「男女交際禁止令」 (Danjo Kousai Kinshi Ryou)
“Inappropriate Conduct Between the Sexes Is Now Forbidden”
Araburu Kisetsu no Otome-domo yo. has decided that its end game will not focus on any of the girls finding solutions to their struggles with puberty. It will not focus on Hongou trying to get over her unstoppable crush on her teacher Milo or Momoko finding any peace of mind with acknowledging that she can still continue to find love if she’s interested in girls. Instead, it will center around the girls’ war against a corrupt principal who just banned intimacy and expelled Rika, and the hostage situation they created as a result.
To be fair, the episode is highly eventful in some regards, especially for Niina. Her despair from both Izumi rejecting her advances and Momoko confessing to her compel her to gravitate towards the only person who has shown interest in her this whole time: Saegusa. Although Saegusa had always acted like he preferred far younger girls, he sang a completely different tune when Niina had propositioned him to take her virginity under the guise of seeing her “grow up” as he kept rambling about. As expected, it’s highly disturbing to see how enthusiastic he is to get the green light from Niina, enough so that it disgusted her and caused her to immediately punch him in the face as soon as she could. Props to whoever staged the punching scene, cause she clocked him good in the face with that jab. Soon after, Niina was given a golden ticket from Kazusa in the form of telling Niina everything that she ever wanted to hear from the very start. After Kazusa thanked Niina and gave her permission to confess to Izumi, it conveniently gave Niina the relief she needed to no longer concern herself with needing to feel inadequate for Izumi’s affection. However, this comes at the cost of Kazusa’s development as she regresses, revealing to have been in a different mindset when she said those things, and immediately regretting it as she races to have Izumi take her virginity as her last-ditch effort to make sure he doesn’t accept Niina’s confession.
The developments above are inconsequential though because the overall plot is derailed when Rika and Shun are expelled for being caught walking around the red light district. Even though they were tailing Hongou as she pressured Milo to take her to a love motel, the principal sees it as his chance to make an example out of Rika & Shun after Jujou’s pregnancy in a decision that is ripped straight out of Footloose. Rika’s uncalled-for expulsion and the principal’s ban on opposite-sex relationships cause the girls to create a hostage situation. They will hold Milo captive until the school reverses its decision to ban relationships and expel Rika. The absurdity of having the girls commit an actual crime in holding a teacher captive is one thing since the plot could easily excuse what the girls do from here on out with a slap on the wrist. But it’s another thing to do this when you only have an episode left to wrap things up. Instead of giving the girls a normal reflective experience in their life that teaches them how far they’ve come since Niina brought up sex at her first club meeting, the last episode will focus on the hostage situation, any tense interactions that come from the hostage situation, and the fact that they are threatening both the teacher and the school into giving into their demands. Any claim that this anime could have in being a relatable coming-of-age story has been thrown out the window in its entirety to the point of no return. We’ve got one more episode to wrap this story up, but really, will the ending be relevant to any of the girls’ romantic pursuits or provide any of them with a sense of meaningful development after everything is said and done?