「恋・変」 (Koi / Hen)
“Love / Weird”
Episode at a Glance:
Still bothered by how Kei suggested that he’s an object of affection for her, Hikari finds herself unable to sleep much and takes out her frustration on the house walls, much to her father’s displeasure. At school the next day, everyone suspects that something’s up with Hikari, so she fills them in on what happened. With how flustered Hikari is about the thought of liking Kei, Megumi asks if she hates him, so she replies that she likes him in the same way that she likes everyone else in the S.A class. Jun then points out how only Hikari calls Kei by his last name, making the others wonder if there’s a special reason for it, but this only causes her to outburst and accidentally spill some hot tea on Kei’s hand when he comes by. Feeling responsible, Hikari apologizes and offers to feed him since he can’t handle a dessert fork, but is only able to call him “Kero-sama” (“prince frog”) when she tries to call him by his first name. Reflecting on this outside alone, Hikari suspects that it’s because she’s treated him as a rival all this time, but wonders if it’s because she hates him deep down inside.
At the Takishima house that night, Aoi pays a visit to Kei after hearing how he was hurt, making Kei wonder how long he plans to stay in Japan. Aoi claims until he can bring him back to London with him, which Kei is against, so he later calls someone saying that he wants to commence the plan as soon as possible. At school the next day, Hikari charges into the greenhouse, forcibly trying to call for Kei by his first name, but finds that no one seems to be around. She does stumble on Kei inside though, who’s asleep from presumably being overworked, but wakes up shortly after Hikari calls out his name. Seeing how she’s still having difficulty, Kei asks Hikari several questions with answers that involve “Kei” in them and is able to get her to say his name normally at last. After praising her for doing well, Kei is taken back by Hikari’s cute voice calling his name, so he gently touches her face, but then softly hits her over the head, saying that he doesn’t mind her calling him Takishima. Seeing as Hikari still has difficulty saying it, Kei suspects that it’s because she likes him, so he invites her on a date tomorrow to confirm her feelings.
At the amusement park the next day on a supposed extracurricular lesson, Hikari is shocked to hear that it’s going to be just the two of them. With Hikari treating everything like a competition, she tries to beat Kei in bowling and go-carting, but is unable to do so on both occasions. Having distracted her in go-carting by making her say his name, Kei comes over to check if she’s okay, which makes Hikari question what she’s feeling inside. Nearing the scheduled time, Kei then reveals that he has tickets to the pro wrestling match which Hikari is thrilled about, but upon thanking him, begins to question how she feels again. While off to buy drinks, Hikari is asked if Kei is her boyfriend, which she shyly denies. At the pro wrestling stadium, Hikari continues to question if she only sees Kei as a rival and wonders if they can be like the couple next to them, but realizes that there’s no way in hell. Meanwhile, Aoi meets with Sumire and says that it’s his (Kei’s grandfather’s) instructions, so the school director looks on at the greenhouse and regretfully acknowledges that it’s decided then.
Back at the park, Kei finds that Hikari is extremely awkward around him now, especially when he touches her, so he apologizes and asks her to forget what he said about being an object of affection since he can’t stand her avoiding him like this. Hearing this, Hikari claims that she’s not avoiding contact with him, so Kei questions how they can go back to how they were and if she’ll forgive him if he apologizes. Realizing how she really feels, Hikari leans in and kisses Kei on the forehead, after which she calls him by his first name. Believing that she couldn’t call Kei by name because her feelings for him would’ve poured out like they are now, Hikari is about to confess, but a phone call interrupts her. Kei ignores and refuses to pick it up though, so Hikari tells him to answer it while she makes a stop at the restroom. With some murderous intent, Kei scares Tadashi off on the other end, while Hikari finally comes to terms that she likes Kei. However, she’s shocked to overhear a heartbroken girl saying that falling in love is like losing, so she runs back to Kei, calls him an idiot, declares that she hasn’t lost yet, and thanks him for the day before running off. Despite being at a lost for words, Kei is happy about receiving Hikari’s feelings. Unbeknownst to them, Sumire has locked off the S.A greenhouse at Hakusenkan and Aoi is looking on quite pleased.
「SA・FA」 (SA / FA)
“SA / FA”
For someone supposedly talented in everything such as Kei, I’m quite surprised that he can’t even handle a dessert fork with his left hand. I mean, it’s Kei for goodness sake! He can run faster than cars, jump ridiculous heights, and analyze like a computer, so call me a little skeptical when he isn’t even remotely ambidextrous. Perhaps he was just feigning helplessness so that Hikari would spoonfeed him though.
In any case, it was a good Kei x Hikari centered episode this week, with the first half of it focusing on Hikari’s inability to call Kei by his first name and the second half with the two of them going on a date to confirm Hikari’s feelings. While I never really took particular notice to how Hikari is the only member of the S.A class that calls Kei (or anyone else) by his last name rather than his first (which is customary in Japan to show unfamiliarity, distance, or respect between you and the other person), it is a bit odd now that I think of it. They were quick to explain that she does so because she’s seen him as a rival ever since they were kids (which makes sense because you generally don’t want to be too friendly with your rivals), but it was interesting to see how it was also a way for Hikari to unconsciously restrain herself from getting closer to Kei and realizing her feelings for him. With Hikari unable to call him by his first name despite how much she tried, it was pretty smooth of Kei to get her to unknowingly respond to questions with “Kei” in the answer. It eventually led to one of the sweeter moments between the two, which I was glad to see Kei burst before Hikari could.
I have to admit that they did catch me quite off guard when Hikari was just about to confess her feelings for Kei, but didn’t after she overheard that falling for someone is like losing. While this should be an unsurprising turn of events now (especially when there’s an onscreen message saying so), I felt that the circumstances were too right to just flop over when we’re this close to the end of the series. I guess if we had to blame someone though, it would be Tadashi for calling Kei at such a crucial moment and interrupting Hikari’s confession, but at least he got an earful of evil Kei in return. In the broader perspective, things seem to be setup really well for a grand finale though, with Aoi getting Sumire to (seemingly) abolish the S.A class in an attempt to get Kei to transfer schools to London. This should prove to be the last obstacle that Kei needs to overcome before finally being with Hikari, but it’s a bit of a shame that we’ll probably never see what they’re like together as a couple.
Random thoughts: It must be fun bowling 300 games all the time, with Kei pulling some absurdity by striking the adjacent lanes as well and netting what they consider to be 320 points. Watching them go-carting makes me want to go again too, having gone just last month. It’s pretty fun trying to pass people on the apex of hairpin turns. =)
– 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)
– Ogata Aoi (緒方 蒼) / Yusa Kouji (遊佐 浩二)
– Hikari’s father (光の父) / Imaruoka Atsushi (伊丸岡 篤)
– Karino Sumire (狩野 菫) / Tanaka Atsuko (田中 敦子)
– Childhood Kei (幼い時の彗) / Shimizu Kaori (清水 香里)
– Fanku little brother (ファンキュ弟) / Ichiki Mitsuhiro (市来 光弘)