Welcome back to my episodic review series for Murenase! Seton Gakuen, aka Seton Academy: Join The Pack. The show began to build on last week’s success and presented another mostly good episode here. Let’s look at what happened.
But first…I have a video version of the review! it goes into less detail than the written post but if you’d prefer to watch/listen to me ramble on then hit play below. Otherwise, keep scrolling until you hit the post!
Panda Loving, It Happened So Fast
Meimei the panda made her debut and is apparently a world-famous idol. This is a play on how rare pandas are, and how well treated they are in China. In fact, if you kill a panda in China, you can get the death penalty. Anyway, the upshot here was that Meimei is a spoiled brat who is used to getting their own way. Then they meet Jin.
I liked this arc for the most part. Meimei’s early tantrums and literal walkouts and calls for execution were brattish, but they fit with the point of her character. In the end, her main goal was to join the cooking club, which Jin was deadest against, thanks in a big way to her general attitude. He ended up agreeing, providing she could win agreement from all the other members. While she was able to buy the majority of them – Miyubi on a Segway was great, by the way – Kurumi would prove to be the sticking point.
The really cool thing here was Kurumi’s response to Meimei was gloriously cat-like. She was stand-offish to begin with, then when Meimei placed herself in a cage overnight (to show her that she accepted the cat as being there first), Kurumi intentionally sat higher than her and actively ignored her. In the end, she accepted her by gifting her a naked mole-rat and rubbing all over her to get her scent on her. Honestly, that whole section was great. Plus, Kurumi’s glowing night eyes were really nicely done. Jin softening enough to give her a blanket while she slept, even though it resulted in him getting a cold was a nice touch too.
Best bit though: she used the word ‘momantai’. I do believe this originated in Digimon Tamers, which happens to be my favourite series ever, so plus points there.
As a general arc, this was a lot of fun.
Did It Promote Abuse As A Positive?
That would be an easy thing to pick up from this. Both Meimei and her manager Fengfeng (a red panda) describe Jin’s treatment of Meimei as abuse. If you take that at face value and then look at Meimei’s reaction to it, it would be a natural conclusion to draw. I don’t think that was the intent here though.
Meimei herself acknowledges that she just isn’t used to being treated like this. She normally just gets her own way when she wants it, and Jin isn’t having any of it. In truth, all he does is tell her to make things/clean up after herself. That’s not abuse. And while the cage is a bit extreme, again, this was clearly set up as an over the top ploy to appease Kurumi, and Meimei was free to leave whenever she wanted.
So, while it maybe skirted around the edges a little there based on the wording, I don’t think this was that. The ‘boys should treat girls mean because they like it’ message isn’t a great one, but again, this was more about someone learning that they have more fun when they aren’t controlling everyone than anything else.
We got some more of the King Shishino/Shiho saga here. This was initially tied into the Meimei arc, with him pondering whether to cut his mane again and her cutting a chunk out of it. Later, it crossed over with Yena, when he sensed Shishino’s strength during a post-credit scene. Shishino is getting angry now though, as Shiho appears to be getting close to her club’s Captain…that could lead to a sticky situation!
Meanwhile, the next episode preview gave away that we’re getting more Yena next week. I really hope they close that arc satisfactorily. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Toned down fan service. Genuinely amusing moments. Authentically cat-like behaviour. As we hit the halfway mark, the series is finding its feet well. I’m way more hopeful now, so long may that continue.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you enjoy this episode? Do you agree or disagree with any of my observations? Let me know in the comments below.
Previous Episode Reviews
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 1
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 2
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 3
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 4
- Murenase! Seton Gakuen Episode 5