「ウキウキ夏休み」 (Ukiuki Natsuyasumi)
“A Light-Hearted Summer Vacation”
There isn’t anything quite like the breeze of summer hitting your skin, the soft shouts of people around you, getting to see your coworkers in their bathing suits? A yes, the comfort of season, even if it comes with blistering heat, cool nights are yet to come. Summer is all about hitting the pool to break the heat, or in Senpai ga Uzai’s case hitting the beach. The seaside brings out different facets of one’s personality. Vulnerability arises and cheeks flush, it’s all very complicated, but Harumi doesn’t seem to think that way, he’s an easy-going guy, who takes it all in stride, he doesn’t flinch when Futaba emotionally opens up, he’s not met with trouble when Futaba expresses not knowing how to swim. Everything is YES in their relationship, Harumi’s easy going-ness eases Futaba in her daily anxieties, and this episode made it ever-present that Futaba suffers through anxieties that manifest through her personality, it’s not exactly Tsundere, I would even go as far and say that it’s an elevation of the trope. It wholeheartedly incorporates it into Futaba’s personality and makes it part of her, she’s not always like this, she has moments where she lets Harumi through, and opens small ways of communication, bonds grow stronger and people closer. Even if Harumi sometimes doesn’t say the right thing.
Light-Hearted is the correct word here, even if the episode came bundled with your hefty dose of fan service (i.e. Harumi showing off his abs, the girls wearing scandiclad bikini’s, the works), it makes sure to not stray from the actual plot this episode follows. As common as that plot is, the episode managed really well to actually put us in the situation, and allowed us to be with the characters. Which the episode was all about, yet it’s not easy to pull that off and at the same time keep us invested, the mundanity of it all is common, everyone has experienced going to the beach, even if around the world that experience has different connotations for everyone, in Japan, for example, it might mean staying overnight at an open bath, and sharing a room with your mates, not allowing Souta to sleep. Actually, Souta really shined this episode, I could see that he didn’t actually want to give Yuuto that fried shrimp, but the thanks Touko gave him, were enough to communicate that she also appreciated it. And in turn knew how difficult it must have been for him to give such a delicious part of his food, which resulted in a cascade of event’s that lead to everyone giving Yuuto a little bit of fried shrimp, resulting in a mountain of fried shrimp before him, during the night it caused some fried shrimp nightmares on him. Really cute stuff!
I’ve barely touched on Natsumi this episode, I really like Senpai ga Uzai because of how it handles character drama, during the opening minutes of the episode Natsumi gets introduced in front of everyone, Harumi actually says “He’s been meaning to get to know her” Small details like that go a long way, as even though everyone has their own little world and their own little sphere when those spheres connect even if it’s just for a brief moment in time, it is how we choose to act and portray ourselves that makes an image of individual in the other person’s brain. Harumi was never mean, or bad to her, instead he just treated her, like he would treat any other person out there. Not changing, or modifying his core, but instead reaching out and looking at other’s people acceptance. Overall really mushy stuff today, but that’s because the episode actually made me smile and made me feel something, which is always greatly appreciated. And not very common.
With this episode officially over, this marks the beginning of the third act for this series, and I have to wonder if we’ll see any of the relationships actually fruition into what they have been foreshadowing. In other words, will they actually become true, will both party’s confess and ask for the other one two accept their feelings and make something out of them, I’m not sure if that’s going to be the case. But it would certainly be neat if the series ended in such a manner, however, the possibility of a second season looms on the horizon, yet a conclusive ending would also be proper. Who knows?!