Is it me, or was the show particularly relentless in making fun of Kotoura’s chest? I get the mandatory “why is everyone bigger than me” jokes are inevitable, but oh boy, to dedicate an entirely new ED just to rub it in her face–I felt bad laughing really hard when she slid across the ice. I’m sure she’ll grow in that area…someday. Before that happens, it’s best to get as many laughs out of Haruka’s reaction, ranging from completely dumbfounded to cat-like defensiveness.
For the past two episodes, Kotoura-san has been keeping it low on the drama, but in exchange has showed freedom to be ridiculous. One has to wonder what kind of business the Kotoura family is in in order to construct a theme park solely for the purpose of greeting Haruka and friends. But alas, Zenzou is trying his hardest to keep the company entertained: the longer he can keep Haruka and friends in his reach, the more time he can spend performing “manly observation”. I’m sure Manabe agrees as well, with his top priorities being swimsuits, chests, and butts. I’m sure Zenzou is doing a great job–everyone (except maybe Haruka) had a blast at Kotouraland–yet out of the entire group, Moritani probably was on edge the entire time, considering how her mascot equivalent was in a cage. Zenzou knows well how to get his playful revenge in the most subtle of ways. It’s been amusing seeing Moritani transform into more and more of a girl constantly apologizing and being eternally grateful…the caricature actually isn’t that common if I can recall correctly, and it helps to juxtapose with her previously violent and selfish attitude. Maybe now that she knows that Zenzou has his old eyes on her, she’ll never end up abusing her dojo or her skills again.
Meanwhile, the standard romantic comedy fanfare progresses. With an obligatory beach episode, the female characters get to show off their form, much to the joy of Zenzou and Manabe and sadness of Haruka. While the story of Haruka and Manabe continues to move forward at a casual pace, so does the more inter-antagonizing relationship between Mifune and Muroto, whose antics remind me of an experienced couple who act more as friends rather than lovers. Although Muroto is a controlled character without much in terms of dialogue, the little speech he has comes off as efficient and witty, to the detriment of Mifune. Although the two have established themselves as experienced childhood friends, I can’t imagine the reaction that Mifune would have if Muroto, just once, granted her a genuine compliment. I hope that their relationship matures as the main couple does, though as always, this leaves the 5th wheel all alone, which Moritani herself is quite aware of.
But alas, the cheerful life cannot last forever for Kotoura as long as loose strings have yet to be tied. Kotoura’s mother, Kumiko, makes a small appearance during the end, signaling new drama on the horizon. While the preview doesn’t indicate much in terms of immediate drama, from experience we know not to trust any promotional materials this show has to throw. The drama that the show is preparing should prove fruitful though if they take advantage of the context’s full potential. Considering how Kotoura has not seen her mother for an extended period of time, and considering how she probably still harbors feelings for her, the inevitable antagonism between parties will make this mother-daughter dynamic an interesting scene to watch. Since we can safely assume the no-good-father is done for good in Haruka’s life, seeing how Kotoura will make amends with her disillusioned, jaded, but perhaps just emotionally wounded mother, especially with half a season to go.
It’s been a pleasant ride with Kotoura into familiar romantic comedy territory, but the time is soon to delve into that emotionally sharp drama once more. Kotoura will have it tough, but considering how lively and supportive her group of friends and family have become, the happy ending isn’t so hard to see, even from here.
ED3: 「つるぺた」 (Tsurupeta) by 金元寿子 (Kanemoto Hisako)