What amazes me most about Minami Kamakura is how it can make a whole episode out of the content it presents. I don’t necessarily mean this as a slight, but I also totally mean it as a slight.
It’s episode nine, and we finally get an introduction to Sandy, the blonde girl from the opening. This solidifies my idea that the show is counting on at least one more season since they have roughly sixty minutes left to characterize and integrate Sandy into the Cycling Club.
This MK episode reminds me of the biggest problem with the series, just in case I managed to forget, Hiromi.
Minami Kamakura does what other shows dare not- it extends the race to a third episode. We do not get a conclusion, and are instead treated with a cliff hanger that leaves me wondering what Hiromi can possibly do.
Finally, after five episodes of slow-moving “plot” we get to see the girls race! Kind of- actually, we only get the start of the race at the very end of the episode. What amazes me most about each episode of Minami Kamakura is how much time the show manages to waste on subjects that legitimately don’t matter. There is little character development, if any, since each girl remains exactly the same as our first impression of them.
A significant portion of this episode is focused on higher-up decision making compared to previous installments where these were quick asides that really focused more on debriefings about Tanya. While it’s nice to see the other side of coin, I did find it a bit boring when the first meeting with the Imperial Army heads ran long.
Tanya really comes to her stride in this episode. Her ruthlessness and goal-mindedness is unmeasured, and I was on edge in the second half as I waited for the other shoe to drop. I won’t call this a masterful work in suspense, but I can say that it plays on your expectations for a war story.
This week’s episode establishes that no one told the girls what is involved in making a club, and that clubs have to provide their own funds for any activities they wish to participate in. At least, this seems to be the case with the cycling club.