Kuragehime 3

Episode 3 of Kuragehime, “Enchanted” (魔法をかけられて), begins with Kuranosuke dressing up to the chagrin of the male members in the family. His internal monologue reveals that the biggest reason he cross-dresses is to destroy any prospect of himself becoming a politician, something he loathes of ever becoming. Obviously the father does know of Kuranosuke’s habits, and Kuranosuke was just avoiding him in the previous episode because an encounter would just raise a bothersome fuss.

The mother of the family doesn’t seem to be bothered as much as the brother and father; at least she is more preoccupied at trying to calm down the father, who is pissed at how Kuranosuke is cross-dressing when a distinguished visitor is dropping by. Fortunately, the visitor, who is the father’s brother-in-law, happens to be a otaku, to the chagrin of his attendants, and he is all too happy with Kuranosuke’s appearance. That’s just even more annoying to the father, who gives Kuranosuke the perfect excuse to get out of the house.

Kuranosuke also happens to be bored with the time he spends with his college friends and their unchanging conversations, and he finds Tsukimi and her encyclopedic knowledge of jellyfish to be a new source of entertainment. Which is why Tsukimi finds herself bothered by Kuranosuke during what was supposed to be her happy time feeding Kurara. On the other hand, the other residents seem to be fine with Kuranosuke by now, thanks to his bribery in the previous episode.

However, Kuranosuke notices that the feed Tsukimi bought for Kurara costs 3,800 yen, which he realizes is very expensive (obviously he isn’t the oblivious-of-the-average-income-level type). This is unfortunate because this prompts him to ask the Amamizukan residents what they do for a living, which is the foremost among many forbidden questions for the residents. Mainly because they desperately want to deny themselves being NEETs. They do have their sources of income, but most of them work from home and are without corporate employment. I would consider their work respectable employment, though not something they could get rich at, but their strong reactions imply this is another source for an inferiority complex, despite their words to the contrary.

Having been presumably kicked out of the Amamizukan yet again for his insensitive questions, Kuranosuke is asked by Tsukimi about his politician family. Instead of answering her question, though, Kuranosuke takes a real good look at Tsukimi, which does an excellent job of avoiding the question since the interrogator petrifies. This also makes it really easy for Kuranosuke to take Tsukimi to his own room to do all sorts of horrifying acts on her with all sorts of terrifying implements.

Horrifying and terrifying to Tsukimi, that is. Using his finely honed makeup and fashion skills, Kuranosuke does a terrific job of changing Tsukimi’s appearance to look like a demure and innocent young lady. This might be a shock to Tsukimi’s self image, but the much bigger problem for her is that she doesn’t want to be kicked out of the Amamizukan, something she fears might happen if the other residents see her like this. When Tsukimi runs away, she runs into Shuu, Kuranosuke’s older brother, who ends up being quite smitten with her new appearance, even if he doesn’t realize who she is nor recognizes her from their previous encounter.

Kuranosuke now has yet another reason to hang out around Tsukimi, as he thinks it would be great fun to apply his fashion skills to one who never concerns herself with fashion but can be dressed up quite spectacularly. Tsukimi, on the other hand, has demoted Kuranosuke from the princess from the first episode to a witch, as she desperately tries to clean away the makeup she suffered. Meanwhile, Shuu has been quite taken with the lady that ran into him to Kuranosuke’s great amusement.

While Tsukimi ends up playing Chinese zombie back at the Amamizukan thanks to the messy way the makeup cleanup effort ended up, Kuranosuke wants to know where his mother is in return for telling Shuu where to find Tsukimi. However, Shuu denies knowing where she is, but Kuranosuke tells him anyway purely for the amusement factor. Kuranosuke is surprised that Shuu knows about the Amamizukan, but he’s more preoccupied by the entertainment that he doesn’t really listen to Shuu’s aborted explanation that it’s part of the redevelopment area.

Shuu uses the excuse of returning Tsukimi’s glasses and clothes that she left behind to see Tsukimi at the Amamizukan. Unfortunately for him, he is completely taken aback by how crass the reality compares to his imagination, and not recognizing Tsukimi as the same person he ran into earlier (apparently thinking that Kuranosuke played a prank), he returns with the thought that the Amamizukan has good reason to be demolished quickly for redevelopment. Ironically, Tsukimi seems to have developed an attraction to Shuu, as she silently asks her mother if love is what makes a girl a princess.

Back home, Shuu wants to know what Kuranosuke intends to do if he knew where his mother was. To this, Kuranosuke replies that Shuu has nothing to worry about, that he just wants to see his mother’s closet again. If one were the psychoanalyzing sort, one might wonder if Kuranosuke’s cross-dressing and associated fashion skills might have something to do with him missing his mother. The whole thing about Kuranosuke’s mother also implies a sordid past in the Koibuchi family, considering that Kuranosuke and Shuu are presumably half-brothers. Or Kuranosuke was adopted into the family after living with his mother for years. Either way, it seems complicated.

Finally, as to the title to this episode, I am hazarding a guess that “Enchanted” (魔法をかけられて) is a reference to Disney’s Enchanted, even if the episode was more like Cinderella with Tsukimi having been “magically” turned into a “princess” for a short while before turning back to normal.

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.