Hatsukoi Limited – 08
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and Misaki consults with Yoshihiko about what it means to guys since she’s considering giving chocolates to Yuuji. She ends up buying some expensive ones for him, but on the way home, she gets bumped into by someone and their boxes unknowingly get switched. Misaki then runs into Mamoru, and when he sees the chocolate, she jokes that he might not get any this year. Unhappy that Misaki has someone she likes, Mamoru implies that he’d be content with chocolates from only her – and in this case he calls her by her full name – but he runs off in embarrassment soon after. Mamoru’s feelings trouble Misaki, and she schedules another meeting to talk about it with Yoshihiko. Her friends notice, and since Meguru thinks that Yoshihiko might like Misaki as well, she suggests that Misaki find out by standing him up and seeing if he waits forever for her. When Misaki does this, she discovers that Yoshihiko does indeed wait all evening for her, and that just makes her more conflicted about what to do.
Over at the junior high school, Ayumi is depressed because she had overheard the earlier encounter between Mamoru and Misaki. She talks to Koyoi about it, and the two girls realize that both Koyoi’s brother and Mamoru like Misaki. Koyoi also reveals that Misaki likes Ayumi’s brother, and the two devise a plan to get Misaki and Yuuji together so that Yoshihiko and Mamoru would give up on her. They thus track down Misaki to make sure that she gives chocolates to Yuuji, but Misaki has already decided not to because she can’t see the reason why she likes him and because she isn’t sure if she should confess right now. Ayumi, however, tells her that just liking someone is enough and that it’s love if your heart beats faster because of the person. This convinces Misaki to go through with it, and that night she calls Yuuji to set up a meeting the next day, Valentine’s Day.
When the time comes, Ayumi directs Mamoru to go to the spot where the confession will take place, and Koyoi drags her brother there as well. At around that same time, back at the junior high school, Kei tries to give some chocolates to Kusuda, but she realizes that she’s got the wrong box. It was Kei who had bumped into Misaki previously, and she tries to correct things before it’s too late. Ayumi overhears her on the phone talking about Misaki, and in hearing about the situation, Ayumi gets the impression that the mixed up chocolates are dangerous. Using Misao as a mode of speedy transportation by giving him a chocolate and promising him more, Ayumi is able to get to the spot of the confession right as Misaki is about to give Yuuji the box of chocolates. Ayumi kicks it away, but as everyone finds out afterward, the chocolate that Kei was going to give Kusuda was not a bomb – it merely had a kappa figure inside of it. All this causes Misaki to laugh, and she feels relieved now that the chocolates are gone. She decides to apologize to Yoshihiko and Mamoru who had been watching, and she opts to start as friends with Yuuji.
Well that was not quite what I expected, but I think everything still turned out pretty well. There could be a lot of reasons they decided to modify the meaning of the chocolate bomber and take out the actual bomber character, with one of the possibilities being that it allowed everything to fit into one episode. They could have also wanted to emphasize the metaphor of chocolates as bombs, which I thought they did quite well, and replacing the bomber with Kei gave some more development to the KeiXKusuda relationship too. The downside is that there’s a little less action and no explosion, but given the heavy emphasis on romance, maybe this is all for the better.
What bothered me a little was that there was a panty shot in one of the more serious moments of the episode when Misaki was apologizing to Yoshihiko and Mamoru. It was distracting in what was otherwise a very nice scene (once again the music was strong). You can’t blame the production team too much since the same shot was in the manga, but I’ll say that it was less noticeable in black and white. The other thing that came up this episode that bothered me was the fact that Mamoru and Yoshihiko look the same. Kawashita Mizuki drew them both a bit too similarly to a prototypical male lead, and I always manage to get them confused, including in this animated version. Certainly having different voice actors helps a little, but even that blended together at one point in my head.
Anyway, next week’s episode is Chikura Nao’s story, and I’m not really looking forward to it because it was probably the least interesting one from the manga. Still, maybe they’ll be able to pleasantly surprise me.