There’s a few character archetypes that I usually quite dislike and Taishou Otome Fairytale now has three of them all piled in together in this third episode. Weirdly enough, the combination works even if I wouldn’t actually say I like any of the characters (though Yuzuki is kind of adorable but she’s also pretty forgettable as she really is just the sweet girl who has decided to be happy regardless of anything else).
So we have the traditional Japanese girl who is going to make look after her house and husband to be and is going to be happy about it in Yuzuki. We also have the sullen and determined to be miserable Tamahiko who keeps failing in his own resolve to shut out the world because Yuzuki’s sheer shining happiness is more powerful than his cloud of doom he’s carrying around with him. Then episode three brings us the younger sister who says awful things to people but then wants to mope about nobody loving or even liking her.
Taishou Otome Fairytale works because of Yuzuki.
I mentioned in my review of episode two of Taishou Otome Fairytale that Yuzuki was the best thing that could have happened to Tamahiko and is what the story needed and I stand by that. While on her own, Yuzuki is a pretty ordinary character we’ve seen a million times before, paired with the deeply flawed brother and sister of the Shima family she manages to bring out the best in them and prevents episode three from feeling like a chore to watch.
The episode opens with what is your fairly standard future-sister-in-law verbal smack down as Tamako talks down to the adorable Yuzuki but immediately after Yuzuki is happily going about the process of settling her into her room.
On realising the impact Tamako’s presence has had on Tamahiko when he refused breakfast and is more or less determined to once again lay in his futon, Yuzuki is there to suggest a walk up the mountain which gives us some refreshing and adorable moments.
Actually, it gives us the best moment in this episode of Taishou Otome Fairytale. While the whole drinking water out of Yuzuki’s hands is one of those cute moments between characters and the blush they both get afterwards really sells the scene, the best moment goes to the flower field as Tamahiko realises not only has spring come literally to the world but Yuzuki has been his spring drawing him out of his own self-imposed winter.
I’m kind of hoping he holds onto this revelation and doesn’t just go back to hiding in his futon in episode 4.
With one of the Shima siblings suitably emotionally buffed, Yuzuki is then tasked with somehow making Tamako a palatable character going forward, not an easy ask given her introduction to the story.
This is where I’m less sold on the approach taken by Taishou Otome Fairytale. Not only do we have yet another Japanese girl terrified of thunder and lightning (think Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club or Serena from Sailor Moon or literally dozens of other characters near petrified by a fairly natural and frequent phenomenon) the episode also has her have an accident on the way to the bathroom leaving her looking like the scared and vulnerable twelve year old she is.
While this is affective at repositioning the audience in how they view Tamako I sort of feel that better writing may have been able to set this up without actually having the girl need to soil her bed-clothes.
Yuzuki as usual isn’t put off and goes about repairing the situation and thus wins over Tamako leading to a final happy cooking scene.
Basically, Taishou Otome Fairytale remains fluffy and light and as long as you don’t think about it too much its just kind of easy watching with standard characters and scenarios all currently held together by the fact that Yuzuki is pretty adorable. There’s not a lot else to this so far. Mileage may very for viewers though depending on how much Yuzuki grows on them.
Images from: Taishou Otome Fairytale. Dir. J Hatori. SynergySP. 2021
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