Mashiro-iro Symphony

Well, since everyone, including Crunchyroll now, is too busy subbing Fate/Zero, it seems no one but a Dutch group is translating Maken-ki, one of the three series expected to delver loads of fan-service this season. If fan-service is all one cares about though, prepare to be disappointed, because the two ero-adaptations are turning out to be fairly tame plot-and-character-oriented shows, for all that the girls are cute, and only the manga adaptation is delivering panchiru and boob-gropes.

The setup of Mashiro-iro Symphony is that the public school in the “new town” was mismanaged, and therefore it has accepted an offer to merge with a prestigious old-town girls school, Yui Girl’s Acadamy. The merger will be effective next year, but at the beginning of October, about twenty students, including some guys, transfer to the new school as a test program.

Whereas each of the other two entries have their fantastic elements, so far, the weirdest thing found in Mashiro-iro Symphony has been the cat-ball pet belonging to one of the girls. She takes it everywhere, including school, but when it decides to go for a late-night jaunt, Sakuno, the little sister of Shingo (the main male) gets lost following it. More lost, rather, as she has a poor sense of direction, and not enough sense to remain in one spot while her brother searches for her. Fortunately, she’s rescued by a passing girl, name of Airi Sena.

Airi Sena, also somewhat lost, so Shingo ended up helping them both.

So half the episode is taken up by rescue of the lost Sakuno, which ends with the only racy (for certain values of “racy”) scene of the entire show. Seems the too-innocent Sakuno doesn’t understand why she shouldn’t join her rain-soaked onii-chan in the bath. Fortunately (or not as your wincest tastes may go), the scene is quite tame, with barely a hint of cleavage at the top of the towel. I think it’s fair to say that, ero-pedigree or not, the opening monologue signals that the makers of this anime have decided they are going to tell a romantic story, and they’re not going to pander doing it. Not a single panchiru or boob-grope is to be found within this show. The main guy is not a nebbish, but neither is he an exceptional lady-killer, hero with a secret power, or anything else. He is rather patient with his simple-minded sister, I have to admit.

Both Shingo and his sister will be attending the new school, along with Hayate, his best friend. A couple of other guys get named, but we never see them. Likewise, we’re going to meet at least two girls who don’t get named this episode.

Obligatory wingman, Hayata. Seems he's already got a girlfriend, but he teases Sakuno anyway. That's Shingo, next to Sakuno.

Ange, the 'stray maid.' She falls madly for Shingo when he's the first-ever to respond to her 'Welcome home, Master' with 'I'm back!' on the first try.

She’s the most stacked female in the show, but it’s not clear whether she’s really staff, or an exceptionally crazy student.

Purple-haired girl is owner of the catball. She's not introduced this episode.

Well, every “Two-teacher school” has to have at least one teacher, and this one (Machi-sensei, or Yatsuzuka-Sensei) is terrified of boys to the point that she goes to pieces at the thought of waking out in front of a mixed group of boys and girls.

Red-head is never introduced by name either, but she's friends with Sena-sempai. Seen here berating her boy-fearing teacher.

Sensei, stop being a big chicken and get out there! 'Bw-gaaaaack!'

Then comes the end-of-episode twist ending — Sena shows up again, angry and with the rather hung-over (and somewhat crude) principal in tow (“Are you having your period?”)– and not only is the principal her mother, they’re arguing over the merger that is bringing guys to the school for the first time. Sena is dead set against it.

I don't care how much you're hung over, get out there!

Angry Sena. 'But you respected me last night!' would have been my reply

So we have the first challenge (and likely, the challenge) of the series, set for Our Hero: win over the influential leader of the anti-merger faction, the principal’s daughter. Maybe next week, that quest will lead us to names for the redhead and the purple-haired catball-owner.

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