February 07, 2010

Ga-Rei Zero, Episode 05

Last time, Kagura's father saved the day, then smacked the crap out of his daughter for having a mental block about taking down human-based nasties.  What, then, does Episode 05 bring to us?

Yomi's dad calls her into his office... to give her a gift.  Y'know, right there's the difference between dads in this show: Yomi gets presents from hers, while Kagura's dad gives his daughter a scabbard across the back of the hands.  Anyway, the gift is one of his late wife's high-end kimonos.  After a few seconds of the Schoolgirl in Black making some of the most outrageous sounds ever heard outside of a bedroom, he brings up... Mr Laser Weasel himself, Noriyuki?  And if she still got along with him, and is she still okay with the arranged marriage?  Wait, the what now?  Turns out Noriyuki is the scion of another powerful family line of Exorcists, and yadda yadda stuff junk yadda. 

She gives a middlin'-long speech about how glad she is that he adopted her into the family, and because of that she's perfectly happy to still agree to the situation.  Well, whaddya know?

Kagura is off moping in a park somewhere, fretting about the "gift" he gave her at the end of last episode.  At least there weren't bruises this time, right?

Then Noriyuki drops by and offers her a laser weasel for lunch!  No, not really, but he does give her the old rah-rah, you're doing great speech.  Mood suitably restored, Miss Mopey breaks out a box of Pocky and heads to the office.  Except she doesn't... there is no Pocky spotted in this episode at all.  She does go to the office, though, where the whole gang is gathered... and Yomi smells purty.  Cue Kagura trying to figure out why THIS is going on.

No admission from the Sweet Smelling Schoolgirl. 

Finally it dawns on the Schoolgirl in White: Kagura's got a date with Nori-kun!  Good-natured ribbing ensues, with Yomi getting more and more flustered, until...

Phew, smells like a French Whorehouse in here!
It turns out that Noriyuki has a sensitive nose, and that Yomi used a leeeetle too much perfume.

He complains loudly, for all intents and purposes asking "what died in here?"

Oh, hell.  This can not be good.  Kagura tries to rescue the situation by taking the blame, saying that it's her perfume he's smelling.  Noriyuki lectures her on the correct use of fragrances (as Yomi gets angrier and angrier), ending with "you don't want to smell like an old grandmother, do you?"

Please note that the laser weasel on his shoulder has a better grasp on the reality of the situation than he does, and sees that death, dressed as a schoolgirl, is upon him.

Then, with a fine sense of self-preservation, it decides that just about anywhere would be better than where it is and heads for the hills.

"Oops.  It slipped."
"Like hell it did, you violent tsundere beeyotch!"

You know, when you see evil red lights appear in your girlfriend's eyes, no amount of flowers are going to be good enough for an apology.

And when she summons the second-most powerful spirit beast known, Ranguren, by drawing her sword, all you can do is hope for a swift and relatively painless death.

Unless, of course, you have spirit beasts of your own and can do a passable imitation of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Laser weasels!  Hundreds of 'em!  Chances of this relationship working look poor... as do the chances for the office, our heroes, downtown Tokyo...

...until the Boss shows up with her assistant/motive power.  "Now, now, no summoning of sacred beasts in the office, please."

While Noriyuki stuffs the laser weasels back into his pockets and the Boss gets everything sorted out, we cut to the roof of Yomi's home, where her Uncle is talking to her dad.  He's suggesting that, perhaps, Yomi isn't the best choice in the world to take over the family after her father's retirement.

Dad shows that he still has the touch by whackin' his brother upside the head with his cane.  No, no, it's not a power grab by Uncle, who got out of the family business long ago, he just wanted to remind him that there's a perfectly fine choice from inside the family... his daughter, Mei.

Mei disagrees (with her finger crossed), complimenting Yomi's dad on making the correct choice.  "After all, I'm clearly not good enough for you, correct, Uncle?"  Owtch... ladies and gentlemen, we may just have an antagonist!  On the drive home, Mei points out to her father that people in their line of work usually die young, and if Yomi shuffles off this mortal coil, she'd be the logical replacement.  "As long as she dies first..." 

Back at school the next day, Kagura is chatting about Yomi's estrangement to her fiancee with her friends... which gives her an idea.  Oh no...

Later in the afternoon, she gathers the gang at the office to instruct them on their roles in Operation Love.

"It's simple.  Kazuki, disguised as a thug, will accost Yomi.  Noriyuki will come to her rescue and Yomi will get all grateful and mushy and stuff." 

Except Kazuki actually, y'know, thinks this through:

Yeah, exactly.  Noriyuki wouldn't ever be needed, and Kazuki would discover what being passed through the alimentary canal of a spirit beast is like.  "Then instead of Kazuki, how about we use Nabuu and Nabuu?"

Now, the first art style is obviously from Lupin III, but I couldn't quite figure out what they were trying with the second.  Any thoughts?  Anyway, nobody even thought to ask Iwahata to play the role of the thug, since he'd probably be more likely to accost Noriyuki than Yomi.  And then the Boss comes in.

"I've got a better idea.  I call it Operation Love Connection."

The next day dawns with the pieces all in place at another nearby park.  Tokyo appears to have more parks per capita than previously known.

Subject one is in position.  Release the hounds!

It's Kiri, the Boss' motive power/assistant.  Noriyuki's surprised to see her dressed so casually, or for that matter, to see her outside of the office at all...

Subject two has taken the field and acquired target lock.  She approaches subject one...

...who greets her in a friendly manner. 

The Schoolgirl in Black is... um... I'm not sure what that look represents.  It probably isn't good, though.  Kiri is given release authorization for Phase II.

Noriyuki is confused.  Yomi?

This plan is having an effect, no question about it.  Remember, the person they're poking with a stick here is an expert swordswoman that has the ability to summon a creature that can eat people here.  Brave, if not particularly smart.  Execute Phase III!

Noriyuki: confused.  Kiri: embarrassed.  Yomi?

Run for your lives!  Poor guy has absolutely no idea what's going on, is still so young, and is going to die so messily in a moment...

...except he doesn't.  Yomi walks away, heading for a vending machine.  Well, that didn't go at all as expected!

Oh.  And while Mr Laser Weasel disentangles himself from Kiri, he tries to get an explanation of what in the Sam Hill is going on here...

Direct hit!

That's exactly the sort of reaction Team Love Connection was looking for!  And there was much rejoicing!  A yelling match ensues between the "lovebirds", getting more and more heated... until Yomi slaps him.

It's not like Yomi can't handle herself, however.

She slaps him so hard that the side of his head smears.  But remember, he too is a combat-trained member of the Ministry of the Environment's Agency for Supernatural Disaster Prevention disposal team.  He throws another slap...

If you are younger, or a more sensitive reader, you may want to turn away now.  Perhaps go get some fresh air, walk the cat, or call a close family member and tell them that you love them. 

While Noriyuki coughs up blood, everything he's ever eaten, and his spleen, Yomi berates him for hitting a girl.  Privately, he debates her status as "girl" to himself.  Gathering in his intestinal  and stuffing them back inside his body, he gets to his feet, maintains his distance from the Schoolgirl in Black...

...and asks her if their relationship is always going to be like this.  "Probably" is the answer.  Can you live with that?  Can you imagine living like that?  Kagura sees the imminent failure of Operation Love Connection impending, and before Yomi can answer, she breaks cover.

She throws herself into the midst of the two, saying that this was all her idea to get them to stop fighting.  A heartwarming sister-sister moment occurs, and the two lovebirds promise Kagura that they'll stop it.  "Prove it by kissing and making up!"

You don't have to ask Nori-kun twice!  Yomi, on the other hand, is still a little reluctant...

Okay, a LOT reluctant.  Tsundere much?

Mission debriefing.  Operation Love Connection was a success, even if not in the way it was planned... and since when is Boss in an office chair?

Later that night...

Yup, that's the kimono dad gave her at the beginning of the episode...

...and there's Mr Laser Weasel.  Fade to black.

In another part of the city, a beastie fights an Exorcist and loses.  The exorcist in question?

Roll credits.

Filler episode, but Mei seems like she's going to be important in the storyline from now on.  I'm not saying this ep was a waste of time, mind you... it was entertaining enough, it just didn't particularly advance the plot any.  Or did it?

Find out in Episode 06: Nice Boat!

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