Asobi ni Iku Yo! Episode 8 – Grab Bag
Well, I can’t fault this show for being boring, or repetitive.
There’s always something new happening and, given that the show has three or four plotlines running simultaneously, plenty going on in any given episode. The problem is, none of it is all that interesting.
This episode begins with the catgirl-obsessed girl holding yet another weird religious meeting in a massive stadium. But here, it’s to turn their religion from a catgirl-worshipping religion into some kind of catgirl-worshipping fan club.
I guess the original idea behind the religion was to hope that you get reincarnated with ears and a tail, but since actual catgirls exist in real life, they want to adore them instead? Look, I shouldn’t have to tell you that the entire philosophy of the catgirl religion is mind-bogglingly stupid and makes no sense. I’m not even going to attempt to understand it.
What I don’t understand is why this scene needed to be here at all. I’ve long since given up hope that all the random asides are laying pipe for some important plot point to come down the line, so it’s either to wrap up the “plot” of the religion trying to worship Eris and Eris telling them not to, or it’s to fill time. Actually, it’s probably both: whoever is writing this show seems like the kind of person who finds it incredibly important to tell you the tiniest detail of everything in their story, no matter how uninteresting.
That is, in fact, the first third of this episode. After the catgirl convention and a brief clip of Aoi teaching Kio to use a gun on the holodeck, we get Eris talking to the mage who appeared out of nowhere last episode as a deus ex machina. She’s explaining that her powers aren’t magical, but merely a sufficiently advanced science (another reference to classic science fiction, in case you’re not hip), even though it’s a dead ringer for Japanese magic.
Don’t worry, I’m sure those similarities will get explained away in subsequent episodes. After Aoi and Manami get into a fight because Aoi thinks Manami is slacking off her training because she was ducking away so that Aoi could spend some time alone with Kio and they challenge each other to a duel, there’s a scene in which the doggirl conspires in the shadows and then a commercial break.
Yeah, the show’s half over, and there’s only been two scenes related to this episode’s main plot!
Of course, that’s not necessarily a good thing, because this episode’s main plot is the stupid duel between Aoi and Manami. Not only is it out of character for both of them, in order to make the duel interesting, they have to make Aoi, who spent her formative years as a hitgirl for the underworld, comparable in skill to Manami, who up until several weeks ago was merely a gun-obsessed CIA fangirl. Granted, a gun-obsessed CIA fangirl with a father in the military, but still.
Anyway, the whole affair is just an excuse to get the two to face off, one on one, in the jungle, and to reference every single action movie that’s ever had a gunfight in the jungle. They use a Cathian antimatter bullet incapable of piercing living tissue (explained at length earlier), so there’s not danger other than unwanted (to them) nudity. There is lots of stalking (although not as much as you’d expect, because of the amount of filler earlier), and it all comes down to a tense shootout, which Manami wins by calling Aoi’s empty-chambered bluff after counting the number of rounds she’d fired.
That’s right, to add insult to injury, Manami ends up winning. Granted, that does serve to advance the love triangle between them and Kio. She uses the forfeit to get Aoi to call Kio by his first name instead of his last (and use a more cutesy honorific).
As much as a I appreciate that developments in the love triangle moves at a tidal pace rather than a glacial one, it’s sad that it has to come at the cost of whatever consistency its characters have left. I guess I should have seen this coming.
But whatever. I’ve given up any hope of consistency, or narrative complexity, or meaningful character interaction that doesn’t involve firearms. It’s time for me to admit that Asobi ni Iku Yo! is nothing more than whatever pathetic narrative excuse it can scrape together in order to get its female cast as naked as possible while still leaving enough time for a heavily derivative (but well-animated) action scene. I guess I’ll just have to make do with that.
I’m not even going to bother posting a link to the episode this week. Here’s a Hall and Oates video instead. What it lacks in naked anime girls, it more than makes up with Daryl Hall’s devastating mustache/mullet combination.