Jun 28, 2009 0
Once again Ryoko is portrayed as a having an interest in the supernatural. Not sure if this is a permanent shift in how she’s presented or if she returns to a straight mischievous portrayal later. This time round she makes a voodoo doll of her brother, and not trusting herself with it she decides to give it to someone she can trust to look after it (after using it to throw Mendou around a bit first).
That person is Ataru Moroboshi.
The twist that Takahashi throws in is that Ryoko doesn’t tell Ataru what it is, merely that he’s to look after it. As it’s Ryoko who’s asked him to do something, he actually does it, tying it round his neck and wearing it under his shirt. This leads to Mendou suffering all the ignominies that Ataru befalls the next day, such as being hit by Shinobu and electrocuted by Lum. Oh and being kissed by Ataru when Ataru kisses the doll thinking it’s a good luck charm.
Realising the situation and what Ataru would do if he learnt that he had a voodoo doll of him, Mendou dedicates himself to acting as Ataru’s protector the rest of the school day. Here the animation really comes into its own, escalating the tasks Mendou has to do to crazy levels not seen in the manga. And inserting all sorts scenes of the pair gazing longingly into one another’s eyes. It’s not until he’s been trampled by elephants that Mendou snaps and demands the doll.
Which of course leads to Ataru, who up to this point had been admiring Mendou for his heroism in saving him, nailing the doll to a tree!
Another solid episode, and Toshiki Inoue continues to show their skill at expanding a manga chapter to TV episode length. There’s also some flashy animation filling those gaps too. An sci-fi film parody that Mendou is watching on TV early in the episode and a baseball game both have some fun stuff in them.
Screenplay: Toshiki Inoue
Storyboard: Kazuo Yamazaki
Director: Naoyuki Yoshinaga
Animation Director: Yuichi Endo