Just what are you doing, Nii-Nii?
We had no kissing in odd places in episode 7 – just a fairly straightforward relationship building episode. Kaoru is having problems at home, and misses a couple days of school – which sets Junichi off on a desperate quest to find out what’s wrong. He eventually tracks her down at her “Northern Crab Gratin” waitressing job, thanks to some creative cameos from a couple of the other girls and the two badminton bozu from episode 6. Junichi acts the good friend and talks Kaoru into calling her mother, then goes home and behaves oddly in the bath.
I must confess, so far I’m finding the Kaoru arc much less interesting and romantically involving that the Haruka arc. First off, a problem with this episode for me is that Kaoru’s whole issue was because she saw her Mom with a guy she didn’t know. Seriously – that’s enough to send her off the rails behaving like a ten-year old? I understand she’s had a rough past, but that had a distinctly self-involved character to it.
There’s also just not that much chemistry between Junichi and Kaoru, at least that I can see. They’re too much alike, and too comfortable around each other. You might be able to build a good relationship based on that, but not necessarily one worth watching. Junichi is his passive-aggressive puppy-dog mode, slowly wearing down Haruka’s resistance, was much more interesting to me. And because of the social and chronological gap between them, there was a sensual charge to their romantic encounters – a bit of the forbidden fruit.
It’s hard to see one episode salvaging this arc as a whole for me, but there’s still four more arcs to go after that. I guess that’s the good thing about the “hard boot” narrative style of this series – it’s like the weather in Chicago. If you don’t like it, just wait 2 hours and it will change…