Recap: Maria “runs away from home” and spends the night tormenting Kobato at the Hasegawa home. With exams over, Yozora decides to hold an after party for the Neighbor’s Club and Rika proposes a King’s Game.
Jel’s Thoughts: Another split episode this week with an ONII-CHAN! packed first half and a bit of a tease in the second. I mentioned last week I never really cared much for Maria, so the A side of the episode didn’t do much for me. They are obligated to expand on her relationship with Kate and we do have to re-establish her rivalry with Kobato for the second season, so I understand they’re doing what they gotta do. Still, between the both of them whining at Kodaka and the childish poop jokes I think I’ve had my fill of Maria for now.
Fortunately the B story was considerably more fun as we get the entire crew assembled for KIIIIING’S GAAAAAAME! I was surprised how relatively normal the requests were, especially with Rika at the helm, but it did give us plenty of opportunity for some proper Love Triangle Jealousy. We even got even a nod to Kodaka and Yozora’s changed relationship, which I had noted was conspicuously absent last week. There were certainly no Earth shattering romantic developments, but I suppose by Haganai standards little things like an indirect kiss are a pretty big deal.
While my expectations for any lasting progress is pretty low, I was at least a bit encouraged by this episode, especially Kodaka’s phone call from Dad right before the credits rolled. I’m all on board for more Neighbor’s Club hijinks but it’s nice to know there’s at least some kind of story brewing in the background. Throw in a little more romance with the comedy, even if it is a tease, and me and Haganai are back on good terms.