Suzuka – 13
Yamato and the track team are headed to an Inter-High event in Hiroshima. As he continues to feel distanced from Suzuka, Honoka continues to feel distanced from him. Feeling rather down, he decides to focus his energies on training. And so it is at the field where Honoka finds him that night. She’s noticed that he’s not been feeling well and tries to help him. After cheering him up, she turns around to see Suzuka at the top of the stairs. Yamato also starts to turn around, but, not wanting him to see Suzuka, Honoka leans forward and kisses him. For the next day, that kiss remains on his mind. Then, watching Suzuka mobbed by reporters on the field after winning third place, Yamato finally takes Honoka’s hand on his own volition. After dinner that night, he is thinking about his situation with both Suzuka and Honoka when the latter shows up. A fish in the nearby pond splashes water onto Honoka, causing her to jump into Yamato’s arms. She tilts her head up for another kiss, but Yamato looks away, unsure of what to do. Seeing Honoka start to cry and starting to understand her feelings, Yamato leans down towards a surprised Honoka. Miki walks by looking for him, and astonished to see him kissing Honoka.
The bad news is that the animation is sub-par again this episode. Actually at this rate, the poor animation will become par. Anyway, the good news is that I rather enjoy the second half of this episode, basically everything from the first kiss on. These are pretty big parts of the story and the three key scenes (both kisses, plus the track scene where Yamato takes Honoka’s hand) are relatively well done. Honoka is still my favorite character, so its good to see the episode devoted to her. But (unfortunately), this series is titled Suzuka, so the story will start drifting back to her.
Looking ahead, the next episode I’m looking forward to is probably going to be the one that covers chapter 43, the turning point in Honoka and Yamato’s relationship. Probably two or three more weeks for that.