Masuzu bristles at Saeko’s assessment that her and Eita are fake-dating, but the standoff ends when Saeko collapses from hunger. After a meal and a nap, Saeko suggests a way the Maiden Club can go to the beach: by participating in a contest at the promotional event for her new game, “OreDere,” which is near the beach. Saeko say’s she’ll stamp the marriage contract of whichever girl wins. Meanwhile, Eita notices that Ai has become good friends with both Chiwa and Hime, but Mazusu is alone.
Oh yeah, about those four girls…do you want to turn your life into a harem? Or do you want to turn it into a battlefield?
One thing’s for sure, this series doesn’t want to be just another harem series. If it did, it wouldn’t make skillful use of Eita’s young but sage aunt to pour cold water over Eita’s little love-in. She’s a designer of dating games and deals with artificial relationships all the time. When combined with her intuition, there’s no way she wouldn’t notice Eita and Masuzu are acting one out. Chihuahua, “Straight-Bangs” and “Tsundere” (both of her!) are all pretty clear about their love for Eita.
Despite Eita and Masuzu’s businesslike meeting at the playground, we still think Saeko isn’t being fair to Masuzu. Masuzu may be in love with Eita, but just doesn’t know it or want to acknowledge it in anyway, because she’d be betraying her anti-love stance. But the time has come for her to decide, like Eita, to choose between a fake relationship and a real one. We agree with Saeko’s insinuation that Eita is too nice a guy to be stuck in a weird fake one…and both he and Masuzu are too young to be giving up on love.
Rating: 8 (Great)
P.S. OreDere? Sounds awful…
Now with five members, the Maiden Club becomes official. To commemorate it, Masuzu recommends a training trip, and they decide to go to the beach. Chiwa is upset when she learns Ai met Eita first, but Eita notices and cheers her up. The two arrange a trip to shop for a swimsuit, but Masuzu, Hime and Ai also show up. After much chaos, Eita splits his time between them equally. On the way home they encounter his Aunt Saeko, who dismisses Masuzu as his girlfriend and asks him which of the four girls he really likes.
This episode did not start auspiciously; with characters playing off the constructions of their names and each tugging at Eita, which becomes a shopping trip in which they’re all competing against each other for his attention as they try on various swimsuits (and in Ai’s case, a wedding dress that brought back memories of Crazy Gasai Yuno). The first half dragged a bit (with the exception of Eita’s really sweet cheering-up of Chiwa after she stalked off). But this episode improves when things get grounded back into the reality of how they’re going to afford a trip to the beach. And then Saeko appears and bursts Eita’s harem bubble.
Eita’s aunt and guardian has been mostly a no-show so far, but in her first meaningful scene of the series she makes a huge impact. She sees right through and LOLs, almost cruelly, at Masuzu’s false courtesy, calling their relationship fake in front of everyone. She makes Eita confront the truth head-on: he can’t keep stringing all these girls along. He needs to decide who he likes and choose one – even if he likes them all. No one said the choice would be easy, but it is necessary. Did we mention we love Saeko for finally splashing cold water on her nephew? We welcome this latest – and perfectly-timed – disruption of the status quo, and hope the last three episodes follow through.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)