I have to admit, the first episode of Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru left me expecting one thing, before episode two suggested that it wasn't going to be quite as linear and entirely story-driven a series as I'd perhaps anticipated. Thankfully, episode three continues in this vein, as this series continues to look more and more like a typical SHAFT series as a result.
This instalment begins with an almost unthinkable turn of affairs, with teacher Mr. Moriaki coming to see Hotori to ask for her help - has he gone mad? Well, quite possibly, but regardless Arahiyama's homeroom teacher is looking for her thoughts regarding some paintings he's inherited from his deceased grandfather; namely, two self-portraits both named "Eyes", but with one showing the old man with two eyes (as you'd expect) while the other depicts him with four. Moriaki asks his student to solve this conundrum on account of her love of detective novels - probably still not the smartest of choices, but amazingly Hotori manages to figure out the answer to this confusing state of affairs all too easily, so perhaps we should never have doubted her.
Indeed, those moments of intellect couldn't seem any further away as we next see Arashiyama being primed for another shopping trip, with a specially created shopping list to help her remember what she's supposed to be buying (although I can't help but think creating the "Oniorrot" is the best way to do this). While on this occasion Hotori proves to be perfectly capable of remembering the required foodstuffs (well, just about), she ends up being distracted by a young pretty boy who is trying to coax his cat out of a narrow alleyway. This leads to plenty of bizarre snippets of conversations, most of which inevitably emanate from Hotori's mouth before the cat in question is "rescued" and the boy goes on his way... except he isn't actually a boy at all, but rather a girl who goes to the same school as our protagonist. Oh, Hotori...
Well, three episodes in I have to admit that I'm enjoying Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru more by the week - although some of the Japanese wordplay is lost entirely in translation, this episode also had enough funny moments to see it through, backed up by a visual style which suits this kind of comedy pretty well more often than not. You also can't help but get caught up a little in Arashiyama's energy as she goes about her business of being completely dumb most of the time, making her an incredibly fun character even if her taste in men is more than a little unhinged to boot. So far, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru is shaping up to be one of those shows that is no classic, but it does succeed in serving up a decent dose of comedy to keep me entertained each week.