「感じていたいです……」 (Kanjiteitai Desu……)
“I Want To Feel It……”
I was a bit surprised to see Yuuto flutter around aimlessly so much, but with some encouragement he finally came around and handled stuff like he always does. I don’t know if I should be grateful that problems here never seem to last more than an episode though. Saving us from unnecessary angst is a good thing, but it’s kind of a double-edged sword when we’re flying plot-free most of the time.
Either way, the episode did have some highlights. While Yuuto was distancing himself from Haruka and sulking about having to do so, Miran and Shiina really helped him pick himself up off the ground. This was in part due to the tickets Miran gave him for her Valentine’s concert, which led to a talk during her concert that was basically directed towards Yuuto. However, it was Miran’s song “I Sing” and Shiina’s encouragement that finally got him back to his senses on what he needs to do. After seeing Yuuto dart off to Haruka’s idol audition, I was actually a bit worried he was going to confess his love for her in front of everyone rather than convey how he hates being apart from her. I realize that it’s supposed to be Valentine’s Day and all, but a confession here is out of place since it wouldn’t really address the problem at hand. It would simply overshadow it. To me, that would’ve been a bad sense of direction writing-wise, so I’m glad Yuuto did the latter instead.
I mentioned earlier in the season how I felt Gentou and Akiho’s comedic routine was getting a bit old, but their appearance here as a unified pair was actually a pleasant surprise. Their arrival to the Nogizaka central control room (of sorts) had me laughing, mainly because of Richard Strauss‘ Also sprach Zarathustra playing in the background. Once I heard that, I saw Gentou’s involvement as the ultimate end to Yayoi and Nozomi’s meddling. Surprisingly, he didn’t send his Hell Hounds out in full force and opted for a more civil approach to settling things — buying their entire company out from underneath them. The Nogizaka maid team still had to get involved at the end there, but Yuuto didn’t seem like he had too much difficulty plowing through four security guards on his own.
Next week is the final episode of the series and is titled “It’s a Promise”. While things this season started off fairly fan-service-filled, they quickly shifted back to the Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu we know from the original series. I’d imagine the last episode will be primarily for wrap-up and to give us some sort of lasting impression as to where Yuuto and Haruka’s relationship is now. i.e. Ever so much closer, but still not quite there. I guess this is how the show retains its innocence while continually misleading us with suggestive episode titles.