What a shocker. The main character keeps finding himself in situations where he has to yell out something embarrassing at school, huh?
— Sakuta is so lucky to have an anime girlfriend who doesn’t jump to conclusions. Not only that, she’s going to allow him to pretend-date Tomoe. What are we supposed to do without our romantic misunderstandings?!
— So… is this guy really not going to put on a shirt? How long would that take? Like five seconds?
— Basically, Tomoe reminds Sakuta of Kaede, so he can’t just leave her be. Yeah, yeah… pull the cheap imouto card.
— Speaking of Kaede, Mai also brought her a dress, and everyone thinks it’s totally kawaii and all that jazz. I find it terribly old-fashioned, don’t you? Shrug, I just can’t imagine any young person wearing an outfit like that.
— I wish I could relax like that cat.
— When Mai leaves at the end of the night, she hopes that nothing serious results from this pretend scenario. To ease her concerns, Sakuta promises his girlfriend that his heart belongs to her and her alone, but that’s probably not her only concern. C’mon, why beat around the bush? We all know there’s a good chance that Tomoe will fall in love with the main character. He might not like her back, but maybe he’ll have a hard time letting her down.
— After all, Sakuta has that anime main character syndrome where he feels compelled to help everyone with their problems. Take it too far and it resembles a mental illness.
— The next day, we learn that the guy who likes Tomoe is apparently a scumbag. I’m not exactly sure what we’re supposed to do with this information, though. Well, maybe Sakuta will want to change the school’s perception of him. This way, Tomoe can reject him without any issues. But like always, I doubt that it’ll be this simple.
— For a pretend date, Tomoe is taking this rather seriously. Meanwhile, Sakuta just has on some plain green shirt.
— Sakuta apparently doesn’t have a phone. Uh…
— Tomoe’s got issues. She stayed up late just because everyone else was doing the same. She stayed up late even longer in order to watch funny animal videos just because everyone else had already seen them. Talk about peer pressure. She cares too much what other people will think of her, but that’s what being a teenager is like. I can’t say I’m too surprised.
— Oh hey, they went to the aquarium for their date. What a shocker.
— I guess Tomoe used to be a country bumpkin, so she’s desperately trying to shed that image now. I mean, I could sympathize with her, but all I can think in my head is, “Oh lord, talk about first world problems…”
— Suddenly, we bump into a nervous-looking girl on the beach. Tomoe offers to help, but the girl initially refuses because… they belong to separate friend groups? I guess that sort of thing matters. I really don’t know. Yeah, sure, I used to be a teenager, but I never ran into these group dynamics. I did my own thing, and four years of high school went by in a flash. I just can’t imagine what it’s like to care this much about being popular, and which social group each person belongs to.
— Alright, the girl lost a strap, so Sakuta and Tomoe volunteer to help look for it. And because the girl got herself wet in the process of retrieving the strap, she ends up getting a cold. Yawn.
— These last two episodes are kinda disappointing, because I really enjoyed the banter between Sakuta and Mai. But you know how it goes: each new arc must feature a new girl, so the best girl has been completely shelved in order to make room for a character I don’t respect whatsoever. Both Tomoe’s personality and her problems are snooze-inducing. Okay, okay, Mai hasn’t been completely shelved, but I’m just saying… this is lame. Tomoe is lame.
— Well, we never have to worry about this, because anime characters are never ugly.
— I hate using the word vapid, but…
— Tomoe doesn’t want anyone to ever hate her. Not a single person! Reminds me of a quote from The Office:
I hate the idea that someone out there hates me. I even hate thinking that al-Qaeda hates me. [pause] I think if they got to know me, they wouldn’t hate me.
What can I say? I just don’t think that this is a healthy mentality to have. The world is full of haters and trolls, man. Hell, some people think I’m just a hater.
— So in response to Tomoe, Sakuta confesses that even if the whole world hates him, as long as he has that one person who still needs him, he’ll be A-OK. Maybe he’s talking about Mai? But I mean, they just became official, so he’d be jumping the gun a bit. He might mean his sister, but I dunno…
— I guess they don’t like having big butts in Japan.
— Afterwards, Tomoe asks about Mai, but she seems skeptical that a celebrity would like Sakuta. Uh, lots of celebrities end up dating losers. Celebrities aren’t exactly the most well-adjusted people out there, especially child stars like Mai.
— Dude’s shirtless again. Is he always shirtless when he’s speaking to Mai? I remember him taking off his shirt when she came over to his place in the first episode as well.
— Oh right, I had forgotten that Rio likes Yuuma. I guess we’re already planting the seeds for when she becomes the focus of the story. It’s the same way Tomoe appeared halfway into Mai’s chapter.
— Saki, Yuuma’s girlfriend, then confronts Sakuta. After all, she still wants him to stay away from her boyfriend. Weird. I mean, if you have a problem with their friendship, maybe talk to your boyfriend about it. But that’s not all. She’s now also super suspicious about Rio. Great. So I’m guessing that when it’s Rio’s turn to tell her story, we’re going to see a lot more of Saki as well, huh? Boy, I can’t wait.
— Anyways, this slow-moving episode keeps trucking along from one Tomoe-related problem to the next. Now, we have Yuuma warning Sakuta about the first-year, because there are salacious rumors going around. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the guy who got rejected started badmouthing her. He’s super popular, right? So stupid kids would easily believe his word.
— Ding ding ding.
— So what’s going to happen now? Will Sakuta take this personally because Tomoe reminds him of Kaede? Does he want to take care of Tomoe to make up for the fact that he couldn’t protect Kaede for her bullies?
— Yep, he’s taking it personally. And he’s even allowing this to affect his personal relationships. He returns to his apartment to find a message from Mai, but he decides against calling her back. Too much on his mind at the moment, I suppose.
— So when Sakuta goes to meet up with Tomoe, that popular guy walks up out of nowhere and starts being a real dick. Man, his ego really got bruised when she turned him down.
— Meanwhile, Mai’s just silently observing.
— Y’know what’s weird? The whole Laplace’s demon thing on occurring for half of an episode. As a result, I hope to see more time loops in next week’s episode, and if we don’t, I’m going to be sorely disappointed. ‘Cause really, I started watching this show for the weird stuff like Mai disappearing from the world. And lemme tell ya, Tomoe’s arc has been real short on the weird.
— But then again, what exactly are we going to loop? What exactly will Tomoe want to get a do-over on? After all, she seems really impressed with Sakuta right now. She might even fall in love with him at this rate. Hell, even her best friend Rena now thinks poorly of that popular guy.
— Tomoe then confesses that she’s a virgin as well, but hell, I could’ve guessed that all on my own.
— I’m just waiting for the stinger. C’mon, what’s the stinger that will make us wanna watch the next episode?
— Right before the credits roll, Tomoe watches an ad featuring Mai and grimaces as a result. Maybe she’ll trap Sakuta in a loop until he falls in love with her over Mai. He shouldn’t have bothered to play along in the first place.
— To be fair, Sakuta has never led her on. He even told her outright that once this all blows over, he hopes that they can be friends. That’s right, just friends. So what exactly will our little demon cook up? This better be good, ’cause her story so far kinda sucks. Watching the main character humiliate the bully was kinda amusing, but the rest of the episode really failed to draw me in. Oh well, at least next week’s episode should wrap up Tomoe’s story.
Nice catch! I missed Mai watching the fight.
No smartphone for sakuta – in a previous ep I think he mentioned stopping carrying one after kaede’s adolescence syndrome incident. You can very briefly see him in the OP throwing a phone shaped object into the ocean.
They do keep calling attention to sakuta being topless around Mai, don’t they? I guess to show how comfortable he feels – he has to hide his scars in public but just keeps letting them hang out around her…
I’ve never read the LNs myself but heard that this is a weaker arc but apparently Rio’s is much better. I’ve been okay with this one at best (Tomoe is no Mai).