Hikari, it’s not your arc anymore. You blew it already, so let someone else have a turn
|Time for a new girl!|
Kyouko Touno, Come On Down!
Shouichi’s walking on magic
So the general trend of the show has been up, from a disappointing end to Hikari’s arc to a more palatable one for Tooru’s arc. And now we get to the third arc, this one for Kyouko Touno. The big difference for the start of Shouichi and Kyouko is that they are childhood friends, with Kyouko having spent time around him as they were growing up. On top of that, Kyouko seems to be a lot more of a stereotypical harem / romance character, and she’s starting this arc with a fairly obvious romantic interest in Shouichi, which is a big change from the other two girls. It’s also a change from the show that Seiren gets compared to, Amagami SS, where there were a couple of longtime friends, but none that were obviously into Junichi before the series.
Just standin’ around, talking about his sister’s panties
Another change in this arc of the series is that it happens later in the school year than the first two arcs. But for whatever reason, Shouichi didn’t go down the path of getting to know the other girls, even though in the case of Tooru, she actually does game with Shouichi and Ikuo and Araki. He didn’t go to the summer school camp tho, a fact revealed when Hikari talks up the “exclusive resort” that she went to, rather than the mixer as planned. Hikari is still noticing Shouichi, but mostly to give him a hard time about liking shoujo manga. But that’s kind of the hook for Kyouko’s interest in Shouichi, that she’s been able to talk with him about shoujo and magical girl manga.
Hey Shouichi, what do you think this look means?
Trying to Grow Up Herself
Kyouko asserts herself with a smile
Not that Kyouko’s shown as really pining for Shouichi here. It’s just that she likes to hang around with him, and likes to talk to him about panties. Tomoe’s panties, other girl’s panties, maybe even the panties that Shouichi was wearing in the cold open when he was dressed as a magical girl. Maybe that’s because, as she says, he “doesn’t really give off ‘guy’ vibes.” That doesn’t mean he can’t eat an unrealistic amount of pancakes, cause wow, I eat a lot and I can only go for about 4 pancakes. Anyway, there’s definitely a rapport between Kyouko and Shouichi, where she likes hanging around with him, and she’s able to speak pretty freely with him, including giving him a hard time about getting a girlfriend. She even encourages him in ways to get closer to Hikari. But I really think that look she gives him when he tries to turn the tables on discussing who he’s interested in to her is telling, and Shouichi seems to realize that it’s not just a normal look. Tomoe is also trying to get him to realize that he likes being with Kyouko too, teasing him about the captain of the “wangel” club (short for wandervogel, a german word for mountain trekking) asking Kyouko out.
The other notable thing in this episode, as far as fun to talk about, was the reappearance of the two eternal characters of this ficton, this time named Koharu Uno (this time not played by Izumi Satou) and Nao Tokioka (once again played by Hitomi Harada, she of the OP songs for terrible shows like Blade Dance, Arcana Famiglia, and Machine Doll). Uno and Nao are the enigmatic characters as usual, but this time they’re in the same year as Shouichi. That means they’re still the senpais to Kyouko, who joins their Home Ec club after an introduction, even though Shouichi thinks they’re sketchy for buying clothes to make money through arbitrage and value adding. But as usual with these two characters, they end up with the right results from the right intentions, even if they ramp up the personal fun and mystery a bit. And it gives Kyouko a chance to be more grown up, as she takes charge of herself in dealing with the club, telling Shouichi to wait outside, and then shows him another side of her in a yukata. Kyouko eventually decides to join, even though that will be time that she’s not with Shouichi.
Kyouko starts her own transformation
A nice moon viewing
If they can work the Home Ec club in, much like the Tea Club for Rihoko, that might work pretty well. But we’ll see how the friction between Uno and Nao and Shouichi for being a boy works out. I liked the dynamic between Kyouko and Shouichi, as it treated her pretty well. In this kind of setup, there’s a worry about the girl just being a doormat, but Kyouko doesn’t seem to act that way at all, and is trying to grow up and impress Shouichi but not just doing things for him. We’ll see how the relationship works out, since Shouichi has noticed that Kyouko is pretty.