Oojima Rolls are always better with Mahou Shoujos!
KoiSenkyo is back with a double episode after taking the last two weeks off for the Olympics, and doesn’t miss a beat in diving right back into the election rush. With the primary about to happen, the Food Club needs to make their final preparations for fund raising and Oojima promotion.
This show refuses to get silly or take shortcuts with the election, and it pays off in the amount of depth the viewer gets to partake in. It also starts to address one of the shortcomings I’ve mentioned in previous posts – the lack of development of the other girls interested in Oojima Yuuki. In Episode 5, we get to see much more personal interaction between Yuuki and Mifuyu, as they both cut class to prepare for the election primary. We learn about Mifuyu’s past illness / surgery, her friendship with Chisato, her comfortable relationship with Yuuki, and some of her secrets. Because while she’s actively shipping Yuuki and Chisato, in an “I just want my friends to be happy”, she fibs to Yuuki about being finished with the speech, and stays and writes an extended love letter / story about her own love for Yuuki (setting up the cheapest cliche used in the series so far, the script swap that you can see coming a mile away). Various drop-in visits by side characters help to highlight the close alone time that Yuuki and Mifuyu have, and also who she views as a threat, as Non-chan, Yume, and Hazuki-sensei come to visit, with individual come-ons to Yuuki (to be fair to Non-chan, she just wants the Oojima Rolls). The last visitor is Aomi Isara, who is the Financial Aid student assigned to gofer duty for the Oojima campaign. Thankfully, they lampshade the Contrived Coincidence aspect of her assignment, but after seeing Yume and Hazuki-sensei both overtly proposition Yuuki with very little reaction, the short banter between Isara and Yuuki is enough to set Mifuyu into threat-mode.
You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry…
As they get to the primary festival, there’s been quite the evolution of the initial plan to sell Oojima Rolls to raise money, and again, the creativity and depth of the election story shines through, as the whole Food Club chips in to help sell at higher prices, using cosplay as the incentive (including Chisato in her Madoka Magica outfit!). Also included are the BL (selling Yume and Oojima doujinshi, of course) and Figurine clubs that Chisato put together a coalition with. It’s a weird coalition, but it seems to be working, and politics does make strange bedfellows.
With the only thing left before voting being the speech, the election intrigue steps up again as a green room conversation between Yuuki and General Affairs Commission candidate Moheji makes it clear that Moheji doesn’t think Yuuki’s going to make it past the primary, and assumes his support against Satsuki. Yuuki’s adamant they’ll make it, but even if they didn’t, I wouldn’t have seen him support Moheji against Satsuki, as he’s found out more of her platform and personality.
You can always trust the guy in the henohenomoheji mask, right?
Meanwhile, Mifuyu realizes she’s given Yuuki the wrong script, and races to swap it with him. Unfortunately for us, Yuuki doesn’t realize that what he’s gotten is Mifuyu’s feelings for him, not the script for the speech. Mifuyu sees him disappear up the hallway onto the stage with the wrong script, and it could be the end for the campaign!
But all is saved with a klutzy moment! Yuuki blunders his way onto the stage, smashing his nose and scattering the script, but rallies like the true hero he is, first passing it off as a planned gag, then extemporaneously riffing on his basic campaign principles before swerving into randomness (alluded to later in the debrief), and leaving an indelible impression on the voters. All that’s left now is the vote counting, and the whole campaign gathers to watch the school webcast. After a poor start, the Oojima hopes are buoyed by the fickle nature of the graduating seniors, who we’re told frequently vote on a lark, even though they won’t be at the school. And in another nice twist from the show, the drama is not just about whether the Oojima will pass the primary and get into the main election, but there’s a fourth contender hot on his heels, who would doom the third party chances if they also pass the primary due to splitting the protest vote. I thought this was a really good break from what was the expected drama, making it not just about rooting for your team, but actively rooting against another team. In the end, tho, everything works out for our heroes, and they will be moving on to the final election. The final bit of intrigue comes in the epilogue: A splinter faction of disgraced President Mouri’s Public Safety Commission was the driving force behind the strength of the fourth-place candidate. Was the candidate merely a cat’s paw? Or was it a setup from the beginning?
The overall intrigue level for these two episodes was right on. The politics angle was well played, with a very appropriate twist thrown in to make it more interesting. There’s still a little too much mystery in the adversarial relationships between the three commissions (and even within the commissions) for my tastes, but that could be fixed with more of the same steady plot advancement we’ve been seeing.
The relationship angle took a good step forward as well, with Mifuyu getting some great development, and in a way that I felt was fresh and engaging. Seeing two people so comfortable with each other was very nice, and Mifuyu not turning into any sort of cliched character trope around her love interest was sincere and refreshing. I also like the way Yuuki deals with all of the girls in his life. They’ve made him a very likable character without any of the usual harem lead flaws. Hopefully as the series continues to develop, he’ll stay that even-handed and level-headed. Mifuyu made a big push for favorite girl this week, but Satsuki stays in the lead for me through a passing green room conversation and then staying in the wings to listen to Yuuki’s speech, such as it was. Aomi rides her coincidental appearance into third place, while Chisato is in a close fourth as we wait to see more of her and Yuuki’s current relationship. Michiru continues to be an enigma that everyone wants to see more of.
Still in the lead!
There was very little to put in bad even with a double episode. The show came back strong from a two-week break (though maybe that is ‘bad’, that we were deprived of this for two weeks), and the story has just the right amount of complexity that it didn’t need to waste time with reminders of what’s been happening, just jumped straight into new things. The biggest thing I didn’t care for in these episodes was the obvious to everyone script swap, and also Yuuki’s dismissal of it. Hopefully he’ll realize what it really was in the future. Also bad is that we continue to have no idea who Michiru is, besides the weird girl. She looks interesting, so let us get to know her!
Thankfully, we went without a new instance of bullying this week, but the dangerous political infighting continues. President Mouri thinks it’s appropriate to put a security detail on Yuuki after his successful primary, and we still don’t know what’s so important that it was worth attempted murder. While the details are still hidden, I think it would end up being pretty ugly if the show never resolves any of that.