「招待状・雑賀邸」 (Shoutaijou / Saiga Yakushi)
“Written Invitation / Saiga Mansion”
With Kei needing a date for a party he was invited to, Sui heads off to Hikari’s house to hire her, thinking Kei would have fun with her. Kei later arrives and is pissed that Sui invited Hikari on his own accord, so Kei asks for the invitation back, saying this doesn’t involve Hikari in any way. Hearing this, Hikari is outraged so she says she’s already accepted it. Kei tells her to do whatever she wants then; however, if she accepts, she has to do whatever he, as the employer, says.
The next day, Hikari shows Kei a dress she “sadistically” patched together overnight, but Kei isn’t amused and says they’ll go shopping after school. It turns out that the party is for Saiga Yahiro, who Akira and Ryuu know about. Hikari, being the thickheaded girl that she is, wonders what the difference between a festival and a party is, to which Megumi simply replies that if she goes, it would be best if she doesn’t talk at all. (Megumi, when are you going to talk at all? Ayahi is listed in the credits every time!)
At a boutique store, Hikari is getting her sizes measured, but is ticklish beyond belief, making the whole process ridiculously complicated. Yahiro overhears the commotion and volunteers to measure Hikari for her. Hikari lashes out at him at this point, but is surprised to see him easily stop her kick. Surprising Hikari further, Yahiro calls her by name, saying she’s in the famous Hakusenkan S.A class and also questions if Kei’s able to manage her violent nature.
At the party, Kei is absolutely taken back by how stunning Hikari looks, which causes Hikari to wonder if she looks weird. The two then proceed into the ballroom, while Tadashi, Jun, and Ryuu under orders from Akira to watch over Hikari, infiltrate the mansion. Later on, Hikari runs into Yahiro again and is surprised to find out that this is his birthday party. Yahiro asks Hikari if she’s Kei’s girlfriend, but the thought of that is unfathomable to her, so he calls her “poor Kei’s unrequited love” instead. He also asks Hikari what she thinks of Kei, but she doesn’t respond. When Yahiro says that he feels sorry for Hikari for putting up with a “rookie” like Kei, she takes offense and kicks him over, telling him not to call her greatest rival that. Hikari says she’s lived for the sole purpose of defeating Kei, so there’s no way he’d like her. (In retrospect, I guess this kind of explains why the idea never crossed her mind.)
Unbeknownst to Hikari, Kei is watching from the sidelines, so Yahiro suggests testing how Kei will react. The idea is that if he does anything to her and Kei gets really angry, then it proves that he likes her. Going in for a forceful kiss, Yahiro is quickly knocked to the ground by a furious Kei, which absolutely shocks Hikari. While Hikari ponders what just happens, she realizes that Kei’s hand is on her waist, so she clocks him, tells him not to touch her, and runs off in embarrassment. Yahiro tells Kei that she hates him now, but Kei simply demands to know what he said to her.
Yahiro later finds Hikari in his room and tells her that he doesn’t think Kei sees a girl like her as a rival. Instead, Yahiro suggest that Hikari just go along smiling like the pretty girl that she is. Back in the ballroom, Hikari meets up with Kei again, but shortly after Yahiro announces a “reverse tag” game to capture Hikari before she reaches the roof. The winner is either the person who captures Hikari or Hikari herself if she manages to make it to the roof. Kei worries about Hikari, but she gladly accepts because of Yahiro’s earlier words. Given a 30 second head start, Hikari takes off running.
After taking out some pursuers, Hikari is pulled into a room by Kei, who as her employer for the night, demands to know what Yahiro said to her. Embarrassed, Hikari screams in response. Kei then tells her he’s prepared a car for her to leave in, but Hikari takes off determined to win this game in order to get Yahiro to recognize her as Kei’s rival. Realizing he can’t stop her, Kei decides to lend a hand instead. Hikari eventually makes it to the roof and is asked by Yahiro what she wants as a prize—jewels, a car, a villa, etc. Hikari says she wants none of that, except for him to recognize her as Kei’s rival.
Yahiro agrees to, so Kei cuts in to take his leave with Hikari, but not before Yahiro questions if Akira is doing well. As the two of them leave, Kei explains that the three of them are childhood friends, making Hikari realize there’s a lot about Kei she doesn’t know. Kei then asks if she’s interested in knowing more about him, which only leads to flustered Hikari. Kei then says that he has an interest though; he wants to know what Yahiro said to her, but she refuses to say.
「敏感・鈍感」 (Binkan / Donkan)
“Sensitive / Thickheaded”
“KITAAAA!!!” (“It’s come!!!”) is probably the best way to describe this episode, as Hikari is finally (somewhat) aware of Kei’s feelings for her. For that, credit goes to Yahiro, who not only stirred things up, but also pushed the dense Hikari along. Personally, I’m quite glad that Yahiro came around sooner rather than later, as those two weren’t getting anywhere fast with the way things were going. Yahiro’s “test” to show Hikari how Kei feels about her revealed just how protective and jealous Kei can be. In fact, with a face like this, saying Kei is simply overprotective is probably an understatement.
It was also nice to see Kei and Hikari get a bit closer several times this episode, even though Kei was simply looking out for Hikari. Being somewhat aware of his feelings now, Hikari is starting to act a lot more girlish and flustered in those situations, which is amusing to see. The scene where Hikari totally clocked Kei in the face after he put his hand on her waist was absolutely hilarious, given the sound Kei made after getting hit. Unfortunately, it wasn’t possible to capture a good screenshot of it, so it’s something you’ll just have to see for yourself. In the subsequent scene, I could actually feel Kei’s heart dropping after Hikari told him not to touch her. Poor guy. That’s his “reward” for protecting her too. Given how ticklish Hikari is, I think Kei’s going to have his hands full in the future if this reaction has shown us anything.
The childhood picture seen in the preview last time turned out to be of Kei and Yahiro as suspected, but I wasn’t aware that the girl is Akira. I guess this explains why Akira is always so “forward” with Kei and why he puts up with her yelling at him all the time about snatching Hikari away. Other than that, the comedic expressions were as abundant as ever (in a good way) and surprisingly, Kei didn’t pull the “Rank #2-san” bit at all. In lieu of that, Sui did call Hikari a stupid woman though. =)
All in all, I felt that this was definitely one of the better episodes thus far (if not the best). It was funny, progressed the Kei x Hikaru relationship, and featured Yahiro, who’s played by Taniyama Kishou (Narumi Takayuki in Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, Sawamura Seiji in Midori no Hibi, Kittan in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann). In addition, there were actually no cheesy scenes this time! (gasp)
– Hanazono Hikari (華園 光) / Gotou Yuuko (後藤 邑子)
– Takishima Kei (滝島 彗) / Fukuyama Jun (福山 潤)
– Toudou Akira (東堂 明) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
– Karino Tadashi (狩野 宙) / Shimono Hiro (下野 紘)
– Yamamoto Megumi (山本 芽) / Takagaki Ayahi (高垣 彩陽)
– Yamamoto Jun (山本 純) / Yonaga Tsubasa (代永 翼)
– Tsuji Ryuu (辻 竜) / Horie Kazuma (堀江 一眞)
– Saiga Yahiro (雑賀 八尋) / Taniyama Kishou (谷山 紀章)
– Takashima Sui (滝島 翠) / Shimizu Kaori (清水 香里)
– Hikari’s father (光の父) / Imaruoka Atsushi (伊丸岡 篤)
– Hikari’s mother (光の母) / Nabei Makiko (鍋井 まき子)
– Boutique shopkeeper (ブティック店主) / Matsuo Daisuke (松尾 大亮)