Kashimashi – 04
During school one day, Tomari spots Yasuna taking a bite of a strawberry and then feeding the rest to Hazumu – an indirect kiss. But the big news in class for the day is the new biology teacher: Sora Hitoshi, aka. the alien living in Hazumu’s closet. After class, while he’s explaining to Hazumu that he’s here to observe the school environment, Yasuna is being asked out by a guy. She ends up using Hazumu as an excuse to go to the library instead. During track practice, Tomari notices Yasuna standing alone outside the building and learns that Yasuna is waiting for Hazumu. Tomari tells Yasuna about how happy Hazumu was to become friends with her. After Hazumu walks off with Yasuna, Tomari only has track practice to occupy her mind.
Hazumu and Yasuna try on and buy matching green dresses, and then happen to see a pair of lovers who are wearing the same shirt. The two get embarrassed after Yasuna wonders aloud about looking like lovers. Yasuna spots one of her friends come out of karaoke, and so the two girls decide to go in. Meanwhile, Tomari remembers the indirect kiss again and starts to practice harder in order to forget it. Inside their own room at the karaoke place, Hazumu recalls the times she came here as a boy with Tomari and the rest of her friends. She ends up fumbling the microphone and tripping on it, right onto Yasuna. Yasuna mentions that the first time Hazumu stumbled on her, he was still a boy. This time, she reaches for Hazumu’s cheek, but Hazumu pulls away. At home, Hazumu is in a daze thinking about what happened. Sora tells her that it’s love.
When Tomari comes by Hazumu’s house to return a CD, Hazumu asks Tomari to go shopping with her next time and even offers to introduce Tomari to Yasuna. Tomari is unhappy to learn that Hazumu went out shopping with Yasuna and that she had a good time. After leaving Hazumu’s house, Tomari ends up reading shoujo manga in a store when Ayuki finds her. Upon seeing Tomari’s state, Ayuki tells her that she only has two choices: to get on the stage or to get off. At school the next day, Tomari watches as Hazumu goes off with Yasuna again. Thinking about Ayuki’s words, Tomari breaks the umbrella she’s trying to fix. On the rooftop, Yasuna recounts how Hazumu always took care of the flowers. From the music room, Yasuna always had a view of them growing on the roof. To her, Hazumu had the power to make the world beautiful. But Yasuna also has something else very important for Hazumu to hear: a confession. Hazumu is caught off guard, but before she can respond, the wind blows away Yasuna’s umbrella, so Yasuna takes refuge under Hazumu’s. Yasuna closes her eyes and leans in for a kiss, but it is Tomari’s yell that stops them and sends Yasuna running off. Tomari herself runs into the rain trying to figure out what she just did. Yasuna finds Tomari and apologizes, but then reaffirms that she likes Hazumu. As she starts crying in the rain, Tomari accuses Yasuna of having hurt Hazumu before (when Hazumu confessed as a guy).
As a manga purist, I would have to say that it’s almost a travesty that they changed the scene where Yasuna confesses to Hazumu. In the manga, Hazumu panics and uses an opportunity provided by Asuta to get away. Here, Tomari is the one getting in the way by stopping them. But as a lover of romance series, I kind of prefer it this way. It’s bringing the girls to face off against each other all that much earlier. Hazumu spends most of the episode with Yasuna and has several close calls with her. Tomari is stuck alone, and Ayuki’s words about stepping up onto the stage finally got to her. As I’ve said before, the animated version is taking a much different path that is leading to a lot more early friction between Yasuna and Tomari.
If I had to choose, I’d want Yasuna’s to “win” Hazumu at this point, even with her semi-creepy tendencies. Tomari needs to figure out her feelings for Hazumu quickly, or else Yasuna’s gonna steal her away. Next episode looks to be mostly about Yasuna and is probably going to end with *that* scene again (the same one that ends volume one of the manga).