much further into the spotlight on this volume playing a much stronger supporting role as her relationship with Takenaga is moved ever so slowly forward.
The development of Sunako on this volume is also very well done if not a little slow once again. While the primary themes of the character remain the same throughout the volume, her relationship development with Kyohei is brought out in ways that the audience won’t see coming. Episode seven is a great example of this especially.
The comedy on this volume largely stays in the same comfort zone that it had established on volume one with a few notable exceptions; the most important of which is the severe decrease in over the top reaction jokes from the boys that fell with such a thud on the first volume. Also getting far less screen time on this volume are the Goth Loli quartet which again, proves to be a good move as the characters really hadn’t done much to win the audience over during the first volume.
Other running gags are kept throughout these volumes including the ‘Road to Womanhood’ beauty segments. Switching the joke during episode six to serve the boys though was a great move on this volume as while the joke hadn’t grown stale in the least, it added a great twist that kept the joke from even starting to grow old.
The biggest fault with this series so far is that while the primary plot has been introduced, the series has yet to really do anything with it. With only eight episodes completed, the audience couldn’t have expected much progress to have been made thus far but perhaps an episode or two that showed the boys actually making an effort towards their goal of making Sunako into a proper lady instead of just constantly worrying about their rent going up would have gone a long way.
As with the first volume of this series, the music in this volume remains over the top in just the right places. The power up theme during Noi’s scene in episode six was so cheesy yet appropriate. As well as Sunako’s cooking theme in episode seven. And the soft music playing during the dinner scene of episode eight and the hard rock ping pong theme of the last episode.
The sound quality remained strong throughout the volume with no drops in audio quality. The Japanese track still comes through a bit more clearly and even louder through my speakers but the English track is also strong.
Dub vs. Sub
The girls really shined on this volume with Hannah Alcorn and Jessica Boone really stepping up and putting out great performances as Sunako and Noi respectively. Also very strong on this volume is Josh Grelle as Kyohei. One performance that I was actually surprised to see fade into the background a little on this volume is Vic Mignogna as Takenaga. While Takenaga didn’t get as much screen time on this volume as in previous episodes, there were still plenty of scenes that one would really expect Vic to really shine, especially as the relationship between his character and Noi started to heat up. His performance isn’t bad at all and some great laughs came from his deliveries but when I look back at some of the highlights of this volume, his name isn’t the first one to come to mind.
More clean animations which is disappointing. I would love to hear some of the actors in this series give a commentary and share some their thoughts.
The comedy in this volume had me chuckling throughout but it wasn’t until the final episode of the volume that I really caught myself laughing out loud at the jokes. The characters remain strong though and while the story is taking a bit too really get moving, the series has kept me entertained enough to want to see more. Like right now. If you’re looking for a good comedy series, this is one that you’ll want to make sure gets added to your watch list.
Final Grade: B