This episode shows exactly why I was stoked to see this manga turned into an anime. The way this story has taken a relationship between two teenagers, and makes it enjoyable without being overly dramatic, should make a certain jazz couple take note. That’s not to say that there isn’t relational tension, but to watch the release is all too much fun.
With last week’s “big reveal” still fresh in our young character’s minds, we find Oka and Urabe enjoying lunch together again. Oka’s character has done more for Tsubaki and Urabe’s relationship than either will ever know. Time after time, her poking and prodding puts ideas into Urabe’s head that keep this relationship going. And this is for a good thing. Urabe is not the kind of person to openly express her feelings. With Oka being a catalyst, she forces Urabe into thinking things about the emotions behind their relationship. And with her hint this week that Tsubaki is mentally replaying seeing her naked, it gets Urabe thinking about it as well.
When Urabe can’t express how that makes her feel with words, it always comes out in her drool. With that day’s exchange, Urabe takes some of Tsubaki’s drool as well. His pent up sexual frustration leave’s Urabe hot and bothered. So now, you have two very horny teenagers. While Tsubaki seems to handle this with typical male fantasies, Urabe is left off balance. The inrush of emotions leaves her state of mind altered to that point where Urabe’s panty scissors miss their mark; finding Tsubaki’s forehead instead of his handkerchief during one of her attacks. This amplifies a theme that we’ve seen every episode; Tsubaki learning how to manage his emotions for Urabe constructively, and Urabe learning how to handle, and express, the rush of newly felt emotions.
It’s this learning process, of feeling each other out that makes their courtship so much fun to watch. We get to watch two kids slowly fall in love with each other, week after week. They misunderstand each other, they take missteps, and they’re clumsy with their feelings. But with each experience, comes new understanding, and a deeper bond. While the biggest growth always seems to be on Urabe’s part, Tsubaki learns a thing or two as well.
In the end, the two of them reach an understanding that results in a very rare and intimate pair of hugs. The way this episode was executed, you would have thought that the series should have ended on this note. Next week’s finale has much to live up to with this fantastic episode.