Home > Asobi ni Iku Yo!, Episode Reviews > Asobi ni Iku Yo! Episode 2 – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

Asobi ni Iku Yo! Episode 2 – Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

So, the first episode established a fairly good setup for the rest of the series: there are three secret organizations trying to get their hands on Eris, and key members of all three have an interest in Kio, the boy she’s living with, who remains ignorant of their secret identities. In most shows, that would be enough for 13 episode of conspiracy, hijinks, and light romantic comedy action, as the organizations scheme to get their hands on Eris, the girls try to keep their identities hidden from Kio, and Eris tries to be as bouncy and cheerful as possible while possibly developing some sort of romantic connection with Kio.

That might even make for good anime: it’s a solid enough premise that a team of good writers and animators could turn into something special. But Asobi isn’t content to be so simple. Instead, the show goes in a wildly different direction, complicating the girls’ relationship with their respective organizations and generally making things more complicated in two episodes than I ever thought it would be.

That white streak in the bottom left is censoring, blanking out Eris's (presumably bare) buttocks. It's mostly there to sell copies of the (uncensored) DVDs, and it's a tacky practice that annoys me to no end

Eris, the cat girl, is here on a fact-finding mission as much as she’s interested in having a good time. She accomplishes this in short order thanks to a team of adorable cat robots, organically grown out of nanomachine seeds, and judicious trips to the local library.

I should mention here just how self-consciously science fiction Asobi is. In addition to the attention to technical detail in Eris’s crazy sci-fi gadgets that goes beyond most the hand-wavy nature of most space opera anime, Asobi has plenty of mentions to the sf culture in general.

The military base where Eris is taken to after being captured is on low alert when Star Trek airs because most of the soldiers are Trekkies, for example, which means the show either takes place before 2005 or in some far-flung future where Star Trek is again popular enough justify its own TV series.

Beautiful Contact are a product of a dangerous synergy between military and science fiction nerds

Militant hard sf secret society Beautiful Contact, bemoans that Eris isn’t some hyper-advanced being of god-like intelligence, or have a cool jetpack or anything. She doesn’t look alien at all; she looks like a girl wearing cat ears and a tail. How can mankind’s first contact with alien creatures be so downright mundane?

Rather than let her make contact, they decide to kidnap her. Their plan falls apart, because both the CIA and the Japanese government want her for themselves. Through a series of events, Aoi ends up going against orders and ends up on the outs with the Japanese government, Manami breaks into the U.S. military base where Eris is held, seemingly destroying her chances of working for the CIA, and Maki and her cohorts are blackmailed by Kio’s uncle into helping Eris escape captivity and secrecy.

I normally despise cutesy anime pets, but I dig the robot helpers. I think it's because they're also a frighteningly efficient army of identical, unquestioningly obedient, indestructible automaton servants

So, in not even half the episode, the notion of each girl representing her respective organization is blown out of the water. Things are suddenly complicated between all three, and Kio is now aware of their identities, if not the full story. Instead of the usual romantic hand-wringing, where each character likes the other but is too shy/stubborn/stupid to admit it, Eris flat out asks Kio to mate with her at the end of the episode, signifying that sexual mores are somewhat different among cat people.

And things are about to get even weirder. The cat girl mothership, intrigued by the concept of yakiniku, or barbecue, that Eris has reported on, have decided to pop in for a visit to Earth. Mankind finally has an unavoidable first contact, and with a bunch of cat girls.

The irresistible allure of barbecue damns yet another species to an eternity of servitude at its tender and juicy altar

I hate shows where I can see every plot development coming several episodes in advance. I thought that might be the case here after the first episode, despite its complex setup. So, to have the show completely change things up has me really excited to see what happens next. I could guess, but I’d much rather just go along for the ride.

And I can do that because I trust the team making this based on what I’ve seen so far. With an episode as packed full of plot as this, it can be easy to rush through things, and not deliver the impact each plot point deserves. That doesn’t happen here. The writing and direction are solid, getting a feel for what each scene needs to do and executing it perfectly.

Aoi's heavily-modified Shelby Cobra is pretty awesome

The nerdy attention to detail carries over to more terrestrial objects, as well. Cars, guns and electronic equipment are modeled with fetishistic attention to detail, suggesting the creators are nerds in ways that go beyond their love of science fiction. Here it helps ground a show that’s always threatening to plunge headlong into anime space opera weirdness, and gives an aura of authenticity to the government scheming that it probably doesn’t deserve based on the writing.

If there was any doubt that Asobi ni Iku Yo! would be this season’s most entertaining show, this episode dispelled them in my mind. There’s always the chance that it could become yet another repetitive comedy show, and the fan service and cutesy cat girls continue to bug me. But for the most part, I just want to see what crazy thing is going to happen next.

Readily-accessible pan-dimensional toy hammers are a bewilderingly constant anime tradition

You can watch this episode for free here.

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