「身体検査です / 恋です」 (Shintai Kensa Desu / Ren Desu)
“It’s just a physical / It’s just a crush”
She is the yandere of all yanderes in a school of psychopaths and Komi simps, and her name is Ren Yamai (Rina Hidaka). Yes, you may remember her from episode 2 when she whispered death threats to Tadano, and no, she has not changed since then. If anything, she’s gotten a whole lot worse, and her unhealthy obsession for Komi has manifested into some crazy and downright illegal behavior. I mean, this girl well-near committed seppuku or “honor suicide” because Komi would not speak with her. Indeed, the task of making friends in this school is becoming more and more challenging, and in this case, quite dangerous as well. Nevertheless, it was yet another hilarious episode of the series and not without its iconic wholesome moments to make it a worthwhile rollercoaster of high school chaos.
The Perils of Yadano Makeru
An interesting concept of this show is how every character’s name is a Japanese wordplay that actually reflects the personality traits of said character. The most obvious example is Komi Shouko, whose name literally includes the Japanese phrase “Comyushou” meaning “communication disorder”. Tadano Hitohito straight-up means “just a person”, which is exactly what he is in this series: the most normal guy in the school. As we’ve seen with Osana Najimi, he/she is the “childhood friend” and that is exactly reflected in the name. If there’s one thing I wish they did more often in this series, it would be explaining to foreign audiences (like myself) what every other supporting character’s name suggests about their personalities, as they did with Najimi.
Going off that, if you had a certain level of Japanese language knowledge, you may have been able to guess what Makeru Yadano (Ami Maeshima) was about to go through by “challenging” Komi in the physical exams. Yes, Yadano Makeru’s name is made up of two words being “yada,” a phrase used when one is in an undesirable situation, and “Makeru” literally meaning “to lose.” This phrase could also simply be read as “Yadano loses,” which is just as funny. Knowing this, it’s hilarious to see Makeru fighting against her fate, and seeing the psychological battles that some of these students are having with themselves is all the more comedic as Komi is just oblivious to them.
Ren Yamai: Psychopath or Friend?
Yet another big hint about this character, Ren Yamai’s name could easily be read to mean “love sickness” and I think we all know where this is going. Nothing could more accurately describe the absolutely horrendous behavior of this young lady, as she goes as far as kidnapping Tadano and threatening to kill him, all so she could have Komi to herself. As with all dangerously obsessed characters, Yamai’s room is covered in cropped photos of her and Komi that fulfill her fantasies. All aspects of Yamai’s character point to a mentally-ill and unstable psychopath that goes beyond a standard yandere and starts to enter the realm of criminal behavior.
Nonetheless, Komi came out of this situation in an absolute boss-like fashion when she rejected Yamai’s friendship, dropping the “I choose my own friends” shut down message. It was a rejection that was a long time coming, but it seems to have had a slight impact on Yamai’s character, who was convinced to apologize to Tadano and Komi, though not in the most genuine way. Despite it all, it looks like Yamai is now classified as a “friend” as far as the 100 friend challenge goes. Personally, I don’t see any genuinity in any of these friendships, with the exception of Komi and Tadano, but perhaps Komi’s immense power over these students i.e. the simps will place her in a position to make them better people.
Am I hoping for too much? Probably. Am I pumped for the next episode? Most definitely!