Ai Yori Aoshi - 19: Lap Pillow

Title:Ai Yori Aoshi
Episode:19: Lap Pillow
Chika is sending photographs from the summer holidays to the western style house, and a letter: Now she will visit her cousin Taeko, searching for help with her summer homework. Aoi allows her to stay, and everyone offers to help her. But even Tina's English lesson is not easy to understand. Then again, there is one Kaoru-onichan to help out [image1]. Which works great - until little Chika wants to join Kaoru in the bath and wash his back... and Taeko's interference is even counter productive this time [image2].
Thankful for all the help she received Chika volunteers to help Taeko with her household work, and unlike her cousin she doesn't cause any mishaps. Also, Tina has found a new video game opponent who reveals surprising skills. Chika brings coffee to Miyabi and shows remarkable abilities while correctly cleaning up the files there without any explanation [image3] - Miyabi is impressed. Soon Chika has all her homeworks completed, with one exception...
When Aoi has run out of soy sauce Chika volunteers to go shopping - and Uzume wants to come along. But when they meet a big, angry dog near the shopping center Uzume is running away [image4]! And Chika follows the animal, afraid to be hated if the pet got lost. Meanwhile at the western house everyone is waiting for Chika to return. So they start a search operation while Miyabi stays at home in case Chika would return.
Finally [image5], they all return to the western style house safely - and Chika now knows which story to write for her last unfinished homework part: Being an only child she has found a new family of four older sisters and one older brother [image6].
(2004-03-06, Devil Doll:)
Chika's second appearance - and she will continue to cause trouble now and then. Yet she doesn't annoy me the way Mayu does, and she isn't the permanent loser like Taeko - on the contrary she shows excellent talents in many areas. And she is just kawaii... Chika is so much better than Taeko in household work despite being so much younger than her cousin; I would like to know how Taeko feels about that fact... and we know that Miyabi isn't easily impressed. Still, this time she is. Besides, I see certain parallels between Chika and Shinobu from Love Hina: They're about the same age, have no siblings, are currently without parents, are good at cooking and housework, and love to receive help with schoolwork from their senpai whom they secretly adore...
In a great speech at the end of this episode Aoi tells Chika that all inhabitants of the western style house are considered a family - this might be the first official appearance of the spirit that will be essential for the 'destiny' feeling of the Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~ sequel series.
Another episode featuring a girl other than Aoi spending a lot of time with Kaoru - but we can't actually consider Chika a 'competitor'. Except for Mayu all the other girls had their feature episode lately, but the end of this series will focus on Aoi and Kaoru again.

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