Back to the main topic of this post, I don't think Kämpfer is that well-known (though I don't think it's unknown either), but I would still cut detailed discussions, which may or may not be considered spoilers, just in case. (They are the type that make no sense to people not watching the series, and some people who do watch might not mind. Seriously though, how can anyone truly spoil an episode consisting of an almost neverending date taking up most of the episode? (Or 'nothing really happens' is considered a spoiler, then?))
And, if anyone is still interested, be forewarned that besides everything being Kämpfer-related from this point on (except the very last paragraph), my unnecessary Japanese quoting probably does not go over too well since I don't have the written script for the episode and just go by my limited understanding of the language. So I would say don't believe any of my quote and corresponding translation (if any) without verifying it.
'Oboe teokinasai' from Shizuku makes me laugh so hard even though the context is all wrong. (She sort of orders Natsuru to buy something (survenir) for her and when he asks why, says 'it's commemorative (surely there is an easier word) for the date; keep in mind (the 'oboe teokinasai' part ^^) girls like to receive presents from their boyfriends, no matter what it is,' or something along that line.) See how I'm ruined now just by the presence of 'oboe teoke' er...I mean 'oboe teokinasai'. ^^;
I've said elsewhere before, but Natsuru should stop speaking for the entire episode. Seriously, every word he utters progressively makes things worse. I'm especially very annoyed at Natsuru's obsession with the white Kämpfer thing* (whether they are going to attack or whatever, and he keeps bringing the subject up to Shizuku, who probably is not a little annoyed at him either), and when Shizuku is finally going to tell him something about that, he has to fall asleep. Damn contrary guy!
*Don't get me wrong though. I like that Natsuru is taking an interest in Kämpfer business. Their date is simply not the time nor the place to discuss it. (And he persists to think that it is. Somehow I kind of pity him...)
If I haven't said before, it seems Shizuku is going about it the wrong way if she wants Natsuru as her boyfriend. Ordering him around, imho, would just make him very defensive and wary of her. I mean, she is an enemy Kämpfer turns not exactly ally and takes every opportunity to embarrass him and apparently seems delighted in the act (from his point of view). (I don't agree that she doesn't ever do anything useful for him, but well, at the moment Natsuru is not seeing how she helps him.) Of course I don't expect Shizuku to change much of herself for Natsuru, but she has to at least realize that her normal tactics (intimidation coupled with teasing (playful, as some would say)) would serve to make him, if not run far away, at least less likely to want to have much to do with her, if at all. It's pretty much up to her to be less...aggressive (or at least a little more sensitive to his likes and dislikes), I suppose, if she wants to gain his trust and ultimately gain any chance of turning him away from his love interest (not that I can see that really happening, since Natsuru is totally devoted to his Sakura-san). (I say it's up to her because SHE is the one who wants him as a boyfriend, not the other way around, so she has to be the one who adapts, not him. Keep saying other boys would kill to be able to be in Natsuru's shoes means nothing to him. And it doesn't matter either way. Natsuru is Natsuru (yeah, thick headed and all), not those other boys. He doesn't have to be grateful that "sexy, mature" seito kaicho (student president--that's how I'm reading this anyway) wants to date him. And he is right; it's actually a problem for him if those other boys ever got winded of this date.) Anyway, I have more general thoughts on a related subject (not specifically Kämpfer related) at the very end of this post.**
And I know. Maybe Shizuku can't change. That forceful personality of hers seems ingrained in blood. If that is the case, she has to be content with what she gets (Natsuru casting wary eyes at her, acting mostly jumpy around her and never being able to bring himself to fully trust her). One thing in her favor is she never seems to complain (not my observation but it is true nevertheless), just that she sometimes seems disappointed that Natsuru treats her as if she were some dreadful entity (which she is, in his eyes). She finally asks him in this episode what does he think she is/how does he see her (when he says he doesn't want to know what she might do to him if he has been late to their date). I thought she already knows how she might have come across to him (but can't tone down her personality for whatever reason), but maybe she honestly doesn't realize how much fear she put in him. (And, despite all I said, who can really blame her? She is probably more used to guys being in awe of her than them being downright afraid.)
So yeah, Shizuku asks Natsuru why he likes Sakura. His reasons sound kind of shallow, I think. (Beautiful, elegant, nice personality, etc.) Shizuku probably agrees with me, and even says you can find plenty of girls like that. That led me to half-believe (the other half-belief is Natsuru probably is just a typical loser harem lead) that Sakura might be his first love and that he was imprinting--i.e. first seeing/meeting her in the right/ideal circumstance so she made very strong (flattering) impression on him. And shallow or not, I actually agree with him: why does he need a reason (or at least an acceptable reason) to like someone? I don't think love is an emotion based on reason as much as on...say... instinct (well...guts feeling is more like it).
So okay, Mikoto. If Natsuru is on a date with Sakura you won't have a problem with it, right?
And oh, it's clear to me now that Natsuru totally sucks at mind-reading. So, just stop doing it already, okay?
I can't believe I'm saying this, but there is one instance in this episode I actually don't mind Shizuku abusing her power. Natsuru is stupid to fall for it anyway. (She tells him to call her 'Shizuku' without the honorifics if he wants her to back him up. Obviously he thinks she's going to help him set Mikoto straight that it is not a date (but it totally is; Shizuku repeatedly tells him that), but she has other ideas, of course...)
Not that I don't know that from day one, but Natsuru is too dense to live. (Not understanding why Mikoto cries or why Akane is happy, for instance.) But then the girls are not exactly helping him either. Oh well. Help or no help, Natsuru kind of deserves whatever comes his way if he can't figure things out himself.
The last scene of the episode is too cute. Shizuku's comment when she sees the survenir she received from Natsuru is "hontou ni tsumaranai mono da(?)". (Japanese people will say something along the line of 'this is a worthless/boring gift but hope you like it' (sometimes the part after 'but' is only implied) when giving present. The joke (for me) being this time, the thing Natsuru bought (a rather cute, looking like some kind of shell, keychain) is actually "worthless" (meaning it costs very little money, I suppose). ^^;;)
Oh, well. I'll keep watching, I suppose. Real genderbending (though not one instance of it is in this episode other than OP and ED) anime (or live-action) are hard to come by so I don't get to be really choosy. But I'm not looking forward to taking almost two hours and a half to watch one 24 minute episode again, though.
(Not that anyone has asked or possibly will ask, but it took that long because I paused every few minutes in an (unsuccessful) attempt to forget the main chara's stupidity...)
I love the manga, though, and already bought all the volumes out. (Not volume 3, since I don't yet see it around where I live.) One thing I'm sad about is anime is pretty far ahead of manga already. Anime is based on Light Novel (seems like a popular practice lately to adapt anime from that source), which I might just try to read raw (since there is no translation). Or maybe not. I think out of all three, overall I prefer the manga the most.
**And as something not entirely sparked from recent discussions (I'm actively avoiding any hint of spoiler until I catch up with the episode in question--which means going through flist entries with extra careful eyes than before), I feel very uncomfortable with a power imbalance (surely there is a better phrase, but I can't think of any right now) in a relationship. Yes, it might be romantic or whatever to have one person lead, and sometimes that's fine to me. But more often than not, I see (in fiction--I don't presume to know anything about real people's private lives) the lead person abuses that power over their partner/spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend, etc. For me, it doesn't make a difference knowing the gender of either party. Unhealthy relationship is still unhealthy and if the ones involved (or at least one of them) (and/or their friends/family/acquaintance--though these people can't really be blamed since they presumably don't live with the two people in question) don't actually see anything wrong with the relationship, it creeps me out even further.