Surprisingly, I found this episode actually entertaining. By all rights, OreShura is still just as cliche and generic as it’s been. In fact, it’s only been getting even more cliche. But I guess I just stopped caring. This week, Ai-chan and Eita hit the movies on a double date with Kaoru and Chiwa. Actually, it was originally supposed to be a date only between Ai-chan and Eita with Kaoru serving as the usual wingman, but Masuzu snuck Chiwa in to do a little bit of meddling. Her plan? Have Eita seduce Ai-chan and then snap incriminating pictures to blackmail her. Yes I know, Masuzu is up to her usual devilish tricks. But somehow it feels like her personality has been improving. During her “date” with Eita at the beginning of the episode, she actually responded with real affection when the guy unconsciously gives her some typical smooth talking characteristic of harem leads (their words are practically laser-guided to sweep girls off their feet). It’s almost as if she isn’t trying nearly as hard to pretend that their relationship is only a fake one, even though she still uses the word “fake”. I guess she’s just mellowing out and warming up to others, as she acted surprisingly considerately during the club meeting when she let Himeka sit out of the plan.
So what’s so cliche about this episode? Well, there are some very interesting suggestions during the movie segment. The parallel between the movie characters (Ami, China, and Eiji) and the love-troubled trio (Ai-chan, Chiwa, and Eita) is made particularly obvious. China is the childhood friend, and Eiji is the idiot with two girls chasing him. And then there’s Ami, who is actually Eiji’s first childhood friend briefly. But wait, there’s more. Apparently Ami and Eiji promised to marry when they were little. Now, I’m going to go out on a (short) limb and say that OreShura is heavily suggesting that this is Ai-chan’s relationship with Eita. She plays that girl the harem lead promised to marry when they were kids. Again, the generic-ness of this development should really irk me, but it actually didn’t bother me all to much. I want to say that I haven’t given up on OreShura as being more than just a typical harem show, but it could very well be that I’m now viewing OreShura as exactly that kind of show. Whatever the case, I’m just feeling overall more accepting of the cliche stuff OreShura has been pulling out lately. And the good thing about this is that at least now I’m starting to enjoy the show again.
Getting back to Masuzu’s scheming, the plan to catch Ai-chan falling for Eita falls through as expected. Chiwa predictably sabotages every moment when the two start getting awfully cozy, much to Ai-chan’s chagrin. And this has the effect of ruining any romantic atmosphere that had been building up, putting Ai-chan’s “seduction” out of the question. The best part of it all though, was that the whole scheme was so ironic. Masuzu is trying to catch Ai-chan in the act of falling in love for Eita, yet Ai-chan has already been in love with Eita for a long time. Seeing the girls get so worked up at the movie theater was also hilarious, as none of them realized just how appropriate the film was to their situation. Well, except for perhaps Masuzu, but she played an external role with regards to the three legs of the love polygon in question. And while she didn’t end up getting any real “incriminating” evidence, surely she realizes Ai-chan’s feelings from watching the developments in the theater. The question is, what is she going to do now? Is she still going to let Eita’s words sway her into believing the existence of such an absurd boyfriend? Or is she going to confront Ai-chan about the matter and actually squeeze the truth from her?
I would think something along the lines of the latter, because I have a feeling that Ai-chan’s charade won’t last much longer. It’s already unbelievable that the other girls have trusted her word for this long. Then again, this could be attributed to their own lack of experience with love, so they don’t know any better that Ai-chan is just pulling stuff out of her ass. Regardless, it seems that Masuzu, being the sharpest of the three, has caught on so it’s only a matter of time before things fall apart.