「結びの伝説 2日目」 (Musubi no Desetsu: Futsukame)
“Legend of Fate Day 2”
This was a momentous episode for fans of Nino as is quickly smitten by Fuutarou while he’s wearing a blonde wig and pretending to be his relative. However, when she props up the idea of dancing by the bonfire, it gives Fuutarou food-for-thought as to whether he should stick by his original plan to dance with Ichika. Meanwhile, Ichika continues to grapple with the difficult situation of finding herself falling more and more in love with Fuutarou even as she’s trying to play matchmaker with him and Miku.
To make amends with the lack of Nino the last time around, this episode gave her a huge boost during the haunted forest segment. As it turns out, the blonde wig that Fuutarou wore for his monster costume turned out to look exactly like his old photo. But since Nino is still under the impression that the little boy in his photo was a relative, Fuutarou has to go along with that exact story. This did get incredibly cheesy with how she completely buys the idea that he’s Fuutarou’s relative who just appeared out-of-nowhere and how a cartoonishly deep cliff was awaiting Nino to trip over before Fuutarou risked his life to save her. At the same time, it’s still great to see how differently Nino behaves around a guy she’s interested in, and it’s quite amusing to see a shy, flustered Nino.
It was also interesting to see how there is a little bit of tension bubbling on the surface with Miku and Ichika. This episode has Miku more inquisitive on Ichika’s own feelings for Fuutarou, but considering that she just tried to kiss him in his sleep, she had to be very cautious about what her next move was. Ichika defaulted to falling back on her “big sister” act by hiding her matchmaker crush with jokes about Fuutarou’s rigidity and giving Miku the opportunity to switch in as his dance partner. But while Ichika’s affection could provide some competition to Miku, the worst enemies that Miku has at the moment are her shyness and Fuutarou’s meek obliviousness. Right when Ichika deliberately gives Miku a window for her to talk to Fuutarou by herself, she refuses to talk with him because he’s going on about where Nino could possibly be. He’s not the brightest bulb on the tree, but Miku’s lack of assertiveness anywhere outside of insisting she’ll be the one to get with Fuutarou when the time’s right is going to be a huger detriment to her in the future. Especially with girls as aggressive as Nino or as mature as Ichika possibly dancing with him by the famed bonfire. One thing going for Miku at the moment is her reaction to the blonde Fuutarou, which could link her towards the girl in Fuutarou’s photo, but at this point, the only girl who’s ruled out from that is Nino.
But with Nino asking the disguised Fuutarou to dance with her, his relative act ends up causing even more trouble for him as he now has to figure out who he should dance with; if he should stick with the original plan to dance with Ichika or continue pretending to be his blonde relative to dance with Nino. It shows a glaring problem in Fuutarou’s character that is all-too-convenient for the story with his no-nonsense demeanor being the Achilles heel that prevents him from really understanding how the girls feel. It was easy to see this in Episode 08 when he ignored Nino as she was showing him the picture that would link his childhood friend back to one of the girls. His obliviousness was also glaring in the last episode when he didn’t notice Miku taking the Ichika wig in plain view. Whereas Fuutarou started out as an interesting subversion from the standard dopey harem protagonist, they made up for his lack of pervy or milquetoast character traits by having his flaw being his lack of intelligence during key moments because it works for the story.
His proposal at the end of the episode keeps this trend going by using his inability to commit and his impression that Ichika would never care for him to formulate a plan to get out of dancing with anyone. Leaning on the idea that it’d be distracting for him to dance with one of the sisters as his main excuse, he tries to convince Ichika to just forget about the dance. Based on both Ichika’s actions in the last episode and how she acted around him during Episodes 05 and 06, she was never going to take a rejection that blasé about her feelings well. And naturally, she didn’t. For all of the time that Fuutarou had been trying to get on the girls’ good sides after making just about all of the sisters frustrated with him, his decision to propose that idea to Ichika was the cherry on top of the string of terrible choices he’s made along the way. Things could bounce back in his fortune now that he’s trapped in the shed with Ichika, but he’ll have his work cut out for him to make it up to each of the sisters next time around.