by Paul Jensen,
How would you rate episode 7 of
The guys of WWW.Wagnaria have faced plenty of hardships over the last few weeks, but this episode brings a reversal of fortune with the girls suddenly having a tough time. When Shindou gets his hands on what appears to be a winning lottery ticket, Kamakura worries that he'll pay off his debt and she'll never see him again. Miyakoshi has some troubles of her own, as Higashida has become resolute in his refusal to eat any more of her cooking. In a moment of desperation, she tries a piece of her most recent batch of chocolate, and it's up to Higashida to bring her back from the unconscious realm of Saint Valentine.
Right from the start, it's obvious that Shindou's winning lottery ticket is too good to be true. We know that something is going to keep him from claiming the money, but the series does a good job of keeping things entertaining along the way. Both Shindou and Kamakura are amusingly self-serving in their responses to the situation; Kamakura wants the debt to remain unpaid so she can continue tormenting Shindou, while he's more worried about getting killed than he is about breaking Kamakura's heart. A few of the supporting characters add extra humor to the sequence, with Saitou serving as Kamakura's temporary punching bag and Kouki being as endearingly clueless as always. Kondou may be the most important of the lot, as her personality helps close a potential plot hole; she doesn't tell Shindou that the lottery ticket is a year old because she's having far too much fun watching everyone freak out.
While the lottery ticket drama provides solid entertainment, it's the evolving relationship between Higashida and Miyakoshi that steals the show here. The idea that Miyakoshi has never actually tasted the stuff she's been forcing on Higashida is amusing on its own, and the buildup to her finally taking a bite is handled nicely. Once she passes out and has her first encounter with Saint Valentine, the scene enters uproariously funny territory. There are some really clever twists on the usual routine here, like Higashida voluntarily eating a piece of chocolate in order to bring Miyakoshi back through a clever riff on the old “shared dream” premise. The comedic delivery is strong throughout, and the running commentary from Nagata and Yanagiba is in fine form. The sequence as a whole is one of the best efforts we've seen from WWW.Wagnaria in a while.
The only scene in this episode that really comes up short is Adachi's meeting with Saitou. There should be plenty of potential here, with the two guys who've been bewitched by Muranushi's smile finally getting a chance to address their shared misfortune. Things get off to a decent start, as they instinctively recognize one another as kindred spirits even before they're introduced. Unfortunately, that's about all we get from this scene. Once the obvious jokes are told, the scene wraps up and the episode moves on to the next storyline. That abrupt conclusion does allow more time for stronger sequences to play out, but it also feels like a waste to close the book on this one so quickly.
Still, two out of three is a respectable result for a comedy series, especially when one of the hits is as funny as Higashida and Miyakoshi paying a simultaneous visit to Saint Valentine and reducing the poor old guy to a sobbing mess. WWW.Wagnaria appears to be back in top form, and this episode helps to relieve any worries that the series could be running out of good material. One can only hope that this is the start of a strong second half as we cross over the season's midpoint.
WWW.WAGNARIA!! is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Paul Jensen is a freelance writer and editor. You can follow more of his anime-related ramblings on Twitter.
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