I don’t think you’ll find two minor supporting characters who did more in two episodes that those girls – not only did they make quite an impression in their own right, but they managed to get everyone’s secrets pretty much out in the open and advanced the plot by an order of magnitude. That was their role in the story of course, but they filled it admirably well – everyone’s dirty laundry (I mean that metaphorically in Mio’s case, of course) is pretty much out in the open now and when the story returns to Nagano, the relationships of the cast are going to look a whole lot different.
Everyone more or less paired off this week, and the respective storylines received equal time. As always Ano Natsu didn’t milk the cliffhanger it ended the last episode with, but resolved it relatively quickly – and moved on. True, Ichika did run off not knowing just what she’d seen, but Kaito’s honesty really paid off for him here. Kaori knew exactly where she stood with him (no chance) and took it upon herself not just to tell Ichika the truth, but to covertly arrange for Ichika and Kaito to meet on the steps of the local temple. Turns out Kaori was looking at Seaboy as a rebound guy anyway, bur she turned out to be a decent soul who knew when she was beat. She even came back the next day to finish shooting the movie and gave Ichika a little advice (she who hesitates is lost).
As for Mizusawa, well, she’s a nut job but I never found her less than amusing. When she regained consciousness (somewhat before Rinon did) she immediately resumed her pursuit of Tetsuro, and rarely in relationship anime will you see the term “pursuit” used more literally than here. Indoors and out, on the beaches and in the streets, she pursued – finally cornering Tetsuro where he and Mio were sheltering in an alley. If Kaori was a gracious loser Mizusawa was anything but, and she whipped out every insult she could think of to throw at Mio – but the gist of it was “pervert”. I hadn’t expected that Mio was a full-on nudist – from a nudist family – rather than just an exhibitionist, but it makes sense in hindsight. Tetsuro again earns solid nice guy points by springing to Mio’s defense when she’s devastated by Mizusawa’s charges and comes clean. Clearly this is a matter of great embarrassment for her, and Tetsuro is definitely decent enough to reassure her in his gruff way that it doesn’t matter to him, or to any of their friends. He also gives her a much-needed lecture about carrying spare panties in her purse for those days where she “forgets” to wear them. It’s at this point that Mizusawa finally gets the hint and leaves the two of them in peace, though both of them were certainly fully uncomfortable after Mio’s full-on confession.
The last major venue of the evening was at the house, where Remon was having her way with poor Kanna. It’s really looking as if Kanna may just end up in the “eating at the counter” crowd when this is all said and done, because her ship appears to be sailing and she’s worried about the wrong port. Remon knows all, of course, but she’s too much the troll to give Kanna what she wants straight out. No, she lures the poor girl into performing for her reward, promising to tell her everything about Kaito’s heart if she’ll do a little cosplay for her, and gets her drunk again for good measure. I’m not sure knowing the truth about Kaito’s affections for Ichika (forget about Kaori, Baka) would really help her, but Remon doesn’t even give Kanna whatever small comfort the truth might have provided – Kanna ends the evening blitzed and stumbling about in a cat suit, interrupting Kaito and Ichika at a very inopportune moment.
Honestly, there really aren’t a whole lot of secrets left – not in the relationship department anyway. Nagai and Kuroda-sensei have refreshingly gotten the major misunderstandings out of the way by the halfway point, more or less, and left us the rest of the series to actually work on the relationships. While not everyone has committed (I’m looking at you, Tetsuro) apart from Kanna everyone knows how everyone else feels now, and I lump into that category Kaito knowing that Ichika reciprocates his feelings. Kanna-nyan may have interrupted their kiss but the message was clear – Ichika wasn’t dodging – and I’ll repeat what I said last week, as MC’s go Kaito doesn’t get enough credit. He says what he thinks, and he acts on it. How many male leads wouldn’t even have had the balls to confess by this point, never mind move in for the kiss? It’s on Tetsuro now to decide what he wants to do, and as for Kanna – perhaps to start picking up the pieces.
Of course things are still complicated, and there are still secrets – but they’re different sorts of secrets. Even setting aside the fact that Rinon appears to have gone on “tilt” a bit from his rude introduction to Mizusawa’s butt – possibly with disastrous consequences out in space – Kaito and Ichika’s path is still facing the major roadblock that she’s an alien and he doesn’t know it yet (despite Remon’s best efforts). Some folks call this show “Onegai Sempai” but I don’t make any assumptions about where the story is going from here, either in terms of final pairings and whether or not the series will actually consummate any of them. I do think watching Ichika and Kaito try and figure out an inter-species relationship and Tetsuro, Mio and Kanna try and navigate a potential love triangle (if Kanna decides she likes Tetsuro, the fireworks could really fly there) is a hell of a lot more interesting that watching a bunch of characters waffle about for 12 episodes and never even tell each other what they feel. We’re in good hands, and it should be a fun ride.