Another pretty low key episode which felt like it wasted a little bit of time considering this is only one cour, especially in the beginning. Though it could be treated as a set up episode, but I do find the choice to be a little questionable given it’s only twelve episodes long. Not to mention some of the things that were talked about didn’t actually go anywhere meaningful. Sure there were important info put into this episode, but I feel like there could have been a better way to progress the plot without feeling like it slowed down to this extent.
Hisomu continues being one of my biggest gripes with this series with him not really adding that much in the long run and how underutilized he ended up being. Why does he like feeling pain? Why is he looking for stimulation? Does he want to feel more alive? There are so many questions revolving around him, but it never goes anywhere. It just feels like he serves to provide more chances of pain to everyone else and make their lives in this experiment harder. The way he was set up last episode made him seem like he was more in the know about the experiment than he actually is. Which is backed up by the fact that Yuta is extremely suspicious of him and because these suspicions end up being completely wasted, it just makes Yuta look like he was just jealous of the fact Hisomu is naturally handsome and just venting his frustration at him due to his own insecurities. Also while people in universe keep saying Hisomu is attractive… to me, he just looks like he never showers.
Speaking of Yuta, this episode did show a different side to him that we haven’t seen before. For the past few episodes, Yuta has been shown to be extremely superficial and never offered any sense of care towards the other characters. However, even if it was just for a moment, we actually got to see a more caring side to him, even if it was brief. When Honoka cruelly shuts down the notion they are all friends to Nico, even Yuta seemed bothered by this interaction. Even going as far as to try and talk to Honoka afterwards about letting Nico refer to them all as friends. And while he coats it in his fake cheerfulness tone, the fact that he tried to convince Honoka about being friends despite him not wanting to be associated with the others is rather surprising. Though he eventually defaulted back to trying to woo her to which brought on a savage burn that even I had to admit he kinda deserved.
This episode definitely gave Yuta a little more focus as not only did it show him to actually be caring deep down, but he’s also quite intuitive and more thoughtful than he lets on. However, he’s also very insecure about being compared to other “attractive” people. Considering he must have done a lot to slim himself down to make himself look conventionally attractive. So when Hisomu comes in and immediately catches the attention of his two fangirls, his insecurity mixes with his suspicions with Hisomu, causing him to constantly snap at him over the smallest of things. Enough where even Honoka comments on it. To which, compared to their previous conversations, this is the first time that Yuta talks to her without an attempt to woo her or his usual fake tone. He’s completely genuine towards her and opens up about his concerns. Which is honestly pretty surprising especially that Honoka would even inquire about this with him considering how their previous conversation went. Also an interesting note to bring up was that during their first conversation, there was a large gap and even a dividing line between them. But here, they’re standing side by side in close proximity without any sort of visual lines between them. Which could symbolize that if Yuta puts down his fake bravado, he and Honoka can be on the same wavelength. Symbolism be on POINT.
Chidori and Tenga’s relationship also gets a bit of spotlight this episode. From the start, the two often butted heads with Chidori feelings more like Tenga’s mom than anything. However, when Chidori’s jealousy starts rearing its ugly head more often due to Katsuhira’s growing intrigue in Sonozaki, Tenga actually offers her his help as a wingman. Early on, Katsuhira has shown to be drawn to Sonozaki due to most likely having met as kids though it seems as if he can’t fully remember. However, Chidori has picked up on Katsuhira’s interest in Sonozaki and has been progressively gotten more and more frustrated over it. Especially when the two end up exchanging numbers, Chidori seems to start feeling very insecure about where she stands with Katsuhira. And similarly to how Honoka allowed Yuta to confide in her about his concerns, Tenga ended up being Chidori’s confidant in this instance. It also shows a shift in their relationship where as previously, Tenga often just waved Chidori off being a nag while Chidori most likely viewed him as troublesome. However, in this instance, Tenga showed that he can be a bit more thoughtful when he wants to be. Seemingly taking note of Chidori’s more positive traits rather than just being put off by her overbearing personality at times and actually wanting to do something nice for her.
While this episode was pretty slow and I do feel like there could have been better uses of time here and there, I do admit this was a pivotal episode for the shift in certain relationships and also foreshadowing what is to come. And I admit, the fact that the group had to eat a large plate of fried rice in a certain amount of time and their reactions to it did make me cackle. Anyways, next episode is going to be when things start hitting the fan with the two bullies from the first episode being brought in made as secondary kiznaivers to the camping trip. Also can we just talk about the fact that the school counselor brought a freaking real GUN to the arcade and shot up one of the machines???? I legit forgot that happened and was just could not understand WHY they thought it necessary for that to be a scene lol.