「先輩の気持ち。」 (Senpai no Kimochi.)
Well it’s reassuring to know that my read on anime hasn’t completely deteriorated over the years and that I can still pick up on some subtle signs when I see them, as the reason for Kaori’s sudden feelings for Kaito was pretty much what I was thinking. It was a bit of a stab in the dark, but not a pattern I haven’t seen before in all types of media, so it seemed like the most probable explanation at the time. Kaori was rejected and went on a trip with Chiharu to Okinawa to try and forget about it, where she bumped into Kaito and found herself looking to him for a rebound. Execution-wise, it was all really well done though, as the writers gave us enough to suspect that might be the case, and then surprised us by having Kaori be the better person and realize she shouldn’t be interfering with Kaito and Ichika’s budding relationship. They went even a step further, by having Chiharu know when to take a quiet leave, as things absolutely catapulted forward in the Tetsurou x Mio department — all thanks to going commando. Hats off to the producers for taking something that looked like a perverted joke and putting a sentimental spin on it — to the point that we actually got a confession out of it. I figured Kaori and Chiharu were going to be catalysts in the main cast’s relationships, but never did I think it would be to this degree. I guess this is just another case of Ano Natsu de Matteru showing everyone how a romantic comedy is done.
As for Kaito and Ichika, it’s nice to see our alien sempai just let herself fall in love and figure out the implications later (which look like they may be somewhat complicating judging from Rinon’s reaction and the sight of her spaceship flying off). She finally gave him a sign that it’s okay to approach her in that way and our good ‘ol Kaito actually hopped on the opportunity and boldly went where no male anime lead has gone before — at least not this quickly anyway. I kid you not when I say that’s applause-worthy plot development right there. As for our drunken cosplaying Kanna, it looks like one of my most “feared” scenarios is well underway with Kaito and Mio both taking the initiative and acting first, leaving our poor Girl C in the middle with no one to turn to. There’s little doubt in my mind that Remon foresaw this and did Kanna a favor by getting her drunk with
spiked Mountain Dew Dynamite Drinks, as the latter would’ve been absolutely heartbroken if she truly realized what she was witnessing. I feeling sorry for her already, but I get the feeling that the confessions here are only a preliminary thing and the emotions of our five leads will get intertwined even more as we go on — like at a festival that Remon suggested they all go to.