Well, it’s not *as* bad as the last time this show went off. That’s a positive sign at least.
But it’s about the best I can come up with to say about “Leave It To Us! The WWWA is a Wonderful Job”, unfortunately. Once again, it’s not terribly funny. Once again, the Chinese are worryingly othered. Once again, the girls are written basically wrong, though there are some nice scenes near the end that hedge against this somewhat. Kei in particular is pretty bad, though thankfully not the extent she was two weeks ago: She basically drops out of the plot after the commercial break never to be seen again until near the denouement so Yuri can get an extended scene of ass-kicking. When Kei does come back she’s at least the Kei we recognise instead of some buffoonish clown, so the episode’s got that going for it. And, while I do enjoy seeing Yuri get to be unequivocally awesome, I still wish it wasn’t done at the expense of her partner. Really, Sunrise, how hard is it to depict *both* Lovely Angels as likeable, professional and competent?
The plot is about the least stimulating the show’s been yet. This can go both ways, however: While it means the outing this time is exasperatingly uninspiring, it thankfully also means it’s not a gruesome train wreck either. It’s The Prince and the Pauper with Kei and Yuri as the pauper and the young chairman of a big important corporation as the prince. Where it goes wrong, apart from being boring, is that it has Kei and Yuri angrily complain about their working conditions and openly jealous of the luxury the chairman lives in. As working class characters, we rightly expect to see Kei and Yuri upset about the gap between the rich and poor, but framing this in a 1980s yuppieish desire to be more “upwardly mobile” is a craterous misreading of the characters. Contrasting the way Kei and Yuri are portrayed here with the girls’ eagerness to leap into any case and to make a difference, Kei’s strong belief in the power of the 3WA to bring about positive cosmic change and her gratitude for the opportunity it’s afforded her and Yuri to spend their lives together in The Great Adventure of the Dirty Pair is an exercise in anguish and frustration for me.
(Also, as an aside, I am beyond sick to death at this point of jokes about Kei and Yuri’s bonus pay and every time Gooley appears onscreen I develop an irrational compulsion to punch him.)
Like previous episodes in this particular series, “Leave It To Us! The WWWA is a Wonderful Job” is attempting to be a postmodern riff on an established stock plot to make a larger point. Sadly though, this time it’s not entirely successful. The best it can manage, and credit where credit is due this *is* somewhat clever, is to have the chairman come out at the end and say that were she to be reincarnated, the life she would choose without question would be that of a 3WA Trouble Consultant.…