Minami-ke Okaeri 06

みなみけ おかえり Episode 06
Minami-ke Okaeri 06

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis: 

Minami-ke Okaeri 06 Uchida and Yoshino are at the Minami residence eating watermelon along with Kana and Haruka. Chiaki comes in looking for her teddy bear Fujioka and she suspects Kana of doing something with it. Kana denies being involved and believes Chiaki must have left it at the beach during their recent trip. This leads to Kana recounting that indeed Chiaki had brought the bear to the beach. The real Fujioka arrives and he has Fujioka-bear with him, having discovered it in his bag. This leads the others, including Fujioka, to recount their experiences with the bear at the beach. That causes Kana to remember that she was indeed the one who put the bear in Fujioka’s bag to make sure it didn’t get lost. However, she can’t confess that now lest Chiaki get angry.

Minami-ke Okaeri 06At the Minami residence, Haruka and Maki are doing their summer homework while Chiaki watches TV, Touma reads a manga, and Kana reads a magazine. Fujioka stops by with a watermelon, which is an immediate hit. Maki realizes that Fujioka is attempting to win Kana over with food and teases him about it. After attempting to eat his slice of the watermelon with a spoon, Fujioka is told by Maki that Minami-ke Okaeri 06this spoon is one used by Kana. Embarrassed, Fujioka eats his slice by hand, challenging Touma to an eating contest. Kana starts annoying Touma with seed-spitting and gets chastised by Haruka. Kana volunteers to make curry and Chiaki wants the carrots kept to a minimum but Kana doesn’t oblige. Food is served and Maki is going to tease Fujioka again, but that’s stopped when Kana gives him a spoon and mentions it is a guest spoon though Chiaki mentions that spoons don’t belong to anyone, so Fujioka decides on a curry eating contest with Touma. Touma has already finished and wants seconds.

Minami-ke Okaeri 06Uchida is at the Minami residence attempting to work on her summer homework just as summer vacation is almost over (Chiaki and Touma fast asleep). Mako-chan comes over and is horrified to see homework being done since “he” hasn’t done his yet. He learns from Uchida that Chiaki won’t let Uchida copy Chiaki’s homework. So Mako-chan makes a deal with Uchida — he’ll help her get Chiaki’s homework if Minami-ke Okaeri 06she then lets him copy Uchida’s later. Mako-chan makes his pitch but is rejected. Since Chiaki doesn’t recognize him as Makoto, she goes on to tell Mako-chan how Uchida came over a lot during the summer while Chiaki was doing her homework, but Uchida’s laughing, drink spilling, and other actives during Chiaki’s studies irritated her and so Uchida is out. However, in the end, Chiaki agrees to give Uchida her notes. When Touma wants to copy from Uchida, Uchida refuses, even when Touma intervenes.

Minami-ke Okaeri 06Kana is depressed that summer is almost over so she wants to reminisce about summer since she hates fall. So she and Chiaki get into the bath in their swimsuits where Chiaki remembers all the food-related pranks Kana pulled on her during the summer, including putting wasabi paste into her soumen. Meanwhile, Uchida come over with a dish of chestnut rice, Yoshino comes over with some extra fish, Minami-ke Okaeri 06Touma comes over with some mushrooms from her brother which she thinks are weird. Haruka and the others react to the “matsutake-sama” and begin addressing Touma as “Touma-sama.” When Kana and Chiaki see the matsutake, the have a similar reaction, only now Kana says she loves autumn. At dinner, everyone starts to eat when Kana notices that she has no chestnuts in her rice. As she’s pondering this, her fish is taken (by Chiaki). When Kana notices it missing, Chiaki wonders if the fish ran away from her. As Kana ponders this, Chiaki steals her matsutake. Kana starts to realize what is going on as Chiaki chews and speaks. Later that night, Chiaki hesitantly starts to place the eaten fish into a pot on the stove.

Thoughts/Review:

Minami-ke Okaeri 06I think I’ve figured out one of the elements that makes this series weaker than the first. My memories of Minami-ke were that the story segments, whether linked or not, ended with a kind of punch-line (maybe not an actual punch-line, but ended with a period on the joke that was good). So you had the humor of the episode and the humor of the end. For this episode of Okaeri, I kept noticing that there was no punch-out to the episode. They just end and it feels awkward, more so for some stories than others. Take the last story — what the smeg is Chiaki doing with the eaten fish? Why would she want to put it into the large pot. Made no sense to me, even if it is Kana’s. Yet that’s where the story just stops and that wasn’t funny. It is strange and as I said, awkward.

Further, I don’t think the comedic timing of this series is down as well either. There’s still funny stuff at times, but like I mentioned before, things sometimes are just flat or inexplicable.

Minami-ke Okaeri 06As to the stories this episode, the flashbacks to the beach weren’t funny. Every flashback was simply setting the table for Kana to realize she had been the one to cause Fujioka-bear to go missing. That’s some long, long setup for a joke. Don’t get me wrong, once it became clear that Kana was guilty, I laughed, especially when Kana tried to cover her “Ah” vocal slip. However, the story just dies on her failed cover story and so doesn’t end on a laugh (which is anther example of what I complained about earlier).

Minami-ke Okaeri 06For the second story, I liked how Maki teased teased Fujioka about eating from Kana’s spoon. That amused me. I expected Kana to screw up the curry, so it was a pleasant surprise when she didn’t. I laughed at Chiaki refering to carrots as the “hidden flavor” and wanting less of that in the curry. However, Maki’s teasing throughout the episode just died with with the “no one owns a spoon” and Chiaki eating curry. Terrible ending but funny stuff with the teasing and Chiaki’s revution over carrots.

Minami-ke Okaeri 06For the third story, there were no laughs for me. I suppose Uchida’s desperation to get Chiaki’s homework for copying but refusal to allow Touma to copy is supposed to be funny, but it didn’t do a thing for me.

For the fourth story, I did laugh at Chiaki’s recall of summer events and revenge on Kana for all those food pranks. I’ve already complained about the story’s end so I won’t say Minami-ke Okaeri 06more there. I will say that while I know of the Japanese love of the VERY expensive matsutake, this episode marks the first time I’ve seen them given an honorific and the “sama” one at that. I’ve never had a matsutake so maybe if I return to Japan, I’ll have to try a “matsutake-sama.” ^_^

Good stuff with a lot of bad story ends for this episode. I know other episodes have had stories end awkwardly, but this time, it really stood out to me.

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