You wouldn’t like Ritsu when she’s angry…
I think this may have been the episode everyone was waiting for…
You Can’t Be Too Nice
Some people just get dumped on, and need a friend
I don’t think that anyone would argue with the idea that Usa (btw, whose given name is Kazunari, but noone ever uses it in the show, and it seems wrong to use it here) is a nice guy.The point would be made that he’s too nice for his own good, in that he doesn’t reject the people who come to him. That’s what gives him his aura of weirdness, that the weird people are comfortable around him. And it’s hard to argue that that’s a BAD trait, since being nice to people, especially people who aren’t really bad, just out of step with the rest of the world, isn’t something one should be ashamed of.
It’s never too late for a thank you
The one who’s ashamed of her behavior is Hayashi, who returns to the scene of her shame, the Guesthouse Cafe. And the reason she does is because she wants to apologize to Usa, but as she tells Shiro, she doesn’t really know how. And it even seems that she had a bit of a crush on him in middle school, only to be mentally slapped down by overhearing other girls complaining about her and expressing how they feel sorry for Usa for having to deal with Hayashi. But really, Usa probably wouldn’t be able to act any other way. The incident with the mixer group was just a case of Usa being bullied in the open, not necessarily because he’s nice but because those people were jackasses. But Hayashi still (rightly) feels that she was wrong for letting him be bullied without coming to his assistance, the way she now realizes he did for her, just by engaging with her.
Maybe the real reason for Hayashi’s interest
You Can Be Too Nice
This is how you do conversations with interest, imo
Unfortunately, you could also argue that Hayashi didn’t really learn her lesson after Usa forgave her so quickly. He himself even says that if he hadn’t been saved by his Kawaisou housemates, he probably wouldn’t have been able to get past the grudge he would hold about it. And even though Mayumi and Sayaka want to pile on, they hold off a bit. But the interesting thing is that Ritsu leaves the cafe early, saying the atmosphere isn’t that nice. And even when Usa has a conversation with Ritsu about the books she lent him, she’s happy with him and the conversation… until Hayashi is mentioned. And even if it’s more because Hayashi likes the other guy at the cafe, Ritsu doesn’t really know that, and doesn’t really like the idea of Usa hanging around with Hayashi.
Chinatsu has no brakes
And the sequence with Chinatsu coming back to make shiny mud balls with everyone does a really good job of getting it out in the open with Ritsu. One, that she likes to be included in activities, and two that Chinatsu is able to badger her into talking about Usa, just by being kuuki yomenai. Of course, you need a little kid to be able to not read the room that badly. Chinatsu just comes right out and says that Usa’s interested in Ritsu, which Mayumi and Shiro can’t believe she said (since they’ve been tiptoeing around the subject for months). But Ritsu totally disposes of the idea, saying that he’s just nice to other people. Of course, Mayumi doesn’t back up Chinatsu, she just wants Ritsu to acknowledge that Usa does like her for being her. This all ends up backfiring on Usa (who mentions Hayashi again), of course, but I think it’s clear that Ritsu has more than just friendly feelings for Usa.
She just comes right out and says it, doesn’t she…
That’s what the show needed to show us: That Ritsu isn’t just wanting to be friends with Usa. A little jealousy can be a good thing for relationship progression, as long as they can get through it. Maybe that’s what it’ll take for Ritsu to open up more to Usa, and get over her fear of everyone else in the house making fun of them (which is going to happen anyway). But it’s good for us watching to know that there is progress being made from both sides, and that maybe the show will actually get these two together.