He’s even got his collar popped and everything. I don’t think I could ever bring myself to like Kaoru, but at least he legitimately cares about his friends.Every year, the guy will pull out all the stops to cheer Tada up. And every year, this elaborate dog and pony show falls on the anniversary of Tada’s parents’ deaths. Seems almost morbid on paper, but the characters really do try to make the best of it. First, Kaoru cooks up individual dishes for the entire friend group. I’m really quite amazed that a single guy could make all this food by himself. Granted, it’s anime, so we’re just stretching the logic a teensy, tiny bit. Then afterwards, Kaoru treats them all to some random activity. This year, he takes them to a nearby bathhouse so that we, as an audience, can enjoy some fanservice. Oh, you meant this fanservice. My bad. Why does Kaoru go to such lengths? Because he can’t really understand Tada. Kaoru is annoying precisely because he wears his emotions on his sleeve, but you at least know what he’s thinking. If you’re somehow still clueless about current emotional state, don’t worry. He’ll let you know and loudly too.
On the other hand, Tada always keeps things bottled up. Even when he was visibly angry at his father for leaving early, young Tada kept his thoughts to himself. Even when he wanted to reach out to his parents and say something before they left, he couldn’t. Hell, he didn’t even cry at his parents’ funeral. Meanwhile, Kaoru couldn’t help blubbering. Nowadays, Tada has gotten better at putting on a smile… but that’s the problem. You rarely know if he’s genuinely smiling or putting on a brave face. At the very least, he seems to be happy in this exact moment. Nevertheless, so long as Tada stays within his shell, he can always depend on Kaoru to stick by his side. That must be a good thing, right? I don’t know. I’ve personally never had such a close friendship, so I’ll just take the anime’s word for it. Nevertheless, the male best friend is often little more than comic relief. Annoying as he often is, Kaoru at least shows that he can be a good friend. Someone has to teach him to shut up every once in a while.
Anyways, we’ve focused pretty heavily on certain characters in the past few weeks. First, we got an episode all about Nyanko Big, then we peeled back the curtains on the relationship between Hajime and Hinako that’s going nowhere fast. This week, the spotlight is on Kaoru and what he contributes to the group. As a result, I naturally thought that we’d go through the rest of the side characters one-by-one before finally getting back to Tada and Teresa, the two main characters. Instead, some blond bishie by the name of Charles has decided to crash the party, and he has his sight set on Teresa. Even though it doesn’t look as though Tada has even entertained the notion of courting his costar, he’s going to be dragged kicking and screaming into the competition. He shouldn’t worry, though; after all, this is anime, and as a result, black-haired protagonists always get all the hot babes. Hell, Teresa has probably already developed feelings for Tada. He just needs to reciprocate them. Still, I have to imagine that we’ll get episodes for Alec and Dog-kun eventually. They’ll probably have to wait until this Charles nonsense blows over.
Misc. notes & observations:
— They’ll still visit Tada’s parents’ gravestones on a rainy day, huh? Call me cold, but I don’t think the dead will mind if you come a day later.
— Geez, that photo will always remind Tada that he was being a petulant brat that day. It’s like he won’t ever allow himself to forget his sins.
— Ugh, of all the dishes that Teresa could’ve requested, she wanted Kaoru to fix her a natto roll.
— Naturally, no menu in an anime would ever be complete without curry making an appearance. Tada even wants it mild. Well, I guess that’s not surprising. After all, Teresa is his love interest, and all she has going for her is a tiny bit of quirkiness. It’s like getting lemon pepper chicken for dinner, but we’ll throw on a little “twist” by adding a touch of honey and soy sauce to give it a sticky, umami profile. Ooh, so adventurous!
— I kinda cracked up at her silly face. She can’t help beaming all the time.
— Aw c’mon, they’re not that far away. You can afford to give them some eyes.
— See, Nyanko Big is actually cute when he doesn’t sound like an old Japanese man.
— Teresa looks at Tada’s father’s last photo and she instantly gets a “warm and fuzzy feeling” from it. Eh, I feel like they’re stretching it a bit here.
— Alec is your classic tsuntsun girl. Time will tell if she can ever be deredere.
— Leave it to Teresa to turn everything into a Rainbow Samurai reference.
— I don’t think you could ever convince me to go to a bathhouse. Bathing with my friends? Never. Ain’t gonna happen.
— One of the guys always has to be a creep.
— Anytime girls bathe together in an anime, someone must inevitably do a breast comparison.
— Yui comes right out and says that she hopes Teresa ends up becoming her brother’s girlfriend one day. Still, the girl asks if Teresa already has a boyfriend, and Alec says yes. The redhead eventually claims that she was joking, but she didn’t say so until she took a glance at Teresa’s embarrassed expression. I wonder if she was referring to Charles.
— I do like the fact that they sorta teased Alec for pretending as though she knows love from reading novels.
— For some reason, we learn that Dog-kun is in love with an older woman. Still, I wonder if he actually meant Tada as the “older woman,” and as such, he simply played along with Kaoru’s suggestion. After all, he always comes running whenever Tada calls for him, right? That seems pretty one-sided to me.
— A large portion of this week’s episode feels really aimless and slice-of-lifey.
— I always cringe when a guy kisses a girl’s hand without asking for her permission beforehand. Sure, sure, this is how gentlemen used to do it, but hey, it’s also 2018. Plus, you can’t really trust a dude who enters your hotel room without even letting you know ahead of time. How long was he even in there? How did he keep himself occupied until Teresa returned? That’s kinda creepy, Mr. Charles. It looks like he takes his romantic cues from Pepe le Pew.