「天道花憐とスランプ・デイズ」 (Tendou Karen to Suranpu Deizu)
“Tendou Karen and Slump Days”

Amano-kun isn’t just on Tendou Karen’s mind. He’s taken up residence and built a 24-room estate front in center in everything she does. This girl has a sickness, and its name is Amano-kun.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wished this episode continued from what happened lasts episode. That’s a problem that will evaporate for those who marathon the series—where this will be but a brief break before getting back into the delicious drama—but for those of us who watch weekly, it’s an excruciating tease. To write on this further would belie the episode’s entertainment value, which was manifold. So enough of that: this is Karen’s messy, embarrassing, frustrating, no grace, very conflicting day.

Karen is a really fun character because she so quickly broke out of her mold as a cookie-cutter popular girl with a secret nerd-friendly hobby, and then she just broke. Seeing her meltdown is truly a treat, not because I hold any ill-will toward her, but because her reactions are hilarious and because it increases the chances inevitability of hilarious hijinks. It also makes us empathize with her, as I’ve said before, because she’s no longer a trope, but a person. And where often diving deeper would spoil the joke, it didn’t here.

Her previous daily life was admirable, and still included some time to have fun, even if I think she needs to get more sleep. (Only six hours? No wonder I’ll never be a kawaii joushikousei. Eight hours minimum, nine hours preferred y0) Her new daily life makes her seem much more mortal. Though should I be happy that I can self-sabotage my sleep schedule without being in love? She has a much better excuse. FML.

As for her date with Amano, their competing (but not really) gaming philosophies weren’t of terribly large interest to me, though that ends up making sense since they’re not all that different. Amano likes to play games, and he likes to compete and win, it’s just that he never lets himself to stick with a game long enough to get really good at it (self-sabotage to avoid being vulnerable, imo), whereas Karen had more follow-through. Not anymore, though, as the mere memory of Amano’s smiling face is enough to torch her gaming prowess. Look y’all, gaming isn’t serious business to me anymore, so I was never going to jive on competing gaming philosophies for the philosophies’ sake. Amano taking up residence in Tendou’s mind and accidentally destroying her daily life AND her way of interacting with her favorite hobby, though? Yeah, let’s do that. Chaos for the chaos god! Hijinks for the loony throne! Let’s dial these romcom shenanigans up to eleven and BREAK OFF THE KNOB, WOOHOO!

Random thoughts:

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for exclusive content. At stephenwgee.com, the last four posts: I get it now!; Guardians of the Galaxy, Glee, & Firesign; That’s not supposed to go there . . .; and The Carcer Principle.

End Card


  1. The end card was drawn by Anti-Magic Academy’s artist, wasn’t it?

    And this episode was hilarious. I was guffawing during the first half as you get to see all of the myriad ways in which Tendou’s routine went to pieces.

    1. Wait, really? It was the same artist? Man, cuz the end card was really well-designed and drawn!

      And seeing Tendou just turn into a love-ridden girl is so amusing~

      Nishizawa Mihashi
  2. I would so get along with Amano gaming-wise: same skill level, same level of interest in games, and I don’t stick with any game long enough to be good at it (and if I ever did, I would never improve anyway, due to low skill ceiling). Heck, I even agree with him with regards to moe.

  3. while this was an enjoyable ep higlighting the endearing qualities of Karen while showing the blossoming of her somewhat amorous feelings for Keita, i have to ask: why is this episode 4? From a series composition standpoint, this section of the story being here breaks a bit of the narrative flow, considering the cliffhanger that last week’s episode left off of and all the building tension that resulted for it. Im all for change of pace but it has to cohesive to your storytelling. This feels more like it should have either been episode 6 or something, which would have made a bit more sense because we’d have had enough time to see how Keita presence causes our infatuated karen to lose her shit, laying the groundwork for the story to effectively explore how much of a model person Karen was before her feelings for Keita turned her world upside down. Not having the other cast members running around in this ep after all the chaos that was orchestrated last ep creates a bit of narrative whiplash.

    by the way, Karen’s mental manifestation of Chiaki’s image is still that of her with seaweed hair, which indicates to us that this episode takes place chronologically during the days Keita and Chiaki really started to bond. Either that or Karen never noticed that Chiaki cut her hair which i find highly unlikely since they are in the same class. Overall, adorable episode but i just wouldnt have placed it here. At least resolve the current arc happening before you jump to something else. I know this ep had “intermission” within its title but i dont think that was the best decision narratively speaking even when looking at this from a binge watching perspective. This is the kind of ep that would have felt more in-place within the narrative after all that chaos being built last ep had reached some conclusion because then it would really hammer in how much Karen’s growing feelings for Keita and the spiraling whirlpool of emotions she’s experiencing from it has affected her lifestyle. This was a character introspection ep that works better after things have calmed down from a big arc not while an arc is going on; that’s just creates storytelling discord

  4. They might as well tittled this episode the Fall of Tendou Karen and be done with it! My dear gods, every single character of this story is so fun to watch! When Karen finds out about Mono-san and who she really is the poor girl is going to have a heart attack!.

  5. Once again I love these characters. I was laughing all through the “serious” start just imaging how everything was going to break, and it didn’t disappoint. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled about a loss so I’m somewhere between the two with my gaming philosophy, but I love the effect Keita has on Karen.

    Ponytail > ribbon!!!

  6. https://randomc.net/image/Gamers/Gamers%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2026.jpg
    Don’t sweat it, Keita. My luck is similar to yours when it comes to opening loot crates in Crossout or getting good item drops in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. orz

    Dangit, Karen’s still adorable even when she’s falling apart being lovestruck over Keita. Even if it’s unlikely, it’d be nice if she manages to earn her happy ending with him.

    My stance on gaming is basically this: Video games at their very core should always be fun to play, whether you’re a first-timer (interesting game elements, minimal to no scrappy mechanics, etc.) or someone who treats it as serious business (a good reward for a well-earned win, I suppose). Although mileage will definitely vary with each person on what makes a game “fun”…

    1. The contrary bastard in me has to quibble. Always being fun to play . . . well, on some level perhaps. But hyper-difficult games are rarely fun to play, but the struggle of beating an unforgiving system provides a catharsis that’s ultimately worth it (for some). It’s a kind of entertainment, I guess? But fun doesn’t seem quite right.

      Though maybe I shouldn’t be talking, because I do all sorts of things that aren’t fun in the moment but are ultimately satisfying.

  7. You know, something about the “school Madonna being brought down to Earth and made more human” schtick never fails to amuse me, to the point I consider it a “sadist’s pleasure”. If Karen was stuck with being the “untouchable Queen in a high place” (I imagine the Japanese equivalent of what I was trying to say would be “takane no hana”, lit. ‘Flower in a high place’) I find it hard-pressed for me to like her character at all. Seeing her crumble whenever Amano is involved simply amused me to no end.

    Strike Mk.II
    1. See, beautiful people tend to be waaay to self-conscious of the fact that they are a cut above the rest just because of that alone, and if you give them brains and brawns too; of course the contrast and the fall from grace are all the more delicious for the observer.
      Karen wasn’t conceited or despotic at the start like many school idols are, she was mainly a straight laced student who built up a public image that she didn’t necessarily grow attached to. From our point of view, it was a disciplined and mastered routine to a peaceful and successful school life. Then comes along Amano, you know that self love has to go somewhere… Karen is full of love and wants to give it all to him.
      Let us hope this ship gets somewhere. XD

      Helvetica Standard
  8. ahh~ i can understand what amano-kun said….let’s take example with an RPG game FF12, for amano he satisfied with just clearing the main story while tendou playing time record against yiazmat XD(50million hp wuhuuu! i’m proud to defeat it in non-zodiac version).

  9. I love that they brought up the Kiniro Memories game gag again and then he bought it after saying he wasn’t lol. It was a SALE, you can’t skip wishlist games on sale when you got the cash. I resonate with Keita, I like games I can enjoy without the mega hard learning curve thus my like for top down shooters and dislike of bullet hell! I hope Keita gets together with Karen before the end of the show even just to play some games, all i could think was CO-OP something darnit, but then Keita was playing the military game with them and felt bad for taking it easy.

    PS even in high school i was a 6 hour sleeper, also a gamer then lol. 5 min breakfast more game then run school lol.

  10. It cracks me up how they managed to give away the plot during the first episode and still make this one as cool as it can get 🙂
    I too was expecting a continuation of last week’s arc but I was blissfully adrift into this episode 5 min in. So funny and good and smartly written xD


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