Saeko appears and takes the show by storm. Last time, we saw her call out Eita and Masuzu’s relationship as fake. How she came to that conclusion is explained this episode. As a galge and otome-ge creator, she’s had plenty of experience writing up fictional relationships. As such, she knows best the characteristics of a disingenuous relationship. This is a really nice touch in my mind. Typically, Saeko’s insight would probably be attributed to some vague womanly intuition, but here we actually get a fairly believable explanation. Assuming most people play the games she creates for the relationships of the characters, Saeko really would be in a position to understand the inner workings of love, as well as how to properly present it without making it appear forced. Perhaps Hime might want to consider swapping Saeko for Ai-chan as her “love master”.
Also notable is how Saeko refers to each girl by their respective harem “roles”. I had previously voiced disapproval at how generic OreShura can be, but seeing the show lampshade the stereotypical characters is entertaining enough for me to forgive it. Heck, Saeko even goes on to offer laser-guided advice to each haremette, courtesy of her genre savvy nature. It’s only been the first episode in which she makes a full appearance, and she’s already quickly becoming my favorite character. I guess I’m just biased towards characters who actually have a grip on what’s going on. In any case, Saeko’s sharpness may prove to be a problem to Ai-chan next time. Ai-chan’s insistence on continuing the Michel act is going to be her undoing if she makes the mistake of texting her “boyfriend” in front of Saeko. I’m confident that should this happen, Saeko will not hesitate to expose her, humiliating her in front of the other girls. But of course, all of this hinges on Saeko catching Ai-chan in the act. And it’s entirely possible that Saeko might not go to the beach with the gang. She didn’t meet up with them at the train station, after all.
Moving along, we have the question of Eita and Masuzu’s relationship. Saeko’s diagnosis of everything being too perfectly calculated to be true cannot be disputed. But I have a feeling that something more complicated is at play. In spite of both Eita and Masuzu continuing to refer to each other as fakes, they also try pretty hard to keep up the “act”. Masuzu aside, it’s interesting that Eita doesn’t just ditch her the moment Saeko calls them out. His claim that he’s become invested in the act so they’re in it together isn’t very convincing. And unless he’s got some sort of romantic version of Stockholm syndrome, I’d hazard that he’s unknowingly fallen in love with Masuzu. Masuzu’s feelings, on the other hand, are a little more complicated. I’ll continue to uphold that she really does love Eita, but then what about Saeko’s accusation? Simply put, I believe that Saeko is wrong. Consider the possibility that Masuzu is too complex even for her to see through. Masuzu’s anti-love mask is the true act, and it’s one that’s so tough to crack that even Saeko doesn’t realize it.
It’s all very convoluted when you think about it. Masuzu likes Eita, but all the other guys who worship her would get in her way. So she creates a front of being anti-love to approach Eita. Having gotten into a relationship hinged around a lie, however, she is forced to keep up the act even though she’s finally gotten what she wants. I really like this scenario, and as bad as I would feel for the other girls, having Masuzu prove the genuineness of her love to Saeko might be the perfect way to wrap up this show. And to be fair, Saeko does hint that she realizes there’s something more to Masuzu, but she doesn’t exactly elaborate.