Minami-ke Tadaima – 01

みなみけ ただいま

Minami-ke Tadaima Episode 01 Review

SPOILER Summary/Synopsis:

Chiaki and Kana are at the kotatsu, where Kana produces her school uniform, all nice and warm. Chiaki chides her for relying on the kotatsu when it is spring, but she changes tunes when Haruka enters the room and reveals she’s been warming Chiaki’s school uniform under the kotatsu, causing Kana to chide her for relying on the kotatsu. Kana gets instructed to make sure she takes her monthly test home, but she only scores a 52. Since she can’t show that to Haruka, she hits up Keiko for some tutoring, but Keiko refuses. Kana decides she needs more sincerity, so she drafts the shorter Miyuki to ask Keiko since Miyuki’s grades were apparently not good either.

Keiko is unable to resist Miyuki’s plea for help, so Kana arranges for a study session to be held at the Minami apartment. While seated around the kotatsu, Keiko helps Miyuki with her questions, but insists that Kana do her own research. Kana is frustrated by this, telling Miyuki that she has to overcome her own challenges. Miyuki agrees, so she and Keiko leave, causing Kana to suddenly discover her mistake. On the next test, Kana scores even worse, but Miyuki scores 100, thanks to Kana’s advice. Miyuki wants to grow taller, so Kana agrees, but only if Miyuki helps her study.

Another afternoon sees Chiaki, Uchida, and Kana are seated around the kotatsu. Kana is reading a manga as is Uchida, who’s supposed to be studying, while Chiaki diligently does her homework. Kana has volume 10 of the manga Uchida is reading, so Uchida goes to the bathroom. Kana decides to teach Uchida a lesson by stealing and eating her doughnut. Uchida returns to discover this, but can’t get Chiaki to acknowledge them from their studies, thus Kana wins. Kana leaves to check on dinner, so Uchida takes volume 10 of the manga. Kana returns, but can’t get Chiaki to acknowledge her to help her accuse Uchida. However, when Haruka calls for Chiaki, Chiaki immediately responds.

Chiaki returns to find a silent and apparently depressed Kana and Uchida at the kotatsu. Chiaki-devil and Chiaki-angel appear, with Chiaki-devil suspecting that the pair did something to Chiaki. They don’t see anything, but Chiaki-angel notices Uchida trying not to laugh. Chiaki still cannot determine what they did to her, so in frustration, she apologizes to them for studying on her own. Uchida is relieved since Kana had told her to be absolutely silent to allow Chiaki to study, but Kana kept making funny faces. Since dinner is ready, Chiaki becomes extra nice to Uchida, encouraging her to stay for dinner and to have thirds.

At school, Kana tells Keiko she went a shrine, where her love fortune says that her love could suddenly appear in front of her without warning. Keiko thinks this is Fujioka’s chance. Kana is startled by Miyuki’s sudden appearance and pawns her off on Riko. Back in class, Kana is pondering being prepared when she’s startled by Fujioka’s sudden appearance, causing her to wonder if he’s the one. That afternoon, Chiaki invited Fujioka over, where she sits in his lap at the kotatsu to discuss her bear (also named Fujioka) and oranges. Kana comes home to find Fujioka there, causing her to seriously ponder if he’s the one. However, when he calls in and returns to pick up his bike lock key, Kana decides he’s not the one.

One day, Kana announces that they need to put the kotatsu away since it is spring and a nice day. Haruka is opposed and craws under the kotatsu for a nap. Kana pulls it away with Chiaki’s blessing, but Haruka sleeps on. Kana celebrates her win, but Chiaki sees that Haruka wasn’t planning on fighting Kana. At school, Haruka tells Maki and Atsuko that their kotatsu has been put away, leading them both to be surprised since putting the kotatsu away always leads to a fight at the Minami residence. Returning home, Haruka is surprised to find that Kana has gotten the kotatsu back out since it is a cold day, deciding to change under it. She didn’t bring clothes, so Haruka pulls her out. That evening, they have nabe for dinner, perfect food for a chilly night.

Thoughts/Review:

Ah, Minami-ke, how I have missed thee. ^_^

Since it has been a few years since the last Minami-ke installment, I liked that the episode started with a narration on the part of Chiaki, introducing us to the three sisters while pressing forward with the first story.

I was pleased to see the continuation of the individual stories, of which there were four this time, rather than the failed attempt to make a single, continuous story in each episode. The stories were fun and I enjoyed the episode a great deal, but the latest anime production company (named “feel.” with the period apparently) to have the franchise hasn’t pulled off what Daume did for the first series — comedy gold.

Still, there were some comedic moments, just nothing too funny. I always smile whenever Chiaki insults Kana with her trademark “bakayarou.” Often in anime, the word is yelled out quickly, but Chiaki’s slow enunciation of the word is just that delicious bit of wickedness from Chiaki making sure Kana heard the insult.

Speaking of wickedness, I think the funniest moment came from the unexpected arrival of Chiaki-angel and Chiaki-devil.  It was great seeing them, especially since Chiaki-devil is the adult version of Chiaki, and she’s H-O-T, but the laughs came from the two sides working together to try to figure out what mischief Kana and Uchida had pulled on Chiaki.

The new character, Miyuki, caused me to smile a lot since she was able to achieve what Kana never can.  So it was amusing to see Kana try to adjust her strategy to get Keiko to help her based on what Miyuki had done.

Fujioka gets back and we get the little romance thread between him and the dense Kana picked up again. It still looks wrong to me for Chiaki to be sitting in his lap so casually, even though I know it is innocent.

Finally, there is a small increase in ecchi factor with this episode. We’ve already had fanservice episodes were the girls are in swimsuits, and even one where the lovely Haruka’s clothing is somewhat revealing after she gets up from a nap (first series, I believe). The production team went back to that, only the way she was panned-and-scanned put more emphasis on Haruka being sexy but asleep.

Further to that, the production team gave Kana some sexy fanservice by having her be in a bra as Haruka pulled the “stag beetle” from under the kotatsu (since Kana’s twin tails made it look like a giant stag beetle was under the kotatsu).  I’m wondering if the production company is going to try to use this to garner a cheap boost in ratings.

So, while still not at the levels of the first series, I’d say that Minami-ke Tadaima is at the level of the third series and certainly better than the second series. Here’s hoping it gets even better. ^_^

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6 Responses to “Minami-ke Tadaima – 01”

  1. NullApostle says:

    I’m just looking forward to Hosaka doing some stupid shit again. That guy is seriously one of the best characters in the show – his antics always make me laugh.

  2. ChronoReverse says:

    I must say I’ve missed Minami-ke as well and enjoyed this first episode.

    Looking forward to Hosaka and Mako-chan =D

  3. […] of which, after Kana stole Uchida’s donut in the first episode, I couldn’t help but laugh when Kana took the last donut in this […]

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