I don’t know quite how to describe this episode. It was entertaining, to be sure, with a decent mixture of comedy and (light) drama, although it was probably a bit more on the comedy side of the line. One big bonus was that it seemed to have a good mix of time for each character–Mashiro didn’t seem to steal the spotlight for the majority of the episode. I still wonder if she isn’t supposed to secretly be the main character (I mean, she’s even the focus on the closing song), but this episode does give us time with Kobeni, Benio, and Hakuya as well. In fact, I’m not sure if there were any Mashiro only scenes.
It was pretty nice getting to see Hakuya actually show emotion towards Kobeni in this one. He was actually concerned about leaving her home alone while sick, and he rushed off when he thought Kobeni hated him. He may be stone-faced in appearance, but he certainly isn’t emotionless. It was also nice to finally see someone call Benio out on her sister complex–kudos to Nadeshiko for this one. Of course, the extra details about Kobeni’s childhood visit to Hakuya’s household may shed some light on why Benio has such a rabid sister complex. Slowly but surely we’re getting to know these characters. The end of the episode creates some questions about the Mitsumine household, and while the episode’s end can’t really be called a cliff-hanger, it does set up a plot point for next week’s episode.
As far as humor goes, the funniest scene is possibly when we find out that Kobeni, unlike most people (including Mashiro), can actually read Hakuya’s expressions. We the viewers are, of course, clued in to what he is feeling, and watching Kobeni’s reactions (and Hakuya’s subsequent reactions) is pretty laugh out loud funny.
My one area of contention with this episode is when Mashiro wants to wipe the sweat off of Kobeni. I don’t know if this is a regular thing for the Japanese or not, but it’s certainly not the first time I’ve encountered this in anime. Of course, this involves Kobeni removing her pajama top, under which she isn’t wearing anything. To the animator’s credit, it didn’t come off as an opportunity for cheap fanservice–there was legitimate conversation between Kobeni and Mashiro (if I recall correctly), and I don’t feel like the camera ever really made Kobeni’s chest the focal point. Make no mistake, though: we do see portions of her bare breasts, though nothing more graphic than what you’d typically expect. See the content guide for more details.
A Christian Perspective:
Well, Benio’s creepiness was toned down significantly in this episode. That’s a good thing. On the other hand, we had the scene with Kobeni and Mashiro, so there is some fanservice in this episode. It really is the only blemish on an otherwise clean episode (excluding the shots in the intro, which I’ve previously warned about). You could simply do what I did and place your hand over the screen–you’ll know when the scene is about to happen, because Mashiro goes into Kobeni’s room and offers to wipe the sweat off of her. Ready your hand at that point.
Beyond that, there is a single remark made in regards to Kobeni’s breasts by Mashiro. This occurs after Kobeni is again dressed and sleeping–Mashiro makes a comment about it being uncomfortable to sleep on your back when you’re “top heavy” or something like that.
Alcohol/Drug Use: None
Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Kobeni is having some kind of internal imagery, where she is shown naked (although most of her body is shadowed, so you see more outline than anything, although it’s pretty clear that she’s naked); Mashiro offers to wipe the sweat off of Kobeni, so of course Kobeni removes her pajama top–they show the equivalent of cleavage, as well as portions of the side of one of her breasts, and one scene where she is putting a new pajama top on, where you briefly see the sides of her breasts)
Other: Mashiro makes a comment about Kobeni being “top heavy” (or something to that effect) and sleeping on her back