Anime Review: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru Episodes 2 and 3

(Originally published on Livejournal on 11/29/10)

Anime Review:
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru Episodes 2 and 3

What this is about: I have reviewed the first episode of every subtitled anime show of the Fall 2010 season. For the shows that received an initial ‘thumbs up’, I am going back and looking at the second and third episodes.

Series Premise: Hotori Arashiyama is your average klutzy teenage girl who works at a local hole-in-the-wall corner cafe. But unlike the thousands of cafes around the country, the owner has decided upon the brilliant idea of turning it into a maid-themed cafe, to try and bring in new customers to the struggling business. One day when Hotori’s best friend Toshiko Tatsuno visits, she is aghast that they seem to have no clue how to run a maid cafe; but she also learns that a classmate she has a secret crush on is also a regular, local customer. Toshiko immediately signs up to work at the cafe under the guise of teaching Hotori, who is perhaps the most un-maid-like person in the world, how to be a maid.

ep.2 tl;dr review: Hotori emasculates the policeman and pisses off the other shopowners; Time to make a banner to advertise the shop.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new browser window:

Episode 2 Summary: Mercilessly bugged by her younger siblings, Hotori visits the cafe on her day off for some peace and quiet. She is then sent on a mission to pick up some vegetables from the local store, and ends up ramming her motorized scooter into the crotch of the local policeman. Despite his protestations, she continues along, admonishing him instead. To help advertise the new cafe, Hotori plasters arrows all over the local shopping district, which gets a group of shop-owners to stop by, half out of curiosity, half out of annoyance. The cafe owner than suggests that Hotori and Toshiko paint up a big banner to promote the shop. When the bed-sheet is spread over the store, it conflicts with the dental office sign next door, setting Hotori off.

ep.3 tl;dr review: Solving the mystery of the four-eyed portrait; Making friends with the ‘new’ ‘boy’ in town.

Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new browser window:

Episode 3 Summary: Hotori’s teacher brings her two self-portraits that were left to him in a will, figuring that the non-logical, non-linear way of thinking she is famous for would be able to solve what they mean. Both portraits are the same, but one has two eyes and the other has four eyes. Hotori is able to puzzle out the mystery quickly, determining they are two ‘sides’ of a giant portrait gambling die. Later, Hotori is sent out to pick up vegetables, and on the way back runs across a young boy coaxing out a cat from the alleyway. Hotori puts on her ‘big sister’ act and tries to help out, causing all sorts of problems but ultimately managing to retrieve the cat. The next day, Hotori meets up with the ‘boy’ at school, and learns the ‘boy’ is actually a ‘girl’…not only that, but her senior in class as well, causing Hotori to be thoroughly embarrassed.

My Thoughts: To be honest, while watching these episodes I was kinda looking for some reasons to drop ‘Soremachi’ (as the show is nicknamed). But…I ended up laughing a few times and being entertained despite myself. Well, waddayaknow, it’s not Shakespeare but it’s amusing nonetheless. Hotori is such a dork, but she is fun to watch and that off-key voice is simply perfect for the role. I’m still not sure if this show is a ‘keeper’ or not, but for now I’ll keep watching.

A few quick thoughts:

– Two more episodes of mostly introducing characters, such as the third maid, the various shop owners and such.
– Okay, WHAT IS THE DEAL with all of the Hotori crotch shots? That was just plain weird, especially considering this is *not* a fanservice-type show.
– Rather than a linear storyline, it looks like each episode is two or three scenes based off the manga, jumping back and forth throughout the book.
– Hotori’s naive love/hate crush on her math teacher…disturbing.
– Based on a short flashback scene, looks like Hotori has been a neighborhood menace and shop waif for the past decade. Taken out of context the scenes where Hotori’s butting heads against the shop owners (especially Mr. Policeman) are pretty severe, but it seems they’re well aware of her antics and have this friendly-antagonistic relationship that can only grow out of familiarity.
– Hotori at home? Yup, she’s just a normal kid alright. That’s siblings for you.

The Verdict:

For more info:

My review of Episode 1:
Random Curiosity review of Episode 2:
Random Curiosity review of Episode 3:

FINALLY, returning back to the second episodes of the Fall 2010 series coming up next: My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute (2-3), The World God Only Knows (2-3), Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt (2-3), Psychic Detective Yakumo (2-3), Shinryaku! Ika Musume (2-3), Letter Bee Reverse (2-3), Bakuman (2-3), Otome Youkai Zakura (2-3), Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge (2-3), Kagurahime (2-3)

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