Minami-ke Okawari 04

みなみけ~おかわり~ Ep. 04

SPOILER Summary: When Haruka goes to take out the trash, she sees Fuyuki-kun, the new neighbor kid, and learns from the gossiping “Black-san” women about how hard he works on the Fuyukineighborhood trash pickup on the weekends and they ask him to help them again the following weekend. Its a school morning and Chiaki and Kana don’t get up when their alarm goes off, thus forcing Haruka to have to get stern with them. However, seeing the condition of their room and the attitude they appear to have about cleaning it up, combined with how hard Fuyuki works, Haruka informs her younger sisters that they will now be participating in the neighborhood cleanup that weekend, much to their chagrin.

At school, Chiaki envies the hamster and sees a teacher request Fuyuki-kun to do some extra Yoshino and Chiakiwork, which he meekly accepts. Chiaki enlists the help of Uchida and Yoshino for the weekend garbage pickup. Elsewhere, Kana invites Fujioka for the following morning, which he happily accepts, not realizing what’s in store for him. Kana does the same for Keiko. At the high school, Hosaka-senpai has learned about this and decided to participate as well. Indeed, they all show up as well as Makoto (as Mako-chan), Touma, and Maki. Hosaka also showed up.

Garbage pickup begins with Kana acting dumb. Some Black-san adults act dumb as well, asking Black-san and FuyukiFuyuki-kun if a plastic bottle is burnable trash. Indeed, these black-faced anonymous adults seem helpless and need Fuyuki-kun’s help. After a while, Kana’s tired of picking up trash and decides to lay on a park bench. Chiaki comes over and tries to get Kana back to work. Haruka also comes over, and hearing Kana say she doesn’t want to do this, Haruka gets angry and threatens her and Chiaki with no dinner if they doesn’t get busy.

Kana gathers a lot of trash and figures she’s owed a crab dinner. However, Fuyuki-kun has gathered more trash, leading Kana to rant about this before Haruka shuts her up. Since Kana is Mako-chan-tachiFuyuki-kun’s senpai, she should be ashamed to be outdone by him. She praises Fuyuki-kun, who’s embarrassed and says he did nothing, leading Chiaki to suggest that he should be happy, though he doesn’t appear that way. Kana decides that they have to beat Fuyuki and so gathers her and Chiaki’s friends to accomplish this task. They head to the river to clean and Fuyuki is there as well. An adult is in the river and apparently is so helpless, they need Fuyuki-kun’s help to remove a tricycle. So he meekly goes off to help.

Meanwhile, Kana has found an old refrigerator which she figures if they can get it back to the trash pile, will have them win for sure. However, the consensus is that the fridge is too heavy. Angry HarukaKana doesn’t want to give up, and so decides to try to open it. As she struggles to get it open, everyone speculates what might be in it, including a giant load of cash. Chiaki suggest that maybe a body is in it, which Kana isn’t pleased to hear. Soon, everyone is dreaming of spending found cash money but when Kana finally gets the door opened, the fridge is filled with medium-sized rocks. In frustration, she and some of the others throw some of the rocks into the river as it begins to snow. Haruka, who’d been concerned about them, finds them throwing rocks instead of working and won’t hear any excuses. Chiaki and Kana get no dinner.

As they pile the last of the trash bags onto the pile, Chiaki sees Fuyuki putting garbage into a bagChiaki and Kana that had come open. After tossing her bag on the pile, she walks away, but stops long enough to tell him that he should just plainly refuse when he doesn’t want to do something. The following morning, Haruka gets up and finds Chiaki and Kana already at the table, desperate for food.

Thoughts: I learned that the Japanese are apparently very filthy people, pouring tons of garbage everywhere. Yet at the same time, Japanese people volunteer to clean up the filth they have made to look good. So, if I understood this right, you secretly pollute, then clean up the pollution to look good for your neighbors. Otherwise, how could they gather a mountain of trash like that if they weren’t secretly throwing it everyone to start with.

I can’t say I was impressed with this episode. It was a complete waste as far as I’m concerned. Fuyuki-kun’s character adds an underlying seriousness that does not become Minami-ke; it makes it feel wrong. After two episodes with him, I’m thinking he’ll be some abused kid or something, who’s desperate for love an attention.

Oh, and I’m tired of all the Black-san characters. Sheeze.

Ultimately, after four episodes, Minami-ke Okawari is a sad, pathetic excuse of an anime that took everything good about Minami-ke and has made it into a grotesque imitation. I’ll keep watching, but I don’t have any high hopes.

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