Friday, 17 August 2012

Joshiraku - Episode 6

After the "success" of her graduation in the previous episode, it seems that poor Gan is left out in the cold (semi-literally) as we commence this sixth episode of Joshiraku.

With their senior out of the picture, the remaining four girls ponder how four is the magic number and the secret to many of the best things in life - although, as a voice behind the door reminds them, there are also negatives to be found in the number four (they never taught us that on Sesame Street...)  Naturally, conversation turns to four-panel manga at some point, giving an opportunity to poke fun not only at that genre as a whole, but also some more specific titles such as (inevitably) K-ON.  Of course, it's only a matter of time before Gan gets her revenge by proving that sometimes you really need to be in a group of five, although an interloper ruins even this opportunity of redemption for her.

Following a poorly organised meet-up exhibiting the problems of similarly named train stations, Gan makes her return to the fold, albeit as the junior member of the rakugo team - be careful how much you abuse our glasses-wearing friend however, as her "helpfulness" can become overbearingly terrifying if pushed too hard.  Indeed, so ferocious is her desire to back-handedly help people that it's suggested that maybe she should become a public servant - a suggestion which only demonstrates how difficult it is to win any kind of election, be it in Japanese politics or to become a humble student council president.  Perhaps looking to the stars is the only way to progress in this field...

Despite watching two episodes of this series in relatively close proximity to one another, I see no signs of becoming tired with Joshiraku's way of doing things - as a blend of cultural references, political satire and blatant fun poking at the anime and manga industry it works incredibly well no matter how heavy-handed those references and discussions might be.  Although this instalment perhaps wasn't quite as on the mark as episode five for me personally, it still got plenty of laughs out of me, and let's face it - that's the entire point of series such as this.

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