Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day Three Hundred and Eighteen - Yamada's First Time (B Gata H Kei): Episode 7, "Insert Obligatory Swimsuit Episode Here."

Okay, yes, I have to admit... this series is super cheesy, but I stand by my previous assertion that it is Love, Japanese Style and, while it's not exactly the most ground breaking or informative sex comedy out there, it still has this odd sort of charm despite it's reliance on tropes and silly contrivances (like Yamada's rival for "School Queen/Idol,"  the extremely rich girl transfer student, Kanejo, who is desperately in love with her own brother).

This episode is, like all the rest, split into two short plotlines, the first of which revolves around swim class, which gives the girls time to compete and become jealous/morose over body image issues (a good stepping off point for discussion), and the second concerns summer vacation time as Yamada attempts to crash Kosuda's family camping trip (which includes her semi-secret rival, the clumsily cute Miyano).

Both parts are rather light on development, but feature the dichotomy of Yamada's life, as she tries so desperately to be a sex diva (and fails miserably) while unwittingly beginning to fall in love, her concerns for Kosuda's attentions slowly shifting from mercenary and single-minded to complex and a mystery even to her.

I have to say that Yamada's much put upon friend and confidant, Miharu Takeshita, is my favorite character... mostly due to her no-nonsense attitude about life and the sheer amount of fluff and craziness that she has to suffer through (and suffer, she does) by being Yamada's best friend. Seriously, the only other character that comes close is Miyano... and that's just because she's so damn moe, it almost hurts.

That's not to say I don't laugh at Yamada's antics and really do want to see her and Kosuda get together, it's just that her motivations are so puerile and her tsundere attitude towards, Kosuda, the supposed object of her attentions? Let's just say I didn't like that sort of archetype even when I was first introduced to it back in the Evangelion days (really, the only time I've enjoyed it was maybe when it came to The Melancholy of Suzamiya Haruhi).

While I could point to sex comedies that are better out there in the anime universe (Seitokai Yakuindomo comes to mind), Yamada's first time is still one of the strongest titles available on Netflix. I just wish that other production companies would license their titles for the Instant Stream instead of getting the wide range of quality (both good and bad) that we do now courtesy only of Funimation.

I also want to point out that it comes both dubbed and subbed, like most titles on the Instant Stream, which makes me very happy. I realize that many people don't want to read their dialogue, but I'm a purist and prefer the original Japanese language tracks, even though I don't speak the language, myself. Having both means no one is left out, and that's awesome.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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