Haru pushes Shizuku too far for my tastes, will it be the same for hers?
It’s Christmas time! And Christmas time means Christmas party time for your friends. And now Asako has friends, so she wants to have a Christmas party for them! And some other folks, who manage to invite themselves: Haru’s old friends and Yamaken. At least Yuzan didn’t show up, too.
Haru and Shizuku in a sweet moment
The developments this episode seemed a bit scattershot, and also a bit incoherent. It’s winter break, and Shizuku wanted to talk with Haru before winter break and tell him what she was thinking, but she hasn’t had the chance. After the party, when Haru walks her home, she finally takes the chance, clasping his hand, telling him that he doesn’t need to worry about any other boys and her, because she loves him, and wants to date him. But this may not end up exactly as she hopes (see The Bad and The Ugly).
Oshima dealing with the loser boys
The other characters get some screen time as well. Asako and Chizuru both manage to get harassed (not physically) by Haru’s old acquaintances, who semi-crashed the Christmas Party. But they do liven it up a bit. And because they’re having the party at Mitsuyoshi’s game center (who didn’t get told about it in advance, but deals with it pretty well), Asako gets to steal glances at her new crush, but Mitsuyoshi doesn’t quite get it. Sasayan does, because he’s apparently the ONLY character who isn’t a dope. But this is the first time he’s shown an overt interest in Asako, as he mentions in passing that he feels he lost out to Mitsuyoshi. Hang in there, Sasayan! Ganbatte! Asako will get back to you soon.
Haru really seemed to regress this episode, both before and after Shizuku’s confession. He spent the day oscillating between smiling and snarling at Yamaken, depending on whether Yamaken was acting even the least bit friendly to Shizuku. He even outright threatens him with pushing him over the railing on the steps. And when he finds out that Shizuku is going to the same cram school as Yamaken, he doesn’t take it well, and even starts hassling Shizuku about it.
Haru’s immaturity shows the most at the end, however. When Shizuku confessed, and I’ll be honest that I was pretty sure she was going to tell him that it was over between them, given what a horrendous brat he had been all day, she says he doesn’t need to worry about her, because she’s committed to him and she loves him. Net effect on Haru? Zilch. Nothing. Nada. The next thing we see is him stalking after Yamaken and Shizuku as they go to cram school, yelling at her to not go, because she said that she was in love with him. She rightly snapped, like the proverbial spider thread they had discussed earlier. We know Haru has problems thinking about things like an adult, but this was so childish, so pathetic, it really made me dislike Haru, and I don’t think I’m going to be alone in that. Like past “that was the wrong thing to do” and into “You know, what the hell is she doing with this guy? Maybe Yamaken is a cynical bastard, but he’s not a possessive, aggressive, immature lout.” Although Yamaken doesn’t necessarily come off much better, threatening Asako in about the same way. We have a real crop of winners in this show.