「なんでもない」 (Nande mo Nai)
It’s just a hunch on my part, but Sumika x Ushio feels really close now. With Azusa aware of how they really feel about one another and taking a step back from Sumika, it’s only a matter of time before Ushio realizes as well. Azusa handles herself quite gracefully after Tomoe offers a few words of wisdom, but oddly enough, a trip to the pool is what got us there.
After the disastrous trip to the beach last time, the gang heads off to the pool with tickets provided by Azusa’s mother. There, Kiyori decides to separate the group into two based on their bust sizes and ends up doing both Sumika and Ushio a huge favour by dragging Azusa off. No longer stressed with keeping Norio’s identity a secret, the two of them finally get to spend some time together. Some time later, a trio of guys come by and try to hit on Ushio and Tomoe, but Sumika manages to chase them off by showcasing her strength.
When Tomoe unexpectedly amazes everyone with her diving skills, Sumika tries to outstage her in both diving and speed swimming to impress Ushio, but fails miserably. Meanwhile, Kiyori’s been taking Miyako and Azusa to all the various rides, even though they’re scared half to death by most of them. The group eventually meets up again, during which Azusa spots Sumika teaching Ushio how to swim and quickly realizes that they both like one another.
Miyako’s “Oh Jesus” comment prior to pummeling down a free-falling ride was undoubtedly the highlight of the comedy here, supplemented by all of Sumika’s middle-aged man inner thoughts about Ushio. As amusing as that was, the tail end of the episode is what had me really captivated. The blank look on Azusa’s face after she saw Sumika happily teaching Ushio how to swim spoke volumes. It’s almost as if she was feeling jealousy for the very first time, making her realize that she too has feelings for Sumika. However, she quickly came to her senses and accepted the harsh reality that Sumika’s in love with Ushio by recalling a line out of Norio’s novel.
It’s the same line Azusa was talking to Sumika about back in episode eight, which ends “and there, the couple’s eyes meet.” If you happen to be watching Crunchyroll’s translation, it was a bit dodgy so the meaning was somewhat lost. The line was meant to describe how Azusa saw Sumika and Ushio happily lost in their own little world, and is what ultimately tipped her off on how they feel about each other. As such, I really like her poetic understanding of the situation, as well as Tomoe’s depiction of what love is like on the train ride home. Azusa’s way of dealing with this appears to be writing her next doujinshi, “Sunflower in the Snow”, which I’d imagine is about the situation she’s in. I guess this is the gracefullness of yuri romance stories that you won’t find elsewhere.
From what I’ve been told, the anime has been really faithful to the manga thus far, so it’ll be interesting to see how they decide to wrap things up. One would hope that Sumika and Ushio will get their mutual feelings across, but we still have two episodes to go before we find out. The preview doesn’t really give us any hints with Bach and Beethoven arguing though. I can’t really pick out who did their goofy voices, but I’m guessing it was Takagaki Ayahi (Sumika) and Harada Hitomi (Tomoe).