「…大好きなんです！」 (…Daisuki Nan Desu!)
“…I Love You!”
Episode at a Glance:
Having discovered Haruka’s attendance at the comike and all the anime, manga, and games in her room, her father, Gentou, is repulsed by his daughter’s interest in such a vulgar and foolish hobby and dispatches his personal Hell Hound army to find her. In tears, Haruka explains to Yuuto how her father discovered her hobby and confiscated all her stuff from the comike, after which Hazuki arrives and asks to stay with her since she doesn’t want to return home. Overhearing all this, Ruko suggests letting them stay here since they have spare rooms with their parents overseas, but Yuuto is flustered by the idea, making Haruka feel like a bother. However, after clearing things up, they hold a party to commemorate the night, where Yuuto gets his husband-suited cooking skills noticed by Hazuki, but then teased by her and the others thanks to the effects of alcohol. Before calling it a night, Yuuto learns from Mika that he has about a day before they’re discovered by the Hell Hounds, but then gets teased again by Haruka’s sister’s superficial knowledge of sex. With everyone passed out, Hazuki asks Yuuto to bring Haruka to her room, while she patrols the neighbourhood despite being drunk. Lying in bed, Yuuto finds himself unable to control his imagination, when Haruka comes by and asks to sleep in his room because she’s scared of the dark. Seeing how frightened and insistent she is, he allows her to do so and finds out that she brought along the first edition of Innocent Smile, a treasure that she cherishes, which vaguely reminds Yuuto about what happened when he was kid. Unable to sleep, Haruka asks Yuuto to hold hands, which makes him realize how anxious she is plus puts him in an awkward sleeping position, but she falls asleep shortly after.
The next morning, Yuuto wakes up to find Haruka cooking breakfast for him, while Hazuki notices that they’ve been discovered and rushes back to the house. With the premises surrounded, Gentou breaks his way through the front door and demands for Haruka’s return, but Ruko engages him head on with her own katana. However, the Hell Hounds quickly take her down and with Hazuki preoccupied herself, Gentou throws Yuuto aside and tries to convince Haruka that her hobby is just a one-time infatuation. With Haruka cowering over Yuuto, Gentou tells her to stop being childish, but she refuses to go home since she feels she hasn’t done anything wrong and declares that she likes those things. Hearing this, Gentou blames Yuuto for influencing Haruka, but Yuuto stands up to him, questioning what’s so bad about Haruka’s hobby and if he even knows why she likes them, but most of all, why only Akibakei get this kind of treatment. Moved by his words, Ruko and Hazuki break loose and return to Haruka’s side and all hell looks like it’s going to break loose, but Mika and Nanami arrive with Akiho, Haruka’s mother, who persuades Gentou to stand down and acknowledge Haruka’s hobby since it’s the first thing she’s chosen for herself. Relieved by this outcome (which is like winning a lawsuit), Haruka turns to Yuuto and hugs him, drawing a lot of attention, so Gentou proclaims that he doesn’t recall approving of a relationship.
Before heading back to the mansion first with Akiho, Gentou apologizes for the disturbance and commends Yuuto for being the first person to stand up to him with his own opinion. The others then decide to head back inside for breakfast (plus wake up Yukari who slept through all this) and Haruka takes Yuuto’s hand with a smile on her face.
Now this is the kind of episode I was hoping from this series. In addition to all the “love-love” romance, there definitely needs to be an over-the-top character to get in the way of it, so what better person than Haruka’s father along with his personal army-like Hell Hounds. Her father, Gentou, is played by Tachiki Fumihiko, who I feel is perfect for the role, since he also plays the somewhat psychotic 11th Squad captain, Zaraki Kenpachi, in Bleach. My only slight disappointment with this episode was that the problem was wrapped up for the most part already, thanks to Haruka’s mother, Akiho, who’s played by Hisakawa Aya (Skuld in Ah! My Goddess). While I would’ve liked to see more of Gentou making things difficult for Yuuto and Haruka, I believe this series is only slated for one season, so it doesn’t leave a lot of time to drag even the good portions out. However, while Gentou has acknowledged Haruka’s hobby and even Yuuto’s guts for standing up to him, he still doesn’t acknowledge a relationship between the two of them, so hopefully this will lead to more humorous things down the road. Of course, this wouldn’t work well unless we have the dominant wife to keep him in check, so it’s good to know that Akiho has that effect on him.
Aside from Yuuto’s rampant male hormone-driven imagination this episode, Hazuki really stole the spotlight for me in terms of humour. As Haruka’s personal bodyguard, I didn’t find it that weird for her to stay up and watch over her all night, until I saw her running into doors and street lamps because she was totally wasted. She does a good job hiding it (and the pain) though, so credit goes to her for being able to stay up all night patrolling the neighborhood with bloodshot eyes and still being aware enough to protect Haruka. I find that Shimizu Kaori‘s quiet voice (which heavily contrasts her role as Takano Akira in School Rumble) portrays Hazuki’s calm, dependable, and surprisingly cute personality really well, so she’s quickly becoming one of my favorite characters to watch.
– 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)
– Nogizaka Mika (乃木坂 美夏) / Gotou Mai (後藤 麻衣)
– Sakurazaka Hadzuki (桜坂 葉月) / Shimizu Kaori (清水 香里)
– Nanashiro Nanami (七城 那波) / Ueda Kana (植田 佳奈)
– Kamishiro Yukari (上代 由香里) / Matsuki Miyu (松来 未祐)
– Ayase Ruko (綾瀬 ルコ) / Nabatame Hitomi (生天目 仁美)
– Nogizaka Gentou (乃木坂 玄冬) / Tachiki Fumihiko (立木 文彦)
– Nogizaka Akiho (乃木坂 秋穂) / Hisakawa Aya (久川 綾)
– Hell Hound A (黒犬A) / Takahashi Kenji (高橋 研二)
– Hell Hound B (黒犬B) / Watanabe Kouji (渡辺 浩司)
– Hell Hound C (黒犬C) / Kazuma Yoshikazu (一馬 芳和)