Koshi-senpai with the block!
It’s a rule of anime that everything can’t keep going well. So with things looking good for Banri and Kouko, you just wonder what’s going to fall apart.
The Normal Happenings of Everyday Life
Chinami better not see you now, Banri
That’s what a lot of this episode was. Kouko and Banri talking about Linda, Mitsuo, and Chinami, about how they’re both finally over their past obsessions, about the Exorcist. Of course, we get the kiss of death: “I hope that life stays like this.” Kouko should know you don’t say things like that. It’s like she’s an anime character or something! And of course, there’s Banri’s mom’s ring, which he’s still unable to give to Kouko, whether because of klutziness – forgetting it when there’s a good chance to give it to her – or because of the meaning.
The show takes a good opportunity for bringing back the Twin Menaces of the Tea Club, Sao-chan and Shi-chan. Having driven off all their first-year male members (did they ever have any besides through kidnapping?) they’re again trying to get Banri to join. And of course, they find out about the ring and let him know what they think it means in their over-the-top style: proposing marriage, Mom wanting him to bring her future daughter-in-law to come visit. Banri’s not thinking it means all that much, so you can’t blame him for freaking out a little. Thankfully, Kouko’s not pressing Banri for anything, just enjoying being with him, and promises to work on their future together.
Crashing To Earth
“What am I doing here?”
So of course, that rule of anime rears it’s head. And it does it right in the middle of the Festival Club parade performance. Kouko had even beaten her nervousness from the previous performance, focusing instead on helping the returning 4th years with their preparations, so everything was looking great… until Banri’s memories come back out in the middle of the street, pushing out his current self for a minute. When Linda finds him (also give Kouko credit for chasing after him first), it may be her Festival Club outfit that actually snaps him out of the past memories, and brings him back to the reality of college and Kouko and everything in his life that has happened since the accident.
The fear was nicely depicted
But even though Banri is wondering if this is his past self trying to take over, it’s presented differently, to the point that I don’t think that this is Ghost Banri coming back. I think this is legitimately his memories returning, albeit in a traumatic way. Banri has wanted his memories to return, although he’s been scared about the possibilities, and the disorientation of seeing that right now is unexpected and scary. Now the question is will he be able to integrate those memories into his current self?
Bonus Sao-chan and Shi-chan
Thankfully it’s not Ghost Banri, but the return of some memories does disrupt their parade performance. Who knows how the rest of the Festival Club will react to that disruption? Will they be supportive (and that means Banri coming clean about his past to more people than just Mitsuo, 2D-kun and Chinami) or will this be the start of a long-term distrust, since they can’t know when he’ll flake out again? And how supportive will Kouko be after this kind of thing? She was the first to notice something wrong with him and to go after him, and she’s really turned into that “good girlfriend” that she’s wanted to be. She has been, and hopefully will continue to be, exactly the person that Banri needs.