「friends」
“Friends”

Now this is the Saitou Chiwa that I know. Miyako is bratty, obnoxious, yet somewhat cute, unlike the other end of the spectrum seen in Senjougahara Hitagi. What’s surprising here is Takagaki Ayahi, who’s voicing Sumika like I’ve never heard her before.

It’s a notably far cry from Nina Antalk, Feldt Grace, Ein, Asakura Otome, and Isurugi Noe. If anything, it’s a lot closer to Aresta Blanket because of Sumika’s outbursts, yet distinctly different. Given how Ayahi’s voicing Satsukitane Mikako in SoraOto this season though, I guess her seiyuu prowess shouldn’t surprise me anymore. Still, I find it’s noteworthy, especially for those who share a similar interest in seiyuus. A series like Sasameki Koto may not draw a lot of viewers in, but it’s for reasons like this that I’ll watch what many won’t. There always seems to be some sort of hidden gem in every series. Seiyuus have always been an easy draw for me, so I love it when they take their acting to unprecendented levels. It also makes me look forward to their future roles a lot more.

Somehow, that was all brought to fruition by Tomoe and Miyako’s attempt to get their all girls club established. The mischief Miyako caused over Sumika’s cherished picture was a great example of that, both at Sumika’s and Ushio’s. Also, her uncanny ability to know exactly what Sumika’s fantasizing about drew out some of Sumika’s best outbursts. Things really got out of hand when those two went at it in a cooking showdown after a lot of smack talk, explosions included. As for Ushio, I thought she was going to flip out for the very first time after her place was a splattered mess, but she surprisingly acted indifferent about the whole thing. Because of that, it was pretty hilarious to see her actually flip out when Sumika tried to leave out of embarrassment. A great comedic fake out if you ask me.

As for some series firsts, we see the introduction of Ushio’s older brother Norio, who’s a magazine writer / aspiring novelist with at least one fan. We also saw our first glimpses of some maid cosplaying, which was conveniently brought about by Norio’s occupation. Being voiced by Hatano Wataru, it’s befitting to see that he’s a lot like Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu’s Ayase Yuuto. He’s levelheaded and kindhearted, despite the mess they made to all his research books. His easygoing personality explains a lot about Ushio’s, but I’m a bit curious about what happened to their parents. Other than Ushio saying that they aren’t here, there wasn’t any other mention about that. Finally, there was a proper introduction of Hayasumi Noe (Maeda Ai), who’s actually Sumika’s live-in maid for the past few years, but lies about being much more than that.

Overall, it was a cute and playful episode, much like this series has shown itself to be. It really helped showcase what a character like Miyako brings to the story (i.e. as Sumika’s “limit” breaker).

* A lot of the splatter seen this episode was a simple overlay on top of the animation, but it looked surprisingly good.

 

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