English Dub Review: Chio’s School Road “Yuki-Chan Doesn’t Care/ Chio Fisher/ Momo-chan’s Story”

This week: Chio’s escapades as a stealth game protagonist continue.

Overview (Spoilers Below)

Chio and Manana deal with an awkward situation when Yuki, their bubbly track-obsessed classmate walks to school with her…revealing track outfit on. This puts our schoolgirl heroines in a dire situation where awkward interactions are inevitable. Though Chio tries to follow Yuki’s example by doing a quick change into a tennis outfit, Manana resolves to dispense with Yuki to preserve their peaceful school road walk. As usual, a battle takes place between Chio and Manana over Yuki, but ultimately, Manana’s cunning wins out over Chio’s bullheadedness.

In the second story of this episode, Chio tries to impress Manana by doing a spider walk on the walls of a nearby alley, doing her best “Sam Fisher” impression. Manana gets distracted by exchanging dieting tips with a passerby, so Chio ascends ever skyward. Eventually, she reaches the roof, just in time for Manana to see that Chio has vanished. She chases after Chio and takes her down on the roof, but ends up passing out on the roof. A soldier to the end, Chio carries her friend down the roof, besmirching her good name to passerby along the way. Anything for a friend, after all.

The final story this week is a sweet little side tale about Momo’s entrance into the school disciplinary committee. Despite her efforts to make friends and be a premier student, she finds herself alienated from the rest of her classmates. With tears in her eyes, she reaches the breaking point but finds new purpose in the school disciplinary committee, where her desire to help people can be put to good use.

Our Take:

It’s another fun week here on Chio’s School Road, the show that delivers the hippest, grooviest school road comedy anime this side of Tokyo. Our stories this week are par for the course what we’ve come to expect from Chio and friends so far, but with some standout moments that make for a great episode from start to finish. Those looking for a good laugh will be welcomed home here, but if you give this episode your time and attention, you’ll also find a nugget of good drama in here as well.

Starting off on the negative, the weakest story was probably the first scenario, where Chio and Manana struggle over dealing with Yuki’s provocative track outfit. It was amusing but didn’t really capture that kind of adolescent craziness I like to see from this show. Yuki is adorable and seeing Chio and Manana’s flustered blushing at her half-naked form is pretty chuckle-worthy, but it never really elevates above that.

“Chio Fisher” is the story that really got to me this week, continuing the “Metal Gear”-styled antics that has gotten up to before. No doubt, her love of action games is going to get her into plenty of entertaining trouble from here on in. Her struggle of trying to do her best “Sam Fisher” impression is more than just a gag, but a saga of Chio taking a joke way too far. I loved how it culminated in an ultimate showdown between her and Manana, though it was Manana who truly paid the price for Chio’s shenanigans by the end of it.

Surprisingly, it was Momo-chan’s side story that really won the day this week. In just a few short minutes, the show does an excellent job of telling Momo’s story and her struggles at school. It’s amazing that Chio’s School Road can spend two-thirds of the episode goofing hardcore, but then successfully a pivot into a sad little story about a girl trying to find her place at school. Thankfully, the show has the good sense to resolve Momo’s conflict with her school, resulting in the determined and disciplined Momo we’ve come to expect.

It’s high marks for Chio’s School Road, a show that continues to impress me even when I feel like I’ve got it nailed down. This show continues to be fresh, interesting and downright hilarious. Easily the funniest show I’ve had the pleasure of watching this season, and it even serves as a quality action anime as well.

Score
8/10

Erich Hau

Erich is a northern California based writer on the front lines of the nerd frontier. When he's not burning the midnight oil he enjoys musicals, smooth jazz, and a good cup of dark roast. Cream and sugar not included.

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