Kaori: “I like…”
Yes, yes, what is it that you like?
Well then… that sure is enlightening. Last week, summer vacation had only just begun. Naturally, summer vacation is drawing in a close in this week’s episode. Seeing as how this is anime, you know what that means: the obligatory trip with friends to the beach complete with fireworks and all that jazz. It even rains when they first get there. I mean, c’mon, is this Anime Beats-by-Beats with Dre or what? I’m just surprised the kids never brought out a watermelon to smash. At one point, Kaori even says, “If I’d known it’d be this much fun, I’d have invited everyone to the beach sooner.” No, you wouldn’t have. In fact, you simply can’t. Anime law dictates that the obligatory trip to the beach with friends may only occur at the end of the summer vacation and at no other time. Then we’ll light fireworks to stamp a seal on this momentous occasion forever. Oh, you want to tell me that I’m in high school for at least three years so we can have this obligatory trip to the beach with friends again next year? Well…
Since this is the sweet sort of anime full of innocent puppy love and whatnot, we at least do not have to deal with a fanservice-y scene in which the girls model their bathing suits much to the guys’ delight. Could you imagine what that scene would look like with this anime’s art direction? Yeah, let’s not go there. Knowing Yuki, though, he would just run and hide behind a sand castle or something. Still, that doesn’t stop Saki from at least mentioning the fact that Kaori has bigger breasts. I mean, what would an obligatory trip to the beach be if we didn’t reference a girl’s breasts at least once? But I digress. What you do have to deal with, however, is the constant peppering of “I’m having so much fun” and “At least she’s enjoying herself.” We get it, anime. Trips to the beach with friends are total fun! It almost feels like anime is trying to convince me that it’s fun. Like somehow, I wouldn’t think that a trip to the beach with friends is fun, but maybe… just maybe anime can coax me out of my room and away from my anime shows long enough to know what this trite anime experience actually feels like!
At one point, Yuki even bothers to say, “At first, I wasn’t sure if it would work out, but I’m glad Fujimiya-san seems to be enjoying herself.” You weren’t sure it would work out? What could possibly go wrong! Maybe they’ll fall asleep at the wheel on their way back, and Kaori’s ghost tells her that she’s truly in love with some other dude, so this charade with Yuki must stop. Oops, wrong anime. But hey, this does give me an opportunity to talk about that “some other dude.” After all, we do have progress! Progress in the world of anime, however, simply means a complete mystery. Yes, Kaori now feels a bit strange when other girls talk to Yuki, but it’s a complete mystery to her as to why that is. Hmm. Hmm. She also feels as though she likes to say the word ‘like’ more often these days. Hmm. Hmm. Well, that sure is a head-scratcher if I’ve seen one! Still, at least we have a mystery. At least something unfamiliar is actually brewing in Kaori’s heart. So much so that even Shogo has to take notice: “Maybe you should push a bit more.” Yes, Yuki, push! You are so close to giving birth to a cheesy romance between you and Kaori, so push! After all, if you don’t push now, that “some other dude” might swoop in and steal Kaori away!
Darn, he’s already here. It’s pretty obvious who this guy is too, isn’t it? He shows up just as the relationship between Yuki and Kaori is about to bloom-… well, no, not quite. It’s about to bud? Nah, not even… it’s about to something, alright? Anyway, the anime has made progress — a snail’s progress, but progress nonetheless — so it’s only natural that an important person from Kaori’s life would come boomeranging back into the picture. From Hokkaido, no less. After all, who else could this guy be? Yuki’s gay lover? Interesting, but this sort of anime would never go for that sort of thing. A friend of either Shogo or Saki? They’re not important enough to the story. Yes, the only remaining possibility is that he knows Kaori. In fact, he is likely the reason why she has her memory problems. We can already guess that his presence might impede the not-quite-budding romance between Yuki and Kaori. The follow-up question, however, is how this dude will also affect Kaori’s healing process. After all, she’s been doing better and better on that front with each passing day. Could an old friend’s reappearance trigger something bad in the girl’s mind?
The previews for next week’s episode sure do hint at this.