「ツカズハナレズ」 (Tsukazu Hanarezu)
Despite the beach portion of this episode, I couldn’t help but feel that the entire thing had a very somber mood to it. It all started with Kazuha revealing that Akira is the illegitimate child of her father, putting a very literally meaning on the “big sister” conversation Haru overheard last time. Rather than the lesbian relationship that he was picturing that would’ve taken this series down the erotic path, things between Haru and Kazuha got a bit awkward in a different sense. It was likely due to the way that they started giving clear blushing signs that they like one another, yet maintained a distant disposition for the most part. When Haru actually made a subtle move by grabbing Kazuha’s hand and asking to let him hear her play the viola one day, the sight of Sora looking on in displeasure put an uneasy feeling on the mood. Not too long after, the two of them were completely hitting it off after Haru saved Kazuha from having to talk to her father, whom she’s pissed off at for only interacting with Akira when it’s town/business-related. From my point of view, Haru looked like he was being pretty smooth about making a move on Kazuha — using this problem she has with father to show that he’s a dependable pretty boy — which was a bit unsettling since he came off as an opportunist when he dragged her off on a mini date. I never once got the impression that he noticed Kazuha’s mutual feelings, so when he just stole a kiss from her at the end there, I was thinking, “Whoa, slow down there Haru. Keep your tongue in your own throat.”
Admittedly, it’s kind of weird that I’m seeing Sora’s displeasure over their relationship kicking off as the reason they shouldn’t be rushing into things. No, this doesn’t mean that I’m hoping for an incestuous ending though. I would’ve simply liked Haru to take some notice of Sora’s feelings — being the clingy, needy girl that she is — instead of getting so absorbed into Kazuha and her cleavage to even remember that he has an emo sister. In the previous two episodes, he’s shown that he’s the reliable brother who spoils her by putting up with selfish behavior, so it struck me as a bit odd when he was all head-over-heels for the princess of the town and completely forgot about her. In addition to Sora’s happiness dwindling, Akira looked like she’s feeling rather neglected by Kazuha as well. The fact that they found one another in their gloomy state reiterated that notion, while the two love birds were busy locking lips elsewhere. Given the early developments between those two, I’m sort of left wondering where things will go from here. For one, I don’t see everything going just peachy with Kazuha while everyone else looks on with envious eyes, licking their ice pops with a lot of tongue action in lieu of Haru’s lips. However, I’m not inclined to believe that things will get ugly just to mix things up either, so kudos to the writers for keeping me guessing. I guess I’ll find out next time if Haru x Kazuha is meant to last or if he’s going to be hooking up with multiple girls.
* Interestingly enough, most of the fan-service comes from the omake at the end, which is a bit weird since it throws off the humor in them.