At first I was underwhelmed. Yet another school life show. And Houtarou is lazy just like another version of Kyon.
But then we’re saved by the power of CURIOSITY! Pretty cool scene hair, with Chitanda’s hair growing out to form a spider web and entrap Houtarou.
The whole show is gorgeous. I particularly loved the watercolor(? I don’t know jacksquat about art) style they used when telling the stories.
The portrayal of the first crush here is superb. None of the usual beating around the bush or denial. Houtarou knows he likes Chitanda. And so he’s embarrassed around her.
He averts his eyes when she’s speaking to him.
But it’s secretly the happiest moment of his day that he plays over and over in his memory afterward.
He can’t look her in the eye. He’s too nervous to invite her to spend time with him flat out, but spends all his energy in concocting an elaborate excuse. I’m not buying it that he was too lazy to walk to the other side of the building. He did all that because he wanted to see the way her eyes light up when her curiosity is piqued again.
I especially liked the composition of the above scene. Chitanda and the third wheel are talking to each other, and Houtarou is left by his lonesome. You can’t see his face, but I know exactly what it looks like. He’s pissed. Pissed that he’s not the one making small talk with Chitanda. He’s not angry at his friend, or the girl, but at himself. In case you couldn’t guess, I was this guy.
A Computer Scientist
That’s what Houtarou’s going to be when he grows up. He sees life as an optimization problem. And spends more energy on saving energy than he actually saves.