After a week absent, I’m quite pleased with today’s episode. This episode, while have a pacing and shift issue, is still undoubtedly enjoyable thanks to its characters’ depth, comedy, and beautiful cinematography.
The first part revolved around Inuzuka and Shikimori’s perceived one-sided rivalry. Since the early episode, Shikimori has always been shown competitive when it comes to Inuzuka. Her behaviour understandably caused Inuzuka to assume that she hated him. When it comes to Izumi’s friends, Shikimori was strangely different around Inuzuka. Even though Nekozaki and Hachimitsu are also friends with Izumi, and girls to booth, Shikimori never showed any sign of jealousy when they’re close with her boyfriend. Instead, she seemed jealous of her boyfriend’s best friend, subtly sulking how Inuzuka always place his arm on Izumi’s shoulder or take notes for him. It’s like she considered Inuzuka as a rival for Izumi’s attention.
Inuzuka was not fond of this Shikimori who always glares at him, and like he said himself, he did nothing wrong and just did what a best friend should. If anything, it was partially Izumi’s fault for depending on Inuzuka despite supposed to know his girlfriend’s character. Inuzuka was always left wondering why he became an exception in Shikimori’s eyes. As it turned out, this was a misunderstanding on Inuzuka’s part. Hachimitsu, playing detective, which is one of the cutest moments in the episode, revealed that Inuzuka is similar to Shikimori’s older brother, so she subconsciously behaving the same way she does with her older brother. She doesn’t hate Inuzuka or anything, she just conflated him with her older brother (even accidentally called him brother) and went into younger sister mode who try to get attention that manifested as her possessiveness of her boyfriend.
With this topic brought up, Inuzuka and Shikimori’s brother does speak in similar way. Knowing that Shikimori didn’t hate him gave Inuzuka the peace of mind he needed. This tiny information also revealed how Shikimori’s relationship with her older brother is. She has trouble opening up with him and ends up treating him rather coldly. I can relate a bit with this, having a brother myself. Siblings of opposite sex often times have difficulty in opening up to each other, boys and girls have different ways of thinking after all.
The second half focused on the new friendship formed between Shikimori and Nekozaki with Kamiya. I thought that after what happened in the previous episode, we won’t see Kamiya for a long time, but here she is. I enjoyed watching the three girls hung out together, except of the basket ball match part. That part was unnecessary in my opinion and it should’ve just focused on the three girls spending time together. Despite what happened, Kamiya and Shikimori were quick to become friends. I know that Kamiya found closure thanks to Shikimori, but I thought things would be awkward between them. Thanks to Shikimori who still treats her nicely, Kamiya was quick to open up and accepted her friendship, showing she has clearly moved on.
The highlight, however, was the moment between Kamiya and Nekozaki. It turned out that after they got acquainted, Nekozaki had invited Kamiya to hang out many times before after school, but Kamiya always declined her invitation because she already had her own business to do. Nekozaki stopped inviting her after being told by her schoolmates that Kamiya was a loner, so she must have preferred to be alone and felt sorry for making her reject hang out invitation. Nekozaki doubted what they’re saying, but she relented because she didn’t want to make Kamiya felt bad due to her being pushy.
Unlike other students, and like Izumi and Shikimori, Nekozaki doesn’t think much of Kamiya’s status as the perfect student. She wants to know more about Kamiya as her own person, and was happy when they finally able to hang out together. Now that Kamiya became more honest with her feelings, Nekozaki finally realized the loneliness and longing hidden behind Kamiya’s loner mask. She realized that rather than preferring to be alone, Kamiya was just being considerate of her peers, which inadvertently formed a wall between her and them. Now that she knew Kamiya’s loneliness, Nekozaki gave Kamiya the assurance that she can open up to her whenever she wants. Watching the friendship formed between them is a needed change, as the series tends to focus on the two main characters.