Summary:

After getting irritated about Sawako crying with her, Kurumi questions her about her relationship with Kazehaya. Sawako isn’t so sure about Kazehaya’s feelings, but she’s happy to have someone to talk to about him. What frustrates Kurumi is how Kazehaya is convinced that she likes Pin, and Sawako thinks that Kurumi has to go clear up the misunderstanding, but Kurumi doesn’t think it’ll help. After she walks off, Kurumi remembers her middle school days, including how Kazehaya had realized that something had been troubling her and how she had cried in front of him. That’s how Kurumi came to know that he was different and that he saw her as only herself. She now runs into him on her way home, and since he’s still under the wrong impression that she likes Pin, she finally reveals that it’s him she actually likes. In light of this, he apologizes for the misunderstanding, but he also states clearly that he has someone else he likes. As a consolation, Kurumi asks him to say her real name for once, so he calls her Ume. This satisfies her and allows her to walk away from him after telling him that he has no eye for women, but it doesn’t stop her tears.

The next day, Kurumi arrives at school wearing sunglasses, and Pin correctly guesses that she cried her eyes out after being rejected, however he doesn’t realize that it wasn’t because of him. He does point out though that high school boys will think about a girl all day after getting confessed to. When Kurumi runs into Sawako again, she declares that she’ll hate any girl that Kazehaya likes, and instead of friends, she considers the two of them to be rivals. In the aftermath, Sawako’s class places poorly in the athletic festival, but they still get together for a party. By now Sawako has told Chizuru and Ayane about her feelings towards Kazehaya, so Ayane makes sure that, late in the party, Kazehaya finds Sawako sleeping by herself on the stairwell. He decides to use the chance to call her by her given name, and in her dream, Sawako remembers how he had addressed her back when they first got acquainted. Sawako realizes now that the moment he called her name, she had already fallen in love.

Preview

After both last episode and this, I think I’m finally getting to the point where I don’t hate Kurumi’s character. Part of that has to do with the fact that she’s completely lost the Kazehaya contest now, but the story has also done a good job of transforming her from an evil bitch to a sympathetic character, in particular with the middle-school flashback scene and confession scene this episode. It’s obviously much easier to like her when she’s being honest instead of manipulative. This episode also made me appreciate Kazehaya’s character a bit more thanks to how he reacted to Kurumi’s feelings, both past and present. I also loved the stairwell scene between him and Sawako at the end, and that incidentally had this great, possibly wallpaper/banner-worthy shot of Sawako sleeping. Anyway, there were a lot of strong scenes this episode, and once again I attribute a lot of the effectiveness to their wonderful use of the soundtrack, especially the piano pieces.

Unfortunately, it looks like next week’s episode is a recap episode of some sort. I’m of course going to watch (and blog) it anyway to see if there’s anything new shown, but odds are that there won’t be.

30 Comments

  1. Talk about the great shoujo school love triangle that wasn’t. We’re so conditioned to expect all participants to be overwhelmed by insecurities and confusion, it’s a treat to see this situation progress and resolve, as opposed to being turned into a 50+ episode series which ends inconclusively despite the follow-up movies and OVAs.

    Puppy
  2. i think they were losing the animation quality in the past episodes but this turned it up-side-down because animation wise this looks awesome. Of course a lot of it helps when sawako’s hair is finally not tied up again and her cuteness just when kazillion times more.

    I still dont like kurumi but she looked cool with sunglasses.

    This episode was really like fresh air or something.

    ahelo
  3. This was another excellent episode. I actually started to feel a little sorry for Kurumi. Her “sunglasses” makeover was a good comeback for her. Obviously she will still try to come between their romance.

    I like my action, horror, and fan service shows as much as the next guy but still find it refreshing to watch a series that has none of those things and yet is totally engrossing to watch. Its just the story of 2 people falling in love and how they interact with the side characters and each other. This had to be one of the best surprises of 2009 in Anime.

    Splash
  4. Oh and if randomc makes “The Best of Anime 2010” I suggest that you add a bonus which is best couple. These two get my vote instantly! Still can’t stop replaying the last part of the ep. T_____T

    megalith
  5. WE DON’T HAVE TIME FOR A RECAP I.G.!! Honestly, my only complaint about this series is its very slow paced compared to the manga, and with less than ten episodes left, we don’t have time for a recap episode. ARGH!!!
    Regardless, this episode was adorable, Kurumi + sunglasses = win.

    innerchihiro
  6. Erf recap after 15 eps.. maybe they puting this to spend some times to come at the end of the next arc with ep 24 ?

    this “rivals” episode was chapter 17, the next arc end at chapter 23 and the one after this end at chapter 27… can’t really gess what they’re up to

    btw good episode, i still enjoy watching this show even if i already know what’ll happen :p

    Zeross
  7. innerchihiro=> how can it be slow-paced while they have put 17 40-pages chapters in 15 eps only ? the manga is slow paced so is the anime, but the anime is not slow paced compared to the manga.

    Zeross
  8. Definitely I’m going broke this year. Need to get this series into my anime collection once all dvd’s come out. Second the motion of Kazehaya and Sawako as best couple. I have hopes that the recap will have some hidden gem. But I’m going to like it anyway.

    Island Esper
  9. Now yall know why I actually like Kurumi. She has no chance & knows it but she can still take cues from Sawako & get things straight with Kazehaya. She definitely cool once she loses that evil bitch aura (but I even like that evil bitch part of her **it reminds me of someone dear to me**). Oh yeah, I still want to rub out Pin. His stupidity doesn’t even deserve animation. But with only 8 real episodes left it look like they’re gonna skip all that useless BS crap in chaps 30-38. I really hope so 😀

    Megas
  10. Most likely this series will end with the Christmas or New Years chapter of the manga at the pace they are going (right now they are on Valentine’s day in the most recent manga episode).

    Splash

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