MG2 EP5: Trouble In Paradise

Life never quite goes the way you want it to, does it?

Just as our merry couple seemed to be heading towards bliss, we get a road block in the form of one very brilliant Otabe, Maeda’s newly named successor to the Rapapa throne. Although I do love her stylish and brilliant self, she’s not getting any brownie points if she ends up derailing my OTP…

At the new popular rendezvous spot; Abandoned Poolside (previously associated with slasher and horror movies, now young love), new Rapapa president Otabe and a coy Nezumi have a passive-aggressive conversation. This revolves around Otabe confronting Nezumi about letting slip to Gekihara about the challenge letter that Sae had intercepted which resulted in Sae being trashed by the Yabukune Girls.

Nezumi sweetly apologises, but admits to letting it slip. Otabe challenges her, asking if she really is helping MG High in which Nezumi merely states that she too, is part of the school.

When Otabe turns the tables and seeks her for help in finding the mastermind behind the scenes, Nezumi’s mask slips slightly in a rare moment as she asks Otabe darkly,

Nezumi: Who are you?

(I ponder upon the possibility of an Otabe x Nezumi pairing for a moment. Really, just a moment.)

Otabe is quick to defer the question when suddenly Center appears behind her, her radar twitching when her beloved Nezumi might be in danger.

Otabe does not seem perturbed by Center’s appearance and merely asks why Center lives life in such a hurry.

Center: Being slow is too boring. Life is just this one round.

The both of them glare at each other, and the tension in the air between the pair grows thick…

(It’s beautiful and I really want to see this epic fight; Center with her strong punches and Otabe with her vicious kicks.)

Quick as a flash, Nezumi is on her crutches and feet, stopping the pair from getting into a fight.

She redomishes Center, citing that the school was currently undergoing a crisis and it wasn’t time for an internal fight

(Center’s hurt puppy dog look has been patented. I die a little every time this appears.)

Heart-of-Stone Nezumi stands firm. You can’t just toss away the grand plan in the scheme of things!

And Center finally loses patience with her girlfriend.

(I see jealousy and possessive rage. Ignoring whatever anyone else says.)

Without another word, Center turns and walks off..

Leaving Nezumi is startled by her sudden coldness while Otabe quietly observes.

(This scene is so worth it, just to catch this surprise and slight distress from the Mouse.)

Nezumi foolishly doesn’t call her beloved back, and we can all sense trouble in paradise.

Our troublemaker, Otabe notes the concern on the usual smiling Nezumi, but tactfully decides not to further meddle in other people’s love affairs.

Instead she opts to twist the knife a little by making some acrid remarks about a arsonist definitely returning to the scene of the crime which has the effect of Nezumi giving her a tart reply.

Nezumi: I dislike you.

Otabe makes no reply.

(Somehow, I love this two together. What would an alliance between the two bring, one wonders? Second moment of Otabe x Nezumi in my mind. The sacrilege! I am sorry, Center!)

Up on The Rooftop, our couple’s previous lovey doveyness has turned into frosty interaction to my horror.

(Punishment for Otabe x Nezumi thoughts? I repent!)

They talk shop about fighting and school politics, where Nezumi remarks that Gekihara had been stronger than she had imagined.

A huffy Center replies that she is stronger and says she will take her on

Nezumi cautiously tries again…

She infers that the Yakubune girls are making too much trouble…

Again, Center merely  immediately replies she will go take care of them and finally stalks off.

Nezumi is not pleased.

She’s left to stew in her frustration and anger alone, and we all know that a silent, thinking Nezumi is a dangerous one.

Brittle Peanut’s 2 Cents:

As brilliant as Nezumi is, she seems to have outstepped herself this time… Otabe is playing her out of the game, and Center is starting to… stray, for lack of a better word.

It’s bizarre for me that the normally unflappable Mouse has been letting Otabe get under her skin. While as a viewer, I can understand this to be a script device to showcase our Kyoto girl (and to justify sakura-eating Maeda’s decision of handing the presidency of Rapapa to her) but one cannot help but ponder upon Otabe’s actual motives and job; what she has planned up her sleeves? It’s taken so long for her to do anything, so I am really hoping that whatever it is, it’s something brilliant.

I do wish the writers had put more thought into it though; while earlier episodes had covered some great ground with parlaying and deceit, Center and Nezumi had showcased (and surprised me) with the honesty and bond they had each other. While Nezumi has allowed Center in on her truth-lies (proof to me that Nezumi has some trust and feelings for her partner) but it seems now that Otabe has easily worked through them and is set to swiftly cut her off in the future. Is this going to be a boring straight on Light vs Dark battle where every move that Nezumi makes will be countered by Otabe? I want to see more of some devious underground maneuvering! I want to be surprised! (And then I remember this is a low budget midnight drama and I decide to shut the hell up.)

Lastly, while I am not too pleased about the slight debasement of my OTP, I view it as a necessary evil since it’s too early in the series for the pair to “settle down”. Where will the narrative and dramatic tension go if the two do not experience some cracks in their fragile bond if not for some discord and tension to be sowed between the two?

Also, while I was initially horrified by their non-fight on the rooftop, I found it so much like a real couple fight, that I couldn’t help but start smiling.

Center’s like the totally fed up partner who has tolerated the girlfriend’s nagging, objections to everything she wants to do and just sucked it up. But the straw that broke the camel back was Nezumi siding with the “enemy”, Otabe when Center had probably turned up to “protect” Nezumi.

So now that Center is in the middle of a real temper tantrum alongside the revelation of a scar from traumatic stabbing in the past, it’s now up to Nezumi to see how she will soothe the green eyed monster raging in her partner.  Will she or won’t she?

Or will Otabe suddenly turn out to be some contender and turn this thing into a triangle? (Forgive my unchaste shipping thoughts…)

Suddenly, I’m suddenly really looking forward to the next episode. Till next week!



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