Yuki, Chio, and Manana become best buds over nudity.
Overview (Spoilers Below)
While on her way to school, Chio is approached by the always-exciting Chiharu, who grabs her by the skirt and demands for Chio to help her with her homework. Chio, seeing a good chance to show off, offers to assist. Chiharu’s homework is to write out a way to make 500 yen in 24 hours, so Chio, with her entrepreneurial spirit, thinks she’s got this all figured out. She instructs Chiharu in the art of picking up old cans to be recycled, and soon the two of them have a nice bag of discarded drinkables to make some quick cash off of.
Chio and Chiharu bring their goods to the recycling center but are struck down with disappointment when they’re told that they brought the wrong type of cans. Chio is so heartbroken she starts to cry. The two then head home, only to run across Manana standing in line for some expensive department store. Chio drags Manana off the line, but not before Manana sells her spot in line for a quick profit. Of course, Chio mooches off her for a cut of the cash, and the two end up fighting, as they so often do.
Following this, Chio and Manana run across Yuki on their way to school. One thing leads to another, and soon the topic of nudity is brought up. It turns out that Yuki is something of a nudist, and craves the joy of running with the wind on her bare skin. Pretty soon, Manana bonds with Yuki over the idea of free-balling, and the two shed the fabric of their oppressive undergarments together. Naturally, Chio becomes insanely jealous and joins them.
All is well between the three of them until they run into Kushitori, who challenges them to another round of kabbadi. Not wanting to have their newfound nudity exposed, the three of them make a quick escape. They depart as friends, and Yuki finds her streaking gym might be a bit more feasible than she thinks.
Well, this episode marks the completion of Chio’s School Road’s 12 episode run, and it looks like the show has opted to go out quietly without too much fuss. This is a pretty big misstep for the show since we’re left with an episode just like any other, without so much as a goodbye or resolution to some of the long-running plot threads that have been in the show. That’s not to say that Chio’s School Road is the kind of show you watch for its immersive plot, but one wishes that there could be at least a little bit of fanfare to finish things out. As it stands, all we really get is a short sequence of “bloopers” at the end of the episode. Admittedly, an appropriately irreverent way to leave things off on.
As for the episode itself, this is some of the zaniest comedy Chio’s School Road has had. Things go way too far as they so often do, and both scenarios are pretty damn funny. Chio reaches new depths of pathetic-ness when she completely fails to do something as simple as bringing cans to the recycling plant. Seeing her desperation was a guilty laugh. But somehow, Chio being in tears at being such a washout made it funnier to chuckle at her silliness.
The second scenario is where things really shine, though. Just when I think I can’t get surprised by this show, Chio and pals have to go and let it all hang out. Yuki has cemented herself as the missing third musketeer to Chio and Manana’s duo of slackers, and she gets some of the best moments in the episode. This joke is somewhat hit-or-miss though. You’ll either find it hilarious that the three of them are running around without any panties, or you won’t. For me, a good time was had, even if the joke gets a little overplayed. Taking things too far is exactly what I expect from Chio and friends, and this episode delivers without a doubt.
And yet, I just want more. It’s a travesty when a bad show runs too long, but a damn shame when a good show ends things prematurely. It’s possible there might be a season two in the works somewhere down the line, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for it. As it stands, this might be all we get of Chio’s School Road, and its audience is certainly left wanting from this mediocre send-off. A quality episode, but a weak finale.