Shuffle! 8 (battle pantsu, go!)

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We've hit the third-of-the-way mark here in Shuffle!land, and all the characters have been introduced, so now it is time to go into the typical harem-game arc period, where we focus intensely on one character for a period of time.

Having foresight dating up to Episode 19, I must say that Shuffle! executes the arcs much more fluidly than the Key works I've watched so far, in that I've been fooled into asking myself "Just whose arc is this anyway?" many times.

First up in line (always a bad sign) is the ever-genki (which serves for pretty much everyone but Rimu and Nerine) Sia, who gets off to a quick start by Nayuki-ing Rin in the morning.

OK, not really, but I just like to scream that "Asa da yo~" line whenever I get a chance.

Sia is amusingly straightforward, as she has tended to be, asking Rin out on a date straight away. No time to waste shuffling around being depressive in her episodes, no way!

By the way, the title for this episode is "A Date With Panties". o_O Is that fanservice I smell? Just maybe, maybe...

Sia goes hardcore Risa Harada on the date prep, going totally overboard with the obsession. Let's count the similarities:

1) Fortune telling obsession. Sia makes note of the Leo fortune which states that love is in the air. I wondered if this was to apply to Sia or Rin, although I assume Sia was hoping that the time would be right for Rin, too.

2) Wanting to know EXACTLY what to wear, down to, the, uh, panties, as titled. Sia one-ups Risa by discovering, that, in this strange fortune-telling world, "love fortune is determined by panties", as screencapped above. XD Much contemplation ensues.

P.S. They are not just underwear, they are battle panties.

Anyway, speaking of fanservice we get a panty shot of God-chan, Sia's father, which thankfully I happened to forget to screenshot. Not exactly equal opportunity fanservice though, I must say :P Speaking of him, all Sia's references to "this must be a sign from God" are a lot more strange, and hilarious, given that her father is, uh, God. Hmm XD

Before the date officially kicks underway we get our 15 seconds of Kaede fame as always, with Rimu acting as the voice of reason, and a source of worry for Kaede by making all sort of Rin x Sia implications. Kaede seems to be forcing herself into the Tomoyo Trap by saying "If Rin is happy, then I am," but we know how true that quote will turn out to be.

Date? What date? We also get a God vs. Demon board-game-athon, with the two discussing the Nerine vs. Sia battle (cue harem unrest) while playing everything from chess to Monopoly (pictured), which I'm surprised has made it to Japan. Also, we get one of the best moments in the anime so far when Demon lays down a Critical Royal Straight Flush...Turbo R (with giant waves in the background) while playing mah-jong. XD I laughed hard for many minutes straight.

Anyway, finally kicking off with the Rin and Sia's main event-o, it seems that Sia's falling into the predictable 'date is too well meticulously planned out' trap, which will as typical be followed by the 'too-well-planned date falls apart' gag.

We throw in, also, an appearance by Mayumi, who is having too much fun rocking the block on the karaoke machine and likes to announce everything over the microphone, including Rin and Sia's date. Comedy ensues.

We move on to the rare outdoors clothing outfit, which I didn't even know existed, and Sia picks out some adorable matching outfit shirts, with that cat on it again. Something with Shuffle! and cats? Also, Itsuki and Nerine are the next to show up in the 'everybody interrupts the date' gag - it's anyone's guess what those two are doing spending time together though. They're probably both after Rin, although bishie Itsuki and his shiny glasses are probably enough to set him straight. Itsuki is too damn awesome for someone named Itsuki.

Anyway, neko eyecatch, and the typical 'transition into a completely unrelated scene' trick is pulled off with some random girl confession to the viewer that she loves them...and wants to kick their ass at mahjong! That's right, it's not the movies (as is so typical), but rather the arcade. Nice. Now, where's that whack-a-mole game? (Record: 00)

We catch Rimu at the cat crane game machine again along with Kaede. Rimu is typically blank, while Kaede has that "I'm in the way, so I'm going to be depressed and run away" look to her face, which she pulls off rather well. And often.

Transition to Kareha-sempai's cafe, which will make a lot of entertaining appearances! Sia is daring as typical and orders the couple's drink, which gives Rin a spit-take and the look of UTTER HORROR again as he glances around at all the other couples drinking the same...and Kareha, who is shiny and 'my, my, my' as always.

Luckily there seems to be a shocking lack of gossip at school.

Sia takes the train with Rin in order to go somewhere else where they know nobody at all, except of course for the last character in the picture, Asa, who notices the two on the train and quietly backs off in Kaede fashion. Didn't know she had that side to her...

Plot exposition ensues as Sia relates how the train ride was like how Rin first met her - for those who care, it's because she was lost on a train and Rin helped her. It sure doesn't take much for girls to fall in love with nice guys in Japan, apparently. Of note is that Shuffle!'s flashbacks take place 8 years ago, which is notable for being one year superior to Kanon. Rin's an even younger pimp than Yuuichi.

Anyway, we end up in a park somewhere that I swear has been featured in this anime before, where Rin decides to unknowingly wreck Sia's dinner plans by being too damn nice to lost kids (still) and playing with the blue-haired pervert named Masato whose main line is "Onee-sama's panties are striped~". Kids these days. Sheesh.

It's finally sunset and that's the end of the 'completely ruined' date as the two ride the train back, with Sia sleeping on Rin's shoulder, I believe. Aww. Also, Rin has no shame as he picks up Sia's diary and reads it, learning of all the plans he wrecked to pieces in the process. Surprising is his lack of reaction to the "I love you, Rin!" in the diary. Talk about obviousbat.

Rin's school turns out to be very pretty and peaceful at night, as opposed to other, demon-harboring schools (this scene reminded me of Mai, I swear), and the two share another sweet moment. At this point Sia is racking up major Rin points, moreso than any other girl but this is likely attributed to the fact that it's her arc.

The episode, which I consider one of the best and funniest so far, draws to a close and Rin nearly negates all the Sia advances when he insists "it's still a little early for a next time..." when Sia asks him to go out with her again, but he makes the save with the above screenshot, which shows that he's just interested in getting to know (and screwing) all of his harem before making a choice.

Except for Kaede, because nobody likes Kaede. Isn't it sad, Kaede?



When I watched this episode and saw where he said "it's still too early for a next time," I thought he meant that it was still to early to declare the date over with, and thus he took her to the school.


good one! i just added tons of fresh emo backgrounds for my blog