After offering up possibly one of the most generic opening episodes of anime I've seen in quite a while with exception of its narrator (whom I refuse to call anything but Kuroko), Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi is going to have to do quite a bit of work to win me over. So, let J.C. Staff's efforts begin!
Come this second instalment, we find that our male protagonist Ryoushi Morino is improving slightly in terms of his scopophobia (or fear of being looked at), while his unrequited love Ryouko Ookami is as much of a tsundere as ever. However this episode does at least hint towards some underlying reasons for Ryouko's personality, which gives a little more depth to her otherwise stereotypical character, while Morino has also clearly pegged her tsundere tendencies without using that exact word.
After milling around rather aimlessly for a while, this episode finally gets into its groove then a girl visits the Otogi Bank with a request for help in dealing with a violent boyfriend... a request which turns out to be little more than a thinly-veiled trap to lure Ookami into the midst of a bunch of delinquents from a rival high school. Despite both Ryouko and Morino's efforts, the former is soon captured, and taken away to be the object of "affection" for the gang's boss.
It's here that we also see a little character development on Morino's part, as he leads the rescue effort to release Ryouko from this demonic group's clutches, leading to what turns out to be a fantastic combination between Ryouko's up-front fighting style and Morino's own abilities with a slingshot whilst hiding in the shadows. Of course, even this isn't enough to put a stop to Ookami's tsundere service, although the cracks in her proverbial make-up are already beginning to show.
After that lacklustre opener, this was certainly a big improvement for me - Simply explaining Ryouko's behaviour at least makes her clichéd character a little more tolerable, while Morino is turning into a rather more likeable male lead than he first appeared, culminating in what actually turned out to be rather a pleasing action scene that I got a bit of a kick out of. Kuroko's narration also adds an extra layer to the show, masking some of the more boring moments with at least a dash of humour or outright craziness to keep things moving along. While I'm still not entirely convinced by this series and what it has to bring to the table, an improvement is still an improvement, so I'm willing to give Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi a little longer to try and win me over.