Although Kou sets up a small classroom, the only people who come to ‘learn’ (save for the ones that come to watch tauntingly) are the Iron Brothers – and all attempts to teach them anything don’t go over well. Kou tries to teach them about ‘common sense’ first – to little avail – and eventually decides to have a ‘fun’ science lesson instead. Which is soon interrupted by Stella, who seems a little angry about Kou ‘taking away’ her ‘friends’.
A conversation with P-ko which eventually turns to the Mayor (and his amazing changeable hair)soon causes Kou to question exactly what ‘common sense’ is itself.
Arakawa’s forte is visual and situational humour, and SHAFT do this very well. It is not, sadly, as good as verbal and dialogue-based humour, and these parts never seem to work very well when animated, either. There are some moments pulled off quite well, but there were quite a lot of parts in this episode that just drag on too long with banal and only mildly amusing conversation – which is something disappointing when this series can otherwise be so brilliant.
The whole classroom segment was great, though; full of the type of humour the show excels at whilst keeping itself relatively low-key. (Until, at least, Stella arrived on the scene; a part I found quite brilliant with her mafia-boss getup and slurred voice) There was also just something so very nice and homely about seeing Kou as a teacher – mostly due to his Zetsubou-sensei voice. From the way his class was going, I actually expected him to do a ‘zetsuboushita!’ about the students right there.
P-ko is adorable, and the idea of her driving is terrifyingly funny and all, but this scene just didn’t work for me. I think I would appreciate the dialogue scenes more if SHAFT could find a way to ‘spice them up’ rather than continually showing close-ups of Kou’s blinking eye. It’s really…dumb. I know they did this in Bakemonogatari with the dialogue-heavy scenes but they also used a lot of alternating angle shots to at least keep things visually interesting. Arakawa doesn’t have quite this variety, and I always feel that these scenes would be funnier to me in manga format. On the plus side, the whole conversation was a build-up to the hilarious moment with the Mayor’s changeable hair.