Well, I confess I didn’t see that coming.
Working!!! may be the anime that breaks (or at least bends) all the rules when it comes to relationships, but it’s still an anime – so you didn’t expect things to fall into place all that easily, did you? Heck, one might even call that realistic – most relationships don’t get off the ground without a few mechanical failures, and when it comes to co-workers – well, one can hardly overstate the complexity there (and I speak from experience).
We have two episodes left, and it seems very much as if the pattern unfolding is the resolution (though I use the term loosely) of the “B” couple”, saving the A couple for last. Though it’s not like things are what you’d call neat between Yachiyo and Satou. Kyouko, of course, is a major complicating factor, and if anything she makes it worse when she tries to “help”. I give her credit for at least realizing that she’s an obstacle, but I take issue with the notion that Yachiyo is Kyouko’s to “give” in the first place.
Yes, this is definitely one of the strangest love triangles in modern anime. Satou’s argument that he doesn’t want Kyouko to butt out of Yachiyo’s affairs because the Yachiyo who’s obsessed with Kyouko is the one he fell in love with is the sort of pretzel logic you’ll really only find in manga or anime, but in context it almost makes a kind of twisted sense. I’m not sure what I’d call whatever it is that exists between Yachiyo and Kyouko – at one time I’d have said infatuation, and I have no idea if it’s any sort of love. Maybe “worship” is the best word for it, I don’t know.
In any event, the main thing here is that the “L” word has been applied and there can be no possible anime misunderstandings or misapprehensions about what it means. Hell, that Yachiyo got it wrong for as long as she did is a small miracle of cluelessness. One will be tempted to focus on the ulcer Satou seems to be developing here and wonder – is it the stress over getting to this point that’s caused it, or the stress of actually being in an acknowledged relationship with Yachiyo? But I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and hope they’ll figure it out somehow (hopefully in a way that doesn’t involve Satou sleeping on the floor.
While this story is hardly over, the decks have more or less been cleared now for Souta and Mahiru to take center-stage. As revenge for pointing out her true nature Kyouko officially lifts the ban on workplace dating, which removes the last semblance of an excuse Souta has for not confronting his feelings for Mahiru. Popura is front and center pushing the parties together just as she was with Yachiyo and Satou, and once again she may be doing more harm than good in doing so. I’m not sure things would have gone any better for Souta if he’d been given time to sort his feelings out (concussion would surely have been a concern) but I can’t think the return of Kotori-chan is a positive indication about his mental state.
I honestly don’t know where the impetus to get Souta over this hump is going to come from (at the moment, I’m almost suspecting his mom is going to surprise me and do the right thing – but my track record with her is pretty dismal), but I’m confident Working isn’t going to leave us hanging. Both Souta and Mahiru have admitted the truth to themselves, and she’s already in a place where she’s ready to face the truth head-on. He’ll get there before we’re done (hopefully in a way that doesn’t involve coming to work in a dress).