Hatsukoi Limited – 05
Watase Meguru is a high school girl who tries to hide the fact that she’s got a big chest, and this becomes a problem when she gets asked to join the swimming team by Takei Gengorou, a guy who runs around school in his swimsuit. It turns out that Meguru used to be a great swimmer, but she quit because she didn’t like the looks she got because of her chest. Meguru tries to run away from Takei, but he follows her everywhere. This includes all the way into a restaurant, forcing her to hide under a table being used by her friend Misaki and Misaki’s neighbor Misao. Misaki and Misao had been in the middle of talking about how their respective crushes are siblings, and they manage to hide Meguru long enough for Takei to get dragged out by an employee. Meguru eventually reveals to her friends that she doesn’t mind Takei following her around because he was actually her first love, starting from how they used to attend the same swimming school when they were young.
Takei gets more desperate to get Meguru to join the swimming club when he learns that it will be closed if it doesn’t get one more new member. He even gets on his hands and knees to beg her, but she still isn’t willing. That leaves him no choice but to try to recruit someone from the rest of the student body. After watching the swimming club try to find a new member but fail, Meguru reflects on how Takei was someone who never paid attention to her chest. On the last day that Takei had to recruit someone, Meguru finds him lying on the ground outside, so she asks him why he’s so obsessed about the club since there are other places he can swim at. Takei’s answer is that he likes their swimsuits and wanted to wear them at a swim meet – losing the chance to do so makes him sad. Given all this, Meguru decides to take Takei up on an earlier offer to race him: if he loses, then he’ll have to do whatever she wants.
Meguru ends up winning the match, and for her request, she asks for a swimsuit for a swim meet, thereby signifying that she’s ready to join the club. She does so, however, as the manager, and she wonders at the end when Takei will see her as a woman.
This was another fun episode, though compared to last week, it was more fanservice heavy and there were less laughs. I had suspected that they’d try to combine the first two Meguru chapters (all four of them would have been too much), and that is indeed what happened. It was a little weird, however, to see Meguru still want to do the race after all the reflection she does about Takei. Why bother going through all that if at the end you’re still going to use your request to join the club? I don’t see why she couldn’t have just gotten him to go on a date with her or something with that request and then joined the club anyway. Speaking of which, I thought that they didn’t need to start the ED early for this episode either – it’s just not a very good song for a climax (though I will admit that it has grown on me a lot since the first episode).
I also mentioned last week that I had hoped that they’d find a good voice actor for Takei, and so I was happy to hear that they went with Nakai Kazuya. His voice is almost a perfect fit for an over-the-top character like Takei, and he really gets to show off that flair this season by voicing Date Masamune in Sengoku BASARA. On a different note, I was rather amused by the Sogabe and Kusuda scene this episode, and I imagine that it’s set up for a Chikura Nao episode somewhere down the line. The writers still have a lot of options for what they can cover in the next seven episodes (including going back for Dobashi Rika), and next week looks to be the Christmas tale between Kusuda and Kei.