「買い物 / 水着 / 海 / 部屋)」 (Kaimono / Mizugi / Umi / Heya)
“Shopping / Swimsuit / Ocean / Room “
Our latest installment of Takagi’s summer vacation explores how much of Nishikata’s life is influenced by his love for shoujo manga 100% Unrequited Love. His guilty pleasure series has become the crux of many of the poor guy’s misfortunes as he continues to sneak around and avoid anyone noticing how much he really enjoys the manga. The first part focused on another mind game that Nishikata ended up playing himself at to prevent Takagi from letting him know she saw him buy the manga. However, the last part of the episode is more telling of how much of a hold the series has on him as Takagi notices his vast collection of every volume so far. As she gets Nishikata flustered about wanting to finish her homework on his bed, he can’t help but feel embarrassed as he cycles through scenarios from his favorite shoujo manga, and tries to shake them off as they finish their summer homework together.
While it is funny to see him try to avoid having his secret love for shoujo get out, it does reveal that a part of Nishikata that sees something special in the very things that Takagi likes to tease him with. As she tells him about wanting to swim some time with him as she picks out a swimsuit and expresses interest in visiting his room again, he reflects on what that would say about Takagi. If she’s showing interest in seeing him, does this make their friendship something more? She gets on his nerves, yet he is still ecstatic and blushy about the possibility of being able to see her again. They’re feelings that he definitely doesn’t want to confront any time soon, but it is one thing that he has in common with the heroine of his manga who gets so wound up by the main guy. He comes off like he’s generally excited about the prospect of sharing time at the beach or in his room with Takagi, so the sentimentality behind sharing such moments with her piques his interests to a substantial degree.
This recent episode also treats us to some of the side characters who provide both substance and fun to the series. It’s always nice to see Nakai and Mano on-screen as they act as an antithesis towards Takagi and Nishikata as friends that get along so well that they have much clearer signs of being together. There was a slight hint that Mano had realized why she was hiding the part of the dressing room tarp that Nishikata was hiding under, but it was amusing to see how even Nishikata and Takagi are wary of being seen as a couple by the school’s power-couple. The trio was funny this time around too as Yukari uses her inability to swim against her friends by threatening not to help them with their studying if they prod her about it. To me though, what made this episode special was how much closer this summer vacation has allowed Nishikata and Takagi to get, and when the threat of a flying piece of chalk isn’t at stake, their bonding has a better chance of being cute and endearing.