The Maiden club arrives at the beach. Masuzu and Eita set to work trying to convince the other girls they’re a real couple, but they aren’t buying it. Ai tells Suzu she won’t forgive her if she’s just been stringing Eita along. Suzu devises a scheme in which Eita gives her casual kiss goodnight, but before he can, the other girls present them with matching straps as a sign of their membership. The gesture depresses Masuzu, and she doesn’t leave her room in the morning. While on a stroll, Eita bumps into Mana, who tells her she’s glad he’s come to like her, and sees him as a worthy “accomplice” for her big sister.
Masuzu and Eita believed this entire beach trip would be one tense battlefield from start to finish, and considering how they ham it up on the bus, they may not have the resources to succeed in fooling Chiwa, Ai, and Hime, despite how compromised they may be by “love on the brain”. The fact is, Suzu’s three rivals not only get along with each other famously, but aren’t making over-concerted efforts to steal Eita away. They make a gesture here and there, but enjoying themselves at the beach takes precedence. This pragmatism comes to a head when Eita and Suzu’s plan is foiled by chance, when the girls decide to give their club founder a token of their esteem. All of their earnestness wears Masuzu down until she becomes more depressed with herself.
But as Mana points out to Eita in an exchange that becomes surprisingly civil (considering it started with a bike accident and his hand on her bum), Suzu’s sister Mana tells him the whole story of why her sister is so all over the place. As her father’s status symbol, Masuzu has been acting and pretending so long, Mana believes she’s “gone crazy”. Suzu doesn’t know who the real her is anymore, so she jumps from warm to cold, and strings Eita along for the rid. The thing is, Eita hasn’t minded this. He’s enjoyed his time with Masuzu, even the blackmail and abuse. And when she says she’ll release him after the trip, he seems apprehensive. So who’s he ending up with? We’ll see if the impending contest in the finale carries any answers.
Rating: 8 (Great)
Akishino Himeka wishes to join the club, and after reading from Eita’s notebook about his previous “angels”, Masuzu gives Hime an assignment: writing a poem about what she wants to accomplish in the club. While Masuzu, Himeka and Chiwa are cleaning the pool, Masuzu’s sister Mana shows up, telling Suzu their father wants her home in Sweden pronto. Masuzu initially surrenders, but while she and Chiwa are gone Hime arrives with her poem. Mana swipes it and reads it mockingly while her driver keeps Eita back. They eventually shame Mana into returning the book and Masuzu makes her apologize and refuses to go with her. Hime joins the club, but the hall monitor Fuyuumi Ai threatens to shut it down.
She may express it in an overly stylized and florid, fantastical way, but we don’t doubt that Akishino Himeka’s feelings for Eita are real, nor do we question how she arrived at them. There’s nothing unrealistic about admiring someone who fights to protect those he loves even when the odds are against him. His convictions also inspired Hime, a shy and introverted girl, to believe that she too can break out of her shell and make more friends. The only minor contrivance is that she was in the right place at the right time to witness the spectacle that made her aware of Eita’s existence and led to her falling for him (or as she puts it, unlocking memories of her past life.)
We respect Hime because while we fully understand why Chiwa and Masuzu like Eita, it’s Hime, shy as she is, who is the first one to clearly express her feelings for him. No fake boyfriend pretense; no hanging back and admiring him from afar. She grabs ahold of what she wants and knows why she wants it. Rather unexpectedly, it’s Hime’s newfound courage and resolve – putting herself between a battered Eita and that bitch Mana’s bodyguard – that inspires the haughty Masuzu to take a stand and not go running home to daddy just because there will be hell to pay if she doesn’t. Now she has friends she can lean on if and when the consequences arrive.
Rating: 8 (Great)
Eita receives a number of anonymous love letters. Masuzu is trying to wring info from him when her little sister Mana arrives with a warning of sorts that makes Masuzu shake in fear. Mana also kisses Eita. Masuzu won’t tell Eita anything, and the next day she’s out of sorts, tries to swim in the pool, and nearly drowns. Eita resuscitates her with mouth-to-mouth in front of the whole class, and later says Mana’s kiss didn’t mean anything, and has been “overwritten”. The next day he helps nurse Chiwa, who has a fever. He then confronts his seret admirer, Akishino Himeka, a chuunibyou who was enthralled by his performance at the station. Her embrace of him is interrupted by Masuzu and Chiwa.
Up till now, Masuzu has had leverage over Eita in the form of his incriminating ridiculous Chuunibyou ravings, but she ends up with a lot less power at the end of this episode. Just as she’s aware he’s the author of the note, Eita is now aware that she’s got secrets she doesn’t want anyone to know about, and unless she wants him to pry before she’s ready or willing to tell him, it’s in her best interest to lay off with the notebook. It’s a fair deal. But on top of that, they’ve clearly gone past fake dating – Masuzu isn’t upset about Eita paying attention to other girls because it goes against their “arrangement”, but because she’s legitimately jealous. Much to her dismay, Eita’s never had more girls hanging off him.
Enter the surprisingly aggressive Akishino Himeka. Such is the power of her imagination, she created entire past lives for her and Eita, believing the awakening of her love is only a case of her regaining her memories. Then there’s the whole can of worms with Masuzu’s family. Her sister Mana looks down on her despite being younger, and has no problem kissing Eita right in front of her just for kicks. Neither of these new additions is as compelling as either Chiwa or Mazusu, but it’s admirable that the two main girls didn’t get the short end of the stick this week, despite the new intros. They both had compelling little vignettes that served to reinforce the fact that they’re both in love with him.
Rating: 7 (Very Good)