Ahh, the anime cold: Get hit by a couple raindrops, or maybe even no reason at all, and you’re down for the count… but only for a day. I wish I could get a cold like that. But a day’s enough for the whole ESP research club to fawn over Haruka, and to realize that when Haruka’s sick, she loses her mind-reading ability – or does she completely lose it, because it seemed like she could read Yuriko’s thoughts, but not Manabe’s. Either way, like leaving the fox in charge of the henhouse, Manabe gets the chance to be alone at home with Haruka, taking care of her when she’s sick when Haruka assures everyone that he’s not thinking the perverted things he actually is.
Initially thinking this is his huge chance… to fantasize about Haruka in compromising positions, he quickly realizes that it’s no fun if she doesn’t react. And whether he’s a wolf or not, Manabe is a good boy. He’s not going to take advantage of Haruka because he truly does love her, even if it hasn’t been said. So when she even asks him to wipe off her sweat (another ecchi anime regular setup), he instead runs away. In the end, he doesn’t do anything untoward, despite his fantasies and proclivities.
But that doesn’t get him any credit when the whole crew is back together. Even without Haruka’s mind reading, which hasn’t come back yet, it’s obvious that he was thinking pervy things, and in response he gets beat up by Moritani. But Yuriko comes up with a different ‘punishment’: He’s got to spend the day with Haruka, doing things she likes, eating what she wants, going where she wants. Oh, but it’s not a date (it’s a date). And Haruka and Manabe realize that it’s a date, but continue to tell themselves it’s not. Why is it less embarrassing to be on a ‘punishment’ rather than a ‘date’? Who knows, but remember that Haruka had a hard time convincing herself to ask Manabe out for the day before, and only was able to do it after convincing herself it was just hanging out and not a date.
Anyway, Haruka gets a different experience on their not-a-date. With her power still not recovered, she’s reveling in the normalness of the experience, especially things like not seeing how the movie ends from the people walking out. But even without her power to read minds, she still knows what Manabe’s thinking, and gets really mad at him for being a pain, pointing out the worst clothes he’d like to see her wearing, rather than being someone cool and praising anything she likes. Manabe’s got a lot to learn about being on dat…, er, sorry, “punishments”. Haruka gets so mad that she leaves without him, and experiences the other half of not reading minds: not knowing what’s going on in the heads of other people, leading her to be a bit scared when Manabe runs off for unknown reasons, only to return with an offering of taiyaki.
I liked how the rest of the club broke the trope of anime dates by not peeping on them. Yuriko, visiting Daichi, even says “Well, I’m bored. I could go peep on their date, but nah.” And Daichi’s poor mother, I think she thinks the only way she’s seeing grandchildren is if her son gets interested in Yuriko, so she wants her around all the time.
Yuriko is still threatening to ‘use’ Haruka for her own purposes of proving that her mother wasn’t a fraud. I still don’t really see how the existence of psychic powers in one person is a proof of them in another, deader, person, but she thinks it’s the way to go. And there’s still a vague threatening style around it. But I really think that when push comes to shove, Yuriko’s not going to abuse her friend and trusting kouhai Haruka. As Daichi said a few episodes ago: Yuriko doesn’t have it in her to be the villain.
Haruka, stop raising the drama flags! This time she repeats the “This is so fun, I’m so happy, I wish everything could stay like this.” And of course, her powers return, right as someone who is planning something horrendous walks by. Knocking her out, we’re set up for the drama next week. Will Haruka go down the route that Yuriko’s mother did? Will she have more success? And also included in the preview is Kumiko again, who is the proverbial bad penny.