“Not a ghost, not a zombie, maybe a Prince….”
(Employee of the Month is a very prestigious position)
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Josei, Age: 13+
Released: July 1 2012 – onwards
From the last episode, Atsushi has taken hold of Hazuki’s body. Overwhelmed that he can talk and touch Rokka, he’s being very emotional. Rokka thinks that Hazuki is merely drunk, but remnants of her husband’s speaking patterns bring back memories.
Hazuki, meanwhile, finds himself in a strangely picturesque land. He knows this has something to do with the ghost, but he doesn’t know what…
Warning! May contain Spoilers!
After meeting a tiny-sized Rokka, Hazuki is led on a mission to find the missing Prince. Although he has no idea where he’s going, or even what he’s looking for, it’s a surreal trip into this botanical world.
(Tiny-Rokka isn’t tiny, Hazuki’s a giant!)
After a mis-hap, Atsushi realises that Hazuki’s eyesight is very poor. He compares Hazuki’s face to the deathly-pale face that he had, because of his time in hospital.
(Atsushi wonders if Hazuki will survive being thrown down the stairs…)
Deciding that Hazuki looks too young and healthy, Atsushi decides to buy the dorkiest pair of glasses he can find, emptying Hazuki’s wallet in the process.
(“Dammit, scene kids have made ugly glasses common!”)
His new transformation takes Rokka and Miho by surprise, but they’re more intrigued by his new look.
(“I knew I should have picked the Harry Potter specs…”)
The tiny-Rokka leads Hazuki through a forest. These are different pages of a sketchbook that the Prince made when he was in hospital. Not being able to joing his friends outside, he drew all life inside his books.
(Tiny-Rokka lives off berries, the Prince didn’t draw any hot food)
Finding himself penniless and hungry, Atsushi lets himself be served by Rokka. Eating Rokka’s cooking was always a enjoyable for him, and Rokka appreciates that he eats with enthusiasn. Getting a sudden nostalgia for her husband, and the striking new Hazuki, Rokka asks if she can wash Hazuki’s back…
(Being a ghost meant not being hungry, but Rokka’s cooking is tasty!)
The episode ends with Hazuki still in the sketchbook world, and Atsushi still in control of his body.
Overall, this was an interesting episode. The parts where Hazuki travels across the sketchbook reminded me heavily of one of the recent episodes of Jinrui Suitai Shimashita (Manking Has Declined).
It was a clever way to tell the back-story of Atsushi whilst he was in hospital. However even though the tiny-Rokka makes an appearance in the opening sequence, there’s no guarantee how long Hazuki’s trip in the other world will last.
Atsushi seems to be having a tough time trying to get Hazuki to look bad. Everything he does with malicious intent, backfires on him. His reunion with Rokka was touching though.
Rated – 4/5 Mature handling of a cliched subject, Atsushi doesn’t declare himself to be Rokka’s dead husband, and they don’t have angst as Rokka figures out lies.