「センパイ、お祭り行きませんか？ / デートみたいっすね、センパイ♡ / 帰りましょう、センパイ」 (Senpai, Omatsuri Ikimasen ka? / Deeto Mitaissu ne, Senpai♡ / Senpai, Omatsuri Ikimasen ka?)
“Senpai, Want to Go to the Festival? / It’s Like a Date, Huh, Senpai? / Let’s Go Home, Senpai”
This week’s Ijiranaide, Nagatoro-san has been far kinder on Paisen as he actually takes the initiative on enjoying the summer festival with Nagatoro and rescuing her from weird creepy dudes that her friend Sakura seems to attract. While he still needs a little more of a push from Nagatoro and her other friends, it was a relief to see that he’s become comfortable around the girls and vice versa, even if it feels like they’re worlds apart from each other.
It was refreshing to see that Paisen is starting to take hints from Nagatoro to be assertive. He might have needed that same boost of energy when he relied on being captured by Gamou and Yoshi to get her to come to the festival, but once she was there, he had an easier time urging her to hit up all of the mainstays of a cozy summer festival.
The fireworks scene in particular gave Paisen more to work with by showing off his aggressive side. In particular, getting Nagatoro out of the giant pile-up of people on the way to the fireworks meant yanking her arm straight out and leading her to the spot. He must’ve internalized much of Nagatoro’s feelings about him needing to make the first move considering how there was no reluctance to be seen as soon as he pulled her out. Similarly, it was funny to see him test Nagatoro on what exactly she considers to be dirty, considering how much she calls him a “virgin” when they’re both on the same boat. It wasn’t as funny as the reveal that the spot Paisen chose was a popular make-out spot, but it was a very close contender.
But Paisen at his most impressive had to be when he stepped up to confront the dudes making unwanted advances to Nagatoro to pull her and her friends away from them. Paisen straight-up let his body move on his own and was ready to step up right before the twig made the situation awkward for him. But it was a relief to see that Paisen actually let his thoughts come through to him and asked Nagatoro to leave with him rather than let himself get embarrassed or mocked by randos.
Last week, I was gushing about how much I enjoy Yoshi as the jovial hanger-on, but this week, it’s Gamou’s turn. In past episodes, she proved to be an amusing antagonistic figure who wouldn’t make any buts about pushing Paisen to his limits as she teased him. But with last week’s beach segment, I started to notice that she’s started to take it a little easier on him. You could even argue that Gamou slapping a leash on Paisen and texting Nagatoro on it was her way of being a wingman towards getting her to hang out with Paisen and fight to hang out with him alone.
On that same note, it was nice to see what role she played during the final segment when she actively encouraged Paisen to come to the table and say what he had to say. With Paisen’s determined call to get Nagatoro to come home with him, she even had an earnest smile and happily followed suit. It was a pleasant surprise to see, and hopefully, we see more of those small shades of Gamou’s character where she also wants to help Paisen defend himself because she sees him as being someone who is unpretentious and sobering to be around.