Poplar is able to reach the broken dish report for the first time, making her brag that she’s finally grown. This depresses Souta, which in turn depresses Mahiru, which in turn causes Aoi to investigate. In the course of her investigation, Poplar tells Aoi that some day in the future she may have to quit her job. However, Aoi takes this as Poplar plans on quitting imminently and tells everyone in the restaurant. Soon everyone’s comments wishing her good luck cause Poplar to actually think quitting maybe a good idea, until Maya Matsumoto, Wagnaria’s resident normal person, gets Poplar thinking straight again. Meanwhile, Jun and Souta discover Poplar has only gotten better at stretching and hasn’t gotten taller.
Maya saves Wagnaria from the hordes of abnormal people who work there
I figured in the end it’d be something like Poplar was able to stretch better or got lucky or used a longer pen or something. And you’d think by now that no one would believe any rumor that Aoi started.
So we’re at the end of another season. Some things have progressed, at least a little bit. Mahiru and Souta’s relationship and Jun and Yachiyo’s relationship both seem to have at least gotten incrementally better. We also have the added element of Aoi’s brother looking for her. But other than that, we’re really no closer to knowing anything about Hiroomi or to Poplar getting taller. This season was good enough to watch as a reasonable level of entertainment, I guess, but much like the first season, it wasn’t anything to get too excited about.
So, I figure there is at least a halfway decent chance at a third season. I would have thought that they might tie some of the things up a bit more if there wasn’t. So what is it going to be called? “Working”!!’? Or maybe “Working!!?”? If there is a third season, I guess there may be a reasonable chance of me blogging it since I’ve already done the first two, though I suppose that depends on what’s airing at the same time. If I were still rating anime, I’d probably give this 3 or 3 1/2 stars out of 5. It’s reasonably, but not overly, funny, with a set of good characters.But it tends to drag on more than it should.
Mahiru has broken her record of consecutive days without punching Souta, but would like a way to train to get better without putting Souta in danger. Unfortunately, Aoi and Poplar can’t really thing of any viable options. However, Souta thinks if they start texting each other, maybe that will help. Later, Aoi comes up with the idea of a “Wagnaria boys tour,” which nearly ends up with Hiroomi getting punched, but Jun uses Aoi’s stuffed bear Daisy at the last second to save him.
Well, we finally get some progress, if only incremental, in Mahiru and Souta’s relationship. It seems she’s doing well enough now that their regular interaction doesn’t result in her punching him anymore, but it seems if a guy still surprises her in any way, she’ll still let loose. We have one episode to go, and while it’d be nice if one of the major story arcs were largely tied up at the end of this season, I see to doubt that they will.
Otherwise, we had a pretty meaningless segment between Aoi and Jun, and another meaningless segment between Souta and Kirio, though at least Kirio has figured out at this point that Souta is the one Mahiru likes, so maybe something will come of that eventually. I doubt it will in this season, however.
Aoi loses her stuffed bear that Hiroomi helped get her at the mall, but it ends up Jun found it and threw it back up into her room, Mitsuki then shows up, and Jun tells her that as long as she shows up, Yachiyo won’t be able to make friends. She then challenges her on liking Yachiyo, and he says he does. Yachiyo overhears them, but only part of it and is confused about it means and ends up being worried about Jun for a while. Jun finally puts her mind at ease and decides to pressure himself to “try harder” due to advice from Poplar
Poplar: Queen of being cute without necessarily being blobby-eyed moe
This time we get a Jun episode, which is good because, he’s probably my favorite male character in the show. Unfortunately, I’m not sure all that much happened. He and Mitsuki had a run in, and then he teased me by making me think he might actually confess, but all he did was try to put Yachiyo’s mind at ease and go back to the way things were. I suppose him deciding to pressure himself to try harder is at least a step in the right direction at least.
Otherwise, this episode was mainly the same ole same ole. There was some Nazuna, which I never object to, but it wasn’t anything overly exciting. Meanwhile, Hiroomi must have a thing for getting beaten up by Jun since he always provokes him.
Mahiru has more guy trouble, as Jun gets trapped in the break room with Mahiru and barely escapes. Meanwhile, Souta has to protect her from some falling boxes, which makes her so flustered that she has to take a nap in the break room. Souta pets her head while she’s sleeping, but she wakes up, which shocks her to the point of needing to go home and stay in bed. So Souta goes and visits her at home in the only way he can: by becoming Kotori.
Delusions of not punching Souta to death
It’s nice to have another Mahiru episode, this one getting nice and steamy with Souta getting as far as being able to touch Mahiru’s head, albeit when she’s asleep. However, it seems that Mahiru’s mother has perhaps figured out that Kotori is actually a boy in disguise.
Otherwise, this was another reasonable episode. The Poplar getting locked in the freezer gag was cheap but it was funny. I think the only reason they did the Aoi wanting a cell phone bit was to just set that up. Otherwise it was pretty much all Mahiru and Souta, though it’s rare and funny to see Jun having to face off with Mahiru. Usually the only one who faces certain death at her hand other than Souta is Hiroomi.
Yachiyo, who is really bad with machines, doesn’t have a cell phone, but the other employees convince her to get one. Jun goes to the store to get her one, where the clerk keeps calling Yachiyo Jun’s girlfriend. Meanwhile, Yohei shows up and sees Kozue moping over getting dumped again and says she’s beautiful. This causes Kozue to drunkenly propose to him, but he refuses because he can’t take care of her. Mitsuki then shows up and decides to spy on the break room after getting concerned with the way Jun behaves around Yachiyo.
Unhappily Not Together
Well, we see the start of a possible Kozue/Yohei thing in this episode, as well as an expansion on Mitsuki being as obsessed with Yachiyo as Yachiyo is with Kazue. Perhaps fortunately for Jun, she’s too dense to realize that he actually has a thing for Yachiyo. Again, not much Poplar or Mahiru in this episode, though Aoi is clearly turning into another rival of Mahiru for Souta, though Souta is definitely not very interested in returning that interest.
This series seems to be generally plodding along like the first season did. It’s not necessarily great, but it’s not bad either. It has it’s moments but it’s nothing to get all too excited about at this point.
One night at home, Souta realizes that Nazuna is now as tall as he is, depressed, he begs Poplar to act as his little sister for a day to cheer him up. This leads to everyone thinking he’s about to go crazy. This attention makes Mahiru jealous, so Hiroomi tells her to show Souta a picture of her when she was little, which causes Souta to say she’s cute, something she records on her phone and plays over and over. Kirio then shows up at the restaurant, and Hiroomi goes to great lengths to try to prevent him from finding Aoi.
Yes, I feel sorry for you too, Mahiru
Normally when Hiroomi hides information that would clear a situation up, he’s just doing it to see how things play out, partly because it amuses him, and partly because I think it helps him learn about what everyone else does and thinks. But in this case, I’m not sure if it’s the case, or if it is, he’s willing to go to some rather great lengths to hide Aoi. It doesn’t seem like he has any specific knowledge about Aoi’s situation, but I suppose part of it is that he feels that Aoi ran away for a reason.
Meanwhile, it really does seem like Souta is about to have some sort of breakdown. His last hold to being “big” was that he was taller than Nazuna, and now he’s lost that. Maybe having a picture of Mahiru when she was little will start softening his view toward her. Or at least one can hope, I suppose.
There are rumors of a molester stalking the city in back alleyways. When the supposed molester approaches Mahiru, she tries to punch him, but he blocks her. He then explains that he is looking for his lost sister, and gives his name as Kirio Yamada. Mahiru thinks this means he is Aoi’s brother, but Souta says that can’t be since Aoi made up the name Yamada. The next day, Poplar asks Souta to escort Mahiru, concerned about the molester rumor, but when he goes out, Souta sees Mahiru talking with Kirio again. This makes him upset and he starts going crazy at work. However, Souta mistakes his angst as a mistaken belief that me might be a masochist.
My Molesters the Yamadas
I guess liking something that isn’t small is so beyond Souta’s ability to comprehend that he thinks what he’s feeling is some kink toward masochism (which his sister Nazuna already thinks he has, which didn’t help his confusion) and not feelings toward Mahiru.
Meanwhile, we meet another character, Kirio, who is obviously Aoi’s brother, but to this point they haven’t run into each other. However, given the fact that Mahiru gave him directions to the restaurant, and Kirio is crazy abut Mahiru, I figure it’s only a matter of time.
Meanwhile, Hiroomi, who could once again easily clear things up due to knowing exactly whats going on due to his intelligence network, happily watches and laughs as things unfold. I hope some day we find out how he finds out so many things about people.
Poplar and Jun are sick, so Kyoko calls in a pair of her old gang buddies: the twins Yohei and Mitsuki, who both happen to always argue with each other. The next day, Souta complains to Kyoko that he’s not appreciated, so she relieves him of having to look after Mahiru and assigns the task to Yohei. Mahiru, unsure of how to react, says she doesn’t care who looks after her, and Souta goes off on her and starts ignoring her. Poplar finally gets Mahiru to explain that she thought if Yohei looked after her, she wouldn’t punch Souta any more, but she likes Souta looking after her, and the two finally make up.
This is probably the minimum that Souta deserves
I’m not sure if it’s the writer’s intentions to make Souta as unlikable as possible, but so far they’re doing a pretty good job of it. On top of having the weirdest “issue,” he’s easily the most self-centered, possibly even more than Kyoko, which is saying something. Unless something is “small” or “cute,” he basically sees it as trash that need not be paid attention to. Before some of that was just for comedic relief, but at this point he’s just being mean about it. I can have some sympathy for him due to being punched by Mahiru all the time, but at this point I’m thinking he probably deserves it more than needing sympathy over it.
Otherwise, I’m guessing we’ll be seeing the twin former-gang members again at some point. I have a feeling that their devotion to Kyoko, which easily matches Yachiyo’s, might cause problems between them, however.
Souta has about had it with Kyoko not handling her manager duties, so Poplar tries to find some way to patch things up. However, she and the other employees (other than Yachiyo) struggle to find any redeeming traits. Souta, Jun, and Hiroomi then get together and decide that enough is enough. Hiroomi tells Kyoko that they didn’t order enough food, and if she eats anymore, they’ll be shut down and fired. Kyoko struggles to survive, but after she doesn’t eat a cake the workers give a lost girl, even after being offered, they relent and let her eat.
Satou: Heir apparent to Pedobear
I dunno, maybe it’s cause I’ve actually worked with managers that didn’t do anything, but the episode still didn’t give me much sympathy for Kyoko, even if the other characters felt it and, of course, the episode itself undermined that sympathy intentionally at the end as well. I just wondered why it took so long for some of them to put their foot down about it.
Meanwhile, as much as Souta looks down on the other’s weirdness, he proves once again that he is probably the weirdest one of them all. I knew the moment he saw a small kid outside that nothing good was going to happen if Souta had anything to do with it. I’m almost surprised he did’t do anything worse.
Kyoko and Yachio head out to the store after Kyoko eats all the restaurant’s whipped cream. On the way, the pair run into a weird woman who pops up from the sewer, and their conversation causes Yachio to realize that it’s Ooto’s lost wife. However, she disappears before Yachio can do anything, causing her despair over her lost chance. Meanwhile, Mahiru finds out about the Jun-Yachio-Kyoko love triangle. Miharu follows around pitying Jun, which makes Souta thinks is a sign that she likes Jun.
When story arcs collide!
So we actually had incremental progress on several story arcs. We finally met Ooto’s wife, even if briefly. No wonder he can’t find his wife, with her lurking down in the sewers in the city. We have a sign that perhaps Yachio has a hint of a feeling for Jun at the end of the episode, after he helps her out. Then we get some possible movement with Souta, as he becomes bothered when he learns that Mahiru likes someone (of course, not knowing that it’s him).
There are all small enough steps that one may not expect anything to imminently to happen, but they the start of the founding for those story arcs to get resolved eventually.
“Manhole Spiral” was a good name for this episode as things and misunderstandings kept spiraling out of control, even though most of them were resolved by the end of the episode. In any case, I thought this was a good episode that was both funny and actually showed promise in regards to moving the plot forward.