Ookami-san 4: there is no debt between friends
July 22, 2010
Episode 4 of Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi continues the development of the side characters, but, unlike last week, it seemed to do a better job of balancing side character development with deepening of the main couple’s relationship. The featured character is the Otogi Bank’s maid, Otsuu Tsurugaya, whose story is inspired by the Japanese folktale, Tsuru no Ongaeshi (A Crane’s Repayment for the Kindness Received).
Despite the melodramatic cliches, I thought this episode had a very nice message at its heart. Otsuu’s insistence on paying back debts is analyzed as a pathology stemming from childhood trauma. In the end, the Otagi Bank crew manage to convince her that friends don’t hold debts against each other.
I don’t know why I didn’t notice this before, but Alice Kiriki has mandibles (or maybe antenae). I mentioned before that Alice plays the ant to Liszt’s grasshopper, but it didn’t occur to me until this episode that those two locks of hair in her character design make her look like an ant. 😛 I kind of feel foolish saying it four episodes in, but now that I noticed it, it seems pretty clever.
Another Otagi Bank member whose character design I hadn’t fully appreciated until this episode is Majolica. Of course the reasons for that are that 1) she is seen without hat and glasses for the first time this episode, and 2) she still hasn’t had much screen time. Given how much enthusiasm she showed this time around, I hope we get an episode that gives her an opportunity to shine, else she’ll end up the TK of this show, able to inject humor into any scene, but never fully exploited.
We also got brief introductions to some new characters: Hansel & Gretal, who are the student council president and secretary, and “the mysterious girl”, Mahiru Shiratori. All three live at Ryoushi’s boarding house, which is run by his aunt Yukime, and her husband, Wakato. Yukime actually seemed like a very well developed character for the short period of time we got to spend with her. She certainly seems like a good person to have on hand in a crisis, given the way she leaped into action when Otsuu collapsed.