Recap: More time has passed and yet the relationship hasn’t moved forward. Family problems shed light on how Shizuku became the way she did. After another talk with Yamaken, it looks like his momentary attraction has become a full-scale crush. Will this be the fire that finally gets Haru to take action in this relationship?
A bit of a slow episode this week, somewhat transitional in light of all the fighting that happened the week before. While I have decried Haru on his various problems, this week some issues on both sides are brought forth. From the very start we are confirmed what anyone could have suspected from the start, Shizuku lives in the home of a loveless marriage. The kind that stays together if only for the children’s sake. With her father failing another business, one might think of him as deadbeat, but taking into account his real role in the family, he seems to be more the victim of being given the wrong responsibilities. As a failing businessman, it was he, not his wife, that seems to have raised these children. The role of a nurturing figure can never be overrated, and yet the show paints the family’s perception of him negatively because he couldn’t be the working man. It would appear to also have bred Shizuku’s independence, as having a father she felt she couldn’t rely on probably made her think she would have to do all the “work” in her life as well. It really just made me feel sorry for the poor guy and he only got a few minutes of screentime.
On Haru’s side, Asako lays down the problem quite succinctly. Haru is still not taking this seriously. Shizuku obviously wears the pants in this dynamic but kmon man, you can’t let her do all the work. It is somewhat Shizuku’s fault for forgetting to seriously think about their relationship, but after a while you can’t just sit back anymore. He gets his chance to talk to Shizuku, but unfortunately instead of addressing anything, he tries to get her a pet for her empty pot to make her feel better about past regrets. I suppose this is in character but Lord I hope he wises up soon.
The most interesting development really didn’t start until the middle. Asako and Sasayan are obviously important to this story, but neither character has really gotten any time outside of the shadow that Shizuku and Haru’s relationship casts on the plot. Finally we get to her more about Asako’s middle school life. We already know how her looks became the problem, but it was interesting to see how much it affected her psyche. While her gaining a crush on Mitsuyoshi is definitely something I could see possible, it surprised me that they’re really going through with it. I’ve got a feeling this is a one-sided relationship, though. He’s obviously a bit older than the gang and even then he acts as a parental figure for Haru, so the idea of him seeing any of them as more than kids is unlikely.
Building up from last episode, we have Yamaken giving Shizuku yet more advice. I have to give credit to the animation team for this episode, almost every scene with Shizuku in it just made her look adorable, and her scenes with him were no exception. As anyone with a grade school understanding of romantic cues could guess, Yamaken has found himself falling for Shizuku as well. However, he realizes that Shizuku truly has eyes for Haru, and trying to get in between that would be almost impossible. Still, he does probably the most important thing this episode: telling these feelings to Haru. Now that he knows someone else may be after Shizuku’s heart, I’m hoping this will be the final push that gives him the drive to force the issue.