Trying to make time with the girl you like, but not admitting that
Kawaisou might be getting on a bit of a relationship treadmill, but it’s still early in the run, so let’s see where it goes this week.
Going out of the Comfort Zone
Usa’s forcing himself a little too much
This episode may have been a turning point in Usa’s relationship with Ritsu, whether Sayaka ‘helped’ or not. Maybe due to her meddling, or maybe it’s better termed ‘messing with Usa’, he decides to not read the atmosphere (“kuuki yomenai”) with Ritsu, in order to try to close some of the distance between them. This is a bigger deal than just screwing up the courage to talk to the girl you like. This is trying to fight years of upbringing and social cues.
Ritsu CAN smile and laugh!
I think it really doesn’t help that he’s not really being honest with himself about why he wants to do this. He keeps saying that he wants to be friends with Ritsu, and help keep her from being lonely. He hears her saying that she’s not unhappy with the way she is, that she likes being by herself and in her books. But he also sees that she appears to enjoy the times when she’s included with the rest of the group. And that’s clinched when he eavesdrops on her smiling and chatting to some of her middle school friends. So he pushes even more to try to bring her out of her shell, resulting in Ritsu finally telling him to quit it, quit jumping to conclusions about her and trying to get her to be friendly.
Regrets All Around
Went just a little too far
So Usa’s crushed by his ‘rejection’ by Ritsu, and Ritsu’s upset because she’s hurt Usa’s feelings. Talking to Mayumi certainly doesn’t help Usa, since she mostly just tells him “I told you so about Sayaka.” But in talking to Shiro, Ritsu helps Usa out, who realizes that he shouldn’t push it that way, and he resolves to just try to go back to being Ritsu’s friend on her terms, not try to draw her out, the strategy that had been working so far. He even goes so far as to watch her stand there for 4 cycles of traffic lights, reading. But by the end of the episode, they seem to be back to about where they were before. No progress, no loss.
Mayumi Love Life Update
This time it’s actually not a guy
I think this might be a regular feature, because Mayumi is my favorite character in the show, and her love life has this sad desperation to it where you know that she isn’t really that bad a girl, but she picks the wrong guys, or has the wrong thing happen and never meets the right guy. This time she was on the road to a ‘right guy’, since one of her friends found a rich boyfriend, and was setting up a mixer for Mayumi with some of her boyfriend’s rich acquaintances. Mayumi even goes so far as to be on a bit of a diet, and try to look a little better, based on some catty comments from her friend. But before they can have their meetup, the friend breaks up with her rich boyfriend, leaving Mayumi in the lurch.
There’s always time for mocking later
I thought it was pretty good that Mayumi actually asked her friend if she was doing ok. Sure, she went off about her to the rest of the Kawaisou residents, but she was doing the kind thing from the beginning, and only vented afterwards. I think people can’t be expected not to vent their frustrations like that, and I think it’s actually good of Mayumi that she doesn’t want to be the type of person who delights in her friend’s misfortunes.
The only progress for Usa this week was down the wrong path, but he didn’t make a permanent enemy of Ritsu, and maybe got her to think more about him. Plus, Usa learned a very important lesson: Never Ever Ever believe Sayaka, even if she says what you want to hear. I also wanted to mention the lighting in this show. It seems to be treated as its own element, frequently occupying its own layer and adding to scenes with great effect. Even in shots that pan, it’s treated as its own thing, with frequent parallax shifts as the scene moves. This is really nice to see, and adds a lot to the immersion of the show.