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Joshi Kousei 09
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Kouda Akari is dying? Surely not! But in the ninth episode of High School Girls' this is certainly what everybody else thinks. Week after week I cannot help but compare the anime to the manga, sometimes this works in the anime's favour and sometimes it doesn't. This weeks episode however was an improvement over the rather brief manga chapter it is based on.






As I said, Kouda is dying, or rather everyone thinks she is dying when she isn't. Kouda is auditioning for the role of a nurse to further her acting career, and thus is often going to the hospital to absorb the atmosphere and get a feel for her character. Eriko happens to be there too and overhears Kouda (who is practicing lines) saying that she does not have long left to live. Cue the usually brand of wacky comedy that manages to be funny this week despite a rather unoriginal storyline (although, lets face it the show isn't exactly something to be watched for the storyline anyway).




One of the aspects of this episode that I found most amusing was the lengths Kouda went too to get into character, I'm aware many actors in reality often do a lot to get into character but Kouda is such a odd person anyway, it brings her eccentricities out more. Kouda is the type of character that would normally irritate me no end but there is something rather endearing about how weird she is which means I just can't.





Of course things rapidly get out of control. The girls (after Eriko tells them) are obviously all concerned for Kouda and do their best to try and make her "last days" alive happy. Kouda eventually see's this as that they have somehow found out about the audition resulting in her staying in character all the time and causing even more confusion. The whole episode is so farcical but in a fairly good way, I especially liked the way the girls sometimes took out of context what Kouda was saying. The show really excels when it stops trying to be dramatic or build up characters and is just... well silly. The more light hearted the episode is, the better it is has been the formula for the show for me.




Of course there are "serious" moments this episode, but the fact remains that none of them are actually serious and end up being like scenes from a film because of Kouda being in "drama mode" in her head. It's a nice touch to see scenes that if Kouda were really ill would be tragic turned into to pure "lol" and cheesiness because she isn't ill at all. This scene with Himeji in particular was one of the best.





*Gasp* Blood? This was the best scene in the episode and far more funny the what occurs in the manga just because of how ridiculous the lengths the girls go to, too "protect" Kouda are. When Macho flings basketballs at her the other girls do mad dives across to stop them hitting their "weak" friend smashing into equipment and injuring themselves. Yuma's sort of "Noooooooooo" dive across was just so over the top that it had me nearly falling off my chair. Despite all the blood, she's smiling too!




Randomely took this screencap as Ogawa looked so sad (awwwww). This is another case of getting exactly what Kouda is saying mixed up. The girls keep up their relentless flurry of ways of making Kouda happy throughout the whole episode.






The girls throw a party for Kouda towards the end of the episode (incidentally the day before the audition Kouda has). There's lots of teary and emotional scenes as everyone (even Momoka) tries to make everything "happy" without caving into their emotions of Kouda's upcoming death. Again all Kouda's responses are taken the wrong way and while by this point everything is getting more than a little repetitive, the episodes almost over and it has one of the funniest climaxes I've seen for a while on the way.




With everyone asleep Kouda heads off to her audition, her head full of thoughts of her friends and leaving a "Goodbye" note... .





Kouda heads off in the train, her thoughts still on her friends. Because of the party she hasn't had much sleep either, hmm I wonder if that could be a problem? Jump forward a few hours and her friends have rushed to the audition to look for her, but she doesn't seem to be around causing worry and sadness. But of course, Kouda isn't missing, she isn't dead, she is merely asleep on the train and missing the audition. Personally I found this "twist" (which happens after the end credits) a stroke of genius if not entirely original. It was the perfect "silly" ending to the episode. The morons live up to their name.




Next Week: YAY, looks like in my mind the best manga chapter is entering the anime! Ayano and her boyfriend must prepare for arkward situations and much torment!

posted by Mangaminx On Tuesday, May 30, 2006  
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