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Minami-ke Episode 07

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Minami-ke S1 E07 03m 45s Stitch Crop

Mako-chan, embarrassed.

"Various Faces"

"Iroiro na Kao" (いろいろな顔)

Airdate: 18 November 2007

Internal Date: Sometime in October 2007, after the 14th.

Previous Episode → 06

Next Episode → 08

Synopsis

This episode introduces Hiroko and Yuu.

Witnessing the transformation that Mako-chan has gone through, Kana wishes to help others transform as well. Kana trains Chiaki's friends to spot suspicious men, including her own cousin, Takeru. Later, she learns about Haruka's legendary Banchou past, an excerpt of which is shown.

Segment One

Minami-ke S1 E07 02m 35s

Kana punishes Mako-chan.

Minami-ke S1 E07 03m 05s

Mako-chan writhes on the floor.

Minami-ke S1 E07 03m 49s

Uchida, embarrassed.

[Manga]Mako-chan and Uchida are at the Minami Residence having tea and snacks. Mako-chan quickly finishes his portion and asks Haruka for more. Kana warns her that Mako-chan would find anything she makes delicious.[Notes 1] Haruka interprets this as a deleterious comment about the quality of her snacks. Mako-chan tells Kana to apologize, but she quickly subdues him.

Kana proceeds to bully him briefly about his new set of clothes. When he explains that he bought it at the supermarket, Kana is surprised and throws him to the floor.[Referbacks 1] She then sits back down and comments to Chiaki that people can change dramatically, explaining that after she removed Mako-chan's inhibitions, he continued down the path on his own.[Referbacks 2]She comments that she is happy with her work and begins to tell Chiaki to wear whatever makes her happy, regardless of any social considerations.[Notes 2] She, however, finds that Chiaki has started ignoring her by reading a book.

Kana is briefly annoyed, but then notices the squirming Mako-cha revealing a little too much under his skirt by opening his legs. Kana tells him not to do so, prompting Uchida to look and immediately cringe away.

At this moment, Haruka returns to find Mako-chan seated meekly, Uchida embarrassed, and the other two wearing strange expressions. She wonders what is going on.

At school, Kana continues to ruminate on how she wants to help someone change. She decides to try and get Keiko to take off her glasses so that she can visualize what kind of clothes would suit her. She begins to think about what it would take to get Keiko to take off her glasses.

Riko tells Kana that she is making a stupid-looking face,[Cultural 1] asking her if she is sick.

Kana launches into a tirade against Riko, saying first that she was in deep thought, and second that Riko shouldn't judge a person by their appearance, and that a mask can hide a person's true self, as she saw just yesterday.[Notes 3] Riko, hurt, says she was only concerned about Kana and leaves.[Notes 4]

Cued by Riko's comment about her having a stupid face, Kana decides that she needs to think about her problem with a "smart face". To this end, she asks Keiko to lend Kana her glasses so Kana can look smart while thinking. Despite being struck by the absurdity of this request, Keiko does as asked. Briefly surprised by the optical warping properties of Keiko's lenses, Kana begins to spout nonsense in a pedantic tone.[Quotes 1] Kana is surprised by her own suddenly "smarter" tone, despite Keiko's spoken doubts.

Kana sits back down, pleased that she can now look smart while thinking. Focusing on her original plan, she wonders how to get Keiko to take off her glasses. Riko asks Keiko what happened to her glasses and Kana suddenly realizes the obvious.[Notes 5]

Segment Two

Minami-ke S1 E07 06m 29s

The four girls listen attentively

Minami-ke S1 E07 08m 37s

Takeru tries to remember what he was doing two months ago.

Minami-ke S1 E07 09m 12s Stitch Crop

Takeru is pinned down.

Minami-ke S1 E07 06m 54s

Money is the key to winning Uchida over

Minami-ke S1 E07 09m 56s

Kana drives her point home.

[Manga]Takeru, on a bullet train to the Minami residence, talks on the phone with his mother, mentioning that he protects the Minami sisters.[Notes 6] However, when a stewardess informs him that cell phone calls are not allowed in the main area of the train, he immediately belies any possible imputation of competence by dropping his phone while apologizing, then dropping his laptop while trying to get up to pick up his cell phone.[Trivia 1]

Meanwhile, at the Minami household, Kana is giving "self-defense training" to four of Chiaki's classmates, as supposed gratitude for being her friends.[Notes 7] Chiaki chooses to ignore this, reading a book.

Kana starts by saying that she is most worried about Uchida. Uchida protests that Kana's concern is unnecessary. Kana proceeds to grill her by first asking if she should follow an unknown man who asks her to. Uchida says no. Kana tells her that he has candy. Uchida ignores this. Kana then says she has 10000 yen, prompting Uchida to react slightly. This, of course, means she fails the test.

Kana pushes her over, telling her not to react to the money, and instructs the other girls that no sum of money should ever cause them to change their answer.[Notes 8] She then goes off on a completely irrelevant tangent, asking Yoshino what would be the result of a fight between 100 Fuzukawa-senseis and 1000 Noguchi-senseis.[Cultural 2] Catching the mathematical analogy, Yoshino correctly answers that it would be a tie.

Betraying that she was only pretending not to pay attention, Chiaki tells Kana to apologize to both senseis.

The unnamed girl with short hair then raises her hand and asks a question: Namely, the other day an unknown man called to her to come over, but he looked vaguely familiar, and she wasn't sure if she knew him. Kana interrupts her, telling her that she has created a disturbing atmosphere, and that she has found someone more worrisome than Uchida.

Kana then tells them she has a sure-fire way of telling if a man is a stranger or not.

At this moment, someone rings the doorbell, Haruka goes to get the door, and Takeru's voice is heard.

Kana tells them they should ask "Takeru-oji-san, has it been two months already? How is your health?" and that the man's reaction will give it again. Chiaki abandons her book entirely to listen, and point out that she used the name "Takeru".

In passing, Takeru gives Haruka a gift from Nagoya.[Questions 1]

When Takeru enters the room, all four girls immediately ask him the question that Kana gave them. Confused, he begins to imagine dance clubs and bars.[Notes 9]

The girls briefly discuss whether Takeru is suspicious or not. Kana confidently asserts her superior experience, but then realizes that, though they call Takeru "oji-san", she does not recall how Takeru is related to them. She asks her sisters, causing consternation on Takeru's part, but neither of them remember.

This causes the girls to conclude he is a stranger, and they immediately tackle him and pin him to the ground.[Memorable 1]

Meanwhile, Haruka calls a family member, learning that he is, in fact, their mother's eldest sister's son, or a cousin. On this revelation, Kana remembers that once, a long time ago, Chiaki called him Oji-san ("Uncle"), and the name stuck. Kana says he may be the one who gives them 10000 yen on New Year's, and Takeru agrees. Kana then adds that he might be the one who only gives 5000 yen. This prompts Uchida to react, again, to the money.

Kana then pushes Uchida on the forehead with a finger, warning her again that no amount of "Higuchi-senseis" is equal her worth.

Takeru says he's saved, and Haruka agrees amiably, but Takeru reminds them that they forgot about him also.

Segment Three

Minami-ke S1 E07 10m 18s

Sensei and Ninomiya-kun both have amnesia.

Minami-ke S1 E07 10m 43s

The car swerves to hit them again.

On the Sensei and Ninomiya-kun show, Sensei now also has amnesia. The nurse finds that they have both escaped during the night, delirious. The doctor and nurse chase them down, again to the intersection where they were hit by cars, and it is again raining. They begin to cross the street, another car approaches, and the doctor heroically runs out to block the car and tell it to stop, but this backfires, causing the car to swerve and hit Sensei and Ninomiya-kun. This is the end of the episode.

Kana complains about the repetitive plot, and Chiaki says that this plot repetition is the result of laziness, telling Haruka to call and complain.[Referbacks 3]

Segment Four

Minami-ke S1 E07 12m 10s

Yuu and Hiroko

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

The Legend.

Minami-ke S1 E07 12m 55s

The Reality.

Minami-ke S1 E07 12m 56s

The Reaction.

Minami-ke S1 E07 13m 00s

Banchou Haruka destroys the school windows.

Minami-ke S1 E07 13m 06s

Banchou Haruka destroys those who dare attack her.

Minami-ke S1 E07 16m 06s

The book of legends.

[Manga]At school, Kana is searching for a book in the library when she encounters Fujioka. She questions his presence there, and he defensively comments that he reads from time to time. When he asks about Kana, however, Kana acts insulted and insists she is a diligent reader. She then says that the Banchou being in the library is a stain on his reputation.[Notes 10][Cultural 3][Referbacks 4]

At this moment, Hiroko and Yuu walk by, overhearing part of the conversation. Hiroko comments to Yuu that there is apparently another Banchou besides Yuu in the school, but Yuu insists she wants no part of the title.

They then sit down at a table, and Hiroko regales Kana with a tale about the legend of the Banchou, explaining that when the two of them were first-years, there was a legendery Banchou in the school, and that afterwards, it became tradition to choose a new Banchou every year, making Yuu the third generation. Yuu's disparaging comments make clear that it is really Hiroko who sustains this tradition.[Notes 11]

Kana asks about the first Banchou, and Hiroko explains that when she graduated, she left behind myriad legendary tales, and that her name was Minami Haruka.[Memorable 2]

This shocks Fujioka, but makes Kana barely able to surpress her laughter.

Then, in counterpoint, Hiroko and Yuu recall some of the legends, with Hiroko giving the distorted version passed down by the students, and Yuu giving the more accurate rendition, showing the distorted version to be practically a fabrication by those invested in perpetuating the legend.[Quotes 2]

Unable to contain herself, Kana demands a notebook from a passing Keiko, in which Hiroko writes down every single Banchou legend she can recall.

Once again, Yuu offers to ceded the Banchou title she doesn't want to Fujioka, but Kana suggests that the two of them fight for a title using rock-paper-scissors.

Yuu hints to Fujioka strongly that she will play scissors on her first turn. A hapless Fujioka, not realizing what he is getting himself into, uses this information to win and become fourth Banchou, just as Yuu planned. Kana, having realized what has happened, calls Fujioka weak, and Yuu gleefully prepares to leave, asking Kana's name.

Kana reveals that she is the little sister of the first legendary Banchou. Despite her previous insistence on the banality of the real Haruka, Yuu shakily asks how she is doing nowadays, and Kana tells them that "Every day is a legend!"

Without that, Yuu and Hiroko depart, and Kana explains to Fujioka that she didn't want to ruin their image of Haruka.

At home, Kana tells Chiaki that she was unable to find the book Chiaki wanted in her school library, but that she found another interesting book. Chiaki comments on how rare an occurence this is.[Notes 12] Kana opens the notebook from earlier and reads one of the stories contained therein, prompting Haruka to drop a dish in the kitchen. Haruka appears in the doorway, asking Kana very kindly to come over so they can have a discussion, presumably so Haruka can censor whatever it is Kana thinks she knows. The camera zooms in on the notebook, which is titled "Minami Haruka Legends".

Segment Five

Minami-ke S1 E07 16m 54s

Skirt pulling is apparently a school tradition.

Minami-ke S1 E07 17m 16s

Haruka does not like being called Banchou.

Minami-ke S1 E07 19m 38s

Haruka is shocked.

Minami-ke S1 E07 19m 51s

Haruka thinks the Banchou may be a nice person.

Minami-ke S1 E07 21m 26s

Haruka believes this vase needs water.

Minami-ke S1 E07 21m 39s

Haruka drops the vase.

Minami-ke S1 E07 21m 59s

A younger Kana and Chiaki.

Minami-ke S1 E07 21m 59s-2

Chiaki hasn't really changed at all.

Two years ago, a noticeably younger Hiroko shows up to transmit the latest Banchou legend to Yuu, the very one Kana read aloud to Haruka in section four, her throwing a water-filled vase a math teacher who was sexually harrassing her. When Yuu feigns disinterest, despite Hiroko mentioning how important it is for Yuu's "future duties",[Questions 2] Hiroko feigns leaving, causing Yuu to pull her back and admitting wanting to know.[Referbacks 5]

The day before, Haruka's class is cleaning her classroom, when her various classmates start calling her Banchou. She tells them, for what is clearly not the first time, to stop calling her that, but her classmates tell her that at this point everyone is used to it, and that it is not all that different from being "linchou" (class representative).[Trivia 2] In anger, Haruka uses her command aura on some of the students around her, one of whom is asking about a vase, scaring them into submission. This, of course, causes everyone else to be in awe, and she realizes that she has only perpetuated the legend.

Her classmates then explain that it's too much work and too dispiriting to tell the truth to the eager underclassmen who come to ask about the legendary Banchou.[Quotes 3]

Later, her math teacher calls her in to talk. The teacher explains that he has heard that there is a Banchou in the school, clearly under the impression that the Banchou is the more traditional type who commits violence and flouts school rules. He asks her, as class rep, to aid him in his search for the Banchou.

Unwilling to admit that she is the Banchou in question, Haruka attempts to argue that the Banchou may in fact be unwilling and harmless, but the teacher views this as a warm-hearted defense of a fellow student, and refuses to accept this. The teacher continues to disparage the unsavory acts the Banchou is surely committing, the whole time banging the table and threatening to cause the vase next to him to topple over.

Haruka desperately changes the subject and, glancing at a book being read by another teacher, happens upon the idea of pretending to be a palm reader. She grabs his hand and informs him that this week, he will meet his destined lover. After a moment of awkwardness, the teacher buys it, and starts dorkily demanding she tell him who the woman will be like, asking more and more unrealistic questions.

Again changing the topic, Haruka grabs the flower vase next to her with the shriveling flowers. When the teacher insists that she keep reading his palm, she tells him that that kind of carelessness might dissuade a destined lover.

At that moment, one of the students shows up and calls her "Banchou", startling her into dropping the vase into his head.[Memorable 3][Notes 13]

On their way home from school, a much-younger Kana tells Chiaki about a Banchou she heard about in the middle school. Chiaki disparages this, saying that Banchous are only legends.[Cultural 4][Trivia 3]

Manner of Adaptation

Adaptation from the manga was again quite faithful, with only the original content deviating markedly from the manga. The original content is a quite reasonable extrapolation and fits easily into the canon.

Fan Reaction

Fan reaction was generally positive, with the episode considered a continuation of generally high quality, though perhaps without as much epicness as the previous episode.

Referbacks

  1. Minami-ke Episode 06#Segment Five
  2. Minami-ke Episode 06#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 029)
  3. This hackneyed plot is, of course, a repetition of that in Minami-ke Episode 03#Segment Four and Minami-ke Episode 06#Segment Three, and part of the parody. Chiaki's urging of Haruka to call and complain is similar to her similar request in episode six for Haruka to call the power station and complain about the power outage.
  4. Fujioka first acquires this status in Kana's mind in Minami-ke Episode 01#Segment Five (Minami-ke Chapter 002), thanks to Chiaki.
  5. Using the same skirt pull used by Riko and Kana on Keiko in Minami-ke Episode 02#Segment Two.

Notes

  1. Because, of course, the disguised Makoto has a crush on Haruka.
  2. Implicitly offering to "help" Chiaki.
  3. Mako-chan.
  4. In her first appearance since Minami-ke Episode 04#Segment Two (Minami-ke Chapter 023), Riko acts very much like Kana's friend, ironically. Kana, however, treats her rather poorly. This is, however, how Kana treats all her friends, and Riko sticks around.
  5. Just to be clear: That she has already accidentally got Keiko's glasses off of her. Kana in this segment is displaying a sterling example of Minami Logic.
  6. Implying that he is either the formal guardian of the three sisters or is somehow recognized as such. However, besides speculated deliveries of money, he really plays very little role in their lives.
  7. And yet, the two of them who are not Yoshino or Uchida, Long-haired Girl and Bowl-haired Girl, are never seen again in the anime. In Minami-ke Chapter 044 and Minami-ke Chapter 045, they appear as classmates of Touma. They were written out of the corresponding Minami-ke: Okawari Episode 03.
  8. If, as implied in her character description in Minami-ke Volume 01, Yoshino is indeed rich, then she might not even understand why this would be a problem. Of course, this particular factoid is only ever implied once, and never comes up within any of the chapters.
  9. This comedic sequence needs a bit of untangling. The question Kana gave told them to ask was likely designed so that any stranger would be confused by the girls pretending to know him, while any actual family friend or relative would take it in stride. Takeru, of course, does not know any of them, and probably misinterprets the second question as "How is your liver?" (since the word for "liver" can also mean "organs" and "How are your organs/liver?" is a valid way of asking "How is your health?", though the simple "Genki?" is more common). Takeru then begins thinking of alcohol and bars, which he was apparently in the vicinity of somewhere around two motnhs ago. None of this, of course, makes things any clearer to him, and he begins trying to recall how he could possibly have met any of these girls in the vicinity of a bar/dance club.
  10. Since the scholarly appearance of borrowing books from the library would conflict with a Banchou's reputation as gang leader. As for whether or not Kana really believes this, see Character Pairings (Minami-ke)#Kana's Feelings Towards Fujioka.
  11. This is essentially Hiroko's defining character trait. For the curious, Hitomi was the second generation Banchou. See Minami-ke: Okaeri Episode 04#Segment Four (Minami-ke Chapter 103).
  12. Proving what all the viewers suspected, that her previous comment to Fujioka about sometimes reading was a lie.
  13. This entire sequence is an example of excellent use of comedic suspense. Viewers' knowledge of the title of the legend prompts repeated expectations of something happening to a vase, at first when one is being carried by a classmate, and later on repeated occasions when the teacher slams the table, causing the vase to shake. Each time, the tension escalates as the vase gets ever closer to hitting the teacher, and finally tension is resolved at the end.

Trivia

  1. This appears, rather unrealistically, to be the only appearance of either a cell phone or a laptop in the entire series.
  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. Despite the fact that she is walking home with Chiaki in school uniform, Kana is wearing casual clothes instead of a school uniform, which is even stranger when one considers that Kana would be in elementary school at the time in question, almost certainly the same school as Chiaki. In addition, Kana sports her customary long pigtails, but is shown in Minami-ke Chapter 078 as having had short pigtails at her middle school entrance ceremony. This is at best a minor problem, though, and easily explained away, though the chapter was available when this episode was made. Both these issues are probably just animation and chronology errors.

Cultural References

  1. Presumably, in Japanese, this sounds more concerned and less insulting.
  2. Fukuzawa is found on the 10000 yen note, and Noguchi on the 1000 yen note.
  3. Traditionally considered the leader of a band of brigands, Banchou is often used as a term for the leader of a band of delinquents or an outright gang, thought occasionally it is used as a pet manner of referring to the boss.
  4. Chiaki is thinking of Banchou in the classical sense, as the leader of a band of brigands.

Unanswered Questions

  1. Raising the possibility that he lives and works there, or his branch of the family lives there, or both. The former is made somewhat more likely by his later recollection of urban dance clubs and bars. Of course, he could have just passed through the city or just visited there.
  2. One wonders how exactly it is that Hitomi becomes second Banchou, rather than Yuu, since Hiroko clearly had her marked for the spot.

Memorable Moments

  1. The girls pinning Takeru to the ground.
  2. The revelation that the legendary Banchou was Haruka.
  3. Of course, Haruka dropping the vase onto her math teacher.

Quotes

  1. Kana (05:15), noticing Keiko squinting without her glasses: "What's wrong, Keiko? Are you sleepy?"
    Keiko: "Not at all."
    Kana: "If you're sleepy, there's a bed waiting for you in the nurse's office."
    Keiko: "I don't know about going to the nurse just because you're sleepy..."
    Kana: "I sound different already!"
    Keiko: "I don't know about that..."
  2. Kana (12:35): "Was the first Banchou a great person?"
    Yuu: "I wouldn't say exactly a great person..."
    Hiroko: "I think you'd call her a...werido. With unimaginable skills, she left behind countless legends. In her last year, she named the Banchou. Minami Haruka-senpai! For example, she broke all the school windows!"
    Yuu: "That's backwards. She cleaned them until they sparkled."
    Hiroko: "She defeated every guy who ever challenged her!"
    Yuu: "She wasn't fighting them, she was turning them down."
  3. Classmate A (18:03): "We're too lazy to change back to class representative [from Banchou] anyway.
    Haruka: "Just what is so hard?"
    Classmate A: "When a kouhai comes by and asks, 'What kind of person is Banchou-san?', it's too hard to correct them and say 'There she is, but she's the class representative, not the Banchou.'"
    Classmate B: "Yeah, yeah, and they sure do visit often, right?"
    Haruka: "You should just tell them that the Banchou doesn't exist!"
    Classmate A: "But they obviously heard about the Banchou legend and wanted to come see for themselves."
    Haruka: "That's mostly exaggerations though."
    Classmate B: "But it's at least half true."
    Classmate A: "It's fine. As long as you stay the Banchou, there won't be any trouble. It's not too far from reality, either."
    Classmate B: "It's a pretty cool title, too! Keep it! Keep it!"

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