Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara Ep. 9: You can’t blame Sho for trying

But you can blame him for being oblivious to Asagi’s feelings. I really want to commend the guy for taking his shots. Sho clearly has guts. It’s just so unfortunate that he is also incredibly dense. Then again, Yuito and Chigusa aren’t much better. Anyways, from the top…

— Hitomi wants to take more pictures of the city, so she starts off the episode by asking Sho if he has recommendations. The guy immediately seizes the opportunity arrange a friend date, if you will. He then pauses when he sees a picture of the girl and Yuito. This is kinda weird to me. He obviously sees his best bud as a potential rival… but pretty much nothing has happened between these two. Meanwhile, he’s completely unaware of the fact that Asagi is head-over-heels for him. Hm.

— Speaking of Asagi, when she goes through her photos, she can’t help but notice that Sho is staring at Hitomi in a lot of them. Geez, that’s gotta hurt. Not only that, the guy is not remotely inconspicuous. Level up your stalking game, bro.

— When Sho meets up with Yuito later, he confesses, “Keeping it to myself doesn’t feel right, so I’ll just tell you. I’m… spending the day with Hitomi tomorrow.” Well gosh, that’s awfully considerate of him. You can tell that this is a low drama show. Everyone’s just so nice. Sure, the boys are kinda clueless. At the same time, the girls are just standing around, hoping that the boys can read their minds. But they’re all nice people. Sho would never want to hurt Yuito. If the latter had suddenly said, “I’m not comfortable with this,” there’s probably a good chance that Sho would’ve canceled the friend date.

— But of course, Yuito merely looks shocked for a second, then acts as if this has nothing to do with him. Dude, don’t play dumb. He even wishes Sho luck. Sho merely says that he doesn’t want to live with any regrets. Yuito would be smart to take that advice to heart.

— When Hitomi tells Kohaku about her arrangement with Sho, she frames it more like a one-on-one lesson. This still gives obaachan some pause, but that’s because she knows how Asagi feels about the guy. It’s a difficult position, I guess. Maybe it’s nothing more than a friendly lesson like Hitomi said, so she’d be presumptuous to say anything. Plus, she can’t go around blabbering about Asagi’s true feelings. Not even to Hitomi.

— Elsewhere, we see Yuito’s mom tease him about Hitomi. I guess that’s her only role in this series. Either bring up Hitomi or art school. But between her advice and Sho’s, Yuito has a lot to think about.

— But does he? We haven’t seen any indication that the guy even has feelings for Hitomi. He gets along with her, and she really, really likes his art. But other than that, their relationship feels so platonic. There aren’t really those doki doki moments that make you think that those two belong together. I’m not rooting for Hitomi and Sho, but it’s not as if Hitomi and Yuito makes a whole ton of sense either. This show just isn’t very good at drama, so by extension, it isn’t very good at romantic drama either.

— So the day of the friend date arrives, and we just see Hitomi and Sho walking around, taking pictures of random stuff. Nothing too interesting here…

…until Kurumi and Chigusa spot those two. But I mean, if they’re wondering why Hitomi and Sho are spending time alone together, then what are these two “platonic” friends doing right about now?

Even Chigusa knows that Asagi likes Sho. So does he know what Kurumi likes him or what?

— Then it’s back to Hitomi and Sho taking pictures of random stuff again. Yawn. I guess this gives the voice actors a break, ’cause there’s barely any dialogue.

— Towards the end of the day, Hitomi praises Sho for his passionate love for photography. In return, he praises her for how far she’s come since the first day he met her. Of course, the girl continues to claim that she can’t do anything on her own. She still has a pretty low self-esteem even if she’s more outgoing these days.

— This would have been a good time for Sho to say something to reassure the girl, but he kinda just stares at her. Is he awestruck by her beauty or something?

— Finally, when it’s time for these two to say their goodbyes, Sho takes his shot. He confesses, but we don’t get to hear his exact words. The train is too loud. By the time the train departs, we just hear him say that he wants to date her.

— Not surprisingly, Hitomi ends up running away in shock.

— There’s no magic here. When Yuito told the girl that he wanted her to keep looking at his drawings, she ended up being able to see colors albeit only briefly. But with Sho, Hitomi feels nothing but confusion and… well, maybe a little guilt too. Like why does he like her? And does she even deserved to be liked? And how would she even begin to respond to such a request?

— Finally,  Hitomi gets back home with her head down. She doesn’t tell Kohaku anything. She even ends up skipping her next two meals.

— At school the next day, when Hitomi sees Sho, she runs off again. I half-expected Kohaku to get angry at Sho and demand to know what had happened last night. Like maybe her protective instincts kicked in, and she assumed that Sho had done something to offend her granddaughter. But again, it’s a low drama show, so nothing happens.

— Eventually, Hitomi fills Kohaku in. She even explicit points out that she has no intention of dating Sho. Sheesh, right to the point. At least the girl knows what she wants. I was afraid she would end up giving him a chance even though she obviously doesn’t like him. But no, she just doesn’t know how to reject him without hurting him.

— Amusingly enough, Hitomi has no awareness of what’s going on around her right now.

— So both Hitomi and Kohaku end up skipping club for the day. Must suck for Sho. Yeah, he took his shot, but he probably didn’t want to adversely affect the club and thus the friend group like this. Still, Chigusa takes the opportunity to needle Yuito about the situation.

— The latter acts as if it’s none of his business, but he’s obviously lost in thought about the same topic. When he rings a customer up, he accidentally charges her over 100,000 yen. Maybe he does like Hitomi more than he admits. He doesn’t really show it, though.

— Elsewhere, Kohaku gives Hitomi some advice: give Sho an answer even if it hurts. ‘Cause honestly, uncertainty hurts even more. And Sho’s not a complete idiot. He can tell from Hitomi’s reaction that, well, it’s not looking good for him. If someone likes you back, nine times outta ten, they probably wouldn’t run away from you.

— But at the same time, that’s now how the heart works. So until Hitomi definitively rejects him, he’ll continue to cling to the tiny hope that maybe — just maybe — she’ll say yes at some point. And the longer he has to wait, the more painful it becomes. We’ve all been there.

— Asagi goes to see Sho, but he’s in a melancholy mood. Is he regretting the confession now? Is he afraid that he might have fractured the friend group and thus he won’t be able to see Hitomi smile again?

— It must also suck for Asagi, because she rarely sees him like this. Specifically, she can’t make him feel like this, but Hitomi can.

— The next day, however, Asagi decides to have a talk with Hitomi instead. Y’know, Sho’s not the only “numbskull” who doesn’t realize that Asagi is in love with Sho. Hitomi doesn’t realize it either. So when Asagi tries to cheer her up, our heroine reveals that Sho had confessed to her. Not in direct terms, of course, but unlike some people, she can connect the dots.

— Of course, Asagi also notices that Sho had taken her to see his favorite spot. Thinking about it. The guy wanted to do right by Yuito, so he let his bud know ahead of time that he’d be spending time with Hitomi. But nobody told Asagi anything. She’s not even a blip on his radar. She’s just a childhood friend.

So Asagi ends up answering Hitomi’s first question truthfully — the question about whether or not she has someone that she likes. She doesn’t reveal that it’s Sho, though.

— Hitomi says again that she doesn’t deserved to be liked. Asagi, still prioritizing Sho’s feelings above all else, insists that Hitomi must give that person an answer. And just like that, she leaves. Is it possible that Hitomi still can’t connect the dots? I think so! Ah, so dense…

— Later that night, Hitomi finds herself staring off into the distance… at Yuito’s place. She then blushes and looks away. I guess she has her answer.

— The next day, our heroine calls Sho up to the rooftop and gives him a proper rejection. And of course, she apologizes for making him wait. She lets him know that although it made her happy that someone actually likes her, she ultimately likes someone else.

— You can tell from Sho’s lack of a reaction that he’s not surprised. In fact, he’s probably had a lot of time over the past few days to think about the situation. Obviously, Hitomi can reject him simply because she doesn’t like him back. But he must have concluded that there’s a good chance Hitomi likes Yuito instead.

— They even end up shaking on it. I dunno, I just find that amusing. Makes it feel like they just completed a business transaction.

— Hitomi hurries back to class to look for Asagi, but the girl has already left.

— Meanwhile, Yuito stumbles across Sho just lying on the rooftop. He tells his friend that he’s impressed. Yuito probably feels as if he could never do the same. Even if he did like Hitomi, he wouldn’t have the courage to say anything.

— Sho then lets out his frustration by screaming his lungs out. His anguish is loud enough to even interrupt band practice. But afterwards, the guy is just like, “Ooh, refreshing!” In another show, he might shed a tear or two. But in this low drama show, he just gets over it. But again, Yuito is impressed. He knows he’s too emotionally bottled up. You’d never catch him screaming like that. He’d be too embarrassed.

— Hitomi finally finds Asagi, and it sounds like she wants to deliver the good news. Like, “Yay, I took your advice and rejected that guy!” In other words, it sounds like she still hasn’t connected the dots.

— But Asagi finally clues Hitomi in, so now our heroine is devastated. It’s not her fault, but she can’t help but feel as though she just rubbed her romantic problems in Asagi’s face. Oh man, you totally like this guy, but he likes me, but I don’t even like him!

— So of course, Asagi runs off, because that’s what you do as a confused shoujo. Whenever things get too emotionally overwhelming, you run. And that’s how the episode ends.

— We don’t have much time left, but there are still several plot threads to wrap up. Asagi and Sho for one. Then of course, Hitomi has to get around to confessing to the actual person she likes. But even if that goes well, is she really going to just live in the past forever? That still has to be settled.

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