Usa returns to work at the houseboy cafe as they install some new bookshelves, which seem to attract a few repeat customers. Chinatsu returns to the complex seeking help with her summer homework and stirs things up a bit with her brutal honesty.
It really annoys me when an anime series overuses it’s side characters, sapping necessary screen time away from whatever goal the main cast is trying to achieve. So I was pretty impressed with how this week’s episode of Kawaisou handled the return of Hayashi and Chinatsu. Rather than get totally sidetracked with their problems, their appearance only served to further the main relationship between Usa and Ritsu, you know, kind of like how side characters are supposed to work. As a small but effective example, consider how Hayashi pragmatically handles her crush on Usa. Lesser shows would have her join Usa’s harem and pine away for him for the rest of the series, but in this case she keeps moving on with her life. We may see her again, we may not, it doesn’t really matter because she’s a side character and she did her job.
Even Chinatsu, who has “annoying side character” written all over her, manages to serve a purpose. Her childish honesty was a perfect catalyst for Ritsu to show her hand a bit. We’ve talked before how Usa’s crush seemed to be one sided for most of the series, so it’s pretty adorable to see she may be interested as well. Still not sure what to think about Chinatsu’s relationship with Shiro as it finds the very finest edge of “creepy” and manages to barely avoid crossing it, but again it’s only given as much importance as it needs to support the main story.
I also think I’m starting to enjoy the humor a bit more. I don’t know if it’s just beating the jokes to death so much that they are starting to come around to being funny again, but I did laugh at moments like Chinatsu asking how Ritsu would react if she or Mayumi went out with Usa. Even though the punchline was obvious, what can I say? I like dumb humor. Besides, those moments are really just a bonus as the real payoff has been watching Usa and Ritsu’s friendship grow as well as the bond between all the Kawai complex housemates. It’s been quite successful at that so far, and as one of Sayaka’s friends come to visit next week I’m looking forward to more.