I will once again start this review by saying that there are spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t watched this episode and the eight that came before it, it would be my recommendation that you do. So let us begin.
Episode nine begins with Aoi and Nadeshiko recalling what had happened during the last episode or two. In particular, Nadeshiko’s solo camp. It is here that we realise Nadeshiko broke, not just one, but two of Rin’s rules: We knew she was out of range in terms of WiFi, but she also managed to have nothing to do after dinner and got bored. Because Cooking her dinner was her choice of past-time (or Cooking Research as she packaged it). Nadeshiko says it gave her the desire for another group camp – which sets up, what will be, the rest of the season. Chiaki makes it official: The first group camp since Christmas is happening!
The next few episodes will see the girls prepare for Camping in Izu. The Isda Family (The Sake Shop Owners who gave Chiaki, Aoi, Ena and Toba-Senpai dinner and shelter from the cold at Lake Yamanaka in Episode six) have their business there. Once the girls finish their mid-term exams in February, they have something in March to have as a reward (A luxury holiday where they need to save up for a few weeks). Also, this is the episode when we know Aoi and Nadeshiko share the same birthday (March fourth) as Ōshio Heihachirō, which led to humourous dismay of the comparison to him. Because if you read up about Heihachirō, he is not an inspirational figure (All of those homes and that rice. Destroyed. Oh, the humanity of it all!). Aoi’s younger sister Akarai wants to come too – not because she likes camping. But because she wants to see Capybaras bathing in the hot spring
Meanwhile, Rin accepts the invitation to go with them while passing it off as “I’ll see…” which translates as Yes. We find out that there is a mysterious gossiper letting everyone know how wonderful Rin is as a friend, to her embarrassment.
So begins the preparations with a Montage to one of the musical themes played more often during Season One (the one that sounds slightly Irish). The girls work at their jobs and study together, to the point that even Chiaki, who usually scapes through her exams, did very well. Afterwards, Chiaki, Ena and Rin all decide to pitch in on a Birthday present for Aoi and Nadeshiko. We don’t know what the gift or gifts are, but we know they’ll be from Caribou. So my guess is a chair with a hanging gaslight. But we’ll see. Nadeshiko tries to decide what to make for dinner at the camp – her Dad suggests Dried fish, as there is a dried fish shop either in the town or on the way. We will see if Nadeshiko combines what she learned during solo camp with this suggestion. I’m betting on it being baked fish.
We will also add that Toba-Senpai has also been making her preparations. By borrowing her sister Ryouko’s van (the sister we met in Season One) and fasting from Booze. Knowing she would be driving with students, it is better to enjoy the ‘Chug’ when it is safe.
We’re also back with Rin, who seeks to improve upon her Moped experience after getting very cold during New Years. What is lovely about the next ten or so minutes is how much we see Rin’s family showing their support for her lifestyle. Her Dad takes her moped for maintenance (and we learn that he has a history with mopeds). A delivery arrives for Rin: a Phone Holder to make it easier to navigate (while before, she would stop and look at the map) and a Baggage carrier to hold more luggage (driving with those logs on the moped in Season One comes to mind). After installation, Rin’s Grandpa arrives with the windshield. But upon further inspection, he realises that the phone would continue charging, even after the bike is off. This meaning the bike battery drains while it is on standby. He leaves to get the part, to the disappointment of Rin’s Mum, who had just made dinner. In Rin’s Mum’s own words, He tries to act cool but is desperate to do things for his Granddaughter. Grandpa gets home with the relay, he fixes the charger, and they sit down to dinner. We find out that Rin’s Mum was also into Mopeds, and all three of them had been to Izu before. After an early night to bed and waking up at three in the morning, Rin gets ready to go – only to find out that her Grandfather is leaving at the same time. Not because he has to, necessarily. But because he wants to ride his moped with his Granddaughter. Which is something he didn’t think he would do – a very endearing moment in the show. They stop at Japan’s version of 7/11, called 8/12, to refresh before going their separate ways.
Oh, and we find out that Nadeshiko’s Mum was telling people how wonderful Rin is after Sakura tells her about what happened at the solo camp, and she tells Ena, who secretly works in the Bays store to raise the money for the Izu Camp. Mystery solved.
Anyway – this was a fascinating episode for several reasons. There were no “foodie” moments today, which made my image choice a bit narrow this week. We saw more of Rin’s family than before, and I loved Rin’s time with her family. It lets us know why her introverted personality isn’t one of shyness or pain, but one that simply ‘is’, and knows the importance of having people in their lives.