「一緒に，いたいです…」 (Issho ni, Itai Desu)
“I Want to Be… Together”
Episode at a Glance:
Prior to Haruka’s arrival, Shiina tells Yuuto what a great guy he is, having helped her with the swimming relay and executive committee work. While embarrassed, Yuuto notices the overhead sign falling and instinctly pushes Shiina out of way, just when Haruka happens to come by. Misunderstanding the situation, Haruka runs off, so Yuuto goes after her like Shiina suggests and manages to catch up at the shoe lockers. There, Yuuto tries to explain and Haruka is quick to accept that there must be a reason, but finds herself tearing up without knowing why. Later that night, Yuuto tries to call Haruka, but finds out from Hazuki that she’s already gone to bed. Hazuki also wants to ask Yuuto something, but stops herself.
At the school festival the next day, Yuuto decides to talk to Haruka about what happened, but finds her in surprisingly good spirits. Refraining from bringing it up, Yuuto then hears from Shiina and his other friends about Haruka’s entry into the festival beauty contest in addition to her own. Afterwards, Shiina wonders if Haruka’s still bothered about what happened yesterday, so Yuuto tells her that he thinks she’s alright. During the actual festival, their class’ “Marginal Symphony” cafe turns out to be extremely popular, but Yuuto is concerned about Haruka, who looks like she’s forcing herself to smile. Mika, Nanami, and Hazuki later drop by and ask about how things went with Haruka last night, making Yuuto realize that they haven’t heard about what happened. Hazuki seems to suspect something though, and decides to stay behind while the others head off to the festival beauty contest, where Haruka ends up winning first place.
After being declared the winner, Haruka notices Yuuto in the crowd and is reminded of the day before, so she diverts her eyes. Seeing this, Yuuto realizes that Haruka’s not okay and tries to talk to her, but she runs off. While frantically searching for her, Yuuto runs into Shiina, who asks him if she’ll dance with her at the closing bonfire folk dance. Reminded of his promise to dance with Haruka, Yuuto hesitates to answer, so Shiina tells him to not worry about it. Yuuto later runs into Hazuki, who claims she’s fully aware of the situation. Hazuki offers to tell him where Haruka is too, but asks that he think about Haruka first and foremost so that when he has to make a choice, he won’t make the same mistake she did with Eric three years ago.
Finding Haruka on some steps listening to her musical figurine, Yuuto apologizes for yesterday and not realizing the pain he put her through today. Surprised, Haruka tells Yuuto that there’s no reason for him to apologize and says she just felt it unexplicably painful when she saw him and Shiina together. Having decided not to bring Yuuto down, Haruka explains that she forced herself to be cheerful, but it’s still painful when it seems like he’s leaving her. Yuuto however says he won’t go anywhere as long as she wants him around, so Haruka tells her she wants to be with him. After a tearful hug, Yuuto suggests dancing even though the folk dance already ended, and uses the Dojikko Aki-chan figurine for music. Off in the bushes, Mika, Nanami, and Hazuki look on, pleased that everything turned out fine. Mika adds that she never knew Hazuki had such a painful memory, but Hazuki explains that Eric returned… via an online auction.
「…お待たせしました♪」 (…Omataseshimashita ♪)
“…Sorry For Making You Wait ♪”
As much as I like this series, I can’t ignore the fact that they cut the cheese pretty damn thick at times. Mind you, this is coming from someone who’s well aware that he can be pretty sappy himself when needed too. I find that there’s usually a fine line between 1.) watching a mushy scene that would move other viewers around you and 2.) watching a cheesy scene that you’d be embarrassed caught watching. To me, the end scene with Yuuto apologizing to Haruka and making her feel bad for avoiding him all day was fine, but Haruka’s subsequent explanation of how it hurts when it feels like Yuuto’s becoming distant was pretty borderline material. As was Yuuto’s line, “I won’t go anywhere unless you don’t want me around”, followed up by Haruka’s, “I want to always be with you. I don’t want to experience that feeling ever again.” I guess I would’ve been a bit more okay with it if it was followed up by a confession, but sadly, all they gave us was a hug. I’ll admit that Yuuto using the Dojikko Aki-chan music box figurine to give Haruka the dance she asked for was pretty smooth though.
On another note, Hazuki’s revelation that the “Eric” she hesitated on making a decision about three years ago is actually a teddy bear really lost its comedic effect on me, mostly due to the fact that it followed up after Yuuto and Haruka’s dance. That quick shift from “serious sappiness” to “quirky comedy” just didn’t work for me. As for the cosplay cafe, I was kind of disappointed to see that there were only two types of costumes, because I was actually hoping there would be a few anime references we could pick out.
So as expected, Yuuto did nothing wrong when he groped Shiina’s chest, since he actually saved her from a sign that fell overhead. While that comes as no surprise, it did provide that bit of drama I was hoping for. For a moment, it looked like Shiina wanted to make a move on Yuuto during this misunderstanding, but she turned out to be a much better friend than the backstabbing girls you find in School Days. In fact, it almost looks like Shiina’s given up on Yuuto at this point. While I feel a bit bad for her, she acted like you would expect as one of Haruka’s friends, so there won’t be any bloody black stabbings and decapitations here.
Edit: After rewatching this episode when I was more awake, I realized I misheard 事項 (Jikou, i.e. matter) for 事故 (Jiko, i.e. accident), so I rewrote some impressions.
– 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)
– Amamiya Shiina (天宮 椎菜) / Satou Rina (佐藤 利奈)
– Asakura Nobunaga (朝倉 信長) / Takagi Reiko (高木 礼子)
– Kamishiro Yukari (上代 由香里) / Matsuki Miyu (松来 未祐)
– 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)
– Asahina Mai (朝比奈 麻衣) / Toyosaki Aki (豊崎 愛生)
– Sawamura Yoshika (澤村 良子) / Kitamura Eri (喜多村 英梨)
– Female student (女生徒) / Iguchi Yuka (井口 裕香)