「掃除当番 / 逆上がり / 風邪 / 尾行」 (Soujitouban / Sakaagari / Kaze / Bikou)
“Cleaning Duty / Kickover / Cold / Tailing”
So far, we’ve gotten a decent understanding of how Takagi and Nishikata bond with one another, but it has only been through our own lens. In Episode 04, we get to see how other classmates see Takagi and Nishikata’s relationship, and it helps solidify how them getting together isn’t so much an “If”, but rather a “When”.
The most important highlight of the first segment with Takagi joining Nishikata in his after-school punishment is their encounter with Nakai and Mano. The two are friends, but are more outwardly about their interest in each other as they head up to the roof-top after-school to spend time together. Takagi knows full-well about their relationship, and relating it back to her own motives for staying with Nishikata after-school sets the stage for the two to start seeing one another in a fonder light. My personal favorite moment of the skit was when Nakai cheers on Nishikata to wish him good luck on their relationship. It was relatable in the sense that his encouragement is what many of us are thinking as we slowly see him falling for her. That, and it reminds me of one time when I shipped two people together at a party while I was tipsy.
Speaking of shipping, Mina, Yukari, and Sanae spend the last segment tailing Nishikata and Takagi as they are quick to ship the two together. If Nakai wasn’t relatable enough, these three are even more obvious as representative of our excitement over seeing what happens between the two. Objectively, Yukari finally had some wonderful time to shine in this episode as we see a side of her that is gushing over the possibility of catching the duo dating. Mina and Sanae have had a lot of skits revolved around their antics so it’s nice to see that Yukari isn’t merely just the straight person that is too good to be associated with any of it.
In other news, it was funny to see that Nishikata is a fan of shoujo anime, and is inspired by his favorite anime to prank Takagi. His favorite anime hits entirely at home with the heroine and another guy are in the reverse situation of Nishikata with the heroine being the victim of a guy’s pranks. While his preferences in anime consumption lend itself to the idea that he is adjusting himself to the idea of gaining affection for a prankster, his television habits are the apparent source of a cold he got that night.
Takagi’s behavior in the Cold segment is a stark contrast with her mischievous behavior in the past episodes. Something feels off right away for her when she sees his desk empty, but seeing Nishikata hacking up a lung is actually harrowing for her in a way that we haven’t seen in other segments. The animation in this section was on-point as we’re able to catch on to Takagi’s concern easily through the startled movements her face and eyes make as her expression is serious and worried for Nishikata’s health up until he gives her the green light to relax. There was more Takagi and Nishikata in this episode so there were issues with some of the segments like the High Bar one blending into the other sections, but it was a strong episode in showing how the two and their friends are starting to take the idea of there being something more to their relationship in a somewhat serious manner.