What a meanie!
Ohana and Ko
The scene with Ohana and Ko’s reunion was very nicely done. The first thing we notice is their reactions upon seeing each other: Ko runs across the bridge towards Ohana, and Ohana starts to run away, but freezes. We’re reminded that Ohana’s still feels guilty.
Then there’s the playground scene. Remember the first episode? Ohana and Ko seem to have a thing for playgrounds. This time Ohana has become more self-confident and aggressive. Before Ko can finish saying how he feels, Ohana spins the jungle gym around, pins Ko against the wall and covers his mouth. It looks like she’s going to confess— but no, she invites Ko to the Bonbori festival instead. We can’t end things here after all, there are still two episodes left!
Some of the lines are a bit corny (“the scenery is dull without you”, etc.) but it works.
Minko’s Culinary Ambitions
It turns out Minko and Tohru both wanted to be a chef because of a manga they read. But wait, I thought there was something about her sitting at a restaurant counter watching the chef cook? Apparently not.
They seem to have been trying to make Minko’s culinary ambitions come across as serious business. Making her main source of inspiration a comic book may not be the best way to achieve this. It seems downright childish. Reminds me of when kids I knew wanted to be pro skateboarders.
But then again, perhaps this is the intention. It isn’t entirely clear how devoted Minko is to becoming a chef: our main source of knowledge regarding her ambitions is Minko herself, along with Ohana’s impressions of her. Is being a chef really the most important thing to her? When the inn is closing, she doesn’t cry from learning she won’t be able to cook there. She cries because she’ll be separated from Tohru. Ohana seems to take Minko’s goals so seriously, but she’s still just a high school girl.
The biggest revelation here, though, is that the novelist actually wrote something. Tohru seemed to have read it when he was younger, too. Just how old is this guy?
Bath scenes are typically fanservice fodder, but this one actually worked. It established how upset everyone was over the inn’s closure, as even Nako is angry. It also made the grandmother feel a bit more human (since she actually bathes) while also remaining unapproachable. Plus, it was funny.
Grandmother and Granddaughter
My favorite part of the episode, though, was Ohana and the manager’s visit to the grave. Ohana yells at her grandmother for her decision to close the inn. But then they actually talk and come to an understanding of sorts (well, they still disagree, but at least understand each other better). Plus, the grandmother actually has a good reason for wanting to close the inn: it has nothing to do with money, but is because she wants to free her children to fulfill their own dreams instead of hers. This is not what I would have predicted, and I love being surprised.
Later, Ohana even sides with her grandmother and listens to her over the rest of the inn staff. Ohana even gets a smile out of the manager, by calling her old, of all things!