I must say it was a pleasant surprise how cute this episode was because I couldn’t stop giggling! So far Aoi has been really smart about the way they are going about this mission. First she point to two nice girls she knew he would be able to converse with, starting with his classmate Izumi Yuzu, and the girl who lives in his neighborhood, Nanami Minami (Mimimi). The third person could be anyone he chooses, which incidentally ended up being Kikuchi Fuka when Yuzu got her involved in the conversation by asking if she had any tissues she could lend him. I freaking died from the cuteness overload when Fuka asked why he was smiling.
The second thing she did, (which I thought was very wise of her) was recommending that he starts by having these conversations with the girls while she is within the same proximity. This gives him a bit of a safety net in case things something were to happen, such as a troublesome person like Shuji joining the conversation. Shuji in particular is a problem because he is still salty about losing to Fuumiya, so much so that people are tiptoeing around the topic. He is the type who can take control of the flow, and could turn the topic into ammo. And because he is the key member of the class, by being rude/picking on Fuumiya could spell trouble and jeopardize this whole mission of boosting Fuumiya’s self-esteem. That’s why Aoi had to intervene the way she did, by boldly call him out on it in front of everyone, and even baited him into having to challenge Fuumiya again in Tackfam.
But if there was one thing that didn’t land for me, it was the way they resolving that issue by Aoi poking Shuji where it hurts by mimicking his ex-girlfriend. All (but Shuji and Fuumiya) burst out laughing, but it honestly felt really forced to me. It was if they were trying too hard to make this a funny, or maybe it was supposed to feel this way as a means of merely breaking the tension that had been building up between up in the room.
Apart from that minor gripe, I was pleased to see that the girls he had been recommended to talk to were charming and gave me the impression they are all very nice characters (and I hope they don’t let me down in that regard). Although neither Yuzu or Fuka spoke too much today, we did get the chance to learn a lot about Mimimi and a little bit her friend Natsubayashi Hanabi (who everyone calls Tama).
Mimimi is the type of person who is flexible and agreeable type. She is often the one to bring about new topics for various conversations. Fuumiya learned that first hand when he and Mimimi ended up walking home together since they live in the same neighborhood. She would bring about a bunch of topics, and give him room to expand on it. So as long as you can keep up with her pace, she is an easy person to have conversations with, making her the ideal person for Fuumiya to practice his conversational skills with.
However it should be noted there is definitely a drawback to Mimimi’s personality type that shouldn’t be overlooked. If there’s something she wants to share, she wants to share it with everyone. In this case, Mimimi thought it was absolutely hilarious how Fuumiya speaks like an old man (and honestly it was, and I would even declare it to be one of his charms!), so she went to one person after another telling them all about it.
Frankly, whenever there is a topic that involves pointing out an individual’s quirk, even if there is no ill intent, it is no secret that it could quickly go south. Sure one risk it being hijacked and used against them, but the biggest threat comes down to how the individual themself feel about it (especially with those with low self-esteem). Not everyone would take this well. Thankfully, Fuumiya didn’t take it badly, though a part of that might have to with the fact he was more confused about why she thought it was funny in the first place. Better yet, Fuumiya was actually able to learn about one of his skills/strengths: His ability to confidently speak what is on his mind. Since he never really thought about it, he was shocked when Aoi explained to him that not everyone is able to do that.
Meanwhile Tama is the opposite of Mimimi’s character. She isn’t the type to just go with the flow, she will either keep quiet by not getting involved or speak her mind, even if it’s the unpopular opinion. She seems to have her own share of insecurities, one of them being ruining the mood by making it worse/being unable to know how to appropriately respond to a situation.
In all, I am really impressed with how seriously Fuumiya is doing his part for these missions. He is attentively paying attention to his surroundings, actively engaging in the conversations even when he gets spooked and wants to bail out. He is learning so much, it’s actually incredible. Also we need to acknowledge how he has consistently thanked Aoi when he gotten stuck, which goes to show how grateful he is for her helping him out. I am also very happy we are learning more about his charming sides. His flustered reactions, old-man mannerisms and clumsy slip-ups (the smile and butt-exercise for straightening his posture).
While Aoi took a bit of the backseat as the observing coach this week, we did get to see a bit more of her charming sides too. We finally got the story behind the habit of saying “HEXactly” (and I’m thankful they didn’t drag it out). It was a catchphrase from one of her favourite games as a kid (Go Go Oinko), and it was so cute how excited and happy she was that Fuumiya knew what she was talking about!
Looking forward to the next mission! Until next time!