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Patron Pick Winter 2024: Dosanko Gal wa Namara Menkoi (Hokkaido Gals Are Super Adorable!) – 08

This is one of those shows that always makes me hungry.

Dosanko Gal is another (in a long and august tradition) of anime on which I find my opinion diverging sharply from the general consensus.  I really ought to stop reading the discussion about this series, because I just find it really inane for the most part.  I touched on one aspect of it last week – the disbelief that any of these females could be interested in Tsubasa.  It goes well beyond that, though.  For whatever reason lots of people seem to find the very existence of Hokkaido Gals Are Super Adorable! as some kind of affront (so why are they still watching?).  Though I suspect the reason is that it doesn’t conform to the tropes of the harem genre they’re so convinced it’s a part of.

It’s pretty obvious to me (and certainly not just me, judging by the comments here) that this show is not a mass-produced model where harem or even shounen romcoms are concerned.  If that wasn’t already obvious Minami’s response to Wingmom’s emergency alert sealed the deal.  I kind of wonder if Mai-san would have expected her daughter to react that way – I suspect not, though she rolled with it admirably.

I’ve been of the opinion from the start that Minami was really the only serious romantic possibility here, but I must confess that Tsubasa and Rena are more conventionally “couple-y” (the outfits accent that impression) while there’s still a “pals” air to he and Minami’s relationship.  Minami’s instant reaction is to fangirl over Rena, and if she’s jealous of anybody one would guess it was Tsubasa.  But then she does invite Sayuri along when she stakes out the date, which is probably a pretty telling move. Sayuri almost blows their cover angsting over Tsubasa’s crane game incompetence trying to win Rena a “Melon Kuma” (more Hokkaido realia, albeit terrifying), but she immediately has a much more conventionally unsettled reaction to this date.

It’s interesting listening in on the couple’s conversation.  Rena is actually feeling somewhat unappreciated at home and clearly her whole nadeshiko persona is a cry for attention she isn’t getting.  Tsubasa immediately grasps onto this, and reveals that he left Tokyo after a fight with his parents (I didn’t see that coming) over somewhat similar frustrations.  There are indeed similarities between Rena and Tsubasa, and that further makes them seem like a natural couple.  But it’s Minami’s situation that’s more or less the key to everything.  While I have no doubt her admiration (hero worship) of Rena is genuine, her behavior here has a strong whiff of overcompensation to it.

More and more I think Minami’s life is one big lie.  She plays the ever-cheerful and genki part so well she usually believes it herself, but there seems to be an emptiness there.  Most obviously she’s simply trying too hard, pretty much all the time.  She can sell the notion that she’s thrilled Rena and Tsubasa are going out, but I don’t buy it (and neither does Wingmom).  The whole yakiniku invitation (this show is a weekly reminder that Hokkaido is the foodie capital of Japan) is Mai’s ploy to try and force Minami’s hand.  And it works, in the sense that Minami whispers to Tsubasa after dinner that the next date is going to be with her.

It’s certainly an interesting dynamic brewing up here, though Sayuri seems hopelessly friendzoned already.  Tsubasa is a bit of a chad in a tortoise-beats-the-hare kind of way – he seems to have an instinct for saying just the right thing to get into a girl’s head, and he’s a bit of a mystery with his odd Tokyo backstory.  Rena is definitely starting to feel a tug, and Minami is going to have to be honest with her feelings (to herself, never mind to Tsubasa) if she wants to nip that in the bud.  I’m still extremely confident that’s where Tsubasa’s heart goes in the end, but Rena certainly checks more conventional boxes.

The post Patron Pick Winter 2024: Dosanko Gal wa Namara Menkoi (Hokkaido Gals Are Super Adorable!) – 08 appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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