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Patron Pick Winter 2024: Dosanko Gal wa Namara Menkoi (Hokkaido Gals Are Super Adorable!) – 07

Before I get into this week’s Hokkaido Gals, I want to briefly comment on an interesting phenomenon I see in the commentary on this series.  Specifically, used in criticizing it.  To wit, that it’s unrealistic that these girls would be interested in Tsubasa.  You see this a lot with anime fans – there was a lot of it with S1 of BokuYaba, before it became clear that Kyouytarou was such a chad.  How, the reasoning goes, could pretty teenage girls like a guy like this?  As if being anything but a star athlete or supermodel dude would rule them out.

I find this unsurprising, but kind of insidious in that it’s incredibly sexist.  As if a girl couldn’t like a boy simply because he was, you know, nice?  I get that teenagers (of both sexes) tend to be shallow.  But I also think girls sometimes fall for smart, funny, guys who provide a contrast to most of the rutting bullocks around them.  I don’t find it at all unreasonable that Minami would have fallen for Tsubasa, who – while not exactly overflowing with animal magnetism – is indeed very kind and mature for his age.  As well as having a bit of Tokyo exoticism in the far reaches of northern Hokkaido.  Three of them falling for him sure, that’s a stretch – but only in the sense that it is with pretty much every harem series (which I don’t think Dosanko Gal truly is, but that’s another discussion).

In any event, it’s Rena who’s the focus of this phase of the story.  Whether she’s actually fallen for Tsubasa is still a bit of an unknown for me.  She certainly likes the fact that he knows how to wear traditional clothing and clearly has an old-school upbringing, given she’s a Japanese history otaku.  And she’s a neighbor too, of course, which gives them additional opportunities to chat.  And once she determines that he’s under some sort of pressure to rank highly on the exams (she doesn’t know the full reason but grasps that something odd is going on here) offers to tutor him.  Given that she’s a sempai as well as the #1 rank in her year, that’s an offer he can’t refuse.

Admittedly, Rena asking for a date as payment for services rendered if Tsubasa meets his top ten goal implies romantic interest.  But we have the factor that Rena (as she later admits) has always wanted to go about with a boy in traditional clothing.  Also, her attitude towards him seems as much maternal or at least fraternal as romantic.  And her services prove to be most valuable indeed.  Not only is she a good student but she provides some insider tips on how to outsmart the tests based on her experience with the teachers.  All fair game, and exactly what a tutor in her position should be doing.

As for Minami, she’s totally unmotivated to study if Tsuba-chi isn’t doing it with her.  As he frets over keeping his study sessions a secret from her (proof that he knows their relationship is more than just friends), Minami watches movies and heads for a rather dismal placement on the exams.  Sayuri finishes solidly in the top half, which she seems satisfied with.  As for Tsubasa he nabs third place, which is pretty darn elite and more than meets tiger grandma’s demands.  It also means Tsubasa gets to stay in Hokkaido, which a bad parent like his Grandma will no doubt interpret as evidence that her methods are effective.

The wrinkle here is wingmom.  As Minami sleeps it off till late morning, her mom is out and about and spots Rena and Tsubasa while on their date.  Mom sends her daughter a panic text, and it’s going to be interesting to see how Minami responds to this news – especially since she has a major girl-crush on Rena-senpai herself.  I’m unwavering in my belief that Tsubasa really only has eyes for Minami, but with someone like Rena – smart, exotic, and an upperclassman – it would be hard for a boy in his position not to have his head turned at least a little.

The post Patron Pick Winter 2024: Dosanko Gal wa Namara Menkoi (Hokkaido Gals Are Super Adorable!) – 07 appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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