I won’t beat around the bush with this one – this episode didn’t keep me engaged like the previous episodes had. It felt long and drawn out especially in the beginning. But looking back on it…. I guess a lot of stuff happened? But that’s not all! Along with the weird pacing of the episode, the animation seemed to take a bit of a dip. There were some moments where I could barely tell who the character was and what they were doing. However, I’ll give it a pass this time because this anime spent the last 4 episodes building up these characters and getting me invested.
As I mentioned earlier, the episode seemed to have really weird pacing and focus. Hitoha and Sonezaki got very little screen time, and what screen time that Kazusa got I don’t really think her arc has progressed at all. Rather, in this episode we get to see more of Sugawara and Momo. Sugawara spends a bit of time with Izumi and flat-out tells him that Kazusa has a crush on him. But we are also able to see a bit more into her past with her theater group and who was supposedly her first love… albeit rather creepy. In all honesty, I wasn’t sure what to feel in this scene and that’s probably what made it feel so awkward to watch. Sugawara wasn’t very expressive so I wasn’t sure if I should feel sympathy towards her – I mean, the director was creepy in the way he acted, don’t get me wrong, but I just didn’t feel much of a reaction out of it. And on another note! I feel like Sugawara is going to admit that she likes Izumi! Which just feels really awkward because Momo and Kazusa were talking about how godly she was…… and to put my feelings quite simply: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
However, it was really nice to see Izumi and Kazusa interact normally for the first time since… well, episode 1. I understand that Kazusa’s confliction is a major part of the story, but I feel like she hasn’t really done anything new about it in a while, so I really appreciate that!
Up next we have Momo’s “date” with Sugimoto. I like the transition the story had as it went from “oh! he has a genuine concern for me” to “he’s gross”. Quite frankly. it didn’t go very well and I still haven’t decided if that is because of Momo’s just general disinterest with him. Or that he’s just not a good person to be around. But, when I think about it, Sugimoto is the same age as all of our main characters, so I can’t expect him to be some kind of playboy who goes to hit on girls and dump them. He’s probably just a kid who’s as conflicted as the rest of them, but it was good to see a little development for Momo.
Then we have Hitoha and Milo striking a deal. Overall, it feels really weird, but I’m consistently glad that Milo reiterates that he’s not interested in high school girls. Personally, I hope that doesn’t change. However, I do like that he was still willing to help her with her writing, but naturally complying with the law. He’s aware of his position and he makes very deliberate moves…. aside from meeting up with one of his students who he had been sexting. But! I’m definitely interested in seeing how their dynamic progresses and potentially what sorts of things he has in mind to help her tap into skills as an erotic writer.
Lastly, (and my favorite part of the episode) Amagi got what he wanted! I am so proud of them! It was a very sweet way of ending the episode. I don’t think Sonezaki is my best girl, but I love her and Amagi because it represents a certain purity that isn’t seen with the other girls. It warms my heart when I see the two together and I’m cheering them on!