There were three main story thrusts this week: Segawa’s attempts to keep her “twisted” net game-playing second life a secret; Nishimura’s insistence on drawing semantic boundaries in his relationship with an ever-increasingly enthusiastic Ako; and the introduction of Sette, who immediately threatens to rend the married couple asunder.
The first two stories are re-treads of what we’ve already seen: Segawa isn’t ready to be totally exposed for the gamer she is, even as she fails to realize all the effort and stress she’s exerting is to perpetuate a lie, and not even a necessary one.
This doesn’t seem to be that hostile a school environment, socially speaking, and Nishimura is proof you can be openly otaku without becoming a pariah.
Segawa’s issue is that she doesn’t want to be viewed for what she really is, but rather some obscure ideal she must have consumed somewhere. The “perfect high school life” she seeks will always be a mirage as long as she’s mired in efforts to maintain a false identity.
Also a bit of a re-tread, with little progress one way or another, is Nishimura’s careful dance with Ako. In spite of his mates having a good idea what his hobbies are, like Segawa he’s trying to have his normal life cake and eat it too; project an image of someone at least more normal than Ako.
And while he’s clearly uncomfortable with anyone mistaking Ako for his girlfriend or wife, the reality is he’s become very close to this person. I had thought they’d reached more of an understanding, but Nishimura’s discomfort and awkwardness in the fact of any advance by Ako…it’s all a bit dilatory.
Ako doesn’t help matters by overreacting to every interaction Nishimura has with the opposite sex. It was Nekohime/his teacher last week, and Segawa’s friend Akiyama this week.
But Sette looks to be the first true threat she should actually worry about, but not because the newbie is in danger of usurping her role as Rusian’s wife, but seems more like and admiring imouto. Heck, Sette could well be Nishimura’s real-life sister for all I know.