I was afraid this series had gone off the deep end. Many series have sojourned into the darkest depths of angst in hopes of fortune, fame and immortality. But many have gone astray, lost in its tangled woods and ensnared in its thorny thickets. Ichiko and crew trekked in deep last week, and I, a saddened spectator, believed there was no return. As the sparse tips of a Thursday morning sun peeked through the leaves I was filled with hope. They had returned from the gloomy mire to the pristine pastures of comedy. After all my negative comments last week I am happy to say this week was a return to form for Binbougami Ga! Welcome home.
But our crew wasn’t alone, they had brought a new friend with them, Ranmaru, a pink haired female karate champion that often gets mistaken for a boy. I love the Samurai Warriors reference to Ranmaru Mori, a boy samurai who often gets mistaken for a girl for his feminine features. This is where Binbougami excels. You might not get all the jokes, but when you do it feels as if you’re sharing an inside joke with an old friend. When another viewer complains about not getting ‘it’, I love snickering to myself, “Oh I don’t know…”.
It doesn’t hurt that Ranmaru is also a fantastic character. She’s a child burdened with the onus of her father’s dreams and ambitions. Failing to have a son, her father charges Ranmaru with carrying the karate legacy. Punching and kicking her way to the top she becomes one of the greatest women fighters in Japan at the expense of her own femininity.
Initially she butts heads with Ichiko because of the leads penchant for blaming other people for things they necessarily haven’t done. As her fortune would have it, most people believe her. This conflict serves as a sort of mental battlefield for Momiji and Ichiko, who vy to use the karate expert to destroy the other. Ranmaru’s appearance has added an interesting kick to the pairs exceptional chemistry.
The show still looks to weave in some dramatic elements into its colorful story. This week took a more measured approach that succeeded. Ranmaru’s relationship with her father and how it was related to Ichiko’s life was brought into focus for a small part of the episode. It was just enough to give this outing a meaningful punch without trying to put the viewer’s heart in a stranglehold. I’m hoping that they stick to this formula from here on out.
From a storytelling standpoint, Ranmaru’s crush on Teika could prove to be an interesting fold. By throwing a love triangle into the mix, Binbougami Ga! is prepping itself for some hilarious situations in the near future.
To be honest with myself, the horny priest and Momou have been growing on me. This is the first time in weeks that we have been without the pair. The entire time I was wondering what their reaction would be to a girl who wraps up her breasts in tape to hide her cleavage.
My only other criticism is that Ranmaru looks like a trap when she dresses up like a girl. Now its confusing because she has a very masculine personality, and dresses up like a reverse-trap usually. So… She’s a reverse-trap that de-traps herself to look like a trap. Mind… Blow.