Hyakko 9

Ooba Minato
Ooba Minato

Episode 9 of Hyakko starts off with the tall girl dropping her coin when trying to buy something from the vending machine. As Torako and Ayumi head toward the vending machine during recess, they find the tall girl wailing in sadness over her lost coin. Seeing the tall girl, Ooba Minato, crying so much over something that isn’t much of a big deal, Torako buys Minato a can of cocoa with no idea of how much trouble she would be getting into.

The next day, Minato joyously repays the money Torako had used to buy her a drink. And as the day goes on, Minato tries to do various things for Torako. And it becomes apparent that it’s not going to end, and it starts to drive Torako crazy enough that she tries to run away from Minato. But when Torako is caught by Minato as she tries to run away, Ushio sees what happens and freezes in shock. Once Ushio got her wits back, she ran away as fast as she could.

It turns out that Ushio is also another “victim” of Minato’s. Her kindness to Minato was to press a button when Minato was despondently confused over how to buy a subway ticket. And Ushio was stalked by Minato ever since. Torako tries to figure out ways to keep Minato away, but all of her efforts fail as she either isn’t mean enough and Minato doesn’t respond negatively enough. Neither do Ushio’s efforts work.

As a last resort, Torako’s approach is to run away. Ushio runs away, too, and even the uninvolved Ayumi and Tatsuki are pulled into running away. Unfortunately, Minato is a tall girl with long legs who can run quite fast, so there’s really no chance for them to get away even after running all over the campus. With nothing working, Torako resigns herself to her fate.

Oddly enough, Suzume wasn’t around when all this was happening. But we get to see how Suzu would react to Minato trying to approach Torako at lunch time. As Minato tries to sit next to Torako, Suzume squeezes in between them out of jealousy. And Torako’s troubles are doubled as not only does she have to deal with Minato closing in, she now has to deal with the competing Suzume. After a few days of this, Torako can’t take it anymore and throws a tantrum for them to leave her alone. And Ushio wisely refused to accompany them in their chase after Torako. At least Suzume and Minato end up with a truce of sorts as they go after Torako together.

The second half of the episode is about Suzume as she walks around the school. Starting from Torako’s brother, we see her respond positively to almost everyone as she is offered food. The sole exception is when she encounters the creepy girl Inori, since Suzu is still afraid of her, and even Inori’s offer of food doesn’t seem to placate it. It’s pretty funny to see the way everyone interacts with Suzume as she scavenges for food around the school, without a word from Suzume herself.

By Shounen A

伝説の少年A. The Legendary Boy A. The counterpart of Konata Izumi from Lucky Star, he is an otaku of legendary reputation whose tastes foretell the rise and fall of anime series. Or not.