「友達の彼女」 (Tomodachi no Kanojo)
Not the downtime I was expecting, but hey, guess I’ll take it. With only two weeks left for Kanojo Okarishimasu to make us remember why adaptations of ongoing romance series are a fool’s errand for resolution (gotta hawk those manga sales no matter the weather!), it was all about confirming one pairing while prepping the ground to start tearing it down. And if there was some good in the message too, well that’s all the better.
Considering how much Kanojo Okarishimasu has focused on the walking cringe which is Kazuya, I must admit having him do something remarkably endearing is a pretty big surprise. While there’s something to be said about the emotional whiplash (or just illogic) of damn near all of Kazuya’s actions, it’s stuff like helping Kuri out of a mental ditch which really lends credence to the idea a nugget of realism lies at the centre of this story. Is Kazuya an idiot? Yes. Should he have already ended his shared lie with Chizuru in a similar manner to that with Kuri? You’re damn right. Yet it’s steps like these which arguably show it’s not so much Kazuya holding back needed actions as much as his perceived expectations—i.e. plot. Remove grandma from the picture and I’d wager the runaround would already be over, yet because Kazuya refuses to bite the bullet (the same as Chizuru) we are continually swimming in circles. It’s not good for the heart, but hard denying it does wonders for keeping the Kazuya-Chizuru dream alive.
What is likely to wipe the board though are little things like Kuri voicing Chizuru’s feelings that force Chizuru to confront the things Kazuya has already realized earlier. Right now Chizuru can pin everything on a lie and her espoused professionalism, but as soon as that falls away into the crushing phase, expect things to start getting a little hairy. Between Ruka making the play for first spot and Mami looking like she’s ready to throw her wrench back into the machinery, it’s all about who makes the first major move – and that’s before touching on new girl Sumi ready to make her grand debut.
The next arc might only be supposedly about providing rental girlfriend practice, but as any romance afficionado can tell you, no new girl ever stays platonic for long.