Quite an interesting spotlight on Kariu this week, as her envy and self-loathing seem to be throwing her down a spiral of depression and eventual regret. Things got dark in episode 4, and kinda stayed that way to the very end. But before we get there, let’s address some issues.
I like the evil smirk gag. I find it very cute and amusing that Chizuru is trying to make friends but doesn’t know how to smile, resulting in a wacky miscommunication where Kariu thinks Chizuru absolutely hates her. That by itself, was all well and good. What isn’t all well and good however, is having the joke re-explained to me at the beginning of this episode. I didn’t even need an explanation the first time around when Kaizaki had to somewhat explain the confusion between these two with a recollection of advice he gave telling her to smile more. I already got the joke. My attention span isn’t so short that I’d forget about something that happened in the same exact 24 minute-ish episode. So this re-explanation comes as a bit of a waste of time, and to be honest, a little insulting.
Moving on to the lunch room scene, it’s really nice to see Kaizaki and An on the same wavelength. They’re very similar people with very similar minds and very similar, pitiful grades. What they lack in book smarts however, they make up for in understanding people and relationships. It’s nice to see that they understand what’s going on with Kariu and Oga, and their casual commentary on the matter makes the show that much more delightful to watch. Occasionally they’ll step in so that Oga doesn’t do something stupid, but they’re not trying to play matchmaker either, which I appreciate. The example for this episode is when Oga wants to invite Chizuru to sit at their table. Kaizaki stops him because he knows that’ll only anger Kariu, leaving it up to himself to try and find another way for Chizuru to not be alone during lunch. An takes note (without saying anything, just facial expressions) of Kaizaki’s kindness and surprising grasp of the situation at hand. This makes me wonder just how much An admires him, and where she might stand for him (romantically) in the future.
It’s nice to see Chizuru and Kaizaki’s adorable text chats are still going on. She does send him a “love cat” sticker though, so I wonder if that has any hidden meaning.
Finally we get to the climax of the episode, Kariu’s emotionally driven reaction to everything that’s been on her mind lately. She wanted to be with Oga in the student committee, but Chizuru took that away from her. To seemingly add insult to injury, Oga is spending a lot of time with Chizuru, and every time she passes Kariu she gives her a devilish smirk (which is actually supposed to be an endearing smile but Chizuru can’t seem to pull that off). Kariu already couldn’t be the top of athletics because her best friend Honoka holds that spot, and now with Chizuru swooping in and taking the student committee postion from her, Kariu has nothing. Wallowing in her own bitterness, Kariu decides it’s time to take something from Chizuru: her bag…kind of a weird approach, but when you’re in that desperate of a state I guess it makes sense.
So she takes it and runs into Kaizaki on the stairs. Kaizaki notices the bag and Kariu falls down the stairs trying to get away from him. He heroically catches her before slipping and falling down with her, creating a loud and alarming noise for anyone nearby. And that “anyone” happens to be Chizuru, and she walks down the steps to find Kaizaki and Kariu sort of in each other’s arms at the bottom of the steps. What does this mean? I have absolutely no clue, this is just a weird situation overall, especially for a cliffhanger. How Chizuru is going to react to this will probably be the most interesting thing to learn in the next episode, as it could make her feelings toward Kaizaki clearer. Or she could just react like a normal person and get them some medical because all she should really be worried about is their health, and then later on, why her bag was down there with them.