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Banchou (Minami-ke)

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Minami-ke S1 E07 12m 45s Stitch Crop Fix

The original Banchou Haruka. Accept no substitutes!

The Banchou legend is a complicated web of myths and deliberate delusions propagated primarily by Kana and Hiroko, who seem to be pursuing the exercise in half-serious good-humored fun.[1] It is based on one aspect of the personality of Haruka, the original Banchou.

The "legend" of the Banchou first started when Haruka was in ninth grade, in the same middle school that Kana currently attends. As class representative,[2] she brought to her duties the same overpowering aura of command and authority that she brought to raising her sisters. This fearsome demeanor caused her classmates to nickname her "Banchou", a name used to refer to the leader of a band of delinquents.[3] Despite Haruka's best attempts to suppress the spread of the nickname, her classmates began transmitting stories of the "legend" around campus, twisting true stories of Haruka's exploits into exploits more worthy of a Banchou.[4][5]

Minami-ke S1 E07 13m 00s

A supposed Banchou exploit. In reality, Haruka cleaned all the windows to perfection.

Minami-ke S3 OP 01m 07s

The second Banchou, Hitomi.

Minami-ke S1 E07 14m 11s

The third Banchou, Yuu.

Minami-ke S1 E11 08m 55s

The fourth Banchou, Fujioka.

One of her underclassmen in particular, a seventh-grader by the name of Hiroko, took the stories much to heart, becoming one of the most fervent collectors of the stories, much to the bemusement of her friend Yuu[6] After Haruka's graduation from the school, Hiroko bestowed the title upon Hitomi, probably because the resident delinquent Natsuki couldn't lay a hand on her,[7], making her the second Banchou. After Hitomi's graduation, Hiroko placed the title on her friend Yuu, until a fateful encounter one day with Fujioka and Kana.

Ever since Fujioka's first love letter to her, Kana had become seemingly convinced that Fujioka was really a delinquent Banchou, due to Chiaki's meddling. The encounter between the two reluctant Banchous and their respective handlers results in Kana and Hiroko arranging a rock-paper-scissors match which Yuu deliberately allows Fujioka to win, giving him the unwanted title of fourth Banchou.

It is through Hiroko that Kana first learns of the Banchou legend and Haruka's history, whose stories she collects and later recounts with great glee.

In the anime-original scenes of Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 02, Kana becomes convinced by a misunderstanding that Haruka is planning to resuscitate the Banchou system, and enlists Chiaki to help her spread Haruka's influence through all the schools in the area. She herself attempts to recruit a posse and, after finding Fujioka too weak to be a true Banchou, temporarily takes the mantle for herself. She returns it after learning of the true nature of things from Haruka, her motivation destroyed.

Notes

  1. How much Kana believes in the legend is inversely proportional to how seriously she must view Fujioka's advances towards her. See Character Pairings (Minami-ke)#Kana's Feelings Towards Fujioka.
  2. In fact, in the manga, Haruka is never mentioned as having been class representative of her ninth grade class. This scene is anime-original. In Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 02, Maki tries to get her elected class representative, and her supposed previous experience is never brought up. Her being class representative in middle school is also hard to reconcile with her marked aversion to the role in Okawari 2, for the sake of her sisters. The Okawari sequence, however, is also anime-original.
  3. Essentially a gang, though its traditional meaning was to refer to the leader of a band of brigands.
  4. It is interesting to note that Natsuki had gone to the same middle school and was considered a fearsome delinquent (See Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 04). One wonders if he had any interactions with Haruka while they shared the same school...
  5. For the best explanation of all this, see Minami-ke Episode 07#Segment Four and Five.
  6. Who still secretly enjoys the stories, per Minami-ke Episode 07#Segment Five.
  7. Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 04. In fact, Natsuki probably refused to hit Hitomi since she is a girl, and because they are friends.

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