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The Summer 2015 Anime Preview Guide

How would you rate episode 1 of
Wagnaria!!3 ?
Community score: 4.0

Hope Chapman


Wow, this is a blast from the past. Last time I wrote up Wagnaria!!, it was called Working!!, and it was Spring of 2010. My, how time flies! I was pretty "eh" on the series then (having very little patience for plotless and silly things when I was a younger fan), but little did I know I was going to be charmed enough by its 4-koma antics and sinfully catchy theme song to watch a full two seasons on lazy weekends to come. (I think Azumanga Daioh leaves an unfillable hole behind once you finish it, and Wagnaria!! is one of the closer 4-koma options tonewise to jam in the void.) Now a third season has started and, well, it sure is more Wagnaria!! The show has had a lot of time to refine its comedic formula, and it's a much smoother and funnier experience now than it was very early in its run.

We start with a Popura's eye view of the restaurant, which isn't immediately obvious because the first character onscreen is Yamada, one of the only other employees at Popura's eye level. Once a giant-sized Takanashi steps into the frame though, the joke becomes more apparent, and it's an adorable perspective to kick off the new season from. Like the best episodes of Wagnaria!!, this one mostly trades in absurdity instead of tepid dialogue jokes, as Yamada decides to adopt a new mother for her "father," restaurant owner Otoo. She literally finds a "housewife" in the bushes, drags her back to the restaurant, and boards up the break room to keep her preserved for Otoo's arrival. As per usual, everyone but Takanashi is a gleeful accomplice to her insanity, and the poor captive housewife just wonders if maybe they're boarding up the building for an oncoming tsunami. I get the feeling this isn't the last we'll see of this lady, because she somehow escapes the break room before Otoo can arrive. Could she really be his missing wife after all? I never expected that running gag to have an endgame! Other gags abound in the episode, but needless to say, this one is the biggest head-turner (and also the funniest.)

While this is a slice-of-life comedy, this returning premiere isn't newbie-friendly, and most of the jokes are predicated on you knowing a fair amount about the employees of the diner already. That said, you could probably watch a couple random episodes from the first or second season and fill in the cracks easily. If you want a shame-free dollop of cuteness with a healthy handful of good jokes in each episode week to week, Wagnaria!! is a great option, and soon there will be three full diabetes-inducing seasons to enjoy!

Wagnaria!!3 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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