The girls of Hidamari Apartments might be winning the game of life, but can they win at The Game of Life? This week we get to find out, as a competition prize won by their landlady is passed to the gang for them to play... provided she can join in of course.
Being artistic types however, Miyako and company aren't too interested in the game as it stands, and thus they decide to recreate it in their own image as a Hidamari Apartments-centric game of life. In essence, this allows for the episode to reference plenty of in-jokes from previous series (in the days before Nori and Nazuna were on-board), to appeal to the long-term viewers (and readers) such as myself.
However, we do have Nazuna to thank for a forfeit that forces Sae to talk like a cat - a forfeit which just so happens to coincide with her sister Chika phoning, with inevitably humorous consequences. Come the end of the game, we get to imagine Nazuna as Prime Minister, and Nori as a near-millionaire unemployed woman who owns Hidamari Apartments... a result which gets everyone wondering what their actual landlady does for a living, although it seems that she's determined to remain a woman of mystery.
As a Hidamari Sketch veteran, all of the references to days gone by at the apartments made for a pretty fun episode in their own right (watch the Blu-Rays if you haven't seen prior seasons of this show!), while there were some more direct laughs to be found to boot - indeed, the last couple of episodes have presented possibly the two best lines of the series ever, which is a real pleasure to see from a show in its fourth season; proof positive that there's plenty of life left in this series and its otherwise mundane goings-on yet.