Isekai Quartet 2
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Isekai Quartet 2 ?
I suppose I should have seen this coming at some point, since this is a school setting: an episode about the Japanese practice of having everyone in the school take a physical together on the same day, including recording their measurements. (For non-U.S. residents, by contrast, in most American schools annual physicals are expected to be handled independently of school.) As with most else this series does, the writing puts its own unique spin on the concept while also sidetracking on a regular basis.
Often in school-based comedies, physicals are a recipe for all kinds of fan service-laced shenanigans since students have to at least partially strip down for them. Here, though, the writing seems more intent on messing with the common tropes involved rather than actually carrying them out. Kazuma ultimately does allow himself to be talked into attempting to spy on the girls (since he has the highest luck factor), but the big episode-ending joke there is that he arrives too late to get an eyeful, while Darkness anticipated him trying and almost seemed disappointed that he was too late – which would, of course, be in character for her. Mare plays off the fan service angle at the beginning with an implication that he's talking about breast size when weight is really meant, and of course Ains' stripped-down form is just a skeleton. Also, the most fervent about getting a peek at the opposite gender are actually two of the girls (Shalltear and Albedo), which is a reversal of the norm. Probably the most amusing joke specifically about the physicals happens in the background, when Wiz is trying to measure both Tanya and Filo's heights and has difficulty dealing with their trademark cowlicks,(1) although Megumin's eye exam was also worth a chuckle or two.
A second angle in the episode involves Pandora's Actor, the onetime NPC which Ains personally created in the game Yggdrasil (hence the reference to Ains being his “father”). He appeared once in the first season as a statue used for target practice, but I think this is the first time he's appeared as a faculty member? In any case, he's a hyperdramatic buffoon who can physically imitate anyone he wants (he's been a stand-in for Ains before), so his behavior here isn't much exaggerated at all. He's a good fit for the cast because he naturally resonates with Megumin's chunibyo behavior and is bound to cause Ains all kinds of problems with misleading statements about Ains' tastes, such as concerning Viktoriya's military uniform.(2) Ram also seems to be having a fair amount of fun with others making fools of themselves when she is not lamenting about her sister's bigger bust, which is more pronounced in their source series.
There are a couple of other noteworthy random tidbits which pop up. The quote in German that Pandora's Actor drops, which Megumin finds so cool, also appeared in Steins;Gate but was originally a famous response Einstein sent to Heisenberg concerning the conflict between determinism and randomness; it essentially means “God doesn't roll dice,” which is random but somewhat fitting giving the game mechanic nature of both Pandora Actor and Megumin's source worlds. The other is a very brief shot where Sebas Tien is holding up a Polaroid-style photo of a girl in a meeting with Wilhelm; that might be Tuare, the girl Sebas Tien rescued when she was basically left for dead by a brothel, but I'm not completely sure.
Overall, this is one of the best-balanced episodes so far this season in terms of keeping all five component series involved.
1 – While this is just an innocuous characteristic for Tanya, it is a meaningful one for Filo, as it is a sign of her being on the road to eventually becoming the new Filolial Queen. (Filiolial is the giant flightless bird she can turn into.)
2 – This is all rather ironic since Ains is rather embarrassed by Actor's behavior, having created him during his own chunibyou phase.
Isekai Quartet 2 is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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