Skip to Loafer - 07
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"Hectic and Hot Stuff"We saw a range of emotions from characters I didn't expect to see it from. The Takamine who normally acts with robot-like efficiency cries for the first time in public, goaded by Kanechika's insensitive "not being president works out better anyway" comment after Takamine loses the presidency to Mr. Popular Kazakami. Takamine has a right to be upset, she worked hard with the hopes of becoming president, only for an upstart ex-soccer club captain to win it who doesn't seem to actually care about the work and who got in on looks and popularity more than track record or skills. The situation sucks, but that's just how the cookie crumbled. That's politics for you anyway, inept people get into office because they're snake charmers more than qualified individuals who care about the people.The outcome of that whole situation was that it gets Takamine to think about a better life balance and how to be more sociable. Kind of ironic though so in character that she can't relax on something like relaxing, scheduling out her fun plans to the nth degree. For someone like Takamine who is socially awkward and very serious-minded on her studies, socializing can be overwhelming- "Where do I start?", so I suppose taking notes can help with getting used to that. While it is a good thing to learn to make friends, she doesn't need to go so far as to change her personality or dressing style. When you find friends worth keeping, they'll like you even if you wear dark monotone colors, so keep being yourself. There's no point in forcing yourself to wear bright colors because you think people will like you for it.Mitsumi's comment about working hard towards one's dreams and that "It's scary that all we can do is hope it'll pay off one day" hit home for me. I remember working towards my goals and getting frustrated that I was putting so much work into it but not seeing much payoff and wondering if I should just throw in the towel because maybe it wouldn't ever amount to anything in the long run. I totally get where Takamine's at and the utter disappointment. My advice to her would be that just because you don't achieve your goal in the present doesn't mean you won't get it in the long run- the payoff may be a long time coming, but like with a bank account, interest accumulates over time and you get a bigger payoff after waiting longer, though it may come in a currency you don't expect.Another character who surprised me was Kanechika. As someone who lives in bold strokes, I never would have imagined him getting embarrassed, but that he did during his private home movie viewing with Takamine, Sou, and Mitsumi. Even as a grade schooler, Kanechika had a flair for the dramatic, creating a one man film, "Komura" (which I guess is a spoof of Gamera), about a terrifying Charlie horse. It was an adorable little film, especially with the ending cut short by an awkward dad moment. After realizing how he hurt Takamine, Kanechika decided to apologize by way of baring his soul and showing them his embarrassing secret movie- appropriate that Sou happened to be there too, seeing as how Kanechika also barreled over Sou's feelings too with the whole child actor confrontation. Kanechika isn't an insensitive ass-hole after all, it's just a collision of personalities and Kanechika has his own ways of addressing issues and making up for them.With the advent of summer comes the deluge of confessions of girls looking for a summer boyfriend. Poor Sou gets hit with the brunt of it, girl after girl stopping him to get his info. I imagine it's got to be a little soul-sucking after a while, knowing that most of the girls are looking to get with you for your looks/personality more than wanting to get to know you as a person. In spite of the girls being kind of inconsiderate in putting him in an uncomfortable situation, asking him out without knowing/caring about him as a person, he's pretty considerate of their feelings, wanting to keep the rejections on the down low.Naturally, this leads Mitsumi to draw parallels between herself and them. There are key differences between her and them. For one, Mitsumi's genuine- she cares about Sou as a person and not for looks or reputation. For another, Sou already has an interest in her. So, it's not a big surprise that he was open to hanging out with her, much as it may shock her- both that she'd let slip something like "let's go to the zoo together" and that he'd agree to go. It seems perfectly natural- the two get along together really well and have a mutual respect, why not hang out at the zoo (and that's what Sou was angling for all along). It's clear that Mitsumi's interest in him is starting to expand beyond friendship, though "romance" doesn't quite register with her brain yet. She's in denial mode that he'd see her as anything but the nice kid fresh from the countryside. Mika happens to overhear- while deflated that Mitsumi beat her to the punch, something tells me she might not give up quite yet.I got the feeling that the girl at the end was a mystery- a gorgeous model on personal terms with Sou (I hesitate to use friendly because something in the dynamic seemed off). We haven't had a serious rival show up for Mitsumi and if this follows the pattern of a typical high school romance, I'd say that this chick might be that, but I have a gut feeling she might be anything but that (a sister maybe?).