Near enough every episode of this series so far has tackled a certain area of socialisation, and this one was food, both cooking it and eating it. The exploration of cooking as an expression of love was an obvious but arguably important choice for an episode, and I like what they did with it overall. Subaru and Haru’s story arcs bounced off each other particularly well.

To some extent, Subaru’s new perspective on food as a form of affection in this episode can be seen as a breakthrough in understanding Haru, who has trouble thinking of affection in terms other than food. His cooking for her is possibly the first gesture Subaru has performed for Haru that hasn’t been initially misconstrued in some way, and it’s nice to see their communication become more effective with each passing episode.

Aside from Haru, this is also another step towards Subaru understanding his parents. We only got a little snippet of Subaru’s mother this time, but it was a cute scene that tied in well with the rest of the episode. I do feel a little bit sorry for Subaru’s dad, though, with all this focus on the mother-son relationship he’s sort of been shafted. I hope he gets a little more love in the final two episodes.

We were constantly reminded this episode of just how badly Subaru treats himself on a day to day basis. They really weren’t shy about rubbing in the fact that a couple of pre-teen girls have substantially better life skills than him. It was relatable content and I felt a little called out at times. This shot of Subaru eating a big bag of plain white bread for dinner reminded me far too much of my college days (why am I getting nostalgic for this, that was terrible).

Also there are few things worse than being woken up in the middle of the day by unexpected visitors. The shame, the awkwardness on both sides, the unspoken but undeniable judgement. The guests in this case were cute, though! I wasn’t sure about having another kids episode at first, but Human Haru in particular was a nice addition to the story, if only due to her cooking skills. And I love that Cat Haru partially inspired her love of cooking. Haru is a magic cat who changes everyone’s lives and we humans don’t deserve her.

Other things I liked: this supermarket name.

If there’s one thing I’ll never get tired of, it’s screenshotting awkward anime business/brand names.

I thought Hiroto was being a little inconsiderate at first, inviting his sister and her friend to Subaru’s house out of the blue, but then he popped up in the supermarket and saved the day and I knew I was a fool to ever doubt him. Of course, he must have known all along that the surprise visit would result in further personal growth for Subaru. That Hiroto. A genius, an angel, and a true hero for our times.

I’m not sure, but it looks like Haru might be going on a diet next episode? Big if true.