「台風 / マラソン / わき腹 / 未練」 (Taifuu / Marathon / Wakibara / Miren)
“Typhoon / Marathon / Ribs / Regrets”
After a long and relaxing summer, Takagi and Nishikata’s second semester is finally here as the school gets prepped up for more outdoor activity. Even with Nishikata’s work-out regimen, he still finds a way to lose against Takagi. The Marathon segment as a whole was nice in that they were able to incorporate all of the side-characters that have been introduced so far. Nishikata’s friends were the first people to suggest to Nishikata that he might have something for Takagi as they wonder if they are on the same level as Nakai and Mano. Meanwhile, Mina, Yukari, and Sanae are gearing up for their own competition within the marathon. It also gave them the opportunity to have different friend groups intermingle as Mina’s lack of stamina caused her to lag behind with Nishikata’s friends while Sanae charged through and beat everybody. It was another segment where Nishikata’s short-sighted gamble doesn’t pay off, but it was cool to see the show’s dedication to bringing in the side characters often as a part of their narrative.
Nishikata’s failings in this episode revolved a lot around him overthinking his strategy for outsmarting Takagi or protecting himself from her onslaught of teasing. He had the answer to why Takagi didn’t bring her bicycle to the typhoon in front of him, but as soon as she proposed the idea that she’d punish him for getting it wrong, he suddenly started to read it as a mind game. Similarly, his gamble in the marathon automatically directed him towards trying to test his running skills against hers without thinking that it’d be easier for him to poke her than it would be for him to outrun her when boys have to run an extra distance.
One thing that was very great about the episode was how funny it ended up being. Nishikata’s wind-cry was hilarious and relatable as one of those “spur of the moment” emotions that come out when the wind is raging. Takagi’s impersonation was twice as funny as her voice gets overly excited about being a wizard who controls the wind. There was one moment I noticed immediately when Nishikata is laughing to himself as he thinks of a plan to stump Takagi in the marathon, and the student behind him notices right away, and looks unnerved. I didn’t expect it, but it was amazing how hilarious that ended up being.
The last segment was also a nice addition as Mina forces her friends to go along with her to last episode’s tunnel for a last minute Test of Courage to make up for missing out on it in the summer. It was comical to see Mina and Sanae get each other excited about seeing how spooky the things Takagi left behind were. It loses it’s horror factor right away, but Mina and Sanae do a great job at selling how pumped up they are at trying to find the occult in the tunnel. The Regrets segment was one segment that really felt like hanging out with good friends, where you enjoy the company you share with one another, but know full well that these moments are temporal, and have to be enjoyed while they last. Whether it’s summer vacation or graduation, these moments might not last forever, but it’s better to be happy that it happened than sad that it’s over. That, and there’s still homework waiting once you come back from break. Now that’s something that lasts forever.