「悩みさえなければいい.」 (Nayami sae Nakereba Ii.)
“A Lack of Problems Is All You Need. “
In this episode, it’s Chihiro’s time to shine as she starts working for Ashley and move forward in trying to get closer with Itsuki. At this point, everyone except for Itsuki knows that Chihiro is a girl, which confuses me how no one’s mentioned it, but is important to how we see her motivations. When Ashley finds out, she is the one person who connects the dots right away that Itsuki will eventually find out, and when he does, his little sister complex might motivate how enthusiastic he is about this news. Chihiro’s own development is put on-hold as there were no revelations during her trip with Itsuki other than how blushy she gets as the subway presses them close together. Although Itsuki knows nothing of Chihiro’s identity, she doesn’t do as good a job hiding how excited she is to be close with him. It will take time for any updates from her side of the story, but in time, it will be interesting to see what happens with her.
One thing that did come from their trip to the aquarium is Chihiro attempting to try to get Itsuki in touch with his dad. The episode’s beginning sets the tone for the remainder of the time with the resentment Itsuki had for his father moving on so quickly with another woman following him to this day. Itsuki had only remained in-contact with Chihiro once he moved out, but his dad might be harder for him to want to allow back in his life. The end poked at the possibility of Itsuki letting him back in after he was taken aback by Chihiro’s desire for him and his dad to reconcile. That’ll probably take even longer to happen, but now that he’s warming up to the attention and fun that Nayu gives him, it could happen.
Speaking of Nayu, she offers the episode’s more light-hearted moments as she joins Itsuki while he tries to get inspiration for his next volume from the zoo. He’s not quite able to get his latest idea about a little sister monster devouring her brother, so he’ll have to deal with incorporating vulgar pandas inspired by Nayu’s comments on the indecent exposure zoo animals get away with on a regular basis. If Itsuki doesn’t want to be thrown in novelist prison again, he’ll have to do more than get inspiration from trips, but we’ll see what he can get from his recent visits to the zoo and aquarium.
Haruto finally gets a shining ray of hope this time around from an unlikely source, his sister. The “hell-beast” that revolts Itsuki turns out to actually be cheering him on from afar, expressing her disgust at the anime production studio for not accurately capturing the majesty behind his work. She doesn’t want to admit it through her standard rough tsundere approach to caring for her older brother, but she could just be his greatest ally, pushing him to make sure no one bastardizes his work like that ever again. I’m looking forward to seeing if she shows up more to give Haruto some peace of mind after all the obstacles thrown in his direction.