Episode seven of Minami-ke Okaeri turns out to be a bit of a Makoto special by and large, as we're regaled by the latest perils of his secret life of gender swapping.
For starters, Makoto is supposed to be practising for a three-legged race with an apathetic Chiaki for the sports festival, but thankfully for him she finds the idea of practising with Mako far more conducive to getting things done. That aside, Makoto finds itself in the midst of other "dangers" which threaten to expose him, from his flat chest through to Chiaki spilling soda on his crotch (with the latter somehow progressing into a tale about tanuki which ends up with both Kana and Chiaki talking in parables). We finally move away from Makoto's feminine attributes (or lack thereof) for the final chunk of the episode, which instead takes in what can only be described as some mug madness.
Overall, this was by far one of the better episode of Minami-ke Okaeri so far - The pacing was just about right, the dialogue was much better (with some genuinely funny one-liners creeping into the script), and even the tired old running jokes regarding Makoto's cross-dressing actually proved to be relatively funny this time around. This was then topped by the hilariously overblown excitement shown by Touma when he's gifted a mug by Kana, with an equally huge (but rather more predictable) reaction coming from Fujioka when he is offered the same. It's little moments and set pieces like this that can make a slice of life series like Minami-ke, so thank goodness that this episode managed to find some to bring some life to a series that has drifted into mediocrity over the past few weeks. I needed a good reason to continue watching Okaeri, and this instalment gave it.