Suffice to say that the pace of the anime is much, much quicker than the novels – which worked fine for the first two TV series seasons and works perfectly well again for the fourth season. (I was informed in the past by a Japanese friend that the hyper fast pace was chosen deliberately to avoid the slow crawl of most shoujo anime.)
So, in this single episode, we cover the choice and casting of the Yamayurikai’s play for the school festival, Touko’s difficulties with the Drama Club *and* the beginnings of Kanako’s crisis and resolution (which appear to be the bulk of the next episode.) All done with a snappy pace, cheerful tone and a few small, inconsequential changes to lighten the feel of the story. A nice start to what is going to be a very fun season, I think.
But what’s got everyone talking, of course, is the opening and ending sequences. And rightfully so! Instead of the elegant and staid “Pastel Pure,” the new opening theme is a happy pop song. The animation sequence is whimsical in the extreme, as Yumi, Yoshino and Shimako quite literally run and dance their way through Lillian using a magic portal. They appear and disappear to invite their friends to meet them at the Rose Mansion. Of course, fans being fans, many fans will HATE this. Mostly because it’s different and different things are never as good as the things I remember, even if I didn’t like them at the time. lol I liked it – it was a different kind of service – a look into the fantasy characters portrayed in so many doujinshi. Yes, I think I would have preferred Pastel Pure, but I’ll take this for what it is. My wife commented drily, as Rei watched the three second-years skip their way through the dojo, “Oh look, they found the magic items the Rosas get.” ^_^ (Wait, she’s got a couple other good lines to come.)
Now we’ll turn our lascivious eyes to the end sequence. In case you are living under a rock, let me warn you that the Yuri isn’t terribly subtle among fans of Marimite. (Massive understatement) And the end sequence of the third season wasn’t all that subtle, either. This season throws subtle into the trash compactor and pulls out a load of steamy pictures for our enjoyment. Click on the pics to get larger versions.
Did you know that, in art, when women have no clothes on, they are referred to as being “nude” and when men have no clothes on, they are “naked”? It’s just a interesting piece of art terminology, I thought I’d share. Oh, and by the way, Yumi and Sachiko appear to be “nude.”
Absolutely my favorite picture of the bunch. I’ve said it before, Rei and Yoshino are my favorite couple. I just adore sexy pics of them. And sexy stories. And funny stories. And all the Rei x Yoshino doujinshi by Bonny Bonnie. Hell, I just really like them as a couple.
You may have noticed the hideously unsubtle spoilers in the opening and ending. Or you weren’t paying attention (like the person I saw comment that they hoped Youko would appear in the next episode, when she appears at least two times in the next episode preview.) Touko and Yumi are also “nude.” Not naked. ;-)
This shot was my favorite, because my second favorite couple among the Yamayurikai are Shimako x Noriko, until the wife took a look at it and said, “I think I see the blue crayon!” Ruined it for me forever. LOL
So this ending kind of answered the question I’ve had forever – what does Konno Oyuki think of all that Yuri-service between her pure and innocent characters? Remembering that Konno was the supervisor for this series and actually had the right to pass or reject concepts for this season, my wife said, “I’m Konno Oyuki, and I approved this Yuri.”
And there you have it. Final words on the first episode of what should be a spectacular season. (I can say that – I know what’s coming!)