The last post was probably a bit better than my first effort on Haganai. Hopefully, that one was merely a year of rust more than lack of skill, so they should get better from here on out.
This 3rd episode was all over the place as action hero Kodaka played the roles of voyeur, hero, dedicated family man and long-lost childhood friend. That’s actually a lot to cover in 20 minutes and I’ll try to wade through it all below the fold.
The episode starts with a drawn out scene centered on whether eroge dialogue is art. This is an area where millions of words are written every year in Japan trying to get the most money from consumers. It’s all generally high concept so people can buy their porn in niche categories that appeal to them most, and as is the case with high concept, art can be created out of it despite not being the actual purpose.
Yozora’s contention lay in the fact that as it was embarrassing it could not be art. I rather disagree with that. Great works of art are going to be public in nature, but it’s all rather subjective. Sena finds art in being closer to female characters in eroge, there should be nothing wrong with that. Or perhaps there is?
Then there is the case of Sena’s thinly-veiled attempt at playing the tsundere role on a pool date. The reasoning was clearly flawed, she’s an outstanding athlete as well as being unrealistically attractive. So she wastes Kodaka’s time at the pool and even has to be white-knighted by him. This could be unbelievable that a girl could just walk into a group of men and start berating them, but she’s very clearly in the bubble. Am I the only one who finds it interesting that Sena seems to be a masochist in private when so sadistic publically?
Then there’s the issue of Kodaka as the family man, though it’s a lot easier to take care of a younger sister who takes after a gothic vampire. I actually found those scenes rather touching since his character clearly cares for her while still indulging her childish fantasies. She also slipped out of “character” when faced with having bath water too cold, but Kobato still cares for her older brother too. Given my experience with Hanazawa Kana-voiced characters this year, I was pleasantly surprised at how restrained the performance as Kobato was.
Finally, the end of the episode which is meant as the standard romantic cliffhanger. It establishes that Kodaka and Yozora were childhood friends in the past, even if it was a relationship that started by fighting each other. The nickname angle from the first episode only took 2 more episodes to go full circle. I think that could well have been the scene where this series could lose its way and just become a love triangle story with crazy side characters. Those can be good too as genre pieces I suppose, so hope isn’t lost entirely.