How to be a creepy gentleman
Picking up where the last episode ended, we jump straight to the duel between Teppei and Sylvia. I am not sure what i was expecting, but it ended up less impressive than said expectations, and slightly overdramatically silly, but that is fine i guess – not like one should be expecting actual fencing lesson from this anime. What was not fine though was the animation effort – i am not sure what happened here, but it certainly looked like the main animator was taking many breaks during the episode with some borderline QUALITY moments, or they had blown all their budget on the commendably animated first two episodes. Either way, this episode didn’t look nearly as good as the first two did, and movement itself was lacking. Along with some missmatched BGM, this episode certainly lacked the overall feel that made me appreciate the first two.
Sylvia and Teppei face off in front of the crowd that has gathered (Including Seika and her two cronies) and the first match ends in an instant with Sylvia’s victory, Teppei failing instantly when trying to use a rapier kendo style.
Obviously Sylvia is displeased with such a victory on uneven footing and demands a rematch. Teppei is all game after having his sword delivered by Yuu (I guess this school has no regulations about weapons on school grounds), and the two prepare for a second face of, Charlotte playing the “judge”. (After Teppei’s request for no lunge attacks … nice one – eliminate Rapier’s advantage over katana and main element of it’s usage, will you).
The duel ends in a single charge, with Sylvia’s sword ending at Teppei’s neck and his, in a highly improbable manner, between her breasts. Although Sylvia claims this to be a draw, Teppei surprises her by announcing it is his defeat, saying she was faster and in an actual clash he would have fallen first (Wrong, actually, they would have still slahed each other, the tenth of a second between the impacts does not matter), and proposes they slowly get to know each other better like this – not because of their parent wishes, as the final decision on the marriage is still theirs to make, but because they should at least try to see if it works out before saying “no”.
Apparently said reasoning leaves a good impression on Sylvia and the two shake hands, Charlotte running in and hugging the two (She sure doesn’t hold back on the friendly acts it seems). How does that end up with Teppei on floor and Charlotte riding on top of him ? That is because Mr. Great Swordsman lost his footing when Charlotte was reaching for his sword (mind out of gutter) out of curiosity and ended up toppling the two, and then refused to get off immediately, much to Teppei’s dismay, bouncing up and down claiming riding him like a horse is interesting. (The innuendo was not lost here).
Meanwhile Seika angrily stomps away, muttering how she would have liked to see Teppei suffer a more humiliating defeat. My, aren’t you a pure sunshine …
Main animator on lunch break, someone take over!
On his way home, during a scene so stiff that one would think the characters were threated to be shot should hey move, Teppei wonders about the social club he has been recommended to join, and what kind of a club needs recommendations anyway, although Charlotte and Sylvia have agreed to be his. Yuu explains about the club and that it would be advisable to join this group that essentially sounds like a collective of elbow-rubbing popularity whores, so essentially all the “cool kids” hang around there …
Which leads us to the suitably excessive social club building with a horribly plain interior making the whole deal look like sit-around-the-table club … which it is. After entering Teppei is assaulted by his self-proclaimed best buddy who gets promptly shoved aside by Seika and her cronies. As the self-important snob of a social club president she proclaims she wouldn’t let Teppei join (Obviously with the utmost interest for the club’s nonexistent traditions at mind) just like that, commenting his lack of tact and manners, which is kinda ironic, because she herself hasn’t shown any.
It was nice to see Sylvia speak up for Teppei here and she scored good points with questioning Seika, but the snob isn’t backing down and even ends up insulting Teppei’s father for being a mere noodle shop owner, which obviously strikes a bad chord with Teppei. As the argument escalates Seika says that if Teppei can show to be capable of handling himself according to the standards of the higher society during the upcoming ball, a challenge he immediately accepts, saying she better not piss her pants upon seeing his performance there (keep that thought ..no, not literally), which sends her in to a predictable fit.
So, what is a common guy to do if he wants to impress everyone in the ball that is a week away ? Why, practice, obviously! Enter some excessively creepy tea drinking manner training, lessons how to walk steadily (i didn’t know he was prone to toppling over), and dancing lessons with Charlotte… the last one coming with benefits.
With that as a reward, should do wonders for his motivation
… Which prompts a certain reaction in a certain body part of Teppei’s. I don’t think i need to elaborate…
If there is one thing about Yuu that makes her stand out among the rest of the heroines, it is the insightful and meaningful conversations she has with Teppei; i can easily see her becoming his emotional advisor of sorts through the show – Teppei even said she reminds him of his mother. So, after being treated to a horribly time-wasting 2 minute sequence of Yuu pouring coffee (With Teppei sitting in front of a blank PC screen, go animators!) we get a bit more on her backstory, and Teppei commenting how funny his objectives have changed – from wanting to avenge his parents, he is now devoting himself to joining some club. Yuu thinks it is fine though, as Teppei is finding new allies along the way (Sylvia and Charlotte), and recites a line Ishin had said upon taking her in as a maid – “instead of trying to do everything at once, start from the things you can do”.
“Do you have anything in your pocket?”
“… a gum”
“Sure seems large for a gum”
” … a large gum”
Dance practice no2, and you can probably image what eventually happened there. Teppei, you better not mess up during the actual dance, one that will hopefully have less of repeated animation that the second practice one.
Meanwhile Seika happens to overhear a conversation between two students, basically chuckling about the situation concerning Teppei’s entry to the club because of chairman’s dislike for Arima, which makes Seika depressingly mutter to herself that it is making her look like the bad guy. (Oh, look, is that captain obvious with a shiny yacht again!?)
The big day has arrived, and so has Teppei with his two rather exclusive looking escorts. The trio is meet with Seika and her two cronies and after a brief typically unfriendly exchange and Sylvia’s reminder that Seika should be able to make sound judgments as the club’s president, the gang proceeds inside where the party is already at full swing.
After some brief mingling with the crowd it is time for the dance, and Teppei dancing with Charlotte manage to steal the spotlight immediately with a magnificent performance and a lot of irony regarding it on my side, seeing the “magnificent dance” consisted of nothing but a handful of still shots and some camera pan (and a lot of eyeburning PINK SPARKLES), which was quite miserable for what was the event the whole episode was building up to. It really made me wonder whether they had blown all the budget on first episodes …
The pink! It burnzzzz us!
So … yeah. Color me unable to appreciate the dance, because there was no dance to appreciate. A couple of still featuring a lot of glitter doe snot a magnificent scene make.
Someone is about to drool
Remember there was a certain thought you were supposed to hold on to ? (provided you are not dead from boredom by now). Ancient thoughts aside, this was a rather unimpressive development, with Seika wondering if she isn’t, in fact, falling for Teppei. I mean … gone from spite to love in 60 seconds ? (props to you if you catch the reference). Color me unimpressed. Yes, sure, there wasn’t much actual foundation for her hate to begin with, but i am not sure if ogling Teppei in a tuxedo dancing with another girl makes for the most convincing of turnabout points. Expect lots of tsundere antics from here on.
With the crowd’s reaction to speak for itself, Seika has no option but to admit his performance was fitting, with an expectedly happy reaction from the three. Still, she claims that is not enough and attending a party is not the only thing he should know how to do, so he must now host a party of his own, and should that be a success he would be allowed to join the club.
While i was quite positive about the show previously, this episode … not so much. The animation quality took a notable dive and the episode felt somewhat jerky in transition. Charlotte seems to have underwent a bit of a personality change as well – before she looked quirky and self-aware, this episode made her seem like cute and clueless. Nothing necessarily wrong with the later, and i can appreciate my dose of moe as well, just that she lacked the mischievous spark from the previous two episodes. Sylvia scored some good points with her more level headed than expected personality and speaking up for Teppei in front of Seika (I can foresee some potential catfights here, as she doesn’t seem to like Seika much), while the later proved to be excessively snobbish and annoying. The “noes i might like Teppei” wasn’t the most convincing of developments either. At this point whatever they decide to do with Seika’s character i hope doesn’t involve a lot of screentime, because currently i don’t care to see any of her.
Story wise it didn’t move much, and we are still on “Teppei trying to join the social club” part. Since it is obvious he would succeed eventually i am hoping for this part to be over sooner, so that we can move on to relationship developments that hopefully won’t be put on hold until the last handful of episodes. Anyways, the next episode should be about Teppei’s hosted party (Which likely means Yuu doing the hosting), which should put the ball in this one look like a gradeschooler’s birthday party in comparison, considering the resources at Teppei’s disposal, and possibly (hopefully?) some revealed reasons as to why Seika dislikes Teppei on the grounds of him being Arima, but above all i am hoping for the animation to return to normal, ditto for the overall feel of the series – something about episode 3 seemed lacking, something about the atmosphere Princess Lover managed to impress with during the first two episodes was just not there.