It’s kind of the weird meta joke. You see, in Kotoura-san, the main character is a mind-reader. Her major love interest/friend would tease her by having some naughty thoughts in his head, in which she would play tsukkomi while nobody else is any wiser (until they figured this out). This joke plays out quite a few times.
There was one episode where a rival love interest turned friend, named Moritani (CV: Yurika Kubo), got her embarrassing childhood past exposed as a joke to the group of friends that makes up Kotoura-san’s reoccurring cast of characters. This joke involves Moritani’s family business, which is a local martial arts school. And you probably know how that is. Moritani is the decided heiress of the business, being the only child and the “most powerful” in her school of martial arts. However her parents were not so keen about marketing, so when Moritani was younger they took some now-embarrassing photos of the family and made them into advertisement flyers, some are now in the hands of Moritani’s friends/love interest today.
The joke involves a specific pose, and an enthusiastic yell at the same time: “Mori!” It’s not something you will find much of in GJ-bu–that show is all about chilling and being laid back–but the “Mori” call evokes that image. Instead, GJ-bu features a character named Mori. Mori (CV: Ayumi Tsunematsu) is this older (not sure how old actually) woman who serves as a live-in maid for the family of a few characters in the show. The funny thing is she would always do this one trick every time she shows up, and invariably it reminds me the exact same trick in Kotoura-san. And that trick is also funny too. So it’s very weird.
The greater point I want to make is that I am beginning to feel like a lot of these laid back, “let’s sit around and chit-chat” type anime are beginning to make their slapstick-harassment based jokes more obvious. It’s like watching a Japanese variety show minus the obnoxious on-screen text and picture-in-picture reaction face cameras. I guess it’s funny? But I’m not really a big fan of those kind of programming. It feels both enjoyable and laughter-inducing at times, but also kind of awkward.
Thankfully, at least we get the “Oh Japan you-so-weird” kind of harassment that is only possible in late-night anime. Like brushing hair. Or via extra-sensory perception.
PS. Mori > Gill > *
PPS. Why don’t people do that for Kotoura-san?
PPPS. So many great maids this season!