After a semi-recap as told by Ume, this first episode was precisely what I feared: syrupy slow pacing, way too much time spent inside Sawako’s head, and overall simply too much like last season. Sawako was going to give Kazehaya chocolates, but chickens out. This was an episode in which absolutely nothing happened. After this, perhaps I may have been harboring unrealistic expectations for this second season. It certainly isn’t a start that inspires confidence in the future.
Sawako just bugged me the whole way through. Her obsessive-compulsive preparation of food and her constant self-introspection, over-thinking, lack of confidence and self-worth came off stale and excruciating. I saw nothing of her I didn’t already see last season. There’s nothing new here, and so nothing interesting. Her constant descent into chibi-mode has also long since lost its novelty. Kazehaya remains a wooden husk of a character. He’s a decent guy, sure, but Sawako still barely knows who he is, and neither do we.
His generic-ness makes her overwrought obsession over him all the more absurd. Only Ume’s teasing breathes any life into this episode, along with Pin, who’s just creepy this week, asking Kazehaya for an after-school private backrub. You know you’re in trouble when your core couple, unable or unwilling to grow or change, becomes overshadowed by side characters. In short, this was a snoozefest that I felt I had already watched before. Rating: 2