Anime Review: Angel Beats Episode 6

(originally published on Livjournal on 6/14/10)

Anime Review:
Working!! Episode 6

tl;dr review: In addition to nutcases at work, Souta has to deal with nutcases at home. Moe-moe Inami remains as punch-happy as ever.

About The Series: Wagnaria is a small family restaurant in Hokkaido that is understaffed, so Poplar recruits Souta as the newest part-time employee. However, Souta soon learns that his fellow co-workers are anything but normal. For example, the manager doesn’t seem to care about her job, Yachiyo is always carrying around a sword, and Inami Mahiru is inexplicably terrified of men. Not that Souta is a bastion of normalcy himself; he has a fetish for small, cute things and the reason he took the job in the first place is because he can’t say no to the diminutive Poplar. Despite all their differences, the employees at Wagnaria do their best to keep the restaurant running smoothly.

In This Episode: Souta has thoughtfully picked out an assortment of hairpins for Inami as a thank-you for her White Day chocolates, and in order to avoid getting ko’d by her whenever he comes near, he devises an ingenious method of delivering the gift: via a mechanical ‘helping hand’. Souta heads back home, but he cannot rest because in addition to the craziness at work, his sisters are quite a handful. He has his hands full trying to keep his three older sisters in line, serving as the anchor in the household. First, there’s the hard-driving Kazue; second is the helplessly emo Izumi who hides away in her darkened room all day trying to write romance novels; third is the carefree lush Kozue, alternatingly looking between her next love and her next drink. Souta’s only ally is her little sister Nazuna, already as tall as he is; while all sweetness and light, but showing hints of becoming a manipulative terror that Souta fears.

Souta heads out shopping and unexpectedly runs across Inami, who is once again unable to move because of her fear of men. He ‘rescues’ her, leading her away with the mechanical hand (almost like on a leash), where they run across Souta’s eldest sister. Kazue misunderstands the situation, begins to beat down Souta, Inami explains, they all make nice, the end.

My Thoughts: Despite Souta’s unusual quirk (e.g. fetish for small, cute things), he truly is the most normal person in the entire series. Not only is he the stabilizing influence at work, he’s also the calm center of the storm at his home as well, as the interaction between his older sisters frequently reaches ten on the crazymeter on a regular basis. It makes me wonder how anyone else in the entire series could survive when he’s not around. This episode helps to delve a bit deeper into the Takanashi family, but isn’t that sort of getting a bit off-track from the main focus of the series?

And I’m getting royally sick and tired of Inami’s debilitating fear of men and overwhelming desire to punch them. It has become the overriding theme of the entire series, saturating every scene and situation that comes up. Yeah, I get it, but you would have figured that by now, there would have been at least the tiniest inkling of an improvement, but no… It’s pretty obvious (to me at least) the whole direction the Souta x Inami bit is going in the end, could we move it along a little faster, please? Her whole sad helplessness (especially when she fully realizes it herself) is just no fun to watch.

Speaking of helplessness, Izumi raises the bar to a whole new level. The ultimate in emo, sighing, simpering, crawling on the floor because she is too weak to stand, dressed all in black, face smudged with ink from writing, hiding all day in her darkened room trying to write romance novels even though she has no experience and no contact with the outside world. It would come off as pathetic, but of course it’s played entirely for its comedy potential – quite adeptly, I might add. Having to deal with this human blob of uselessness, I can now see how Souta is able to be so patient with Izumi on a daily basis.

The Verdict: ….HEAVY SIGH….

My review of Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4, and Episode 5.

Up Next: Angel Beats, Kaichou wa Maid-sama, K-On Season 2, Arakawa Under the Bridge, and The Tatami Galaxy.

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