— First things first, the issues between Shizuna and her teacher are 100% resolved. Yep, all those years of awkwardness have been wiped away by a single meal at Moonflower. Amazing! Has Aoi ever considered becoming a mediator? Or perhaps a marriage counselor?
— Hatori then drops by the restaurant to have a taste of Aoi’s Japanese cooking. She’s been experimenting with new dishes, she says. But in the end, she simply serves him curry. Curry in an anime? Wow, what a bold and refreshing move. I’ve never seen curry before in my Japanese cartoons before!
— She warns the guy that the curry is spicy, but I’ve never, ever had a Japanese curry dish that was legitimately spicy. Never.
— Yo, I thought it was supposed to be spicy.
— Oh wait, there it is. Apparently, the curry is so spicy that it’s going to Hatori’s bird brain.
— Afterwards, he gets to have some mochi. I hope that’s chocolate syrup drizzled on top.
— Anyways, the guy claims that he used to be Shiro’s best bud, but they all say this. At this point, I’m not really sure what to believe about Aoi’s grandfather anymore. In any case, Hatori also just happens to be Matsuba’s third son, but he got kicked out of the family for breaking the “code.” Who knows, who cares? Last but not least, when the girl brings up Ginji, he’s not quite sure that he can trust the nine-tailed fox. This immediately puts Aoi on the defensive.
— Eventually, Akatsuki shows up to shoo the pesky birdman away. Spider bro isn’t too happy to see Aoi fraternizing with the enemy. Guys, you run a pair of inns. Chill out. This isn’t a world war. Besides, isn’t Tenjin-ya crushing Orio-ya anyways?
— Nevertheless, Hatori takes his leave. When he returns to his room, he proceeds to talk to his buddy about Aoi. He also mentions how she’s the type of girl that Ranmaru would absolutely hate. All I know about Ranmaru is that he runs the rival inn. Other than that, why should I care what he thinks of our heroine? Plus, the story hasn’t really explained why she’s so important, but we’ll just have to play along for now.
— The next morning, Aoi talks with Ginji and some ice girl about opening up a shaved ice shop. Yeah, this episode is super exciting. You can even feel my excitement seeping out from my pores.
— So let’s just skip all of that nonsense and get right to the random conflict of the week. This time, a trio of naughty one-eyed children have gone missing. The entire staff is looking for them, but you know it’s down to Aoi and Aoi alone to bring the kids back. She just keeps finding herself at the center of every single event that occurs at this establishment.
— With Akatsuki accompanying her, Aoi finds herself exploring the massive basement beneath the complex. For instance, there are rats down here, and they’re busy making one of Tenjin-ya’s favorite snacks. I don’t know about the hidden realm, but I sure as hell don’t want rats anywhere near my food.
— Yes, I’ve seen Ratatouille. No, I’m not changing my mind.
— Anyways, those naughty children are also down here, and as soon as they see Akatsuki, they take off once again. You know who I blame? The parents. When I was a kid, I would’ve never dreamed of pulling this sort of stunt.
— Up next is a giant laboratory full of random beakers, test tubes, and other chemistry-related equipment. No, seriously. It even comes with a bishie scientist standing in front of a blackboard covered in science-y stuff. But what could he possibly be researching? Apparently, he wants to know how to make a fucking hot-spring bun. Ugh.
— Afterwards, Aoi gets separated from Akatsuki and finds herself…
…what is this? The goddamn Overlook Hotel from The Shining?
— Come play with me, Aoi!
— Dude, I’m not even joking about the Overlook Hotel thing. There’s even a black-and-white photo! I’m just waiting for Odanna to pop his head through a hole in a door and scream, “Heeeeere’s Johnny!”
— But instead of that, Aoi simply sees that Odanna and the mysterious girl are not strangers. Okay.
— And just like that, any sort of mystery magically vanishes from the episode, and we’re right back to dealing with those stupid brats.
— Somehow, she and the kids all find themselves in a tunnel that opens up to super high cliff. Needless to say, the little girl ends up falling to her death.
— Hah, if only. Instead, Aoi falls with her to both their deaths!
— Again, if only. Just watch as none of this shit is animated. Aoi simply slides across the frame accompanied by action lines. I don’t know why anyone bothers to give Gonzo any work these days. They just half-ass everything they touch.
— At the last second, spider bro saves both Aoi and the little girl at the same time. All’s well that ends well. So what were the undisciplined children doing down here anyways? it turns out they were looking for the little girl’s hair ornament. That’s it. They wandered off and nearly got themselves killed for a fucking hair ornament.
— Later that night, Odanna tells Aoi that he’s done with his errands, so he’ll be returning soon. Instead of asking him about all those mysterious photos she found in the Tenjin-ya basement, she wants to know what sort of bento he would like to eat when he gets back. This girl…
— And the next morning, everyone enjoys some shaved ice. Ginji, however, is oddly missing.
— When the sun has gone down and Aoi’s about to close up shop, she hears a strange noise outside her restaurant. She opens the door to find a collapsed Ginji on the ground. Oh no!
— Uh, he looks like he’s just breathing hard to me. Maybe he’s in heat. Wait, that only happens to female mammals. Well, you don’t know! We can’t assume Ginji’s gender!
— Anyways, tune in next week to find out what’s wrong with the dumb fox. And by next week, I mean tomorrow.
“She warns the guy that the curry is spicy, but I’ve never, ever had a Japanese curry dish that was legitimately spicy.”
I have, using curry blocks. It’s a different kind of heat than you might expect, as not all of it comes from chiles.