The struggle continues. To get you guys up to speed, our heroine ran away in tears at the end of last week’s episode, because the bishie rejected her feelings. Let’s watch and see how things inevitably return to the status quo by the end of this week’s episode.
— Erika tries to sulk on her way home, but she unluckily runs into the girl that was just seen leaving Kyouya’s apartment. Amazed to see the rejected Erika, the girl goes, “I guess Kyo really is done playing with girls.” Oh? Why would you say that?
— So what do we see after the OP? Erika has pathetically returned to Kyouya’s apartment. He’s the one who insulted her, but she comes crawling back anyway. Just sad.
— A….are you kidding me? Erika goes, “You got a dog, so you’re done playing with girls.” Y’see, the dog is, well… Erika. The dog is Erika. No, really, I shit you not: “The dog’s me, right? What does it mean that you stopped because of me?” Bahgawd, he may treat me like shit and dismiss my feelings, but… but I’m his dog! No need to watch Dog Days S3, guys. We’re watching it right here.
— Kyouya continues to play it cool, saying he’s just tired of playing around with girls. Oh man, what a badass. When pressed on the issue, he coldly replies, “How should I know? Maybe I just picked up some stupid ways of thinking from you.” Now, I know that sounds mean and everything, but don’t worry! You’re his dawg, girl!
— The funny thing is, most dog owners don’t even treat their pets this badly. The ones that do tend to get their pets taken away from them. Is there like a Shoujo Control service that someone can call?
— Erika confesses that she won’t quit:
Erika: “You pissed me off, so I considered giving up for a minute….”
Translation: “You treat me terribly, and I was going to respect myself for once by walking away….”
Erika: “…but I’d never lie about my own feelings. So I won’t quit.”
Translation: “I’m your dawg!”
C’mon, where’s your dignity? Where’s your fucking dignity?
— Oh well, it doesn’t matter in the long run. These stories almost never continue into adulthood, because everyone knows high school romances are usually doomed to fail anyway.
— Kyouya: “I think you mean ‘This isn’t over, sir.'”
Seriously, who told me to watch this shit? Do you hate me or something? I could just replace this slot with Mushishi or something. I really could. Then again, nobody reads the Mushishi posts either. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
— Kyouya pulls the classic tsundere act and says he’ll reluctantly believe Erika. Then this happens:
Erika: “Do you like me? [ ] yes [ ] no [ ] maybe”
Kyouya: “[ ] yes [ ] no [x] maybe”
The girl has no backbone, the guy’s an ass, and you can’t respect either of them. What a charming couple.
— Oh Ayumi, the show’s sole voice of reason: “How an you still like him after something like that?” You’re too good for this world! Please, submit an application of transfer to a better anime!
— Erika’s response? “I’ve got to work hard to turn him around! I’m aiming to become a wolf-free girl!”
— Later that day, a soccer ball hits Erika in the head even though Kyouya could’ve blocked it. Instead, he chides her for not getting out of the way. Cool. Remember when he defended her honor two episodes ago? I guess he only comes to her defense when doing so would make him look super good.
— We are perhaps introduced to a new character, i.e. the guy who kicked that soccer ball at Erika’s head, but it’s not like he’s any better than what we’ve seen thus far: “It’s natural to be angry when you see a woman injured.” You might think this sounds like a harmless, chivalrous belief, but it’s this sort of poisonous, antediluvian mindset that gives rise to a story like this in the first place.
— This new guy’s name is Takeru, and he claims to be Kyouya’s best friend. Nevertheless, Erika is amazed to see her bishie talking with a boy. What? Dude’s never talked to a guy before?
— Thinking that Takeru is a nice guy, Erika pours her heart out to him. The former immediately wants to beat a “change of heart” into Kyouya. Uh-huh. But it gets even better when Erika stops him and say, “I’m not trying to fix his warped personality.” Everyone in this show is fucked in the head. Except Ayumi, of course. Then again, she’s still friends with Erika, so who even knows? I don’t think I could stand watching a friend throw herself into a toxic relationship.
— Erika: “No matter what he does or what he’s like, I like him.” That doesn’t even make any sense. She likes him as is. At the same time, however, the current Kyouya is incapable of loving anyone. For him to love her back, he’d have to fundamentally change as a person.
— And you always hear that platitude, “If they really love you, they’d accept you for who you are.” But it’s just a platitude. It’s not an absolute truth. Hell, that sort of thinking isn’t remotely healthy. Any good relationship is a compromise between the parties involved. It’s okay to expect the other person in the relationship to make some completely reasonable changes. Changes like… oh, I don’t know… don’t call your lover a dog.
— Nevertheless, Takeru enables the dumb girl: “Erika… what a gallant girl you are!” Brave or stupid? It’s a fine line, my friends. In any case, the two of them form an alliance to help Erika win Kyouya’s heart. Ah, the best laid plans of dumb and dumber.
— Later that night, Takeru asks Kyouya a battery of questions, because his answers will help Erika mold herself into the latter’s ideal woman. Problem is, Kyouya likely wouldn’t answer those questions seriously, especially because they’re coming from his best friend.
— Plus, these answers are supposed to be things that you’re supposed to discover for yourself in the process of dating someone. You’re not supposed to skip this critical “getting to know you” step. Someone as romantically inclined as Erika should know that. But because she cheats, we now get to watch the girl embarrass herself even further.
— Here she is, pretending to be an intellectual type. Funny how she doesn’t want him to change, but she’s willing to change herself. She’s not even subtle about it: “Well, it’s a new season, so I thought I’d go for an intellectual image change.”
— So Kyouya tells her that glasses don’t fit her, but it’s okay! All he has to do is turn on the charm, and… and uh, here’s a superfluous metaphor. Why superfluous? ‘Cause we literally see her with a nosebleed just seconds later. So what’s even the point?
— Anyway, Erika proceeds to follow Takeru’s bad advice and humiliate herself some more. I don’t think I need to go into much detail here, It’s just a bunch of dumb gags:
— The next day, Takeru puts on a maid uniform and makes omurice for the two “lovebirds.” Somehow, there’s a maid cafe full of just guys. That’s novel, at least. Not really, but you take what you can get with this anime.
— Naturally, Erika is legitimately scared as they walk through the haunted house, but of course, Kyouya doesn’t give a shit. Instead, he just pranks her! Haha, what a jokester. Good thing she doesn’t want any part of him to change! Meanwhile, she’ll just jump through all these ridiculous hoops just to please the guy. So what’s the message here? It’s okay to be superficial, but not really?
— Later, Takeru tries to cheer Erika up by telling her that he admires her tenacity. Uh-huh. Then he offers to show her his abs. Yep.
— These idiots try more things to win Kyouya over, but I’m getting tired of commenting on their antics. It’s all just incredibly dumb and inane, especially because you know nothing will happen. It’s the fourth episode, after all, and shows this formulaic will never have the two main characters get together at such an early stage in the game. Blah. We’re just watching a bunch of bullshit that won’t amount to anything.
— Takeru has the other two meet up with him later that night, then he suddenly confesses that he’s in love with Erika. Ah yes, the ol’ “I’ll steal your woman” trick. Let’s see if it works.
Swing and a miss! Haven’t your feelings been trampled on enough, Erika? Can’t you preserve whatever dignity you have left and just walk away? Of course not. This shoujo anime will have a “happy ending,” after all. This is all just manufactured drama to delay the inevitable.
— As for Kyouya’s bullshit answer? “I’ll decide when I fall for Erika.” Right. And in the meantime, you’ll just say incredibly hurtful things to the girl.
— So how does Kyouya smooth things over with Erika? “Is that all your feelings have to offer? Go ahead. Try to wrench open my heart. That’s the only way you’ll get me.” On some level, this is tragically ironic. After all, this is the prototypical love story, isn’t it? Let’s pretend for a second that this anime is capable of being subversive. I don’t think it is, but let’s just play along. Isn’t the guy supposed to chase the girl, hold a boombox outside her window, submit himself to the cold and freezing rain to show her his dedication, so on and so forth until she falls in love with him? Well, the tables have now been turned. But am I supposed to sit here and feel smugly satisfied that our shoujo will finally have to play the role of the creepy admirer? Nah, either way you cut it, it’s demeaning. And life isn’t about teaching people these cruel lessons and going, “See? See how it feels?” So even if this show is trying to be subversive, it doesn’t really work. It just ends up being cruel and vindictive. Hell, it’s cruel any way you slice it.
— Anyway, we’ll end this post with Erika’s ridiculous answer: “I guess I’ll have to do what you asked for… and love the hell out of you!”