「はじめての旅行」 (Hajimete no ryokou)
“My First Trip”
We all knew there couldn’t be a fanservice show without it’s beach episode! Luckily, the show delivers everything and more that you’d ever want from some plot-heavy fun in the sun. This was THE episode to watch if you’ve been waiting for a heavier degree of oppai, and if the rest of the series had its times of drought and famine, Episode 8 is where the crop is all the more bountiful. We have close-ups of oppai, rubbing oppai, grabbing oppai, rubbing sunscreen on the backs of girls as we see a part of their oppai. They even threw in enough booty for all of the Dandy’s in the audience. It’s at this point where we all know what we signed up for when we picked up the series, even if the uncensored stream sometimes didn’t have much to censor in a given episode. I’m more than happy to say that after seeing some fanservicey beach episodes recently that don’t use the setting to it’s fullest, Hajimete no Gal got the most out of the beach and the hot springs in this one.
But that’s not to say all of it’s developments were purely in the cast’s assets. The beach vacation was a good chance for Yame to share a closer bond with Junichi and the friends she’s made along the way. While Ranko and Nene were there to bring the laughs, it was sweet how Yame was trying to make sure Yui was having a good time. There were numerous times when Yui felt out of her element at the beach, and wasn’t hyperactive or enthused enough to stick her neck out and play as much aside from helping with the sand castle or coming out with the super soaker. By the time they got to the hot springs, it seemed that Yui felt out of place, but Yame wanted to help bring her back into the fold by cheering her up a bit as everyone was groping each other. It sounds silly, but it was that bonding moment that helped make Yui feel like she fits in more, and isn’t just there to be chased by her Boa shadow.
The humor was on-point too with the guy friends that matter planning to use their weapons-grade artillery to infiltrate the women’s hot springs. With some of the eccentric military goofiness, and how the entire area surrounding the hot springs were rigged to take out peeping Toms, it was a funny scenario that gave the episode more to work with than just the fanservice. Minoru is still a shit, though it was good to know he passed out at the hot spring before he could act on his impulses.
If you look beyond the lighter moments, however, the last five minutes of this episode were bleak. Everyone knew that there would only be one winner in this series with Junichi and Yame as our tag team champions, but the vacation ended up being a wake-up call to everyone who had wanted a piece of them. As our couple bonds on the beach, the rest of the girls look to their side to see them as the sparklers they lit go dim. The darkness cast over them is very painful, especially since there aren’t too many episodes left, and the other girls are becoming bitterly aware that they won’t be with their dream partners by the end of the anime. Junichi doesn’t leave unscathed from this episode either since the scene after the credits brings out Dai-chan, some unknown guy who happens to be familiar with Yame. This, a scene earlier when Junichi isn’t alright with other guys talking to Yame, and the title of the episode being “My First Fight” worries me that Junichi is not going to handle any of this correctly. I guess we’ll have to wing it and find out next week on whether their relationship is on the rocks.