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Episode 8: Part-Time Steady

 

Review by Arshad Adel Abdul-Aal

June 6, 2010

 

Summary

 

Both Sousuke and Chidori go through their morning routine and prepare for the first day of school. At the train station, Chidori gets off the train and is approached by Shirai, who asks if she decided to go out with him. She refuses, and when he persists, Sousuke suddenly appears and holds him at gunpoint. Chidori greets Sousuke and asks him to let Shirai go. Sousuke tells him not to go near her again. Chidori tells Sousuke to try to be more subtle, and he says that he was only joking. As they walk away, Shirai yells to Chidori that he’s breaking up with his girlfriend Mizuki for her. Mizuki happened to be nearby and heard the whole thing. At school Sousuke is torturing Shirai in the men’s bathroom for releasing false information on the school’s bulletin boards. Chidori reluctantly steps into the bathroom to stop Sousuke when Mizuki charges in and demands that Sousuke let her boyfriend go, saying that they are in love. Shirai gives her the cold shoulder and leaves, prompting her to chase after him. When Sousuke realizes that Mizuki is Shirai’s girlfriend, he announces his intention to use her for torture, getting a smack by Chidori’s large paper fan in the process. Later, Sousuke is using Shinji’s dating sim game to better understand relationships but is failing miserably. At the train station, Chidori smacks Sousuke again for following her while undercover. Sousuke says that his job is to protect her, but she won’t accept him following her around during the school break. Mizuki passes by them, taking revenge against Shirai for dumping her by ordering lots of take out meals at his expense. She tells Sousuke and Chidori that it’s their fault and that Sousuke has to go out with her tomorrow. She imposes herself into Chidori’s house in order to train Sousuke to be her boyfriend. Sousuke remarks that Shirai must be a brilliant tactician, and Chidori asks why Sousuke has to do this. Mizuki says that this is compensation for getting her dumped and that it’ll only be for tomorrow as she needs Sousuke to pose as Shirai in front of her friends. Sousuke accepts and says that he lost the dating sim due to lack of experience and that he must gather intelligence, much to Chidori’s grief.

 

Mizuki is having trouble teaching Sousuke what to say during conversations and it lasts all night. In her bed, Chidori freaks out when Mizuki starts asking Sousuke if he likes her as part of the act. Despite Sousuke’s reply, Mizuki knows that this is fake and starts sobbing. The next day, Chidori meets Mizuki’s friends Akagi Manami, Tsuge Madoka and Midorikawa Shoko. Mizuki introduce them to Sousuke, dressed in black suede. The charade doesn’t go smoothly due to Sousuke’s odd manner of speech and fits of yelling which get quelled by Chidori’s paper fan. The deception is finally revealed when the real Shirai shows up at the park with another girl, and chides Mizuki for ordering all the food. Chidori attempts to smooth the situation but Sousuke shows up and scares Shirai away. Mizuki’s friends ask her to kiss Sousuke as proof that she isn’t lying. When Sousuke understands that the kiss is mouth-to-mouth he immediately kisses Mizuki, surprising everyone. Angered, Mizuki punches him into the lake and runs away crying. Chidori explains everything and chides Sousuke for blindly doing anything he’s told. The girls thank her and run after Mizuki to cheer her up. Chidori asks Sousuke if he’ll just kiss anyone when told, and he replies that he kissed many men who were on the verge on dying. Chidori pulls him out of the water and gets flustered when they get close, after which she angrily storms off.

 

Commentary

 

After all the action, we’re back to high school comedy. None of the other Mithril members so much as gets a passing shot in this episode. Once again Sousuke’s inability to act like a normal teenager causes all sorts of trouble, though Chidori is bit more tolerant of it now that she knows his true identity. The show doesn’t balance the comedy and plot so much as just jump between each extreme at whim, but fortunately it’s still early in the show’s run so it still has some leeway. And get used to the paper fan, it’s here to stay.

 

Overall Rating

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3 out of 5 stars
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Full Metal Panic Episode 8 Full Metal Panic Episode 8

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Buy the collection (eps 1-24) on Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon

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