Minami-ke Okawari 01

みなみけ~おかわり~ Ep. 01

SPOILER Summary: Its New Years and Kana is on the phone, demanding the person on the Takeru accusedother end come over immediately. When she gets off and states that she was on the phone with Uchida, Chiaki seems to recall that Uchida was out of town. Kana is bored and gets Fujioka-bear to the face from Chiaki. Chiaki tells her to do her homework (which Chiaki is doing), but of course Kana isn’t interested in that. Takeru tries to place peace maker, leading Kana to demand to know why he’s at their house rather than at a temple with his girlfriend. Chiaki remarks it is because he has no plans which is true. He and his girlfriend were planning something, but she suddenly canceled and won’t return his calls.

As Chiaki continues to do her homework (Takeru having disappeared), Kana complains about the variety shows on TV and challenges Haruka to entertain them since Haruka likes the show. Makoto ToumaHaruka goes to her room to find some gear while outside, Makoto meets up with Touma to come to the Minami residence. Kana answers the door, but seeing Makoto dressed up as a guy, she won’t let either of them in even though she apparently had just called them and told them to come right over. Makoto had so wanted to start the year off coming over as a guy, but in order to be allowed in, he becomes Mako-chan again. Haruka comes to the edge of the door, dressed up in comedy fashion and doing a supposedly humorous dance but no one laughs. Kana reminds her they have guests as Haruka gets embarrassed.

Kana is forced to wear the top-knot cap that Haruka had worn as Haruka serves cheesecake and tells Touma and Mako-chan not to worry about what they’d previously seen. Chiaki Chiaki attacks Kanaabsentmindedly takes a bite of her cheesecake Kana weepingly apologizes. Chiaki notices some of her cheesecake missing and demands to know if Kana took it. Kana denies it (still depressed) and then Chiaki notices her notebook containing a list of New Year’s gifts she’d received was missing. She starts a desperate hunt for it, not wanting the others to see it, even looking under the kotatsu. She finds it under Fujioka-bear and then has a little conversation with the stuffed animal. When she hears Kana demanding to know who took part of her desert and start accusing others, Chiaki physically attacks her, saying it isn’t right to accuse people.

The group then gathers in the dining room to have New Year’s Soba. Kana is bored and wants to Car tripdo something. Mako-chan’s idea of kite flying is rejected and Touma also wants to go somewhere. Chiaki tells Kana to just go, leading to Kana attacking her because they don’t have a car. Takeru arrives and suddenly the transportation problem is solved. As they drive, Haruka wonders if this is OK, and Takeru assures her it is since he’s not doing anything. Kana agrees with this since he doesn’t have a girlfriend, leading Takeru to almost have an accident. That causes Kana to apologize, realizing their lives are in Takeru’s hands.

Takeru takes note of Fujioka, who had joined the group. He asks Haruka about him, and Haruka Fujiokasays it is a friend of Kana’s, whom Kana decided to invite. As Haruka navigates, Takeru wonders about Kana’s and Fujioka’s relationship. Eventually, it becomes clear that Haruka has gotten them lost, so Fujioka asks for directions and they end up at a onsen resort off the beaten track. As the sisters relax in the indoor onsen, Takeru decides to start grilling Fujioka on his relationship with Kana.

Meanwhile, Touma and Mako-chan have a problem since both are pretending to be the opposite sex. As such, they can’t just go to the proper bathing areas. However, since Touma isn’t hiding Mako-chan and Toumathe fact that she’s a girl from the sisters, she can safely bathe with them. Makoto isn’t having anything to do with that solution since he IS trying to hide the fact that he’s a guy. The issue becomes moot when the sisters emerge and Kana is ready to do something. She inquires of the okami (hostess) and gets a hand-drawn map to a spring. However, Haruka leads them to a waterfall instead. Kana tries to play off this, but in correcting Kana, Chiaki accidentally and implicitly slams Haruka.

The group returns to the inn where its another bathing session for the sisters and another issue for Touma and Makoto, who’s desperate not to be the only one who doesn’t get to soak in the Chiaki beans Kanaonsen waters. Chiaki and Haruka come out to find them bickering and again, the issue is made moot when Kana arrives, wanting to play ping-pong. First up is Chiaki vs. Kana with Kana not playing seriously but more interested in just slapping a “home run.” Chiaki returns the favor by serving up one to Kana’s forehead. As Touma and Mako-chan continue to watch and not get to bathe, Haruka squares off with Chiaki and puts a serious game move on Chiaki to show she’s going all out to win.

Ping-pong over, Touma and Makoto are back to square one. However, they decide that Touma will head to the women’s bath and Makoto to the men’s. As they do so, Takeru finally finishes Mako-chan returns to being Makotogrilling Fujioka, so he heads off to finally bathe. He goes to the men’s side and sees “Mako-chan” undressing. Thinking he’s made a horrible mistake, he races to the other bath where he finds Touma, whom he thinks is a guy, undressing. Touma has to scramble and state that the baths are about to switch sides so that the male side becomes female and vice versa. As such, Touma goes to “check” on the status of the switch. She gets Makoto to get out of his female hairdo and just pretend to be a local boy.

Meanwhile, Fujioka decides to have a look at the current men’s onsen before moving to the otherKana and Fujioka side. He opens the door to find a naked Kana there. He closes the door, all confuses, and the embarrassed Kana, who’d been about to leave, returns to the bath and asks Chiaki what she would do if she accidentally went into a changing room and saw naked boys. Fujioka is standing there in a state of shock, trying to wrap his mind around the fact that girls are bathing in the men’s bath (which of course, they aren’t).

Back at the Minami residence, Uchida is there outside in her New Year’s kimono and with a present, wondering why no one is home.

Thoughts: Well, in addition to character design changes, we got story design changes as well. Gone are the short stories linked by a common theme. Now, we get a standard anime episode and I don’t think it works as well. And the Minami sisters get a standard dining room table and a little dining room I guess. They’d always eaten everything at the table in the living room before. Doesn’t mean the room wasn’t there previously, but it did seem to come out of the blue.

I really didn’t get any laughs this episode. I did get a chuckle at the end with Fujioka trying to figure out why the men’s side had women in it after he’d seen Kana naked. Mostly, things just seemed to go through the motions but without the heart of the previous series. There was a lot more fanservice too. We’ll see how it goes.

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