After delivering arguably its funniest episode so far last week, Minami-ke Okaeri continues its reasonably bountiful run with an eighth episode which manages to be amusing without ever quite reaching the dizzy heights of outright hilarity.
The episode begins with Kana's attempts to teach "the laws of popularity", which for girls appears to consist largely of being unable to open soda cans in a sufficiently cute manner. While this doesn't work out so well in Yuka's case, it has to be said that Yoshino has it down to a fine art - Hell, even wanted to open the soda can for her. As this popularity challenge continues, so we find Maki unable to even attempt to not open a soda can lest it bring forth demons from her past, whereas Atsuko has clearly perfected this discipline. In fact, she's almost too good at it...
Indeed, the first half of the episode seems to be an all-round excuse to pick on Atsuko, as she then gets lumbered with trying to explain how to behave towards men at night (watch anime with them of course!), an awkward situation only made worse by an incident involving Touma and her uncertainty as to her gender.
From here, the second half of this instalment goes off the boil a little, between Kana's demands for an interesting answer to a question which causes all sorts of strife for Keiko, despite Kana being able to dish out sufficiently interesting answers herself (although this scene is priceless if only for possibly the only moment when you'll ever see Kana lost for words) and what almost amounts to admiration for Hosaka before he drifts off into some volleyball related fantasy regarding Haruka.
So, this episode certainly wasn't as sharp in terms of either gags or dialogue as episode seven of Minami-ke Okaeri proved to be, but it wasn't a bad showing either thanks to it bringing a certain amount of charm to the party with it, with the whole soda opening scenario in particular both amusing and fascinating me enough to convince me to go easy on this instalment. Well, it almost convinced me to go easy on it - A discussion of Minami-ke post its first season wouldn't be complete with a "spot the major animation error" moment. Answers on a postcard - What's wrong with this animation?