Hatsukoi Limited – 10
Kei and Kusuda are back to arguing, and this attracts the attention of a large-chested girl who hears Kei call Kusuda a kappa. This girl wants Kusuda to play the role of a kappa in a performance by the drama club, and she introduces herself as club head Fudounomiya Sumire. Kei of course is against this, but she still doesn’t come clean about her own feelings for Kusuda. She and her friends later run into Misaki, Meguru, and Kei’s sister Yuu, and the younger girls notice how big Meguru’s chest is. Their conversation is interrupted by the sudden arrival of a girl named Kyuuma Nanoka who challenges Meguru to a race in the pool. Meguru, however, refuses and runs off. Nanoka persists though and finally convinces Meguru to race her by appealing to Takei. Unfortunately, Meguru loses. Sumire meanwhile returns to get Kusuda into her performance, and when Kei interferes, Sumire questions her relationship with him. Kei is unable to say in front of Kusuda, and she ends up running off. When Meguru and Kei happen to see each other later that afternoon, Kei notes that it’s a waste for someone like Meguru to hide her chest.
The next day, Kei notices that Sumire is trying to lure Kusuda in with a trail of cucumbers, and she reveals that she knows what would really get him: perverted magazines. Sumire thus tries to use magazines, and it works, but Kei interferes again. What gets Kei frustrated is how Kusuda has been considering just taking the role. After school, she runs into Meguru on the street again and notices that Meguru is showing her cleavage now, and this inspires Kei to return to school. Continuing on her way, Meguru is then stopped by Nanoka and the rest of the swim club who want her to come back. Meguru distracts Nanoka for a little while by taking her out clothes shopping, but Nanoka makes it clear that Meguru’s place is in the pool. Having been silent this entire time, Takei finally speaks up and drags Meguru to the pool. He makes her swim and questions why she quit swimming until she finally admits that she doesn’t like how she looks in a swimsuit because of her big chest. Takei, however, tells her not to worry about something like that and that he loves her size, so she should keep swimming. Much to the delight of the rest of the club, Meguru agrees to do so.
Over at the junior high school, Kei finds out from Kusuda that he turned down the kappa role, and this makes her quite happy. The next day, Kusuda is given a love letter by a guy who wants him to pass it on to Kei, but when he tries to give it to her, Kei’s friends squeal about her relationship with him, and that causes Kei to deny it. When Kusuda makes it clear that he’s only passing along a love letter from someone else, Kei can’t help but compare Kusuda in a negative light, and this starts another argument. Troubled, Kusuda ends up confiding in Sumire about what’s going on, and she thinks that Kei is romantically interested in him. Kei then finds the two of them together and starts harping on Kusuda for being with Sumire. Getting tired of her nagging, Kusuda wants her to leave him alone, and in the heat of things, he blurts out that he hates people like her the most. Kei is so shocked by this that she can only apologize.
After a Chikura Nao episode that turned out to be better than expected, I really didn’t like this week’s. It felt disjointed because there was way too much jumping around between Kei and Meguru’s troubles, and the way they tried to tie the two stories together was pretty weak. I’m also getting rather tired of the see-sawing back and forth in Kei and Kusuda’s relationship – this would all be solved if Kei or Kusuda (mainly Kei) were a bit more honest about their feelings. It doesn’t help either that the writers and director decided to insert the beginning of the final story arc into the end of this episode, so instead of finishing on a relatively good note, they end on a cliffhanger that swings back to Kei and Kusuda at odds with each other yet again.
At least Meguru’s side of the story wasn’t too bad – I even laughed when Takei declared that he liked big boobs – though I thought that playing the ED in the middle of the episode for such a short race again Nanoka was rather unnecessary. It was also nice hearing Kawasumi Ayako voicing a character like Sumire. Anyway, I hope the last two episodes will turn out better than this one, though knowing how the manga ends, I probably shouldn’t get my hopes up too high.