So again Haganai goes with a two-part setup this week with a not so subtle twist at the end. The first half involves Maria showing up at Kodaka and Kobato’s place to run away from Kate, though it turns out to be nothing of the sort. The second half is lengthy take on the classic of a game played by Japanese youth in anime, the King’s Game. As I said last week, I thought it would result in nothing progressing in intra-group relationships, but Kodaka’s father had to say something.
A not insignificant portion of this episode was spent addressing Kobato’s body image issues. It first comes up when Maria complains that Kobato’s clothing is too tight around her chest. Then Kobato stares at Maria’s chest as she sleeps which Kodaka uses to coax her to sleep. Finally, Rika had a ridiculous cosplay outfit prepared for Kobato to wear. Which she does for only that single shot. I think my impression on this repeated joke is that it doesn’t really help anyone sympathize with Kobato as a character. It just makes her into a generic gothloli flat-chested little sister character. It’s only further reinforced every time this comes up.
The next major point I wanted to talk about in this episode is every other character’s attempts to get closer to Kodaka, which as far as I can tell is this:
- Maria going to Kodaka’s house to spend the night (including having him brush her teeth)
- Kate constantly calling him to check up on Maria and confirming that he is trust-worthy
- Rika has utterly dispensed with the glasses since finding out that her look is one he favors
- Yozora continues to try to humiliate her closest rival in front of him, but also plays the tsundere role here
- Sena gets closer entirely through luck of the draw and realizes that she really wanted to be kissed by him, fairly
- Yukimura. Choosing the same drink. Indirect kiss. I’m just saying…
Kodaka, as harem lead, continues to fulfill that role’s fine tradition of being completely oblivious to the feelings of the girls around him. Well played Kodaka, well played.
Finally, the conversation between Kodaka and his father threw up the twist that was the belief that Kodaka and Sena were getting married. It made me realize that all of the adult characters in this series have been working toward that. Kodaka’s father is close friends with Pegasus, which means he would probably be fine with Kodaka ending up with Pegasus’s daughter. Pegasus keeps tabs on and tries to maintain a sort of fatherly relationship with Kodaka. Also, Stella through her actions essentially screams at Sena and Kodaka to go have awkward sex like horny teenagers.
As for the minor talking points:
- That fighting game from the fake anime Kobato loves seems horribly unbalanced. Being able to one-hit someone in a fighting game seems poor form.
- Maria’s poop-schtick is just tired now. The only thing they could do now is put a counter on the screen counting how often it’s said. Still it’s less annoying than Dennou Coil‘s obsession with it.
- During the King’s Game montage around the school’s campus, I was amazed there were no scenes of random students being scared by Kodaka. That’s a plus by the way.
- Yukimura’s character design in the next episode preview was terrifyingly bad. Get it away!
Next week it looks like three different trips for the club. I think it goes onsen, amusement park and laundromat in ascending order of excitement. Some of these trips seem familiar, am I alone in thinking that?