I’m totally fine with this show being a silly comedy. It wouldn’t be my favorite show of the season, but I could live with that. But noooooo~, people had to go and scream from the mountaintops that the story will eventually git gud. That I just need to be patient. That I won’t just be watching a series of silly, romantic gags that never builds up to anything substantial. That I’m going to be thoroughly enchanted! So here I am, waiting for something to happen with Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai. Unfortunately, this week’s episode honestly isn’t very different from the first, so I’ll have to wait some more. Anyways, I guess the best way to cover it would be via a series of bullet-points:
— We get the same cold opening as last week. We also get the same character introductions as last week. It’s a good thing that I rather enjoy listening to the OP, because right off the bat, I already feel as though I’ve been short-changed by about four minutes of actual runtime (more if you include the ED at the end). I guess they really wanted me to remember that Kaguya is filthy rich.
— I had hoped for the narrator to only have a major role in the first episode, which is why I didn’t comment on him last week. Sadly, we’re barely five minutes in, and his persistent droning continues to drown out the main characters. Thankfully, he takes more of a backseat towards the end of the episode.
— In the first short story, Miyuki had gone and gotten himself a smartphone, but like last week, Kaguya is really pulling the strings. Anyways, we should know by now what to expect: the guy wants Kaguya’s contact info and she wants his, but sadly, neither of them can swallow their pride and be honest with each other.
— Once again, Chika serves as the semi-clueless ditz who pretty much exists only to make sure no one takes a huge loss in this unending mating dance between her two friends. The guy throws the first punch, but Kaguya’s riposte is super effective. But although it may seem as though the girl has gotten an upper-hand on Miyuki, Chika plays her role perfectly. As a result, she quickly reminds them both that despite Kaguya’s wealth, she has an old flip phone that can’t even use LINE. How quaint.
— In the second short story, the trio try to decide where they should go for their summer trip. Being a giant nerd who studies all day, Miyuki thinks that heading to the mountains would be best. He and Kaguya would bond under the stars, and… yeah…
— Unfortunately, his rival has other ideas. She’d rather try and seduce him in a bathing suit, so visiting the sea is her choice. She also adds something about the ocean being the origin of life. I mean, she’s not wrong, but I’m not sure where the romance comes into play here. It’s obvious, of course, that these two are rather clueless about love and dating in general.
— The guy wants to avoid the beach, because he apparently can’t swim. Unfortunately, he really, really hates bugs, so Kaguya ultimately convinces him to go with her idea instead. Looks like he loses, right? Well…
— Here comes Chika to level the playing field! If they’re headed for the sea, the girl innocently remarks that she’ll have to buy a new bathing suit. This reminds Kaguya of the great disparity between their assets, and as a result, she completely flip-flops and would rather head to the mountains instead. I dunno, bigger isn’t always better.
— In the end, Kaguya and Miyuki leave it up to Chika to decide their destination, but the ditzy girl apparently has an affinity for creepy, scary things. Maybe she’s cooler than I initially thought.
— Nevertheless, you see what I’m talking about, right? A vast majority of these short stories adhere to a basic pattern. Our two main characters climb into a ring and trade blows, then Chika blows it all up in the end. Right now, the show isn’t bad, but it certainly isn’t the best thing since sliced bread.
— Luckily, the third and final short story deviates from the formula just a tiny bit. A kid drops by to ask Miyuki for advice on love and romance. Our student council president doesn’t have any experience whatsoever, but we already know he’s too prideful to just be himself. As a result, he starts off by doling out some really, really bad advice.
— Kaguya just happens to be nearby, so of course, she’s going to listen in on this conversation. At one point, things almost get interesting when Miyuki shows a bit of vulnerability: he sometimes wonder if his love interest actually hates him instead.
— The guy eventually notices Kaguya trying to hide behind the door, so he starts singing her praises instead. It isn’t a love confession, but we see later that there’s a ceasefire in the war for now. He also turns it around and ends up giving the other guy some decent advice. Too bad he can’t recognize the irony. Still, let’s hope that this actually leads to something worthwhile in next week’s episode, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we go back to more amusing but ultimately inconsequential short stories.
— P. S. Despite Miyuki’s generally bad advice, it somehow works out for the other kid. Despite having watched anime and j-drama for over a decade, I still wouldn’t have the guts to “kabedon” a girl in real life. Just seems like a bad idea…