Chihaya tries to tell Toko about her and Taishi, but Toko mishears and then falls asleep. Miyoshi gets tangled in a conversation about regrets with Tanaka and ends up agreeing to go out to dinner with him later. Kanon comes to the office to meet up with Toko, and has strange interactions with Hasebe, Yamagami and Miyoshi, while Toko discovers the Section Chief is a stuffed rabbit.
An important thing to remember about slice-of-life series like this is that sometimes things that seem like they’ll be promptly addressed…aren’t. The Yamagami-Hasebe storyline is placed on the back burner this week, presumably to give Chihaya an episode in which to let Toko know she’s Taishi’s boyfriend…but that doesn’t happen either. Instead we get an awful lot of Toko and Kanon, two high school girls who are not civil servants. Or remotely interesting.
Have we mentioned we don’t really care for Toko? Well we don’t, and there was nothing in this episode that would cause us to change that stance. She’s shrill, clingy, inconsiderate, rude, and generally drags down the show with her presence. Her friend Kanon isn’t much better. This week she’s ostensibly the straight man to the antics of the office workers, but she’s as dull as Yamagami’s plain pasta. Whenever these girls become the focus of an episode, the series feels like it’s slacking off…like Hasebe.
Rating: 5 (Average)
Chihaya looks back to two years ago when she first started working at the office, which led to her meeting and falling for Ichimiya. She then takes Yamagami out to buy a skirt, telling her not to look down on herself. Kaoru stops by and invites Yamagami and Miyoshi out to dinner, where she discusses what she knows about Jyogi and his rivalry with Yutaka. The next day Hasebe gets the wrong impression, believing Yamagami is getting married. It turns out to be Kaoru. but the shock leads to him telling Yamagami she’s the only girl he needs.
In her increasingly frequent dealings with Yamagami, Chihaya isn’t just reminded of how plainly she herself used to dress when she first started her job, she also sees the same tentativeness and tendency to look down on oneself that also plagues her boyfriend. Yamgami and Ichimiya both put others’ wants and needs before their own because they’re always devaluing themselves. Chihaya points out to Yamagami that such an act gets old when it’s becoming more clear that Hasebe’s pursuit of her isn’t a joke. It’s trickier with Ichimiya, as Chihaya is resigned to getting annoyed no matter what he says.
Meanwhile, as he looks forward to his date with Yamagami, Hasebe is compelled to impress upon her just how much he values her, once he’s spooked by the false news she got engaged behind his back. Hasebe is at his least smug and most vulnerable this week. Yamagami’s commitment to take the date seriously is still more a matter of duty than romantic interest to her, but Hasebe is phone-breakingly, contact list-deletingly serious about dating her. His challenge isn’t just to win her over, but to get her into the state of mind where she can even start to consider being won over.
He would have had an easier time with any other girl, just like Chihaya could have had an easier time with virtually any guy other than Ichimiya. But we can’t choose who we love.
Rating:7 (Very Good)
- Baby Chihaya (well, Two-Years-Younger Chihaya) is so cute!
- Also cute? Her kissing of Ichimiya, followed by a slap; her reaction to his not-scolding her about cosplaying.
- Yamagami’s total inability to even try on an even modest skirt vexes us mightily.
- After talking with Kaoru, Miyoshi comes away liking Ryoji more, but only infinitesimally so.
- Kaoru’s gettin’ married! Does this put more pressure on Hasebe to hook Yamagami?