「見なかったことにしよう……」 (Mina Katta Koto ni Shiyou……)
“I’ll Pretend I Didn’t See This……”
Hello everyone! Zaiden has surrended the right to blog Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai to me, Stilts, due to his upcoming exams, so y’all are stuck with me from here on out. I was super hyped for this series in the preview, and considering the overly-convenient episode one was the weakest of the series so far—and the Nyanko Big antics of last episode were god tier—I’m happy to be covering this going forward. Yoroshiku~
This episode featured the long-awaited revelation that Hinako is, in fact, the model HINA, but not to the person who would be most shaken by it. Alex continues to be a wonderful character, and her genre savviness really elevates the episode since it allows her to poke fun at how no one else realizes that Hinako and HINA are the same person, despite them spending so much time around the real person and pictures of her. Pointing out the goof and hanging a lampshade on it (trope!) won’t work for every plot contrivance, but it’ll work for some, and it helps here.
The comedy in this series continues to be really strong, and it all comes from how strong the characters are. I’ll admit that I don’t always remember the names of every character, but I know who they are. They were characterized really quickly and effectively, and they’re all different enough to stand apart, which made it really easy to get behind them all. Explaining any of the jokes would ruin them, but little moments like this encapsulate it:
Pin-sempai: “I won’t ever wash my hands again!”
Yui: What?! That’s gross!”
Actually, it doesn’t come through all that well in plain text. It’s just the way that Minase Inori delivers the line, and in a cast full of comedic titans, the bokes are great (Yamashita Ken, Pin-sempai, Kaoru, Teresa) and the tsukkomis are spot on (Tada-kun, Hinako, Alex, and Yui). It makes each episode a treat.
Yet even though I did really enjoy the episode, I wish they hadn’t shied away from changing up the dynamic. Maintaining the status quo of Pin-sempai not realizing that Hinako is HINA was expected, so that happening isn’t really a disappointment, but I was reminded of Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, and the lessons it taught me about going fast. The first half of that series was so god tier because they weren’t afraid to go fast and burn content in an attempt to make the very best show they could make now, and it was only once they started padding things out that it weakened. Tada-kun wa Koi wo Shinai had a chance to do the same, to change the status quo now and start showing what happens when the scene is shaken up, rather than saving the HINA reveal for the end (or skipping it entirely) for a feel good ending. (Imagine if he’d gotten there, and she’d called him Hajime-chan. HNNNNG!!) It’s understandable, but when you consider that most novels can be adapted into 90-120 minute movies, a lot of things should happen in four episodes of anime. I wish they’d taken the shot.
One last thing on Hinako and Hajime. Teresa said:
“I think HINA-san is a part of the real you, Hasegawa-san.”
Very true. It’s in the same way that Stilts, my anime blogging alter ego, isn’t the same as who I am, but it is a part of him. We all contain multitudes. Though I also understand her wanting him to love her for who she sees as her authentic self. She ought to give him the chance to love all of her, though, and tell him the truth. At least she’s not in a lot of danger of losing him in the meantime, lol. That boy is a mess.
Anyway, the storytellers seem to be keeping their eyes on the central story, that of Teresa and the secret she’s hiding. This reflected on that well, with Teresa’s line of, “The real you…” speaking volumes. I like the slow boil that one’s on, and look forward to more reveals in the future.
My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: Forbidden Island, coast to coast.