Suzuka – 17
On a rainy day, Yamato is without an umbrella wanting to go home. Suzuka lends him hers, which causes Miki to ask if Suzuka likes Yamato. Suzuka denies it, so Miki lets it go. The next day, Yamato and Honoka meet up with one of Honoka’s friends, the famous Shirakawa Nana. Yamato is a bit awestruck, and the attention Nana attracts makes them decide to go to karaoke. Suzuka and Miki happen to be at the same place. Suzuka catches Nana and Yamato together, and assumes that he’s cheating on Honoka. After everything is cleared up, all five have some fun together, but Nana notices Honoka being uncomfortable with the prospect of Suzuka and Yamato singing a song together. Yamato notices too, and backs out of it. After everyone goes home, Nana asks Yamato about his relationship with Honoka, noting the incident during karaoke, and asking if he even knows her birthday. He doesn’t, and so she drills the date into his head: September 16th.
The episode didn’t look too bad from the previews and from about the first half of it, but then the quality really drops. Parts of the karaoke scene simply made me grimace. And the odd thing is, they boosted the animation again whenever they show Yamato’s face (with the shadowing) during the final scene and lowered it again elsewhere. For me, this was the big downside of today’s episode.
I’m a fan of Nana’s character, so this episode is pretty enjoyable for me. Nana is really a good friend to Honoka and knocks some sense into Yamato about their relationship. Of course, it’s Suzuka who’s the wedge in the relationship between Honoka and Yamato. She’s sending some pretty heavy signals that she has feelings for him, but he knows that Honoka is his girlfriend. The next set of episodes should be pretty good for developing the Suzuka/Yamato/Honoka triangle. As long as the animation team doesn’t completely butcher it that is…