「もう，ダメです…」 (Mou, Dame Desu…)
“No Good Anymore…”
Awake in the middle of the night, Ayase Yuuto gets a mail from his friend Asakura Nobunaga, telling him that the anime “Dojikko Aki-chan” is on right now. Despite having no interest in it, Yuuto leaves the television on, since his older sister Ruko, and teacher, Kamishiro Yukari, are drinking downstairs and making a ruckus anyway. Elsewhere at the school idol’s house, Nogizaka Haruka is glued to the television watching the same anime.
The next morning, Yuuto prepares breakfast for everyone, but Ruko and Yukari are still hung over and give him a hard time. On his way to school, Yuuto runs into his friends Nagai, Ogawa, and Takenami, who think he’s finally awaken to the world of women (e.g. is not gay), but he explains that he’s still interested in them, but has just given up on them. Ignoring him, the others are captivated by the music of Haruka’s piano, who is also known as Nuit Étoile (“The Silver Star of the Night”) at school. After hearing how Haruka is a “super woman” blessed with both beauty and intelligence, Yuuto’s interest peeks slightly. In class, Nobunaga goes all otaku on Yuuto talking about the anime last night and eventually an anime magazine called “Innocent Smile” that he found in the school library. Overhearing him talk about some premium first edition coming out, Haruka reacts spontaneously by suddenly getting up, which draws the attention of everyone in class.
After school, a public announcement asking Nobunaga to return the magazine he signed out prompts him to leave it up to Yuuto, as he has more geeky things to do. After returning the magazine and getting scolded in his place, Yuuto runs into Haruka in the library, who’s tries to hide her face, but ends up running into a bookshelf in the process. Wondering what she’s up to, Yuuto sticks around and Haruka runs into him while leaving. Shocked to see someone else here, Haruka frantically questions him if he saw what she took out, and after hearing that he hasn’t, tries to excuse herself, but backs into a bookshelf causing Yuuto to see both her underwear and her anime magazine. In tears because her secret’s been exposed, Haruka runs off thinking that it’s all over. Back at home, Yuuto figures that she’s an Akibakei (Akihabara nerd) after all and worries about her a bit.
Early the next morning, Yuuto runs into Haruka at the school gate and returns her bag and magazine; however, once at school, she constantly avoids him out of embarassment. This continues the next day as well, so Yuuto tries to talk to her properly. After somehow getting through her fanatic Imperial Guard, he manages to find her on the rooftop. Haruka tells him to stay away though, saying she knows it’s weird for a high school student to have such a hobby, but Yuuto tells her that he won’t tell anyone about it. He further explains that he doesn’t care if she’s a Akibakei or not, but since she’s so distressed about it, he’ll keep it a secret. While she’s still worried that he’ll look at her stangely, Yuuto reassures her by saying hobbies are just one thing, and he’s happy knowing she has that side to her, causing her to become really relieved.
Later that night, Haruka calls Yuuto asking for his help since she forgot to return the Innocent Smile magazine she signed out. With tomorrow being the due date, she fears what will happen to her if a public announcement at the school was made for her to return an anime magazine, so she gets Yuuto to come to school with her to return the magazine. In the dark school hallways, Haruka clings tightly to Yuuto’s arm, and tells him not to tell her scary stories, but ends up doing so herself. Hearing this, he calls her a strange princess, but she thinks he’s the strange one for not minding her hobby and talking to her normally. When they finally get to the library room, they’re able to stamp the sign out card and return the book, but not before they get freaked out by a monster cat ringtone. As they leave the school, Haruka says it was scary but fun, and thanks Yuuto for helping her and insists that he just call her “Haruka” from now on.
「初めてなんです…」 (Hajimete Nan Desu…)
“My First Time…”
While I did find the first episode pretty amusing at times, everything happened a bit too quick for my liking, with Yuuto discovering that the school idol, Nogizaka Haruka, is a closet otaku, and then the two of them getting acquainted enough to start calling one another by their first names. The discovery itself was probably the funniest scene though, with Haruka not knowing what to do while Yuuto confirmed several times that the “Innocent Smile” anime magazine was hers. The level of fan-service was higher than I expected, but most of it this time around stemmed from Yuuto’s older sister, Ruko, and his teacher, Yukari. The seiyuu yuri queen Nabatame Hitomi plays Ruko, whose drunken behavior is like Margery Daw from Shakugan no Shana, except several times worse. As for Yukari, the normally quiet Matsuki Miyu plays the part, whose name happened to be mentioned in the episode itself by Yuuto’s otaku friend, Asakura Nobunaga. Undoubtedly, there will be more fan-service from the others down the stretch, especially if the opening sequence is any indication of things to come. As for our starring seiyuus, Noto Mamiko gets away from playing young boys this time, and gets to play a school idol/otaku for a change, while Hatano Wataru gets the role of our male lead. While Mamiko is a no brainer in terms of talent and experience, I can’t say I’ve seen many shows with Wataru in it. Fortunately though, he plays the role well, at least to the point where I didn’t have any qualms with it.
Overall, I found the first episode all right, but quite different from what I imagined. First off, I didn’t expect this level of fan-service (as I already mentioned above), and secondly, I thought Yuuto would be teasing Haruka a bit about her secret hobby rather than being so supportive of her. In short, I was expecting more of a sarcastic male lead like Okazaki Tomoya from CLANNAD or Aizawa Yuuichi from Kanon (remake). Also, the two of them have already gotten along so well by the end of this episode that it makes me wonder how funny things will be from now on with the two main characters simply hiding the secret from everyone else. I guess I’ll have to watch some more to find out.
– Nogizaka Haruka (乃木坂 春香) / Noto Mamiko (能登 麻美子)
– Ayase Yuuto (綾瀬 裕人) / Hatano Wataru (羽多野 渉)
– Ayase Ruko (綾瀬 ルコ) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
– Kamishiro Yukari (上代 由香里) / Matsuki Miyu (松来 未祐)
– Asakura Nobunaga (朝倉 信長) / Takagi Reiko (高木 礼子)
– Nagai (永井) / Miyashita Eiji (宮下 栄治)
– Ogawa (小川) / Oosuka Jun (大須 賀純)
– Takenami (竹浪) / Yasumoto Hiroki (安元 洋貴)
– Librarian (Old person) (司書(老人)) / Mamiya Yasuhiro (間宮 康弘)
– Female student (女生徒) / Iguchi Yuka (井口 裕香)
– Girl A (女子A) / Fujiwara Ikumi (藤原 郁美)
– Girl B (女子B) / Yamashita Yurie (山下 百合恵)