12 Days of Anime: #2: Minami-ke

Minami Ke Tadaima Demon Hosaka

I apologize for publishing this post quite late. It is partly out of laziness, partly because I watched Madoka part 3 and partly because I got hooked and rewatched a decent amount of Minami-ke.

I don’t know if anyone even remembers that a Minami-ke season aired this year, but rest assured, it did.

There are probably better anime and more memorable moments to cover but Minami-ke is a series that has always been close to my heart. And well, the 4th season was actually pretty good (especially later on). I can’t remember the super disliked 3rd season but I think Tadaima was a pretty respectable season.

The original Minami-ke is one of my earlier anime (cant’ remember if I watched it when season 3 was already out or before then). I associate it with a nostalgic era where I had enough time to marathon lots of anime on shady streaming sites.

Maybe that is why I still love this show.

Minami-ke’s greatest strength does not lie in scenes of exceptional grandeur but rather in the daily mundane interactions of our cast. The misunderstands are especially funny. So, let’s go back through some of these interactions, shall we?

Episode 9

Minami Ke Tadaima 8 Hit Combo

It might be a bit weird to put this here but episode 9 is wonderful especially the first part. If you have the time, I recommend you go back and rewatch it.

The first half features revolves around a pair of movie tickets. The misunderstandings created are great (especially the ones involving Hitomi and Natsuki) but even better is the hilarious gag between Fujioka and Hitomi.

It is one of the few episodes where love is at the forefront for several characters and probably the one episode where the characters actually talk about confessions and what not. Normally, the characters keep their feelings to themselves but as far as I can remember this is the one time where almost all of the characters in love talk about their feelings.

The frank conversations around love alone would have made this a standout episode but the humor infused into the episode took it way beyond the call of duty. Watching Fuijioka struggle to explain why he hasn’t confessed in front of the one he loves was great.

This was also the first time, we were presented with the possibility of a Hitomi x Fujioka ship and thanks to this episode, it became a pretty damn respectable ship.

Hitomi x Natsuki

Minami Ke Tadaima Hitomi x Natsuki

In episode 9, we also got to see Hitomi nd Natsuki have a misunderstanding. Natsuki was looking for advice on how to deal with his sister but Hitomi thought he wanted help on how to confess. I love the relationship between Hitomi and Natsuki.

They always have misunderstandings and almost all of those arise from Hitomi not getting the context behind Natsuki’s feelings. She can somehow always tell (by looking at his eyes) how he is feeling but she somehow never fails to come up with the wrong reason.

How she can guess that he wants someone adult like to cook for him is absolutely beyond me.

How she can guess that he wants someone adult like to cook for him is absolutely beyond me.

This is a running gag in the anime and I laughed every single time it happened.

Hitomi and Natsuki have such a great relationship. Hitomi x Natsuki would have been my OTP for this anime if not for the fact that Hitomi x Fuijioka (as demonstrated by episode 9) is also fantastic. For an anime that isn’t about romance, the ships are incredible.

Coincidences

Minami Ke Tadaima 174

One of Minami-ke’s frequent source of material are coincidental events that lead to something quite funny at the end. Well, I don’t know if that is a great way to describe it but one such example would be one of the meetings between Chiaki and Hosaka at the grocery store.

Chiaki is thinking about buying crisps but then Hosaka interjects and loudly proclaims his desire to buy flava beans. He then goes on to talk about how he will use them to make a delicious pasta. Chiaki hearing this asks Haruka to do the same.

The next day, Hosaka brings flava peans pasta to school to give to Haruka only to find that Haruka already had that for dinner last night. To top it off, it was Hayami who told Hosaka about flava beans and it was Haruka who told Hayame that flava beans were in season. It is these kinds of little coincidences and random meetups that tie this anime together.

A true pure white

Minami Ke Tadaima 319

In Episode 11, Natsuki and Hosaka had a conversation about the snow. Shortly after Hosaka left him, Hitomi showed up and unfortunately for her, she had left part of her shirt unbuttoned. Natsuki, being the gentleman that he was, pointed that out to her.

She then asked him “Did you see” referring of course to her chest. Natsuki being the dolt that he was thought she was referring to the snow (due to his earlier conversation with Hosaka). The ensuing dialogue was quite funny.

This is the kind of misunderstanding that Minami-ke is build upon. The above may not sound terribly enticing but Minami-ke sets itself apart by the reactions of the characters. That is to say “tsundere beats oblivious boy into the ground” doesn’t happen here and I am grateful for that.

Chilled Noodles

Minami Ke Tadaima Chilled Noodles

In episode 5, Kana wanted to go out for chilled noodles. Kana initially invited Akira but then rejected him because he wasn’t wearing a summer uniform. Fujioka naturally wanted to come. So, he went and tried to get help from Akira. Akira kept telling him to act “more hot” as in summery.

Unfortunately, Fujioka started acting more and more like a delinquent. Until eventually Kana just thought he was stressed out and should take a break by eating chilled noodles.

Hosaka

Minami Ke Tadaima Hosaka Joy

It is no secret that I love Hosaka.

In a strange, bizarre way, I look up to Hosaka. I am jealous of the fact that he is able to so casually strip in school. No, I don’t want to unbutton my shirt in class but I wish I had the kind of attitude required to do so.

More importantly, I admire his generosity and his constant desire to improve.

Earlier I said that one factor behind my fondness of Minami-ke might be misplaced nostalgia and perhaps that is true here as well. Maybe Hosaka is actually creepy and disgusting and the only reason I fail to realize this is because I see him through rose colored lenses.

That said, tinted shades or not, love is love and I love Hosaka.

Atsuko and Hosaka

I don’t know why but I often ship these two. Atsuko is so sweet and innocent. I know she cares not for Hosaka but the few moments they have together are well quite nice.

Actually I really like Atsuko in general. Though I suppose a good part of that is because I am shallow and this I think she is rather attractive.

Damnnnnn

Damnnnnn

This is just between us.

Minami Ke Tadaima Just Between Us

In the final episode, Kana wanted to go Sakura viewing. Unfortunately, no one wanted to or had the time to come.

She noticed that if asked folk to keep something secret (this is just between us), they would reveal the secret. She used this to her advantage and tried to spread the location and time of a Cherry Blossom spot around.

Her plan worked. Everyone (save Hosaka who would have been invited had Hayami not changed her mind) showed up. It was a great way to end the season.

All in all, I ended up rewatching a good chunk of this anime for this post. I may not have remembered it terribly well but rewatching it reminded me of just how good this season was. There are so many great scenes that I did not include here. Fujioka and the hot baths, Hosaka and the kettle, etc, etc.  (Don’t forget about Ninomiya kun and sensei!)

It may not be the most memorable anime this year but it is definitely one of this year’s overlooked great anime.

Minami Ke Tadaima Hug

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  1. #1 by Highway on December 17, 2013 - 1:34 am

    I’m that guy who didn’t like Hosaka. At all. Not a bit. I probably commented on it on your blog before, even. To me, the greatest strength of Minami-ke is the interaction of the characters, and the playing off of each other. And Hosaka is the singular character that doesn’t really do that. Other characters (like Atsuko) work around him, but it’s not anywhere close to the same. Even Chiaki and Hosaka’s vegetable song wasn’t interacting, it was just going along. When Hosaka’s on the screen, he’s all about Hosaka, and it doesn’t matter who else is there. He vacuums up all the attention, and I just didn’t find him funny.

    Rest of the show? Great.

    • #2 by Reiseng on December 17, 2013 - 5:37 pm

      Yeah, you are right in that Hosaka is sort of off in his own world and this anime wouldn’t work at all if he was the only character.

      He is kind of hit and miss. If you find him funny, you really like him, else you hate him.

      That said, the rest of the show (without Hosaka) is still wonderful.

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