A Couple of Cuckoos – 22 – Shadows of Sousuke

At the end of Nagi and Hiro’s balcony convo, the subject of Sachi comes up; specifically, that Sachi’s a little odd, and seems to be in love with Nagi. To Sachi this feels like a betrayal, but I get it; Hiro is sick of the status quo and wants to move things along. Sachi, with her constant wavering, is an obstacle to that, so it figures she’d confront her here.

Nagi, who as we know was raised under modest circumstances, is anything but when confronted with that outdoor “bath”, meeting the Pacific Ocean with nothing but his birthday suit. Things suddenly get tense when Erika shows up, and the show even implies she’s naked as well (by covering her top and bottom with Sobasshi stickers.

Turns out she was fine getting in with Nagi because she’s wearing a swimsuit, like you’re supposed to in an outdoor hot tub, and didn’t realize Nagi didn’t get the memo. Still, up until then, she’s very happy to be sharing moments like relaxing in the hot tub with friends.

It isn’t until that night that Erika remembers there are only two double beds in the house. It seems unlikely this problem wouldn’t have come up earlier, and the need to draw straws to see who has to share a bed with Nagi seem particularly strained contrivance considering the gigantic sofa in the living room, and Nagi being worried about a spider should he sleep on it.

Nagi and Sachi end up having to share a bed, which Sachi splits 60-40 in her favor and will brook no trespassing. Erika and Hiro thus share the other bed, but preface bedtime with a spirited game of Twister followed by a bubble bath. Hiro confides in Erika that she’s never even met her fiancé but has no interest in him…and if Erika truly isn’t interested in her fiancé, Hiro asks if she can “have” Nagi…before falling asleep on the spot.

As with calling out Sachi’s feelings, it’s the most overt Hiro has been to Erika about her desire to be with Nagi, and for the other girls to shit or get off the pot. Hiro still seems to be the #1 Girl for Nagi, but between his hot tub time with Erika and the fact he suddenly can’t sleep a wink in a bed with Sachi, things remain complicated.

That brings us to the morning, when a knackered Nagi finds Erika staring at the Twister and bubble bath. The four conduct a search of the house and find all the other things that connect her and Sousuke, as they used to visit together as a family. When a video game they played has save data from just three days ago, Nagi runs out of the house, hoping to find Sousuke in town…for some reason???

I mean, three days is a lot, right? If Sousuke wasn’t staying at the house from the day Erika & the others arrived, why would he still be hanging out in town? That would mean he got a hotel or something there, but why, when he could stay free at this fam’s house? Erika chases after Nagi, suddenly scared to reunite with Sousuke even though her Insta efforts were primarily targeted at him.

Nagi takes her hand and assures her there’s nothing to fear; he’ll be right there with her when they meet Sousuke. Alas, he’s nowhere to be seen, and no one in town has seen him either. At this point I’m still not 100% convinced he even exists, or is another weird game Erika’s dad is playing; hotel magnates are capable of anything, after all.

There’s also the odd fact that Nagi and Erika just flat-out ditched Hiro and Sachi for the whole day. That ain’t right! So now we have just two episodes to go, and so much left up in the air, including whether Sousuke even exists, and if so how he’d react to reunion with Erika. While admittedly drowsy when she did so, Hiro did ask Erika if she could have Nagi, and that was just…left hanging. The last two eps have some heavy lifting to do!

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

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