“I Knew It”
Mayumi. She knows how to keep it real. As befitting of her status as one of the older members of the cast, she’s a no-bullshit kind of person, yet falls for the most predictable bull herself. She takes pleasure in seeing Usa’s misery, yet becomes unbearably sad when others point out the misery she puts herself through. Mayumi is as hypocritical as one can get, yet it makes her a valuable and entertaining character, as an irreplaceable part of the cast.
Today, I would like to point out Kawaisou’s amazing ability to create ‘aware’ characters, or characters that don’t easily fall into that ‘convenient deafness’ plot device that sneaks into every sappy romantic comedy known to man. Even though Kawaisou is guilty of this at times (see: Usa’s oblivious nature to Ritsu’s smile), it is nowhere as bad as some romantic comedies get. Whereas it’s almost standard for side characters to have little to no effect on the dynamics of the romance in many standard rom coms, Kawaisou doesn’t fall into this mistake as easily and does what should be done more often–portray characters that actually do something.
Going back to Mayumi as an example, it’s always a pleasure to see her make fun of Usa and explicitly get in his way. It was especially funny to see Mayumi break the quiet tension and point out the white elephant in the room when Usa and Ritsu were silent at the dinner table–it’s almost as if she speaks for the audience when she gets irritated at our main couple’s innocence and inaction. She doesn’t just sit there, having a disgruntled expression that does nothing for the plot. The fact that she actually interacts with the environment around her makes the series feel a whole lot more immersive and fulfilling, since the actions of one character can and WILL elicit a response from every other character in the vicinity. While we do get to see Ritsu and Usa grow closer together in their own special way, their story is merely only part of a much larger story of Kawaisou, where perspectives of all ages come together in a strangely self-aware manner.
There were only a few worries I had this episode, one of which was that the pacing of the comedy seemed a little different this episode. Perhaps the episode director was different, but the overall comedy was preserved. Usa does act super beta this episode, but it’s really hard for me to hate on him when I see myself reflected in him when I was a high schooler (and even a little bit now). It can be off-putting, but his character lends itself to the very human nature of this show, which continues to blossom amidst the comedy, the blushing, and the smiles. These are the things that bring me back week after week. Again, nothing in Kawaisou is original in the slightest, but as long as the execution is done well, I would prefer unoriginal genuine stories over an originally unauthentic plot any day. Picking up this show was the best decision I made this year.
Now, let us all post the adorable screenshots of Ritsu’s frog costume and upvote it to oblivion :3.