The 7th episode of Upotte sticks primarily with the main cast over the winter break. The usual seasonal meetings and activities occur with their own nationalistic touches of course, but there isn’t too much different. Also getting involved is the Japanese teacher, who still as of yet does not have a name. His apartment gets visited by the girls and needless to say hijinks ensue, not once, but twice.
Even by the standards of this series, this was just a filler episode. No new characters are introduced and no character development takes place at all. That means I really just have to judge this on how entertaining the episode was, and there were a couple of good moments.
The first came as FNC and SG550 were playing outside. FNC needed to warm up a bit, so SG550 took off her mittens and put her hands on FNC’s face to warm her up. Then, she kept them there, and continued to keep them there. The timing worked well enough as they were interrupted and also the lack of explanation there worked for me anyway.
There were also a few instances of national jokes that just didn’t cross over that well. Since this is the season where mochi is a traditional foodstuff and AR18 had Japanese origins, she happens to have lots, and lots of mochi to give out as gifts to her friends. Then, there was the nabe dish with the a Belgian twist; one that would absolutely not work in real life. SG550 split the pot with food that would end up resembling the Belgian flag. So with the mochi they had stockpiled, they would also have tomatoes, cheese and Belgian chocolate. I think there’s a joke in there about style not always being better than substance, but I think the meal just sounding utterly disgusting works well enough just to get a Belgian flag out of it.
The Japanese teacher, who for this post I will refer to as Token-sensei (unlike Insert-sensei in the beginning), also gets some significant time in this episode. Before I get into that, I’m going to digress a bit and go back a couple of years to Hanamaru Kindergarden/ That series had a segment which focused on the rather isolated life Tsuchida lived as a single man who was also a teacher, even if it was to a significantly younger group of kids. Though it did seem like pandering a bit, I did feel a bit sympathetic for the guy by the end of the episode.
So how would I feel about Token-sensei at the end of this episode? He just exists and he doesn’t want to be bothered by the girls that he teaches. No depth at all to his character, and the only revelation was that he had porn in his apartment, and a magazine with Thompson-sensei on it. The personalized New Year’s greeting to FNC was really supposed to be the thing that made him sympathetic. Then, he once again had to be an ass with the needless thong joke again. Token-sensei should just be gone for the rest of the run in my opinion.
Unfortunately for next week, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. It’s time to put the girls through the cultural festival. So while the audience gets L85 in the maid costume the remaining audience for this show has been demanding, the rest of the cast will be engaged in much of the same old act. At least it appears Thompson-sensei will be getting a bit more screen time. Also, maybe something will come out of that conversation where SG550 disappeared with G3. Who am I kidding?