Score: A-

The winter flirting between Naoto and Nagatoro has made this season quite a bit of fun. Whether it’s a scene of her helping him with his contacts or going skiing the fun doesn’t seem to stop. I’m still amazed the show has come all this way after a pretty rough start. These two are meshing so well now. They aren’t running into troubles so much as both sides just needing to be more open about how they feel. At least the passage of time is putting some pressure on Naoto to start thinking about that. It’s been almost a year since he and Nagatoro met. Of course, more than confessing he’s just realizing how little he knows about the girl that has impacted his life so deeply. So, we might start going back on the path of him trying to learn more.

These were nice guys

It’s kind of nice to see that Naoto does have some friends. Part of me thinks it’s surprising that they never showed up during events like the school festival, but maybe it’s not all that weird. If they had their own clubs or class project to take part in then they likely couldn’t spend much time helping Naoto. All the more so since Naoto probably wouldn’t normally ask them for help on his personal art project. The good thing is that they seem to have a nice friendship going. They are pretty normal guys. Nice that they only gently poke at him about this sudden reveal about him having a rather involved connection to someone like Nagatoro. Part of me hopes they take care though. They feel like the kind of “prey” that Sakura would gobble up XD.

The lessons had their ups and downs

The skiing scene was sweet and played to expectations. Nagatoro can have a lot of fun speeding around and hanging with her friends. When she didn’t know Naoto was there, she wasn’t exactly having a bad time. But when it comes down to it…going it slow with him means as much if not more to her. She wasn’t at any point complaining about his progress or that he couldn’t ski like she could. It was just fun being out there with him. When the time came for her to teach him, she was extremely patient. Heck she was even trying to cheer him up by saying he wasn’t worse than her expectations!

No surprise that Naoto tried to turn down the night skiing since he didn’t want to drag Nagatoro down. It’s a pretty normal thing to think that she’d have more fun going quickly with her friends than trying to help him ski. Whether to ski at all is his choice to make. But no point making that choice for the sake of Nagatoro. Hayase can decide who she wants to ski with and wouldn’t ask him if she didn’t want to ski with him. Good on Gamo for reminding him that the point isn’t whether he’ll slow her down or not. It’s more about what he wants to do and what Hayase wants to do.

Credit to Hayase, she got them in there

Speaking as a person who doesn’t need glasses…contacts seem rather imposing. I can’t even imagine putting something onto my eye like that. If my eyes ever needed assistance then I’d probably just use glasses. So, in that sense I can’t blame Naoto for getting the contacts, but hesitating to actually use them. It has to be all the more imposing when not being sure about it. I’m curious if he was trying to look cooler by ditching his glasses or if it was a spur of the moment thing? Of course, with the impact Nagatoro has had on his life so far…I could see it going either way.

On the positive side he did at least get to try it out and that came in handy during the ski trip. It makes me think of the haircutting scene from season 1. Just putting enough faith in Nagatoro to let her put on those contacts says a lot about how far they’ve come. At least he hung in there long enough to try it. And he got a nice win of seeing Hayase both outside of the frames of his glasses and wearing them! It’s a cute look for her. Although I will say that most things seem to look good on her.

Eye of the Toro

One of the things I love the most with Nagatoro is how her expressions shift when she knows Naoto is about to say something she wants to hear. Everything gets a bit stiff and she really digs into repeating his words as if to hold herself back from breaking his focus. The pure joy on her face when he asked her to help teach him to ski just said it all. She had to pull back to almost a tsundere response to his request instead of immediately moving to tease him.

Can’t ignore the wiggle dance

This episode was just comfortable and fun. I don’t expect or really need someone to confess by the end of this season since there’s still a long road to walk for both. Time is still passing regardless and Naoto is going to have to make some choices while he’s still got the time. Once he becomes a third year then it will be a bit of a crunch to accept his feelings and make his move. At least he’s thinking about his future seriously and trying to understand Hayase better. I expect we’ll get a bit more backstory for her as this season heads towards the finale. So far, this season is just about everything I hoped it would be.

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An older member at 25, yet a new addition to Anime Evo. Recently graduating University and in the difficult point between school and a true career. Anime being a salvation and blogging a good way to put all those hours of writing essays to some use. Enjoys talking about series, yet not taking on so many that the quality dips. A Canadian who enjoys his anime and hearing what others think about the series he enjoys watching.

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