Seiren – 02 – METANORN

Seiren – 02

Summing up Hikari Tsuneki’s attitude in one picture

winter15-highw Or should we say “Hikari Tsuneki, episode 2”? So was there much progress made, or is it stalling time?

Ending Up in the Same Place for Different Reasons

Parents just don’t understand!

So it was Tsuneki climbing in Shouichi’s window at the end of last episode (because of course it was). The story is that she is at the study camp against her will, and was trying to escape, and Shouichi’s window just happened to be open when she was trying to get back after being “attacked” by deer and soaked by the rain. They banter for a while, finding out each other’s situation, and then Tsuneki borrows Shouichi’s jerseys to tide her over until she can dry out her wardrobe. The whole story as Tsuneki tells it is a typical story of teenage entitlement: “They found out I was working behind their backs, so they grounded me. Then when I tried to sneak out and go on a trip to the beach with my friends, they made me go to this Study Camp instead! Oh the injustice!”

Such a teen boy…

Nice dream, Shouichi…

Apart from Hikari’s Tales of Teen Woe, the encounter between the two of them actually goes pretty well for one with a teen boy who’s very aware of the teen girl in his room. Shouichi rightly realizes that pressing Hikari on her parents would be a bad idea and changes the subject, they discuss how wrong he is that he could go ask another girl for her clothes, and he hurts himself trying to peek down her top. Pretty typical, and the show didn’t really indulge in too much male-gazey shenanigans to play up the situation. Shouichi even gets a bit of a… compliment?… when she decrees that his clothes don’t really stink too much as she borrows his jerseys. But the fact of Hikari coming out of Shouichi’s room in a halter and booty shorts and holding his sweats makes the two of them the talk of the camp, since obviously they’re just there to fool around.

Somehow I think dem shorts have more to do with the rumors…

Just Run With It

Mako’s getting hot and bothered

“Hey, wanna do me in the sweats again?”

Hikari actually plays up the rumors that they’re a couple, leading her new classmate Mako (in the complete bottom of the camp class) on with tales of sexy adventures, but Shouichi breaks the illusion when he defends her against some other girls, who had overheard their lunch conversation where Tsuneki said that Shouichi’s sweats were “dabudabu” (baggy) as “raburabu” (you know what that is). And Shouichi manages to convince Hikari to stay at the camp instead of making another break for it, after Hikari makes everyone a late night snack, which she was goaded into by the mention of Shouichi’s older sister.

A nice heavy midnight snack of eggs and potatoes

I did notice that she rubbed his back for a rather long time here

I like the way that they’re playing this. It’s not “a Series of Obvious Romantic Encounters.” It’s more relaxed than that, with Shouichi and Hikari being two teens who are fairly comfortable with each other, and start to realize that they kinda like the other person. And I like the freedom that they are giving Hikari, that she’s not afraid to play up her sexy side to Mako and the other girls to get a rise out of them. But at the same time, she’s not really teasing Shouichi or anyone, just having a little fun with rumors in a fairly low-risk situation. About the only teasing of him she does is about getting married, which definitely isn’t serious at this point. And I like that Shouichi isn’t getting all daydreamy about possibilities with Hikari.

Maybe some realizations?

I do think that they’ll need to do a little bit more to get over the top of the hill with this couple. Something to make either Shouichi or Hikari, or both, realize that they need to try dating, not just being teen friends. But as I said last week, I like this laid back kind of story so far, in that they’re much more slowly bringing the two of these kids together. I hope they can keep the natural development going while still making it to a couple by the deadline, which I still think is two more episodes. It seems really achievable, tho.

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Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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3 Responses to “Seiren – 02”

  1. belatkuro says:

    Putting aside the contrived reason as to how Hikari arrived at the exact room as Shouichi and why she was in the vicinity in the first place, I like everything else that happened. Well, except for that dream which was weird but dreams are like that especially when you’re a teenager.

    Shouichi stepped up a bit in this episode. He was still being led around by Hikari and gets flustered so easily but he stood his ground in that last part. And he also stepped up to quell the rumors about him and Hikari to those girls. Hope this momentum goes on and he starts being equal to Hikari. Though I did hear that Takayama wanted the girls to be the more active ones in the story for all routes so Shouichi would just be reactive in situations. Let’s see how that holds up in the next episodes and routes.

    Hikari doesn’t seem to care about rumors about herself but she does care that there are others close to her that are affected by it. She also seems to be competitive when Shouichi mentioned that his sister makes snacks for him. And she’s pretty fond of getting praised like when Shouichi told her he sees her in a new light and when he said he liked her navel. We got to know more about her which is good. There’s momentum and I hope it continues even more now that she will stay(of course she will). I hope the development would feel natural when they realize they could get together and not necessarily because the plot demanded it. It’s doing a really good job of it so far.

    I need to mention that the show is pretty sexy without being overly ecchi. It’s tame and yet suggestive. Kinda old-fashioned by today’s anime standards. Takayama’s pretty good at that. It’s a charm of any of his works I guess.

    • Highway says:

      Even a contrived reason like that kinda works for me, especially as it helps to frame Hikari as that kind of a rebel girl. Put the working behind her parents back, trying to sneak off on a mixer, and playing up the sexual relationship reputation with Shouichi, and you get a very different character than we usually see in shows. And it works really well.

      It especially works that Shouichi is not really trying to change her. I get an authentic feeling from it: he’s a teen boy who likes the attention from a cute girl he likes, even if he doesn’t like being teased, he doesn’t really mind being teased because he’s getting that attention.

      I agree with you that the show is doing well at being sexy without being cliche “sexy”. No *poyonpoyon* or anything like that, and it’s avoiding one of the things in Amagami SS that got tedious, with Junichi always *gulp* as he tried to peek. There’s no “Oh no I wasn’t looking!” when everyone knows you were. And that gives this show a nicer feel, that you know it’s not trying to play to that kind of audience.

    • Highway says:

      Also, regarding Hikari being competitive with Shouichi’s sister, that’s also from back in the first episode, when they mentioned that Hikari lost the Miss Santa contest to Tomoe (Shouichi’s sister), and is was still trying to tease him in mild retaliation.

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