Monday, 26 May 2014

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behaviour! - Episode 8

It's time for Usa to start his new job, working at a cafe while dressed as a student houseboy - an embarrassing role made somewhat better by Ritsu's rapt attention when he's wearing the costume in question, even if it is the clothes she's looking at rather than him.

If Usa was hoping to find himself working alongside some normal colleagues at the establishment, these hopes are quickly dashed - although both men are pleasant enough, one if so caught up in the character he plays at the cafe that he's unable to distinguish it from reality while the other is obsessed with his (and other's) "spirit guardians".  It's a phrase that is a blast from the past for Usa, and it's a past he's about to be reunited with as a group date invitation is suddenly cancelled as the good-looking girl heading up the female group wants nothing to do with Usa.  The reason?  She's actually the middle school girl who caused him to gain the nickname "Freak Show" thanks to her supernatural shenanigans.

Although a potential disaster has seemingly been averted by Usa being cast out of the group date, there's no escaping this fate as the group find themselves visiting the cafe while he's on shift there, bringing forth some awkward moments between him and Hayashi.  Even more unfortunately for him, everyone in the group is so obnoxious that he's eventually left as the only one who will serve them, which results in Usa being subjected to a tirade of abuse and general piss-taking.  Little does he know that the cavalry has just arrived, and amazingly it's Ritsu who steps up to take charge of things and rescue Usa from the worst of the degradation he's suffering from, before Sayaka and Mayumi step in to take care of the rest.  It's Ritsu's sacrifice that sticks in Usa's mind though, ensuring that he falls deeper still in love with his senior.

For a series that occasionally feels like it's getting stuck in a rut of leaning on the same character traits for its comedy, The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behaviour still manages to hit the mark at times in some surprising ways - watching Usa being turned into a figure of fun was uncomfortable and upsetting, but seeing Ritsu leave behind her quiet persona to rescue him was utterly heart-warming before the other girl's bitchiness added some comedy to the mix.  It's these moments that really drive my continued desire to watch the show - I continue to enjoy Usa and Ritsu's interactions, and at times the cast gels just perfectly to create some memorable moments.  If there were more of those moments I'd be talking this show up a whole lot more, admittedly, but a little goodness is better than none at all.

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