Phase OIII

The Setup: Wha? Akiko, Kyusaku, Ryunosuke and Nuku Nuku are all living together? Akiko is trying to behave like a normal housewife? How can this be? How long can it last?

Naturally, all is not as it seems. Akiko has agreed to live like this only so she can be with Ryunosuke. Trying to live like a 'normal' Japanese family within the spacious grounds of the Mishima family estate is a little trying, to say the least! (Ryunosuke: 'It's like living on the set of a TV sitcom.') Can Akiko stand it? Will Arisa, heartbroken at seeing her heroine broken like this, try to intervene? Why is Kyusaku doing this to Akiko? Is Nuku Nuku a little too interested in Grandfather Mishima's pet mouse? *^.^* It's a crisis point for the family!

My Review and Thoughts: I love this episode. Now that the characters and situations are firmly established in the audience's mind, the writers and animators start to play with our expectations. The mood of heavy drama in Phase OIII is both effective and amusing, as tension is built up and then dispersed with silliness. (For example, in one scene Kyusaku picks up what looks like some kind of gun and murmurs 'It's time to finish this.' A few seconds later we see him making an adjustment to the weapon, then he holds it up and happily calls out 'All finished!' He's such a nong. *^.^*) There are weird moments of visual parody - the 'slasher' style of the first few seconds is baffling until you figure out what's going on, and then you have to laugh. Akiko's rendering of Edvard Munch's 'The Scream' is also a treat.

Kyoko is hardly in this episode at all (I assume she spent most of it in traction somewhere after her accident with the human-fly outfit) but it's a great one for Arisa fans - only Arisa could wear a suit of mediaeval European armour with such style. Her admiration and love for Akiko are beautifully revealed, and I think it's great that serious emotions are so well mingled with crazy antics, without either being trivialised.

This is, of course, The Episode for Akiko and Kyusaku's relationship, not to mention a real growth spurt for Nuku Nuku's emotional maturity. I didn't like Kyusaku very much for a lot of this episode. In the end, I have to conclude that although he was right that Akiko needed to learn to put others first, he was wrong to manipulate her the way he did, and to assume that he had the right to teach her a lesson. A bit paternalistic of him. It took Nuku Nuku's unexpected defiance to show him that he was being unfair.

In the end, this is probably the sweetest episode of Nuku Nuku (in the weirdest possible way). And I still wonder what Nuku Nuku did with that mouse... at some points when she's holding it it looks dead!

Back to Story page