「七咲逢 前編 ツヨガリ」 (Nanasaki Ai Zenpen – Tsuyogari)
“Nanasaki Ai, First Chapter – Bluff”
It’s with mixed feelings that I’m writing this post on Nanasaki Ai’s arc, because as cute as it is to see her “lovey-dovey” relationship with Junichi develop further, there are times that I just want to tell them to get a room and not make me watch how happy they are together. I’m okay with the cuddling on the beach and even commend Junichi for doing what I was thinking when he pulled Ai under the bed covers, but I have to draw the line at Junichi’s unusual requests that are downright awkward to watch. The only thing that had me watching intently was to see exactly how much embarrassment Ai would put up with, as her reluctant yet willing look in a public place really got my imagination going on the things that I’d be able to make her do if I were in Junichi’s shoes. I say if he’s going to make this arc “The Kinky Adventures of Nanasaki Ai”, he may as well go all the way regardless of whether it would be appropriate for television.
Of course, that highly depends on who you ask, as the playfulness in Junichi and Ai’s relationship and the mutual embarrassment they feel when teased about it still sit heavily on the innocent side of things — a tendency befitting of first relationships. That’s largely where the cuteness comes into play, because anyone who’s been there should be able to understand the uneasiness they still have around one another — especially when it’s in front of others with a very blunt younger sister who’s not helping — so I can definitely appreciate and enjoy that aspect (a lot more so than I care to admit in fact). Given how well things are going for the two of them, it only make sense that their relatively private relationship — at least compared to Tsukasa’s that the main cast openly talked about — is met a somewhat minor problem in the form of spending Christmas Eve apart. I say “minor” because it’s not like someone’s trying to sabotage their relationship (at least not directly) and it’s hardly the end of the world if they can’t spend time together for some time because of other priorities.
Still, Junichi getting hauled away for cram school is enough of a problem for the happy couple that’s been sitting on cloud nine and just dying to be with one another, so it’ll be interesting to see how Ai’s bluff/white lie starts eating away at her even more in the second half. She actually looked like she was on the verge of tears at times, which should make the heartfelt conclusion where Junichi (presumably) surprises her with an expensive Christmas gift that much better. From the look of things, that swing of emotions from a lonely junior to the happiest girl in the world is the direction this arc is headed, so I’m already anticipating a very sweet conclusion.
* Full-length images: 09, 12, 13, 14, 16, 18, 19, 22, 23, 29, 32.
* Images 18 and 23 were not trivial to put together due to subtle shifts during the pan, so I had to piece them together in sections. That of course means another good 20 or so minutes on each, but I saw them as must-do opportunities.
ED3 Sequence & End Card