Score: A

I’m glad this season ended on a positive note. Quite a few steps forward were taken in both this episode and the season overall. The date ended up a great deal less hectic than I thought it might be with multiple parties seeking to get involved in what was going on. Instead, the date mostly was allowed to unfold naturally with a few moments of interference shaking things up. Overall, there’s no denying that Nagatoro and Naoto are in a solid spot. They are still a distance off from either side confessing. But they are getting close to having nowhere else to go. If this got another season, I could see one additional big step being taken. At the very least I’m extremely satisfied with where this season ended up going.

This duo is unstoppable!

Sunomiya arrived late in the season, but she rapidly became the best wingman this couple could ask for. Her efforts to protect Naoto’s love was fantastic. She just threw herself into the attempt even if it caused a bit of havoc on the beach. It’s too bad in that sense since things had finally calmed down with the “friends”, but her heart was in the right place.

I love her apology for that later in the episode. Because it seems like she’s a pretty good tactician. No chance that she intended for her apology to really be just making Naoto food for a week. It’s pretty safe to say that she just wanted to set off Nagatoro and make her take a step closer to Naoto. Making her jealous worked wonders since she did try to step between them and make lunch for him instead of letting Sunomiya do it. Sunomiya even looked initially annoyed at Naoto turning down Nagatoro’s offer after she graciously set things up. This girl really wants to see things work out. The other characters are somewhat chaotic. But Sunomiya seems like one of the few legitimately invested in pushing them together.

Yoshi being a hero

Credit to Yoshi in this episode. We’ve seen it even in the first season that she struggles to find her own voice at times. It’s easy for her to get swept up in what Gamo or Nagatoro are doing. It’s uncomfortable for her to speak up about her honest feelings. For her to grab and stop Gamo from creating trouble took a lot of courage on her part. Even if the situation still became a mess in the end, that does mean something. She doesn’t want to really cause her friends trouble. Truly upsetting Nagatoro by interfering with her love life would leave a girl like her with regret. Gamo is more of a force of chaos, but Yoshi is a good girl.

The why doesn’t matter, the action does

The date itself was fun. Nagatoro couldn’t help but be dishonest at points and hide her embarrassment behind teasing again. It did allow one more opportunity though for the classic move of him starting to lose confidence and her having to backpedal to avoid ruining her own date! On the positive side though, that only happened once. Despite her teasing and everything, Naoto kept pressing on really well. So for most of the date Nagatoro was honestly just openly enjoying herself. And he was starting to get hit with the reality of what it meant to be on a real date with her. It was different from just hanging out in the club room or walking home from school together.

I also appreciate that when he noticed all the company they had…he didn’t draw attention to them. That would have made it hard for Nagatoro to keep her calm or get back to enjoying the date. Plus it allowed him to win some huge points by taking her hand and leading her for a while. Not knowing the truth just made her much happier. All she wanted was that kind of cute couple moment of walking around on a date while holding hands. But I don’t think any amount of time would have allowed him to figure out what she really wanted.

A cute accident

These two are just a goofy couple that I really enjoy watching. That is what sets them apart from others in the “teasing girl” type of show that we’ve seen quite a bit the past few years. Nagatoro is often the driving force of this relationship, but she isn’t always. There is enough balance to just have fun seeing what will happen next. And sometimes they both mess up in the best of ways. That ice-cream collision just being a perfect example. She wanted to tease him a bit, things got a bit more intense than either side expected, and a mistake led to the ice-cream colliding. They did both get to share ice-cream in that sense though so it wasn’t all bad XD.

Sweet way for this show to end

All of that built up nicely to the scenes at the beach and at the very end of the episode. Nagatoro managed to give out some major positive marks after her excessive negative scores. And then she was finally honest about treating it like a real date. Naoto made his push and things finally were set for that hug. It took until the end of the episode but they actually got there! It’s hardly the biggest leap in romantic history. But for these two that’s quite a step. They really are just a step away from being able to work up the confidence for both a confession and a kiss. And considering the courage it took on both sides to get that hug, I’m pretty satisfied.

Thank goodness the hug attempts didn’t stop here

This episode was a really satisfying finale. There wasn’t a huge dramatic issue to overcome here. It was just a date for these two. By the end they were able to admit that to each other. It’s also nice that they have reached the point of creating this alternating lunch system. They will presumably be eating lunch together daily and each day will be eating a lunch provided by one or the other. Even if both sides are still struggling to be open about their feelings, there’s no doubt that both are extremely happy about this. Even “the friends” are positive about it. This season gave me way more than I expected. These two have come such a long way from the extremely bumpy start of season 1. I hope there are more seasons ahead to see how things unfold.

Senpai really had some nice moments

Final Thoughts

I’m so happy that I didn’t drop this show after the first episode. It would have been easy to do so with how Nagatoro acted at the start. But thankfully I either had free time or not a lot of shows to enjoy that season so I kept watching a bit more. And it quickly bloomed into a cute and enjoyable show. The second season just took things to another level. The teasing was manageable, and the focus was on the development of their relationship. Learning about Nagatoro was the focus of the season. We didn’t learn that much more about Naoto himself. The big thing for him was continuing to both develop and want to develop. His realization about how little he knew about Nagatoro and wanting to be a better person fueled his growth. His drive to grow as a person led to a much more confident individual.

Intense, but very supportive

The supporting cast expanded with Anetoro, Sunomiya, Orihara, etc. Those three especially added quite a bit of flavor to the cast. Anetoro provided someone that would mercilessly tease Nagatoro and allowed for more interesting developments between the leads. Orihara was a huge part of Nagatoro’s past and provided a spark to let her grow as a person in this season. But easily Sunomiya was the big presence despite showing up later than anyone. Having someone that was in Naoto’s corner and was fully supportive of the main ship proved invaluable. She wasn’t just generally supportive, but she really pushed these two closer. Her presence alone made it so the club couldn’t be used as freely anymore. So, the relationship couldn’t stagnate and simply stay as it had been. That kind of help allowed the last few episodes to shine.

Farewell for now Nagatoro

This season was fun! I loved seeing these two get closer, hang out together, and the progress was noticeable. They didn’t get to a confession, but I’m ok with that. They are growing at their own pace and it doesn’t feel like they stagnated. There was always some kind of growth. They were either growing as individuals or growing as a budding couple. But they did keep growing and took few to no steps back. Whether or not there is more of this show, I can at least be happy with how this season worked out. Zero regrets about covering this show and talking about it as much as I could.

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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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