by Christopher Farris,
How would you rate episode 7 of
Mitsuboshi Colors ?
The world of Mitsuboshi Colors doesn't need to expand much. Simply staying at the height necessary to interact with our titular trio is enough to provide the level of entertainment this show is going for. However, it has proved to be just ambitious enough at times, and this episode shows why that kind of effort is a solid investment, as we see new examples of how the town and its people regard the Colors.
As usual, this episode is divided into a few vignettes. They lack the clever continuity of the previous episode's stories, but also succeed enough on their own that it's not much of an issue. We start with Yui coming across Kotoha having just gotten out of school. It was never especially clear if the girls were all just hanging out together on weekends or if their adventures took place after school, so this makes it apparent that they really are devoting a lot of their off-time together. It also confirms that Kotoha and Sat-Chan go to the same school, with Yui being the odd one out at a different place. Yui's dependence on the other girls for friendly companionship gets highlighted in an unusually pointed exchange with Kotoha over her possible lack of friends. Yui firing back with Kotoha's lack of game skills does raise the whole thing to come off more harsh than usual for Mitsuboshi Colors, but it never becomes too hostile; these friends are close enough to casually rip on each other now and again, even if Yui does end up reduced to tears by her own meanness.
Sat-Chan's arrival, tasked with trash collection, is what kicks the dynamic back to the more expected style, and the jokes for this show continue to land. Gags about collecting humans because they're trash and then immediately gunning for Saito aren't terribly unexpected from this series at this point, but they're funny nonetheless. They show's self-aware too, with Sat-Chan exclaiming that it's foolhardy to think the girls can actually take something seriously, and the final punchline of them just filling up the bag with trash they took from a public trash can is a brilliant move.
Parts of this trash-collection bit do seem to repeat from the environmental antics of episode two, and that sense of déjà vu is also present in the second bit as the Colors collect nuts in a way reminiscent of the edible plants plotline from last episode. The lead-in is good, however, as they chase a foul smell thinking it's a corpse, leading to more solid jokes that play off their kid logic. There are subtle elements as well, like the little differences in reactions to the ginkgo nuts between Yui and Sat-Chan, that lend this episode plenty of the show's lovable personality. It doesn't really go anywhere, save for the girls once again tormenting Saito at the end, but it's funny enough to carry the middle of the episode.
But as usual, Mitsuboshi Colors saves the best for last. At first it almost seems like too much of a blatant setup to work, with a Halloween story in the middle of February just to put the girls in cute costumes. On top of that, the level of planning they put into the resulting game definitely stretches plausibility. But after all that setup, that stretching of disbelief doesn't really matter, since seeing their little zombie game play out is so much fun. This one does have the air of another retread, constructed similarly to episode two's hide and seek, but instead of focusing on Kotoha and Sat-Chan, the spotlight is wisely on Yui as the ‘hero’ of the game. She's a great choice for this situation, with her easily-distressed personality gelling well with all the zombification papers. Even a split-second of worry over the potential for inappropriate fanservice is turned into a great gag, with poor Yui dutifully running back to the clubhouse so she can strip down (away from the townsfolk and the audience) and shout Kotoha's silly phrase.
There's also a uniquely solid payoff for this story, with Yui's victory at the game showing that the girls were able to provide a fun activity for the locals on Halloween. Logistics aside, that's pretty cool, and the other girls surprising Yui by going trick-or-treating afterward like she wanted is a sweet resolution to the whole thing. Speaking of the rehashed content, this resolution also illustrates the heartwarming camaraderie between these teammates that we first saw in the festival story, but it works much better here. In general, while this episode does have elements in common with the previous ones, it's taking material that may have been weaker initially and putting more confident spins on it. It's a winner for an already charming show.
Mitsuboshi Colors is currently streaming on HIDIVE.
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