But let’s be real here–the whole show is sweeping me off my feet right now. The characters continue to create a pleasant dynamic, ships are being sailed, and by golly is this art not the most vividly beautiful thing you’ve seen this season? My belief that this is the refreshing rom com we’ve been waiting for has grown significantly thanks to this episode. I’m not completely sold, but the hope is growing.
First thing’s first though, addressing the major points.
The Winner: The Characters
Although each character is shallow in their development thus far without many layers to peel, their surface archtypes mesh really well with one another. Having contempt for the unmarried drunk. Using the pervert as the comic relief. Making some steps forward with the main female, but then taking several steps back. These are all established dynamics that pop up several times within anime, this anime being no exception. However, they continue to see usage because of their previous successful use, and here those dynamics meet moderate success. Why? Because instead of being the focus of the anime itself, they are merely vehicles to reveal some exciting character interactions that are fresh.
Take for example the beloved bubble scene. Although full of the tropes mentioned above, all of them are merely fluff for a much more significant event. It is never too old to see a quiet girl smile and gaze in wonder–it’s like seeing a flower bloom, a rare moment that makes us feel closer to the show. Here, using a combination of beautiful visuals and a well-intentioned cast, we get this amazing blend of old and new character development that keeps the whole thing feeling enjoyable while not feeling too overused. Kawai gives us her smile, Usa gets flustered like any normal guy would, and of course our supporting cast is important in catalyzing this effect. In that scene, and every subsequent one, every character feels important to the scene, and every character gives off a certain positive vibe that helps the show feeling lively.
Second Place: The Humor
Aside from smiling at all the characters genuinely laughing and smiling–a great way to create a likeable cast–the comedy itself was superb. Though some of the settings were anticipated, such as during the horror skit, many others were unexpected. Hopefully I wasn’t the only one laughing hard when The Birth of Venus joke came up–it was simultaneously adorable to see Ritsu laugh while also amazingly funny to laugh at the joke itself. Whether it’s seeing her laugh, hide her emotions, or smile with her eyes wide open, a good joke combined with Ritsu is a deadly combination to witness.
Moving forward, I have great expectations for this show. It’s not going to shift paradigms in the anime world, that’s for sure, but it will make its mark as an adorably cute, vivid, and likeable romantic comedy. I will definitely be covering this for one more episode, and from there hope to see if I have enough time to fit it in my schedule.