December 29, 2009

Mystery Meat -- Mahoraba - Heartful Days

Today's mystery meat is Mahoraba -- Heartful Days. It sure ain't a mystery to some people. Pete is a big fan. But I don't know much about it. My vague impression is that it's a high school romcom focusing mainly on day-in-the-life stories -- but I could be wrong.

Let's find out. (spoilers below the fold.)

UPDATE: comments on the second episode added


First scene is some sort of fairy tale about a prince that goes for a walk and doesn't end up fighting a dragon or saving a damsel in distress. Not clear what it means.

Back to reality, we got a boy arriving in Tokyo from the sticks so that he can attend school there, presumably high school. From voiceover, his mother says she's arranged to have him stay in an apartment belonging to her cousin. His name is Shiratori Ryushi.

He shows up there, and on a lot surrounded by sky scrapers there's an old fashioned but rather fancy house. The door opens and a gorgeous girl with long hair, is there. She turns out to be the landlady, the cousin. Her name is Aoba Kozue.

Flip back to the fairy tale. Ahem. In that context, we're told that Kozue has a "very mysterious secret".

She seems to have met him, but he doesn't remember her. I think this is coming back to me: she's got more than one personality, doesn't she?

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Anyway, it turns out that Kozue is the daughter of Ryushi's mother's cousin, so they're second cousins. More than distant enough to be legal romantically in Japan. (First cousins are legal in Japan.) She explains that their respective grandfathers were brothers.

I just looked it up, and her seiyuu also did Kuroko in Railgun.

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They're being spied upon by some girl with glasses and red hair and an ahoge. And a fang. The ahoge means she's stupid and/or strange. The fang means she's catty and/or aggressive. The glasses are supposed to mean she's smart, but it can also mean she's calculating. And ahoge stupidity trumps megane smarts on the character short-hand chart. (ahoge means "idiot hair".)

They're also being spied upon by two girls in boxes, possibly young, crawling in the bushes. Meanwhile, an older man walks by carrying a fishing pole and wearing a dog puppet on his left hand. Um, did I get teleported into a remake of Maison Ikkoku by accident?

Ryushi informs Kozue that he's going to be attending an art school. He says he wants to be an author of children's books. She gets excited and grabs his hands, and then they both get flustered. She excuses herself.

The red head sneaks into Ryushi's room and listens to him monologue, prompting him. Finally he notices her. Her name is Momono Megumi and she's 20. It turns out he's 18, and I was wrong about this being high school. He's going to be going to art college.

She gets drunk (in his room) and grills him with lots of questions. At the end she says, "Don't surprise Kozue-chan or do anything that might shock her." That sounds ominous. Eye catch.

I'm beginning to realize that the fairy tale cartoon we saw was his first children's book. It appears to be autobiographical.

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Anyway, next we get to meet the other inmates of the asylum. Megumi we've already met. There's a green-haired loli named Asami, and her mother. Asami's mother seems to be a complete flake. There's a girl who's older than Asami named Tamami. Her big concern is whether Ryushi will sort his trash properly, into burnable and nonburnable, and put each out on the right collection day.

And the older guy with the puppet is named Yukio. They're all raving lunatics.

Back to Ryushi. Megumi has drunk herself into a stupor on beer and is passed out in his room. He's outside wondering what's going on. If he's not supposed to shock Kozue, he speculates that she has a heart condition.

The place isn't so much an apartment as it is a rooming house. Ryushi's room is just a room. Aside from tatami mats, he's got a closet and that's all. The toilets are shared, and presumably the bath, and everyone eats together.

Anyway, he needs to start drawing, he says. Kozue offers to make him a snack. She comes to his room later with a tray, but as she comes in to deliver it, she trips and falls into him. (Usually it's the other way around.) And I guess it's shock city. Something strange starts happening. She passes out.

He's worried that it's her heart.

I had to rewind to check this: Kozue's hair is deep blue with white lights and her eyes are green. After she wakes up her hair has pink lights, and her eyes are brown. And she isn't the sweet girl from before. She talks like a thug and cusses him out. And then she asks him who he is. Ep 1 ends.

Well, it isn't totally a remake of Maisson Ikkoku. They changed the landlady.

The credits in ANN list five characters for that seiyuu so I'm assuming that the character has got a basketball team inside her head. Kozue is one of the five, and eventually we'll learn about the other four. She's even crazier than Valkyrie, the UFO princess herself. At least Valkyrie had continuity of memory through her transformations, and only two forms, who are both in love with Kazuto. I won't know until I look at the beginning of the second ep, but this personality seems set to beat the crap out of Ryushi.

He's majorly smitten with Kozue. How will he deal with this revelation?

I guess I'm going to have to watch the second episode to find out. But I don't know how long I'll stick with this.

UPDATE: Yes, there are five personalities. All of them have the same color hair. One has brown eyes and pink lights in her hair and she seems to be rough and aggressive. One of them looks confused; she may be a space case. Her eyes are yellow, and she has bright white lights in her hair. One seems to be a cosplay fanatic; she has blue-green lights in her hair and light green eyes. One of them may be a mahou-tsukai; the lights in her hair are blue and she has purple eyes. And then there's Kozue, whose eyes are deep green, and her hair has light blue (not white) lights. She's the yamato nadesico, sweet and gentle and soft-spoken. (She isn't literally one; no kimono, for example.) She also seems to be the base personality, the default, and the one who owns the body for the largest percentage of the time.

The OP seems to suggest that there isn't going to be any kind of love triangle. It's them two, and the main thing that the others in the house will be doing is to spy on their romance like it was a soap opera.

Anyway, what with five personalities occupying her body, that's enough romantic entanglement for three romcoms.

There's also an extended cast shot in the OP, which includes one girl who is flying on a broom. I wonder what the story is with her?

OK, moving into the episode. The rough-talking violent personality is called Saki.

Megumi and Tamami interrupt before Saki can kill him, and straighten her out on what's going on. He still seems confused as all get out.

Halfway point in the second episode and... well... I know that Pete loves this series, but it just seems too strange for me. I think I'll let someone else watch it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Mystery Meat at 08:04 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
Post contains 1282 words, total size 8 kb.

1 Yeah, you should watch Midori no Hibi instead.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 29, 2009 08:50 PM (PiXy!)

2 moan... well, at least it's shorter.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 29, 2009 08:50 PM (+rSRq)

3 Midori Days is very nice, but of course the premise is just phenomenal in its absurdity. I especially liked how Ken went all NO WAI GTFO... and then lent DVDs to his friend who also did NO WAI GTFO (before loving the show, of course). Unfortunately his blog is all broken and all permalinks are dead, but it was hilarious.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at December 29, 2009 10:07 PM (/ppBw)

4 I have posted about Midori Days. Let's not talk about it.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 29, 2009 10:13 PM (+rSRq)

5 I think any commenting by me would be wrong, except to point out that my best thoughts are out of the blog (e.g. where I build a compare-and-contrast with Steven's TMW for Bottle Fairy), on my webpage.

To answer the direct question, the flying character is the occult lab president. She's the only human who can go toe to toe with Tamami (aside from the big battle in front of the creepy teacher lady, she also grabbed Tama by the hair, and anyone _else_ would be in big trouble afterwards). However, canonically she does not fly. It's just a joke in the OP.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at December 29, 2009 10:13 PM (/ppBw)

6 I seem to be a bit prickly today. My apologies.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 29, 2009 11:23 PM (+rSRq)

7 It is me who should be apologizing for the intentional topic drift.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at December 30, 2009 03:20 PM (/ppBw)

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