I was looking forward to this episode from having read the manga- the beginning of Shuusuke and Ana’s relationship was one of the best parts of the manga as well. It really came completely out of left field, which made it all the more surprising how well it turned out. But Shuusuke, dating your sister’s friends is still in bad taste.
The confession scene was particularly excellent, with Ana’s resposne of “so”? A great contrast to the dramatic, teary-eyed confession scenes we’ve come to expect. The creators have been doing a good job at generally making the relationships between the characters believable for how people of their age would actually act – immature, hyperactive, selfish, etc. Probably the one with the least believable personality is Shuusuke. Really, going on a date to the zoo? I thought that was uncool even for ten year olds. Maybe zoos are more popular in Japan.
The fallout from Ana and Shuusuke’s relationship was enjoyable as well. The creators have done a great job portraying the complex interwove relationships between everyone by putting nearly all of the characters in every episode. It’s particularly impressive that they do this without the plot seeming to suffer from any issues with a lack of focus. But we get to see more deeply into Mako, Maho, Chiiba and Takatsuki from this event. The characters all have a lot of depth given how little screentime they get.
The only issue is, I would imagine that this show would be extremely confusing for those who haven’t read the manga. I would probably have trouble remembering all the characters who were introduced in such a short period of time. But it was probably a good decision, since with a larger introduction they wouldn’t have gotten very far within the brief timeline of the TV series.
Now for the obligatory Chiiba shots!