For the first time in six months, tension has developed between Mitsumi and Shima. It seems to hit both of them pretty hard, however Shima seems to prefer to take the detached approach whereas Mitsumi wants to make sure everything can be happy again between the two.
A majority of their misunderstanding comes from Shima missing a day of school. He makes the call to let the school know that he’s sick, but when Mitsumi texts him, she finds out that he’s really just oversleeping. It’s been hinted at before that he didn’t have the best attendance in middle school and aside from Mitsumi, there really isn’t anything of interest that catches his attention enough to actually want to come to school. Shima definitely operates on the “As long as I pass” mentality. On the flip side, Mitsumi needs to constantly improve or work towards her goals. Her desire to graduate from Tokyo U is incredibly strong and she knows that she needs to make good impressions now (whether in connections or school work) in order to get there. The thought of someone not coming to school simply because they wanted to sleep more seems unfathomable to her. But, this is only made worse when some girls approach Mukai and start to talk about the varying rumors that may surround the mysterious class hottie. I appreciate Mukai not agreeing with any of the rumors, but Mitsumi is still willing to entertain them (which leads to some pretty funny imagery throughout the episode.)
Unfortunately, all of this creates some tension between the two as they are both asked to stick around and staple some papers. Shima attempts to break the ice, but in the end they end up saying things that didn’t sit well with the other. Mitsumi starts to talk about the rumors that she heard as well the importance of staying on top of things at school. In return, Shima comes back with the ‘Maybe that matters to you’ which seems to be pretty petty considering how the two interacted on the train. Naturally, these interactions cause the other two to spiral as they start to overthink everything. Was there a better way to handle the conversation? Yeah. But perhaps the two of them having some more time to think about the relationship they have can also be good.
The remainder of the episode spends time in each of their heads. Shima ends up going to Chris’ house to talk about his problems and it quickly becomes clear that he’s the type to just sweep it under the rug. There’s no reason for dramatic clear the air talks and it would be better if they just moved on. Mitsumi on the other hand becomes bogged down with the wording and whether or not she said the right thing, even going so far as to ask Egashira for help. Perhaps they both said some things that they didn’t really mean, but at least she slowly starts to recognize what she actually wants to say to him. Neither of them want an awkward relationship. Mitsumi is his closest female friend and Shima is the one who openly sought out her friendship despite her disastrous first day. Even if they’ve only known each other for 6 months, they are starting to realize just how important the other one is in their life.
Which is why the “clearing the air” conversation at the end of the episode feels so nice. As a watcher, I want things to be cleared up between them, without unnecessary drama. They never really fought, but being able to say their thoughts out loud can help them understand why they may have responded in certain ways or what part of the conversation actually hurt them. Mitsumi spoke about his success and his attendance, when truly she just enjoys his company in class. She looks forward to seeing him and having him there makes the school day less boring. Shima on the other hand is very honest about how upset he was to hear that she seemed to believe the rumors. Things like that happened to him previously, and it really gets under his skin that people would rather make up and believe things about him before getting to know him a bit more. And since Mitsumi is one of his closest friends, it really hurt him to hear that she could believe it. And as much as he hates those types of conversations, I think that was the best way for them to resolve their conflict.
Typically, I’m not a fan of miscommunication episodes in anime… or any show. Usually it has a lot of fighting that tends to be resolved if the parties end up just talking to each other. However, I think where this episode excelled was in allowing us to see and hear both Mitsumi and Shima’s thoughts. Neither of them are malicious, but they have every right to feel the feelings that they have. Instead, both of them really desire to be friends again and have their relationship go back to being… well, happy and friendly. So it feels really nice to see it all resolve itself in the end. I’m glad that they were able to have their chat and even learn more about each other in the process. Who knows, maybe Mitsumi will finally come to recognize her feelings for Shima because of it.
Overall another lovely episode! Is it bad to say that I’m getting sad that we are already halfway through the season? I’ve really been looking forward to Tuesday to see what the Skip and Loafer characters are up to – it’s a delightful anime that makes me feel so happy after watching. I can’t wait to see where we go from here!