Episode 23 -
Well, I have to say that this was very different from what I had anticipated. It turns out that this week’s episode was rather quiet and reflective, where the focus is brought to all of the characters involved with Ohana that current live in Tokyo. Of course, there was also some focus on Ohana’s feelings with regards to everything that has happened so far, but in terms of the bigger picture, this episode is pretty much starting to tie up loose ends. The bits of screentime with Satsuki and Kou-chan were probably the most noticeable aspects to this episode, but the bonding moments between Ohana and Takako were quite interesting as well.
The main point to this episode was for to sort out everybody’s feelings so that there would no longer be any uncertainties amongst themselves. Ohana seems to be the only exception here, where her really dull romance-sensors seem to prevent her from coming to terms with her own feelings about Ko-chan, as well as how he may feel about her. As for Kou-chan, he seems to have finally found some resolve after coming to terms with his uneasy feelings towards Ohana, and the timing couldn’t have been any better with him running into her atop the bridge at the end of the episode.
The whole Ohana x Kou-chan drama is actually fairly predictable in many ways, so I can’t quite say it was the most interesting aspect to this episode. Rather, seeing Takako and Ohana’s interactions throughout the episode were quite something. We always knew of Takako as the annoying consultant, but this was pretty much a stark reminder that she isn’t as incompetent as she may seem. Not to mention, her bit of bonding with Ohana visibly changed their perceptions of each other, as well as my opinion of Takako as a character. This provided a different perspective of Takako as a character, which in itself was a refreshing thing for PA works to add in here. Another intriguing little occurrence would be the run-in between Satsuki and Kou-chan, where it’s quite obvious that Satsuki has her own worries and concerns with regards to Ohana, though she isn’t vocal about it at all.
All of these jumbled feelings and emotions are gradually coming together, where the big picture is slowly starting to appear in pieces and chunks. What’s somewhat surprising here is how this series is taking a more roundabout, slower approach to the situation to let these emotions and such sink in more. Actually, now that I think about it, the biggest conflicts in this series have always been related to the Shijima family in general, where their somewhat strained and unique family relationship has produced this odd web of character relationships. With everybody else’s story mostly resolved, the big conflict at this point is how Ohana herself is uncertain about her own emotions and resolve, and her confrontation with Kou-chan will put her to the test to see just how much she has grownup and changed.
Overall Enjoyment: 3.7/5
Screenshots are later in the post.