「クリスマスと彼女」 (Kurisumasu to Kanojo)
“Christmas and Girlfriend”
From the highest levels of potential to, well, something less appetizing: yes, Kanojo Okarishimasu has not forgotten its origins. Given how last episode went you’d expect some movement on the whole “Ruko is secretively best girl” front, but nawh, right now it’s all about Kazuya, and damn does Kazuya know what is strengths are. Of whether those are actually strengths is up to the beholder, however I dare say few will be breaking with popular opinion on this one.
Given the nature of Kanojo Okarishimasu’s story you have to give some credit the whole shebang. For all the drama and head banging agony, yes, romantic movement does occur—albeit of the slow variety. While a lot (read: everyone) could do without a whole week devoted to outright stalking and rationalization, Chizuru going ahead and buying Kazuya a present really shows this pairing isn’t strictly professional any longer and is, in fact, in the realm of more intimate implications. Mind you, I’d still pour cold water on any beliefs we’ll see actual development towards a fully fledged relationship before this season is through (romance is always about suspense over reward), but Chizuru is undeniably starting to grow smitten with her most important client, and such feelings will inevitably lead to more dramatic circumstances down the road.
Of course, such positivity is quickly drowned out by Kazuya because damn is this a male lead who knows how to go from hot to cold. While I can get behind Kazuya eagerly embracing a newfound crush on Chizuru (it’s not true love yet by any means), spending a whole afternoon following her around like a lost puppy and wallowing in self-degradation is not a good image, especially after all the talk of improvement and learning to stand strong and independent. These are the sort of stunts which really come across as overly creepy and needy, actions which rather than indicate desire and development hint towards stunted growth and overt naivety. Kazuya may be firmly focused on Chizuru at this stage, but in my opinion there’s better ways of showing that interest, especially right after hesitantly hitching his horse to the Ruka rollercoaster. The one benefit though is at least we know what’s up with Chizuru given the mention of acting school. Kazuya might be a hopeless cause, but by hell does Chizuru have a game plan and is consistently working towards her long-term goal.
It’s just a question now of how much her growing affection for Kazuya will wind up upsetting that plan once the inevitable inter-girl drama kicks into high gear.