「先輩はすごかった。」 (Senpai wa Sugokatta.)
“Sempai was Amazing.”
The “walk away and pretend it never happened” approach isn’t a terrible way of getting out of an awkward moment when you find out that someone likes you. Whether or not it’s a permanent solution is another matter, especially if you live together under the same roof. From an outside perspective, I was thoroughly amused by how Ichika just got onto the train and left Kaito behind, simply because I didn’t have to deal with all the meandering that guy A and girl B had to go through (or girl A and guy B depending on whose perspective we’re talking about). I did however start to really feel for Kanna when both Tetsurou and Remon added girl C into the not-so-hypothetic scenario, since both Kaito and Ichika are completely oblivious to her involvement. They’re so caught up in their own love and secret alien identity problems that they can’t even be bothered to take notice of Kanna’s feelings — an all too cruel situation that had me vehemently waving the “Go Girl C!” banner in the back of my mind. It made me feel even worse for her when she put Ichika’s happiness before her own, which is starting to look like a cascading effect that originated from Mio — our voluptuous heroine who’s too good for clothes at home.
I can’t really blame either Mio or Tetsurou for putting their love interest’s feelings before their own considering that they’re all friends, but with a group of five people — two guys and three girls — someone is pretty much guaranteed to be left out and there will be heartbreak at least once. If we look at the relationship “chain” and assume that Remon will remain a catalyst for everyone, we have Mio and Ichika at either end and Kanna in the middle. (i.e. Mio -> Tetsurou -> Kanna -> Kaito -> Ichika) From that, I can picture a few possible scenarios on how things will end. One is where Ichika regrettably leaves Earth — much like she said she’d eventually have to do — and things conclude “relatively well” for the remaining four with Kaito reciprocating Kanna’s feelings and Tetsurou Mio’s. Another — and probably the more likely one considering who the main heroine is — is where Ichika decides to stay on Earth because of Kaito, leaving the remaining three to sort things out for themselves. The situation would diverge from there, as either Kanna or Mio could wind up as the odd person out, with the more likely victim being Mio in my mind. Kanna would be heartbroken over Kaito and Tetsurou would swoop in as the supportive friend who’s always been there for her. If not that, then all three of them would come to a standstill, since Kanna probably knows about Mio’s feeling for Tetsurou given how close they are. Whatever happens, someone will surely be in tears before it’s all over — if not everyone from a chain reaction triggered by Ichika’s rejection of Kaito.
Speculation aside, this series has a real knack for making the “emotional turmoil” fun to watch, from its continued use of wild fantasies and married yet promiscuous older sisters. It was pretty clear from the get-go that Ogura Minami (Ooura Fuyuka) was someone that Kaito knew and was just being teased by — with my original guess being a friend of Nanami — but she sure served her purpose well by getting Ichika all riled up and helping her realize how she truly feels. Granted, it hasn’t sunk in completely yet — not after Kaito wasting a golden opportunity to put her on the spot and find out how she truly feels — but it’s a step in the right direction before his impatience kicks in and he’s dying to know. Judging from how this episode ended, it looks like we’ve only grazed the surface of this nostalgic romantic comedy, so I can’t wait to see what “that summer” is all about.
* In case anyone’s wondering why HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD got a cameo at the movie theater, it’s because Kuroda Yousuke did the screenplay for its anime adaptation.
* I assume Ichika just breezed through her exam and started thinking about Kaito, but I’m not so sure about Remon.
* Full-length images: 11, 21, 22, 23, 32.