We've had to wait a little for a subtitled version of this third episode of Joshiraku, but better late than never as they say.
It seems as if poor old Marii is the butt of all the jokes again, if only for the first segment of this episode as a discussion about giving out Valentine's Day chocolates turns to queries as to Marii's real gender. Once the other girls have convinced themselves that she is actually a he, it seems that even baring her chest isn't good enough for them, and Marii's subsequent efforts to sit and stand "properly" prove to be nothing short of disastrous. With those avenues exhausted, there's only one thing for it - a trip to the public baths, although even this doesn't really seem to reprieve Marii from becoming a figure of fun.
With that argument put to one side, next up the girls pay a visit to the Kaminari Gate in Asakusa - but is it the world's best gate? The Brandenburg Gate and the Arc de Triomphe might have something to say about that, although then again are they even proper gates at all given that they don't particularly lead towards anything? These queries are moved to the back burner as the girls try their luck at getting a good fortune, with varying degrees of success. In fact, speaking of luck just how does Tetora manage to enjoy such good fortune in all things? Her innate ability to avoid bad things happen to her provokes jealousy in the others until they decide to simply copy everything that she does - before we know it, we're enjoying the world's first break-dancing rakugo performance, even if the audience most decidedly are not.
After the hilarity of episode two, and despite a bit of a break to freshen me up for more of this series, this wasn't as strong an episode as its predecessor. Thankfully, that isn't to say it was entirely a damp squib, as it had a fine vein of slapstick comedy running through it and more than enough entertainment to keep things interesting from beginning to end without ever really outstaying its welcome. Thanks to that half-decent pacing and half-decent humour punctuated by bigger laughs, Joshiraku remains a pretty enjoyable keeper in my summer season line-up.