I was suspecting that they would begin episode two with the sequence that they did, and was correct (rarity of rarities), and I actually thought they pulled it off quite nicely. In the manga narrative THIS is how we are introduced to Pikari character wise … and it takes place before she meets with Futaba at the school. So Futaba’s first impression of her is of her leaping through the sky – in other words, of someone who doubly weird. Its also interesting as this is the first situation Pikari and the teacher meet … and this was before Pikari found out she was her homeroom teacher. So different methods of presenting the same information and the effect is pretty similar overall, but with the differences largely dictated by the differences in medium. Overall I think J.C. Staff did a fine job with the material here.

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If there was ever any doubt that Pikari was just a little eccentric this episode cemeted the impression that there should be no doubt. Of course the homeroom teacher is too, but the teacher (who reminds me a little of Akira from Aria for some reason) has more years and maturity under her belt and would never do things like Pikari did in the friendly match they had of who would get to school first – when I first read the manga and saw Pikari leaping into the air like that I also went O_O with the teacher, Futaba and probably everyone else who was present. Must admit that one thing I liked was how they showed that even though Pikari is eccentric, cheerful and impulsive she is NOT some superhuman. When she landed her legs went numb. As they should of. That had to hurt really bad! XD

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Back at the ranch (or the school in this case) we hear during homeroom that clubs are mandatory in this particular high school, so everyone will have to join one. Futaba is about as excited about that as having root canal work performed on her, and sadly sighs and wonders what she is going to do when she suddenly sees Pikari creeping along outside the school building in the direction opposite the front gate. It turns out the high school has a diving club and (surprise, surprise) their homeroom teacher is in charge of it! Pikari is going to check out the place before activities begin, and literally drags a much-astonished Futaba over to the club room door and disappears inside. The weird blobby cat (who Pikari has decided to nickname “Cha” for the sound it makes) is inside and the two continue to hit it off famously until Futaba is caught looking at the wetsuits.

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Not wasting any time Pikari happily begins to talk with Futaba about wetsuits in general, the different types, what they are used for, how they are donned and all that sort of thing (Pikari is a local who has been diving as a hobby for many years now), and persuades Futaba to put on a drysuit variety and give it a test in the pool located on the other side of the clubroom. Futaba is nervous, likes it all, frets, worries, finds Pikari’s cheerfulness and friendliness has been very helpful and relieving for helping her get used to her new life in this new place, and finally she tosses all fears aside for a split-second and jumps in the pool.

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What follows is an absolutely beautiful scene of the two of them quietly, contentedly floating in the water as Futaba’s long, long fair spreads out across the surface amidst the cherry blossom petals that have been falling slowly and gathering in bunches. It really serves both as a lovely poetic image and as a moment for Futaba to “make a new beginning” of some sort in the new place she has found herself … and it fits just perfectly and superbly both with the OST of the episodes thus far and especially with the lyrics of the stunningly lovely OP of the series.

Ayup! I dearly, dearly hope the series will continue to be as excellent as it has thus far! I really like the work being done with this series as well in the first two episodes. J.C. Staff is once again hitting it out of the park with this adaptation for me this season! See you all in the next episode! ^^

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Currently the “oji-san” of the staff members age wise (in his mid 40’s) yet the most recent addition, he is also a Japanophile from his teen years while not quite an “otaku” who lives in the United States. Came to actively following anime late in life (in 2008), but in general loves the traditional arts, history and culture of Japan as a whole, both ancient and modern.

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