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While the rest of the club enjoys their Summer retreat, Yamada is stuck in remedial classes with a small group of other students. Shiraishi tries to swap bodies and bail him out, but their plan falls apart when they encounter the Third Witch.
In perhaps the most revolutionary moment in recent anime history, we discover the Glasses Girl is actually kind of dumb! Yes, Yamada-kun continues its streak of having characters turn out to be very different then what they appear to be at first. Otsuka might be the most extreme example yet. Watching her switch between her shy outward personality and the Drill Sergeant in her head was cartoonishly silly, but in a good way. That said, there wasn’t much more to her than that and I can’t help but feel our fears about rushing the rest of the Witches is coming true. Otsuka seems pretty cozy with the rest of the group by the end of the episode, and beyond passing the test together the only relationship building she gets is a montage of everyone at the beach. I guess I couldn’t really see this plot line being dragged out into two episodes but it still felt a little undercooked.
Speaking of the test scene, this episode also emphasized something odd I’ve noticed up until now: the writer seems to have no qualms about letting the characters cheat their way through school with zero consequences. I don’t want to sound like a super nerd or teacher’s pet here, but it kind of bothers me a little. Typically in situations where the characters use their powers to cut corners, it eventually comes back to haunt them in some way. From there it’s back to doing things the hard way like everyone else, lesson learned. It would be one thing if there was some greater point to be made about how flawed the education system is or something, but the author isn’t trying to make any kind of statement with it. Instead it just feels like a loose end that’s never tied up, which probably bothers me more than the morality of it. It’s not an important point overall but it is something I’ve noticed throughout the series so far.
One more thing I have to mention is the fact that the group JUST went away on a trip two episodes ago. What kind of school takes this many trip and how did not I attend it? Of course that also means this was the Official Beach Episode™ and the Fan Service made its unwanted comeback. Fortunately most of it is just the girls having innocent fun at the beach but shots like Shiraishi (via Yamada) losing her top and getting felt up by Odagiri remain jarringly out of place. I might sound like a broken record a this point but so long as they keep doing it I feel obligated to point it out. Overall this episode was pretty solid on its own, but it didn’t do anything to ease my concerns for the direction of the show’s second half. Hopefully they’ll prove me wrong.