The main heroine of the second episode of Cuties is the undisputed main heroine of the entire series – Sanzen’in Nagi.
In the last episode a problem was raised: if Cuties takes places after CTMEOY, then why Nagi, who was shown living in the Sanzen’in Mansion in CTMEOY, is living in the Violet Mansion in the first episode of Cuties? To complicate matters, Nagi does live in the Sanzen’in Mansion in the first half of this episode, but then she moves back to the Violet Mansion in the second half. So, what is going on here?
An explanation is that it is an adaptation goof. The first half of the episode is adapted from Ch. 174 and Ch. 197, chapters from before the Athena saga. The second half is adapted from Ch. 339, which is after the Athena saga. We know that Nagi lived in the Sanzen’in Mansion before the Athena saga, and the Violet Mansion after. So, if the anime is adapted without any change, then of course Nagi would be living in different houses. This explanation could be logical, but also disappointing: how on earth is such a big goof not noticed?
If we would want to believe that this is not a goof, there is still a possible explanation: Nagi indeed switches houses from time to time. We could see from the episode that Nagi lives in the Sanzen’in Mansion on a Sunday, and the Violet Mansion on a school day. It could mean that after CTMEOY, Nagi would treat the Violet Mansion as a boarding house: she would live in the Violet Mansion with everyone during weekdays (schooldays), and then return to the Sanzen’in Mansion for weekend. In terms of a half-boarding school life, this makes sense.
There are still problems, though. Under such arrangement, Hayate and Maria would have to follow Nagi back to the Sanzen’in Mansion during weekends, so would that mean there is nobody to take care of the Violet Mansion? If there is nobody to serve them, the tenants might be better off return to their own homes as well, so does that mean the Violet Mansion would be “vacated” during weekends? Going back home would not be a problem for Hinagiku and Ayumu, but what about Athena (homeless?), Chiharu (burnt down) and Kayura (Hokkaido)?
Clearly, there are only two options: either we wait for more answers to be revealed, or we simply ignore everything and just let them be. Either way, it means that I have to shut up right now and move on with the Review.
As suggested above, this episode is the animation of Ch. 174, Ch. 197 and Ch. 339. Doughnut Gunso will yet again shamelessly ask you to refer to the links above and… wait, what links? As I have only started writing Reviews since Ch. 267, clearly Ch. 174 and Ch. 197 are out of my reach. Right, I just have to put more efforts into the first half of the episode, don’t I?
In a certain morning, Nagi wakes up exceptionally early at 4:22 – Hayate wakes up at 4:30 and Maria at 6:00, so you have the idea. Needless to say, the fresh air in the morning is a new experience for Nagi. A walk in the garden, however, speeds up the metabolism in Nagi’s body, and soon she feels hungry. This problem would of course be one for Hayate to solve.
Hayate is busy making preparation for the day’s meal – just how many people are eating at your house today, butler? Clearly he expects to be working alone for a while longer, so he is clearly shocked that anyone is behind him – the fact that it is Nagi doubles the shock.
It is not time yet on Hayate’s schedule to make Nagi proper breakfast – the thing is, whether this is a necessary meal for Nagi is debatable. However, a butler should never let his lady down so miserably, so he ends up making a very simple dish for Nagi: egg and tomato stir-fry. Just so you know, I love this dish very much.
The secret to make this dish delicious is not (only) Hayate’s culinary skills, but the tomatoes and eggs which are raised by Maria. I am not sure if we could say that gardening is an official hobby of Maria, but at least she has the skills and time to invest into the ingredients which pays off nicely.
After the dish, Hayate makes Nagi a cup of coffee, which cannot fool his lady for being a bit stronger than usual. Nagi doesn’t really like it: she hates to be seen as a “simple creature” which feels sleepy after a meal. Hayate fails to cover his act – at times like this the best way may be to simply act innocent – but Nagi cannot hide her yawning very properly either.
In order to stay awake, Nagi decides to do watch recorded anime, but it doesn’t work. some pseudo-radio-calisthenics
as the Wii becomes outdated. Working out in the sun surely feels good, but while Nagi becomes more awake mentally, she is tired physically. Apparently ten hours of walking in Ch. 402 does not accurately reflect her stamina, after all.
In the end, Nagi gives up and goes to bed again. Soon Maria wakes up and finds that Nagi has changed her clothes, but somehow convinced that she is “still asleep”. This would be quite some story for Hayate to tell…
It appears that when Nagi wakes up again, it is already noon. Bored on a sunny Sunday and annoyed by the news on children’s lifestyle, Nagi decides to rent some DVDs – at the shop owned by her (once) fiancé, Wataru.
A valid argument against “adaptation goof” is that the studio manages to not messing up with Wataru’s store. While the manga chapter took place in Wataru’s old store, in the anime it is his new store in Akiba. It didn’t start well, but as it is still there after the movie and CTMEOY, it seems to do fine now.
No matter where the store is, the DVD management is a mess as an R-18 DVD is allowed on a “regular movies” shelf – well, you know who is responsible for that. The R-18 DVD – a porn movie, more precisely – proves too tempting for Nagi, and although she knocks down a lot of other DVDs as she tries to put it back on the shelf as Hayate calls her from behind, she has secretly made up her mind…
In the end, Nagi rents a lot of DVDs to hide her true target – the porn. Wataru is too busy checking out all the items that he overlooks the R-18 item, which means that he negligently breaks the law… Serious matters aside, Wataru has made a real fortune by renting out so many DVDs in one day. Really, with such big customers like Nagi, it is very hard for Wataru’s business to fail…
Nagi returns to the mansion but locks herself in the tree house with Shiranui, so that she could enter the dark side of the world in secret… Anyway, she opens what she expects to be the porn, but the DVD turns out to be Vattalion, which is… well, just listen to Wataru, won’t you? Speaking of R-18 items that is not porn, I found a Vegeta character song (?) that is rated R-18. Well…
Without an idea about what Vattalion is, Nagi plays the DVD in high anticipation. The horror movie, however, turns out to be too scary for Nagi and Shiranui. We can see from the “See How The Audience React”-ish sequence that both human and cat are scared to death.
Nagi is so scared that she demands Hayate’s company 24 hours a day. It means that Hayate could not go to groceries, and it also means that he has to share the bed with Nagi and Maria, at least for this night. The bed is indeed so big that it could allow 3P – I mean, three people. This proves a bad idea, however, because Hayate and Maria keep talking, so Nagi couldn’t go to sleep.
Even if she finally falls asleep, Nagi is having bad dreams. Hayate knows what to do: simply tells Nagi that he has defeated all the bad guys. The inception proves successful, and Nagi sleeps with a happy face.
The next day, Maria finds Vattalion and tempts fate… At least she proves that she is indeed under 18.
For the second half of the episode, you do have this link to follow, so I will again just highlight some points.
Isumi makes her first appearance in this season! (Fuck me, I forgot she appeared in the last episode!) Come to think of it, she is also considered a resident of the Violet Mansion even though she does not have a room to occupy. Anyway, we did not see her in the apartment in the last episode, so her residence status is indeed questionable – although to a certain extent it doesn’t matter.
Hayate only called Chiharu for a quote in the manga, but he calls Hinagiku and Ayumu first in the anime. Hinagiku gets excited rather oddly (and what’s with that lengthy elaboration?), and her quote is not a very successful one for being “too high level”. Hayate doesn’t even bother to tell it to Nagi, and it appears that he hangs up Hinagiku’s call rudely – so you are dead, man. Then again, the spirit of the quote is very Hinagiku-ish: work hard until things pay off.
Ayumu does have a lot of “quotes”, but they are famous (mei) in every way – dogs (meiken), master (meijin), detective (meitantei) and email spams (meiwaku meiru) – but none of them is what Hayate needs. For some reason Hayate gets impatient and rebukes to her every “quote”. Surely not a very happy conversation.
The anime does make a very clever twist which links up both parts of the episode nicely. In the first part, Hayate mentions that waking up early is worth 3 mon (30 yen). Earlier in the second part, Hayate suggests that going to school could earn Nagi 30 mon (3oo yen). While Maria suggests that the “money” in your hands would only decrease, Nagi agrees that she could “earn money” by going to school. This is fascinating insight, although I am not sure how long it would remain effective – inspiration never lasts very long for Nagi.
Nagi’s ED is called “Asterisk”.