Maybe the beauty shot of the entire arc
|So are Hikari and Shouichi on the rails to romance? Welllll, not exactly…|
“I’m not touching youuuuuuuu”
It’s a week into the summer course, and Hikari and Mako get moved into Shouichi’s class, out of the special remedial class. But that doesn’t really make the other students happy, who now think they have to watch Mr Last Place and Jerseys Girl flirt during class. But far from being ashamed at the whispering, Hikari takes the opportunity to tease the rest of the people more. Her circumstances really don’t engender the most respectful attitude for the whole endeavor, since she’d much rather be on that mixer beach tour than at a lockaway summer school. Plus, the attitude in the class is pretty crummy, as Shouichi confirms talking to Hikari later.
This is how cats really look when you don’t do what they want
But the issue of motivation is a major gulf between them, in that Shouichi won’t admit why he decided to come to this summer school. He kind of demurs, not wanting to admit that it was because Hikari, Youko, and Yukie had teased him about his future. But clamming up about it kinda puts the brakes on the rapport they had been developing, and I don’t know that it would have been too bad an idea for him to give her credit for his interest in improving himself. The real rub is in how he would present it, and maybe that wouldn’t have gone too well, as we see later in the episode.
Closer or Just Convenient?
Maybe he’ll learn to not try to tease her
The subdued sexiness of the show
But even with them not talking as much in class, Hikari is still gravitating towards Shouichi as the person she knows second-most (after Mako). So it’s not a huge surprise when she comes to visit him late in the evening, mostly because she’s bored and wants someone to entertain her. He needs to learn to not challenge Hikari, because she’ll always outdo him, whether it’s accepting his challenges and proving him wrong, or by making it too difficult for him to keep up. She even taunts him with a yobai visit to Mako’s room. But we’ve known that’s one of the things that Hikari likes best about Shouichi: his embarrassed face. So it’s no surprise that she nearly dares him to come see her new bikini. She wants someone to see it, and even if he’s not the absolute #1 candidate for that, he’s Mr. Right Now, the guy that she can interact and have fun with.
Hey, do you want to see it?
Maybe I wanna see yours too!
Once again, the show does a really good job making some sexy scenes without feeling the need to call the viewers attention to them with cheesy sound effects. And Shouichi’s focus on things like Hikari’s belly button and the soles of her feet are interesting counterpoints to the usual male gaze points, not that the show is avoiding those either. And it does a good job with the mild sexual tension of the two of them being alone together in the bath, as well as showing us the consequences of Shouichi thinking about Hikari wetting herself. Standing at attention is not something we usually see in non-hentai anime, but I think this show used the point well both to convey how Shouichi was thinking about Hikari and also to let him scare the teacher away.
“No, I don’t swing that waaaaaay!”
Kinda Blowing It
“Hey, did anything happen at the mixer tour?” “Nah, not really”
But they have one more conversation, and that’s where things go a little wrong, as I think Shouichi got a little too comfortable talking to Hikari as a friend. It’s really never good to accuse someone of lying all the time, especially if you want to stay close to them, even if you couch it as a friendly question. It puts Hikari on the defensive about how she’s talked to him before, and when he pushes it about her workplace, the conversation turns cold, because it’s her working behind her parents back that got her in trouble. And he’s the first person to have admitted knowing about it that she didn’t tell. That instantly seems to change her thoughts toward him, as perhaps he’s the one who turned her into the disciplinary committee, which called her parents, leading to her present situation. And I think she might be thinking that Shouichi could have done that, along with mentioning the idea of a summer school, so that he’d get to make some time with her. Even if she says she doesn’t suspect him, I think that she does, as that is pretty much the end of the time they spend together at the camp.
But I think we get a hint at the real culprit later in the show, as everyone heads back to school. Even though Yukie says nohing special happened at the mixer beach trip, she’s now walking to school on Araki-senpai’s arm, with Hikari and Youko staring daggers at her back, and casting a few in Shouichi’s direction. Somehow Shouichi takes this as Hikari definitely suspecting him, but this is one where I think Occam’s Razor is going to prevail. I think anyone can see that the most likely person to have ratted Hikari out is Yukie, as she’s the one who benefitted. Plus, the idea that Shouichi would have been some mastermind of the whole thing is somewhat laughable.
This ED is a Little Suggestive…
When I first watched this episode, I didn’t see anyway we’d get from the end of this episode to anything resembling a couple between Hikari and Shouichi by the end of the next episode. It felt like the gulf between them with her suspecting him was just too wide to cross in just one episode. But after rewatching it, it felt like that wasn’t nearly as much, and that Hikari was more mad at Yukie for being a dorobouneko. And that her look over at Shouichi wasn’t nearly as accusatory as it was embarrassed. We’ll have to see next week, but I think that the show is doing really well making an authentic feeling story, without “perfect” characters. That makes it a bit more fun, plus there’s actually some possibility that they won’t be a couple. There’s a feeling of inevitability because it’s a TV show, but that’s tempered by the way it’s being presented. I’m really enjoying this, but part of me also hopes that they can change up the story type a bit for the other girls.