Another two eps, another arc ends, another notch on Haruka’s belt.
Judging from the post traffic I’ve seen, I think I’m in the minority in feeling that this “modified omnibus” format makes the relationships seem arbitrary. I still feel like Haru jumped right out of Kazuha’s bed and into Akira’s bathtub (though in hindsight that may have been a fantasy sequence). Even for the second arc the “common” first two episodes feel too far away – how will it work for the remaining girls?
The format so far seems pretty reliable. Haruka gets involved and tried to help one of his harem through a personal crisis. Tears are spilt, eventually things work out, and Haruka has sex with the girl de jour. There are differences, of course – starting with the girls. I certainly like Akira more than Kazuha – I’m s sucker for a Miko, to start with, and she’s an appealingly plucky and genki girl despite her hard lot in life. Haruka proved himself quite the busybody here – taking it upon himself to chase down a theory that Kazuha’s mom was actually Akira’s mom, even forcing Kazuha to get a paternity test done. Problem is, I don’t think he really considered the impact this revelation would have had on everyone. A family might well have been destroyed, in fact – and would Akira really have been happier? Fortunately it turned out to be a red herring, Kazuha’s mother had simply taken a shine to Akira as an adorable and genki (go figure) baby – a baby that had ripped the pendant right off her neck as a newborn. Mom let the baby keep the pendant, which ended up back in her possession after a stranger found it in the woods. I never did quite get why she resented Akira so much, to be honest, but it ended happily with Akira getting her pendant back and a big hug.
Oh, and of course, a sex scene. And what a sex scene! It’s odd to see this gently paced, artistic drama capped with a hard-R romp in the sack, but this one was a lot more erotic than the one with Kazuha. Akira is quite the little spitfire, I’ll tell you – when she offered to “squeeeze” Haru daily she wasn’t kidding. She left her pendant on, too – very hot stuff. We even got a fantasized sex scene with Motoka in the omake this week, with a fairsly serious ending.
I’m still enjoying this show, but I can’t shake the feeling that the format doesn’t serve the material as well as it might. It’s really a beautiful presentation – great music, lovely visuals, some of the best character designs of the year. But I want a real story, with real choices for Haruka – I think that’s what would do the story and the characters justice. I know this is an eroge and all, but I’m nit playing the game – I’m watching the series. And two episodes per girl just doesn’t feel like enough.
What next? The osananajimi takes center stage – it’s Nao’s turn. And despite her mild-mannered appearance, I suspect she’s the most forward and even aggressive of all the girls chasing down Haru. All this is a slow build to the main event, of course – the girl in the title will get the last word.