Shuffle! 5 (no more melancholy jokes here)

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Once again, I find my ability to hate anime nullified. As much as the first two episodes of Shuffle! did very little, I find myself hooked to a strangely functional combination of fanservice and plotline. I think it's time for a Shuffle!-athon.

Mind you, I'm blogging these many episodes behind - I've got frameworks for up to episode 10 so far. So if I sound like I know more than I'm supposed to, that's why (but also spoiler issues, too).

We begin with a flashback, and urges to compare it to pretty much any other eroge (don't most have dream sequences). The art seems a bit off compared to normal, which is either me hallucinating or a stylistic choice. Kaede's the focus of this flashback, and she seems to be saying something important that is either getting drowned out or blocked out...

And then Rin wakes up and has an amusing scene where he tries a little too creatively to dodge the fact that he cried out Kaede's name in the dream (right in front of her face). I'd be a little suspicious if I were Kaede, as the last time I remember a cover-up with this much enthusiasm it was Shiki after the wet dream sequence in Tsukihime.

I mean, aliens, seriously? Now we know the bad liar around here.

What would be really interesting though is if the two of them had synchronized dreams, a la Yuuichi/Ayu in Kanon. Maybe it was just suspicious to me about how Kaede dodged the question of her dream.

It's very worrying how dedicated Kaede is to Rin - if I were watching this blind I couldn't see how she would be anything other than dedicated girl...

I didn't quite understand the earthquake scene, although it was a little funny how Kaede and Rin panicked. I suppose it's justified as earthquakes in Japan are common and serious business. Wonder if Primula's prediction and subsequent stoppage of the earthquake meant anything...special powers?

Or maybe it was just an excuse for Kaede to glomp Rin.

In better and worse news, the fanboys are vaguely less eye-searing this time, and they have a decent theme, and they're vaguely funny to boot. Can't imagine the self-esteem crash they would get from being destroyed by the very idols they worship, though XD

This seems to be adding up to be a Kaede episode as we watch her be ignored. A lot. Like, almost like everyone's trying to. I guess if you've got 5 girls in your harem you can let one or two go. Especially if she seems to step aside herself...

Unless she comes back with a box cutter in 15 episodes.

Sometimes I wonder when I missed the entrance exam for the school with the unwieldly proportioned teachers with great dry wit. Sia and Megumi's reactions were priceless too.

Now if I had more of a critical thinking mind I could analyze the hidden depths of Nerine's quote. So basically if her feelings are like a muddled, soft omelette, then her feelings are confused, mixed up, and very...em, squishy.

If those are referring to her feelings at all.

Stuff happens, and Kaede falls sick, which is very bad. Why? We all know that if there are 3 phases of anime health:
1) Perfectly fine.
2) Minor illness.
3) Death.

And so putting Kaede at level 2 (they call in a doctor, too?) we find out that it's one of them sicknesses that lasts about an episode until she gets better through more attention by Rin.

She needs to get sick more often, then.

And in the meantime Nerine ends the life of many innocent chicks. I have a feeling that omelettes are going to become a running gag, kind of like panty shots and resulting innuendo. That quote's from Nerine, by the way, who doesn't seem able to operate anything. She appears to be the smart-with-no-sense type; although she didn't have any problems with the finals such mysteries as cooking lay beyond her grasp.

But the real chef here is not Sia, but the Shocking Asa Shigure (as named)! What is more surprising than that is how embarrased she seems of that title and adoration. Asa looked like the last person to be caught acting like Hisui (Tsukihime), but perhaps she has more character than the genki girl who beats the crap out of Rin...

She seems to be the only one aware of Kaede, though.

Primula continues to be mysterious and quiet, having a scene where she picks plants for no reason. It turns out that it's a medicine recipe as her medicine makes Kaede 'all better.' At least, we can assume it's the medicine and not magic, but who really knows?

There's another earthquake, flipping the lights off and on for no good reason. I really want to say these are more than a plot device, perhaps foreshadowing for episodes to come but I have no concrete evidence for that. Maybe it's just time for more Kaede glomping.

Luckily her melancholy seems to be over for now at the end of this episode but the signs of unrest are beginning to show in the harem, Rin should be watchful...