Saori invites Tsuyoshi to a triple date with her friends. Tsuyoshi tries to find co-workers to go, but ends up taking his otaku friends. The date is a disaster for Saori’s friends, but goes decently for Tsuyoshi and Saori. On the train back home, Saori pulls Tsuyoshi off the train at her stop, and he walks her home. She later messages him telling him that she feels like she’s being stalked. Tsuyoshi decides that he will protect her, and escorts her to work and home. One night, while Saori is trying to convince her brother to come home, Tsuyoshi is running around investigating various spots she could be spied from. He discovers the apartment of the stalker, and calls up Saori to warn her, only to have her brother pick up. Tsuyoshi rushes to her workplace and finds the power turned off. Rushing up the stairs, he runs into the stalker himself. They end up talking and realizing that they’re not so different. The stalker even hands Tsuyoshi a photo of Saori and him smiling together. In the end, Saori discovers them, and Tsuyoshi and Saori take the train back home. However, this time Tsuyoshi takes the initiative and steps off the train at her stop.
This is a fun episode, if not a bit silly at times. They build up the entire stalker story, only to have the stalker turn out to be a wimp. He isn’t very scary and he even shares a tearful moment or two with Tsuyoshi. Still, the whole protect Saori mindset allows Tsuyoshi to further develop his relationship with her.
There are a ton of funny moments in this episode, from the Keroro Gunso dolls to Saori’s friends to the message board people’s suggestions for dealing with a stalker. I think they could have made the triple date part a bit longer, and gotten some more humor out of that, but it is fine as it is.
I originally thought Saori was going to find out about Tsuyoshi’s inner otaku this episode since she got to meet his friends, but I guessed wrong. Instead, that’ll happen next episode by the looks of the preview. It shows her running into Tsuyoshi in full geekiness (surrounded by tons of anime and game stuff) . It also looks like Tsuyoshi might try to confess.
On a side note, I’ve been noticing a lot of SHUFFLE! stuff making its way onto this show. If you look at screenshot 34 above (which has Tsuyoshi in a tree), you’ll notice that Toyonaga Toshiyuki’s character is hugging a Nerine pillow (Toyonaga Toshiyuki incidentally voices Ayumu on Zettai Shounen). And if you look at this shot from the preview, you can see all the SHUFFLE! stuff on the ground. Just found that interesting since SHUFFLE! is currently airing only two and a half hours after Densha Otoko, though on a different station.