「学園天国?」 (Gakuen Tengoku?”)
“School Paradise?”

After four episodes of drama exposing the best and worst of humanity, Kotoura-san presents an episode without any serious troubles or worries–your standard romantic comedy staple. The focus this week resides with the gang complete, with everyone naturally adjusting to their reborn and peaceful school life together…a true school paradise. Not everyone is comfortable with this change, both classmates and audience alike, but hopefully with time such discomfort can fade in light of their cheerful and lovable chemistry.

While this is probably happiness for Kotoura and her companions, I can imagine some of you lamenting at the lack of serious plot or drama that has defined this show thus far. I myself was surprised that the episode was as relaxed as it was without something terrible happening. I was a little disappointed that something around those lines didn’t occur. Yet, with all the wonderful dynamics the show expressed this episode, it doesn’t seem like a waste of potential to switch to lighter topics such as this. Kotoura deserves a break considering all that she’s been though for our entertainment, even though physical harm still abuses her every five minutes.

For starters, the episode served well in cementing Moritani’s connection into the group. I’ll grant that the integration process for Moritani went by a little too quickly, but at the same time I’m glad that her integration sped up for the sake of displaying her new reactions to well…everything. The dynamic between her and Manabe is amusing to watch, especially considering how they view each other. Moritani, who is still crushing on Manabe, has landed herself in a terrible friendzone/enemyzone that she’ll never get out of. Just one mistake (though a big one at that) has set Manabe into a position where he would be hard pressed to perceive Moritani differently, resulting in many caps of Moritani’s sad, sad faces. The fact that Kotoura is the one supporting her rather than the other way around is pretty ironic, though strangely enough the two of them suit each other well. Despite her cool exterior in the first few episodes, the fierce karate girl is actually one sensitive girl, where any disapproval from anyone will set her into a sobbing mood. It must suck for her crush to distance himself away while the dojo jokes haunt her relentlessly (where even Kotoura isn’t immune). I guess it’s wise to be on Moritani’s good side where she can be a softie, rather than earn the wrath of the “Mori”.

Other than developing the former rival into a sensitive friend, this week’s episode actually focused tons on cementing the friendship dynamics between all the characters, despite being a break from the drama. While this may be a fancy way of saying, “this week showed friends doing friendly things,” I’d think that the show did very well in doing what we take for granted in a show. Mifune continues to strengthen her position as leader of the group and her reasons for doing so, while Muroto continues his straight man routine. Manabe continues to stave off any advances Moritani pushes while continuing to support her as the perverted boy he is. Other than Moritani, Kotoura herself also is adjusting herself to a new friendly life, learning through an almost “Neighbors Club” style what the face of true friendship looks and feels like.

Although drama could accelerate the character development tastefully and in a speedier manner, the friendlier…less intriguing traits may go underdeveloped, resulting in characters we can’t seem to sympathize with. While continued drama would paint a more realistic and deeper feel for the show, one must not forget that Kotoura-san is at its heart…still a romantic comedy. Now that the drama has subsided for now, those more comedic and romantic hints that were not as available before can be explored here. Although I didn’t laugh out loud this episode, I did feel good that the group was getting along despite how weirded out the class was, and that everyone else is getting along just fine (though not at some expense to others). Fear not those who were drawn in by the drama, for I don’t expect the rest of the episodes to reflect pure romantic comedy. There will be a return of some serious business before the season is over, but for now let’s enjoy the happiness that Kotoura desperately deserves–let her bask in her high school paradise, no matter how inevitably short lived it may be. While I do feel some of the actual execution fell flat at times, especially in animation, overall I feel this is a good point for the show to take a break, let people be lulled into a sense of security, and once again surprise our expectations.

P.S: My apologies that my posts have been later than usual this week…school is killer (I think of my body as a circuit and life as a bunch of HTML tags now when deathly tired) and finding the time to even keep up with shows is a struggle. Of course Valentines Day is coming up…but that’s a different story. I’ll try my best to get posts out earlier next week!


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「ESP研のテーマ」 (Iiesupii Ken no Teema) by 花澤香菜, 金元寿子, 福島潤, 下野紘, and 久保ユリカ (Hanazawa Kana, Kanemoto Hisako, Fukushima Jun, Shimono Hiro, and Kubo Yurika)
Watch the 2nd ED!: Streaming ▼



  1. well kotoura is back in with all good & now hiyori join esp club sure by using her dojo skill to join yea they take it now party home welcome to kotoura’s place.

    so have house fixing, cooking with hiyori got bad cook moves, manabe pery mind, movie with explode tomato, & nap time with kotoura on manabe.

    morning kotoura get phone pic of her on manabe from mifune & manabe give pic of hiyori doing the mori pose.

    now for class pe event kotoura got relay run so before that training time for kotoura for event give all work & manbe get everyone support kotoura.

    well she tried & but fall give the esp club still support kotoura day end mori pose with kotoura got box’d end.

  2. Mori mori mori mori? mori mori mori mori! Mori mori mori mori? mori mori!! MORI! mori mori, mori mori. mori mori mori mori MORI!

    thanks for your review! I kind of liked this episode, had many funny moments and was, as you said, relaxed. Usually the drama comes after they relax and butter up the viewer, so we’ve yet to see! I like the relationship between Moritani-san and Kotoura, they both have a thing for Manabe but they are still cute friends. Cheers, xx!!!!

  3. It’s been a few episodes since Mifune’s bi-polar behaviour has reared itself – I wonder if it’ll return to the plot.
    It was adorable to see Kotoura sleeping/cuddled up next to Manabe.

    Zanibas, I agree this was a good break from the serious drama and fit well with the series to date.

    Next week seems like a creepy-funny swimsuit episode with her grandfather – should be pretty funny.

  4. I admit that Manabe’s antics are starting to be unfunny, but seeing him trolling the hell out of Moritani is mean, but funny. I guess Manabe did not play the “forgive and forget” card that Haruka did for Moritani. I wouldn’t let Moritani off the hook though since it’s obvious that her joining the club is more of getting close to Manabe, although her causing trouble for Haruka is unlikely at this point.

    I honestly don’t mind a drama-free episode for this one since it ended up just as fun to watch as the others that had drama. A break is fine too, but seems like it will be the same for next week’s obligatory summer episode… which I can’t wait to see. I don’t think the drama is out for good though.

    And yeah, ROFL Haruka FTW. Brace yourselves, the gifs are coming.

  5. Slightly less satisfying than I had hoped it to be, but still jolly entertaining stuff. Kotoura should have stuck with her old place. She’d have more space to roll around.

    And that 009 spoof. I lol’d.

  6. It’s still annoying to remember how Moritani treated Koutora but all is well now. And it’s nice to see Kotoura trying to become good friends with her (Aww! Kotoura!). Manabe is starting to become annoying with all his imaginations but nonetheless, he’s still funny. (I mean, for me. I think he’s still hilarious.)

  7. I actually kind of like the show better when it’s like this, but then, I wasn’t drawn here by the drama but by the chemistry between the characters, and this episode provided that in spades. I’m guessing the drama will ramp up again when she has to go confront her mother though.

    Loved the Moritani abuse too. It’s good to see that the other characters aren’t willing to forgive her so easily, and thus Manabe’s hostile behaviour is not only funny but also rather justified, in my opinion. Not to mention it prevents a typical triangle relationship (unless it’s Moritani X Kotoura as the second ship, Manabe had the right idea there).


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