This episode took a turn I didn’t expect, but I’m liking that it’s taking this direction. This is now or never with Haruo. He needs to put his foot down, and be honest. Because if he’s not honest next episode, things are going to fall apart bad. Even though things are pretty bad right now.
Thankfully the actual match against Shibuya and Mizunokuchi didn’t last very long, and that’s because Hidaka absolutely annihilated everyone, Haruo included. That way, we were able to focus on more important things this episode.
A bit of the first half focused on Haruo not realizing how lonely Akira has been, with their relationship not really going anywhere. Moemi has been a lot more relaxed and she’s been allowing Akira to go to the arcades, but for some reason she and Haruo always missed each other. Makoto manages to find him in the Shibuya arcade and tells him all this. She also ends up tagging along with his group to karaoke and shopping, which was hilarious. I always love it when she’s on-screen. When she returns home, she tells Akira about Haruo and mentions the arcade match. Even though she says she’d go, she falls asleep so Akira goes by herself.
The blue-haired girl that hung around the Shibuya group was basically targeting Haruo for his virginity, which…ew. Also, I don’t think it would have worked out anyway with how stupidly dense he is. Hidaka gets fired up when she sees this girl’s behavior with him, and she ends up defeating every single person in the Shibuya Squad easily. But the best stuff doesn’t happen until after all this.
After beating Haruo, Hidaka goes up to the blue girl and tells her to lay off her boyfriend bluntly. What we find out is that Akira was there the whole time, and we see her around Shibuya with those girls from before being upset that Hidaka was Haruo’s girlfriend. And…oof. My heart. They kept repeating that and it hurt every time.
The trains being down and Hidaka wanting to take advantage of this time with Haruo, they go out to eat together and their conversation takes a turn. A very sharp and spicy turn.
The more desperate Hidaka gets, the more I suffer for her. And yet, I get it. These kids are only starting high school, they’re young, she’s never dealt with love before. And honestly, Haruo never really turned her down. They just played their match, he won, but he never was upfront with her about his own feelings. I understand why Hidaka keeps going after him. He never outright rejected her, he hasn’t done anything when it comes to Akira, and frankly, he’s kind of dumb and dense. The fact that he hasn’t done or said anything, it gives her the idea that she still has a chance to be with him. What does she have to do now? She has to be more aggressive with her feelings, away from video games. And boy she was not subtle at all. The animation in this show may not be the most beautiful, but the way they animated Hidaka’s body movements in the restaurant was pretty fantastic. Her arm movements, the way her finger slid on the table, her expression. It really set the mood very well with what she was saying, and how she was saying it. This time Hidaka made herself very obvious with her love for Haruo, and no matter how hard Haruo wanted to change the topic to video games, she didn’t relent. I’m just shocked with how far Hidaka went.
She started off with saying how fun it is to be around him, not because of video games but because of him. But then it took a surprising turn with how sensual she was being, describing dreams she’s had of him hugging her lovingly. The more she spoke, and the way Haruo was reacting, I just wanted to bury my face in my hands. The mood was getting even more sensual as her eyes became half-lidded, her voice became more soft and breathy, and her finger slowly played around with the water on the table, basically signifying…well, you know. She proceeds to make herself loud and clear when she basically tells Haruo she wants to go with him to a love hotel. I knew nothing was going to happen because…this is Haruo we’re talking about, but I’m still shocked that this series would go into that territory.
At the end when walking back to the station, Hidaka turns around and hugs Haruo with tears. She pleads him to hug her back, but we get an UH OH! moment when we see Akira standing in front of them. Oh crap.
Ugh, what a cliffhanger! This was a fantastic episode. It delivered on emotions really well and it’s finally making the love story move. Like I said, I don’t blame Hidaka. This poor girl is very desperate, using everything in her arsenal in hopes of maybe making Haruo fall for her. And honestly, I want to smack Haruo for making her suffer. Haruo has never really been honest with anyone, not even with himself. But now this is the defining moment for him to move forward. It’s painfully obvious that he loves Akira, but he hasn’t admitted to it yet. He needs to stop running away and face things head on, or else these friendships are going to be ruined. Ahh I’m so excited for the next episode! Do it, Haruo you idiot! Stop being so damn dense!