This is a part of an ongoing collaboration of ‘To Love-Ru’ reviews between myself and Irina from I Drink And Watch Anime, the links to the other reviews can be found at the bottom of this post. My words are in bold, while Irina’s are in plain text.
The Episode Review:
Episode 9… gotta be honest with you Irina, I didn’t remember any of this episode so watching it again almost felt like the first time watching. Which I guess could be a good thing or a bad thing. Anyway, the episode opens with a rocket man landing in the middle of nowhere, he’s a suave, blue-eyed blonde-haired space man who manages to charm women just by looking at them. Already I know he’s up to no good. For a second I thought maybe I had started the wrong show. I did not expect that at all!
Meanwhile, in the oddly translated “health room” (the blu-ray version correctly calls it “infirmary” but I guess streaming service translators were being lazy and did a literal translation) we’re introduced to Dr. Mikado one of the very few adult female characters in the show! She’s a busty, confident woman who knows how to avoid the advances of the horny principal with ease. What were your first impressions of this character, Irina? I thought she was the school nurse. I didn’t realize she was a doctor. I sort of compare all anime doctors to Tae from Persona 5 so that’s not fair for them. Damn, now you got me thinking of Tae… she’s one of my Top 3 from that series! Seriously though, she didn’t really register at first. I only really started paying attention later on in the episode when it turned out she had a bit more of a role to play. I guess I had just sort of decided she would be there for one scene and we’d never see her again. That wasn’t very nice of me.
After repeated failed attempts at finding Lala, the rocketman Pikari (of the Kiararan race–but that’s not really important) finally does locate her and it turns out he’s another suitor intent on taking the Deviluke princess’ hand in marriage–despite all her objections. She sure has a lot of those! Run/Ren is my favourite so far. Same, but probably for different reasons…
I enjoyed the first ‘kidnapping’ scene where he takes her, flies up into the sky, only to have his rocket control system broken by Lala. I like it when Lala takes matters into her own hands and solves stuff using her gadgets!
There’s a lot of repetition in this episode, a lot of it is used for comedic effect and works–like when Pikari crashes into the ground and has a dog pees on him, whereas a lot of it feels like padding such as the flashbacks to Pikari’s homeworld. I’m sort of the opposite on this. The dog peeing on someone is such a huge trope in American children’s movies. Honestly, why does that happen in like all of them? That it seemed really played out to me. While the homeworld scenes at least had some character-building potential.
This episode is a prime example of what people complained about as ‘filler’ as there’s a lot of repeated animation like when Rito sneezes and then shivers, they reuse the same animation 5 times. It’s not bad, it’s just kinda lazy. I noticed those reused scenes as well. They didn’t bother me much but I admit there were way more than usual.
Anyway turns out Dr. Mikado has two jobs the second one is working at an underground hospital for aliens, also she’s an alien too though they don’t bother to name her particular race. Did you like this addition to the show’s world-building, Irina? I actually did like that a lot. I think it expands the universe nicely and adds a lot of potential and context to the storytelling. I hope we get to learn more, not only about her but about incognito aliens living on earth in general. It seems like a great bit of side story for us to sink our teeth into.
This is when I started paying attention to the character by the way. I like her. She’s no Tae but who is?
So Dr. Mikado, not knowing any better and of course being someone who helps aliens in need assists Pikari in repairing his rocket suit which he in turn uses to kidnap Lala. Using what I can only describe as a ‘date rape laser’ it literally knocks her unconcious and removes her clothes. Rito is bound and cannot help and just as it seems Pikari is about to succeed in his kidnapping attempt Dr. Mikado saves the day using bandages with extreme skill to apprehend the kidnapper! To be fair Lala gets naked whenever she trips so maybe the laser just knocked her out. This is not a good sentence…
I liked that none of the male characters were the ones taking action and it was the female characters (first Lala, then Mikado) who were doing all the proverbial butt-kicking! Did you prefer this element of the show rather than Rito coming to the rescue? Sure, but isn’t that always the case? I mean Lala always saves the day so far. Rito tries but the poor kid needs help. Lala saved herself at the beginning with her vacuum thingy, she at least helped saved Haruna and I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have been so easy without her, she “saved” the blonde girl. Sure, most of the time she’s the one that put them in danger too but the girl does come through in a pinch.
Unfortunately the episode kind of doesn’t know how to end properly with two half-baked endings, one where Pikari returns home to a neutral(?) response from his family and a shoe-horned joke where Zastin comes to Dr. Mikado to get a dog removed from his suit of armor. Speaking of Zastin, we see both him and Ren in brief cameos, probably unnecessary but I’m glad the show is using its large cast of side-characters to some effect. I really enjoyed both cameos. With a large ensemble cast, I think it’s a very good idea to show that the characters do continue existing even when the story isn’t focused on them. With all the new characters getting introduced, it’s nice to see familiar faces.
Anyway, I think I know why I completely forgot this episode’s existence–segue to the fan service section of the review!
The Fan Service Review:
So, yeah…there really wasn’t much fan service this episode. Wanna share your thoughts on that Matt? Try to keep it PG. You know, for all the kids reading your ecchi reviews. Dr Mikado is sexy, I want to **** her **** and then **** with those *****. Is that what you meant by PG?
You can remove this if you want I’m just genuinely curious. At the very beginning, the cowgirl had her fly open. Is not being able to button your jeans fan service? If so it’s hilarious and should be used way more! I don’t think it’s not that she couldn’t it’s probably that she was woken up by the sound of Pikari crashing into the ground, pulled on some jeans and hurried out without doing up the button. On a side note, I’ve seen this type of ‘service’ come up a lot in various ecchi anime and if you’ll go back to our Episode 1 review where I showed off my Lala figure you’ll see she’s rocking the open fly look too!
Ok let me try to come up with something. Oh, Lala had sexy nurse cosplay! So personally I think it was less sexy than her normal school uniform but tell me why I’m wrong! Nurse outfits belong to that sort of cliche costume service trope, though for me personally nurse outfits belong at the bottom of the barrel, they don’t do anything for me. I’m pretty sure sexy school girl uniform is also part of that trope….
All things considered I still really liked this episode despite it being a) mostly filler, and b) not that funny. Pikari and some aspects of his interactions with random people reminded me of David Bowie’s character from the movie ‘The Man Who Fell To Earth’ which was enjoyable to draw visual comparisons to. Dr. Mikado is a fun (and come later seasons, important) addition to the cast and taken on its own this episode was perfectly enjoyable if nothing remarkable–and sorely lacking in fan service. Though watching and reviewing this show week-to-week rather than binge watching (like I did the first time) is definitely shining a light on the deficiencies of the series and just how much filler is here. What are your overall thoughts on the episode, Irina? Well, that depends. By itself, I would call it mostly harmless. If Pikari or his perceived engagement to Lala play a big role later on, then I think this was a pretty good introduction episode. We got a decent idea of who he is and what his deal is. They also gave us a pretty good set up for his race, home planet and technology without it feeling like an exposition dump so that’s really good.
If Pikari turns out to be a bit side character with no real impact, then I’m going to feel like it was a waste of time. We didn’t even get much time with Rito or Lala this episode. Hopefully you don’t think this is a spoiler, but spoiler alert Pikari was never mentioned in the original manga and never shows up in the show again. Guess that adds another reason into why I completely forgot about this episode!
Anyway, time for final scores, the episode itself I give an 86/100 but the fan-service only scores a 65/100.
Previous ‘To Love-Ru’ Reviews:
Solo Episode 1 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 1
Solo Episode 2 Review
Solo Episode 3 Review
Solo Episode 4 Review
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episodes 2, 3 and 4
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 5
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 6
Irina and Matt Review ‘To Love-Ru’ Episode 7
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