「特訓 ちょきちょき 怖いもの」 (Tokkun / Chokichoki / Kowai Mono)
“Special Training, Snip-Snip, Something Scary “
Ayaka is presented as quite the enigma in the second episode of Sunohara-sou. She is very direct and open about her affectionate side, and most of our experience with her is knowing how much she dotes on Aki with the support and skinship she provides. And yet, she has many facets of her that she doesn’t quite leave on the surface that we learn about during this episode such as her interests and fears. Upon seeing Nishiki again, she lets it slip that she’s a fan of her alcohol as she’s been known to go a little wild during the town’s Beerfest that she volunteers at. Meanwhile, the crux of the second quarter of the episode involves Aki trying to figure out what she fears after her ambivalence about catching and releasing a spider piques Yuzu’s curiosity in figuring out what she’s scared of. She opens up to Aki only after tricking him into getting dragged into her bed that night, telling her that the scary movie that he was put up to showing her actually did secretly scare her. We’re still very early into the series, but from the way things are shaping up, we’ll be learning much more about Ayaka as Aki continues to hang out with her.
In a similar fashion, things are moving quickly with Aki as he caught feelings for Ayaka early on, and finds himself constantly being taken aback with how much of a hold she has on him. With both all of the favors she’s done for him to help him get accustomed to school and the lodging home and his physical attraction for her, he finds himself more apt to want to prove himself to her as a manly figure. She is definitely giving him enough space to not fully see him as a fully-grown man, but at the moment, it doesn’t bother him to such a large extent when he finds that his relationship with her is giving him some clear groundwork to use to be taken seriously. He’s still got a ways to go, and won’t change anyone’s mind about him being her little brother or son as opposed to a love interest, but there is hope for Aki that he’ll be in the position where his push to be tough and forward will come from the courage he gains from being around Ayaka.
This episode wasn’t wholly centered around Aki and Ayaka’s bonding moments since we get to see more of the three other tenants, Yuzu, Sumire, and Yuki. At this point, Yuzu has the most chemistry with Aki as he finds that he’s able to ironically feel like he has more control of a situation by upstaging her via having less of a fear for spiders than she does. While she’s prone to letting her guard down, she is also open about what she is interested in as she confides with Aki to scheme up bold and outrageous plans to find out what scares Ayaka. Sumire continues being devoted/smitten by Yuzu, but finds herself in a hard situation when she senses the lewd thoughts Aki has about her wearing a cheerleader outfit. The dark horse of the group might actually be Yuri, however, because of how funny it is when she gives her tactless input during hectic times such as her defense of huntsman spiders, which only bite humans on rare occasions despite looking incredibly scary, wanting to see Aki wear a cute dress on his trip with Ayaka, and prodding Yuzu for being afraid of spiders. Next time around looks to be an episode honing in on Yuzu, but it’ll be interesting to continue looking into Sunohara-sou now that it’s beginning to give its cast more to work with.