Episode 8

by Nick Creamer,

How would you rate episode 8 of
Seiren ?

Seiren more or less returned to its usual standard this week, as the show wrapped up Toru's romance arc through a visit to Comiket. There were some awkwardly sexual moments, some standout one-liners, and an uninspired but acceptable conclusion to a pretty mundane romance. After the relative high of last week, Toru's arc concluded in the show's usual “functional but kind of weird” manner.

The Comiket sequence felt in large part to be an excuse to show off Toru in a Milibun outfit. Heck, even the episode title referred to that - though it was eventually turned on its head by their fluffy daughter, for most of the episode, “fluffy” actually referred to Toru's crotch. I applaud her for having the strength of character to wear an outfit whose defining feature is a cloud of crotch-fur.

The first third of this episode was mostly just Toru acting flustered about her outfit, leading into Shoichi rescuing her from a bunch of photographers. Then we got the episode's big fanservice sequence, which was just as strange as you might hope. Unsure of how to actually take off her outfit, Toru commissioned Shoichi to poke up and down the whole back, ending in a sequence where we literally saw a zipper in a shot aimed through Toru's legs. The sequence was oddly charming in the same way sequences like Shoichi and Tsuneki's night bath were - instead of coming off as conventionally sexy, it was as weird and awkward as adolescent courtship often tends to be.

I also appreciated seeing a different side of Comiket from the one we usually see in anime. Normally the event is associated specifically with doujinshi, or perhaps selling amateur videogames. But the group's combination of clothing and mascots made for a fresher angle on Comiket, shedding at least a little light on the diversity of creators the event can celebrate. Finally, Toru's sales pitch for her Deermas offered one of the show's greatest one-liners yet, as she proudly highlighted how her hat-changing deer were “free of concepts such as paternity, maternity, and gender.” I'd be very happy to watch a show about striking a blow against the gender binary, but having that come up as a non-sequitur in an unrelated mascot pitch is okay too.

The episode's other best one-liner came in the second half, when Toru's panty-free cosplay was defended by talking about how even Winnie the Pooh doesn't wear pants. I'd never thought of Winnie the Pooh as an honorary Strike Witch, but I suppose the shoe does fit. Other than that, the conclusion to this episode was pretty mundane - Toru stormed off for a somewhat contrived reason, Shoichi chased after her, and the two confirmed their bond through Toru making out with Shoichi's Adam's apple. Even when its storytelling isn't doing much, Seiren always at least keeps the kink train going.

Overall, this arc felt like a slight improvement over the Tsuneki arc, though not by much. Tsuneki was actually a more interesting character than Toru, but Toru and Shoichi managed to generate a little chemistry, which puts them ahead in my mind. At this rate, we could be arriving at a romance I might actually recommend by arc four or five!

Overall: B-

Seiren is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Nick writes about anime, storytelling, and the meaning of life at Wrong Every Time.

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