Nah that’s how he always looks.

Summary:

Continuing directly from last episode, Sakuta manages to properly explain the situation to Mai. This clears up the misunderstanding, and Mai allows Sakuta to be in a fake relationship with Tomoe if that will help solve Tomoe’s problems. However, Mai warns Sakuta that she hopes their pretend relationship doesn’t turn into something “serious.”

Over the next few days, Sakuta and Tomoe continue talking with each other, going on pretend dates, and hanging out like an “official” couple would. As Sakuta gets to know Tomoe more, he realizes that Tomoe is an extremely self-conscious girl who bases a worryingly large amount of her self-esteem on the opinion her so-called “friends” have of her.

Words to live by. (But of course, that doesn’t mean you can just be an unrepentant asshole either)

Eventually, Sakuta finds out that Yosuke (the basketball player that was initially pursuing Tomoe) has begun spreading horrible rumors about Tomoe in revenge for her indirectly rejecting him (by coupling up with Sakuta instead). This obviously affects Tomoe badly. In retaliation, Sakuta manages to physically and verbally humiliate Yosuke in front of a bunch of classmates. Tomoe is grateful that Sakuta went to such lengths to defend a “fake girlfriend.” After Tomoe muses about what will happen once the first term ends (and the two call off their fake relationship), Sakuta replies that he’ll still accept Tomoe as a friend. However, Tomoe seems uneasy about this… and appears to become envious about Sakuta’s relationship with Mai.

The most epic verbal smackdown in recent anime history.

My Opinion:

In hindsight, I was very harsh on Tomoe in the last episode review. After this episode, which gives us more insight into her character, I do feel much more sorry for her. She had to move to a big city and make new friends, and she is also just trying to fit in the best that she can. I’m pretty sure most people had to go through a similar situation (myself included). While her “problem” is not as extreme as Mai’s was, it’s much more relatable.

Although I still kind of wish that Tomoe’s arc had ended in this episode, I’m glad that this series isn’t filling out the airtime with tons of filler. Every minute was used to either further the plot, flesh out Tomoe’s character, or flesh out the characters’ relationships with each other. Rio’s unrequited crush on Yuma is made much more obvious here. We also see Sakuta and Saki (Yuma’s current girlfriend) butt heads yet again. And Mai appears to be trying to make friends with Kaede (Sakuta’s little sis), which is cute. But what’s most interesting to me is that we see Sakuta and Tomoe growing closer… while Mai slowly becomes more distant towards Sakuta. It’s a really nice touch: Sakuta and Mai have a conversation face-to-face at the beginning of this episode; then they only talk through a phone call; and finally Mai simply leaves a phone message for Sakuta (which he doesn’t reply to).

Can I also just say that I am loving Sakuta as a main character? He gets straight to the point and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. He’s also one of the more proactive male main characters I have seen in anime. Even though Yosuke (being a basketball player) was bigger and technically stronger than Sakuta, Sakuta still managed to beat him down through some clever tactics. I wish more snarky male characters were written in this way, rather than as just constantly pessimistic assholes who only serve as audience surrogates.

Overall, this was a pretty decent episode, that serves as a good bridge between the start of Tomoe’s arc and the end of her arc (I’m assuming). The biggest criticism I have of this episode is that the episode quality kind of plummeted a bit, and the lower quality animation was pretty noticeable. The next episode previews hint at Sakuta and Tomoe being stuck in another time loop–I wonder how Sakuta will get himself out of this one this time?

Out of five for this episode, I give:

precure heart2precure heart2precure heart2 and 1/2

Uh oh, I’m smelling a LOVE TRIANGLE…