Score: A-

No question that this season really has moved things along nicely for the main pair. They are a good deal further along now than they were even at the start of the second season. And it’s nice to see Naoto finally ask Hayase out on a date and to see the start of said date. There is obviously a road to walk with both parties not ready to honestly confess their feelings. But it’s a huge step to go out for the pure reason of having fun together. Having this date effectively wrap up the second season (wow this season has gone by fast) is certainly more pure fun than having to win an art club competition to keep Naoto from losing his club.

These two needed a push in this sort of direction

They’ve gained so much thanks to no longer having the safety net of the art club to spend all their time together in. It’s a simple story move, but it really does work. Now these two must make time for each other. Nagatoro can certainly visit when Judo practice ends early, but even that won’t be very common. And it’s not like she can do things the same as always with Sunomiya going to be there most of the time. There’s a difference from her friends occasionally visiting. That’s especially true since making a big fuss would disrupt the club activity of a third party. While Nagatoro wants to mess around with the guy she likes, I don’t see her wanting to ruin the art club for a third party.

This girl is 100% in Naoto’s corner!

Sunomiya is honestly the hero of this last part of the show. The girl is just extremely likeable and passionate. She captures the passion level of her cousin, but it just feels even more positive. She honestly is happy that Naoto has found someone he cares about and is taking steps to pursue her. No sense of rivalry here either. She is honest in saying that she hasn’t found her own love either. But she’s very dedicated to supporting Naoto.

And honestly her support is hugely valuable. This date wouldn’t be happening without her. Nagatoro still wouldn’t have time to visit Naoto all the time with her Judo club. But there’s no way that he would have drummed up the determination to ask Nagatoro out anytime soon. Without someone to suggest he do it, I don’t think he’d even think of such a thing. Sunomiya goes all out in her support which can be a bit much. But I think she’s bringing far more positives to the table than negatives. And it’s honestly sweet that she roped her cousin into keeping an eye out on that date. She honestly just wants to support Naoto and not let anyone ruin this for him.

He had some unusual date ideas

The date invitation really captures the status quo for these two right now. He’ll say something she didn’t see coming that both excites and embarrasses her a bit. And Nagatoro is almost tease-dere in how she reacts to this. She’ll lean in and pile on the teasing to cover for how happy and excited she is. But sometimes she’ll take that too far and he’ll inevitably back off. Then she’s almost chasing after him in backpedaling and trying to make things as easy for him as possible. She wanted him to ask her out for a date. Once it looked like he might give up on it…she was desperately supporting his efforts after that. It’s an amusing status quo since Nagatoro can easily make things harder on herself.

I’m just glad that he didn’t give up in the end. Once he finally found a spark of inspiration it was off to the races. It wasn’t the smoothest effort, but he managed it. And really once he got that far there was nothing left but a positive reaction. His own doubts will hold him up at times, but I can’t blame him. Sometimes Nagatoro’s teasing in response to getting excited can get in the way. But sometimes when she’s truly happy…that’s exactly what she’ll show. And there was nothing hidden in how happy she was to accept the invitation.

I do get their interest in this

I can understand Nagatoro’s friends for being a bit concerned. It was kind of amusing watching Nagatoro kind of short-circuit after getting asked out on that date. She was singing random songs at one time and zoning out at other times. It is a bit silly that they go in such a random direction of needing to protect Naoto’s virginity. I’m sure at the core they just want an excuse to see how this romance plays out. But they certainly have made the situation a bit more complicated with so many people following along with this date. Hopefully the two in question never notice. But I’m sure they will at some point along the way. This is such a good moment that I hope it isn’t messed with.

Let’s see how this goes

This was a solid episode. It was fun seeing these two finally take this step forward. Credit to them on that front. They are not the fastest moving couple in history (by a long shot). But they are moving forward. This season isn’t going to end with a confession or anything. But it’ll be nice to see them have some good moments together. I’ve enjoyed the progression across the two seasons and will certainly miss this show when the second season ends. But for now, will just look forward to what will hopefully be a strong finale. And then the wait for a possible third season begins.

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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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