This series managed to hold out until all the way to the seventh installment to feature the beach episode.
“The Tsunade Island Incident”
What is usually a built-in fanservice vehicle turns out to be so much more. While there is still plenty of bikinis and sparkling Masamune-abs, this episode manages to blend a number of stereotypical summer vacation tropes in to a respectable amount of development between the main characters. Aki and Masamune are continuously growing closer and closer despite the moderate interference from Fujinomiya Neko. Fortunately for Masamune, his plan to force Aki’s hand in to accepting him as her boyfriend in front of the buxom Yuisaki works to perfection. It even leads to Aki separating Neko from her ‘boyfriend’ in a wonderfully defensive move that clearly has more motivation to it than keeping up appearances.
It is interesting to get an outside opinion on the two as a couple, and thanks to Yuisaki-san we get just that. She seems to think that Masamune is an attractive, reasonable, and kind boyfriend – even after he admits the lie to her. Her motivations are rather entertaining as well, as she tries to break up Aki and Masamune because she idolizes Aki as a glorious man-slayer. Having her perspective of Masamune change upon the conclusion of the test of courage is a wonderful dual heartwarming moment – he manages to endear himself to Aki and Yuisaki. There are also a few more seconds shown of Aki post-trauma in the past, where she had clearly just told the Pig’s Foot himself to go away. She seems a little too broken up for someone on the rejecting side of a confession now doesn’t she? I think we all know where that is going.
Despite the wonderful comedy of Aki and Masamune pretending to be a couple (face it they already are), there is actually quite a bit of development in an episode that usually features butts and boobs. Well, there are definitely plenty of boobs on display here, except Kojuurou’s. Anyway, it should be pretty clear that if someone is willing to pretend that they are dating someone, they very likely have some inclination to actually do so. If you genuinely don’t care for the other person, why go along with it? There were plenty of other excuses available to Aki in the face of Yuisaki’s savage comments, but she got swept up with the easy out of using Masamune a little too easily. It is also rather telling that they act pretty much no differently as a fake couple as do any other time. It just comes naturally to them. There are a lot of moments in this episode that tug at the heart-strings, when usually this kind of summer outing usually tries to tug *cough* somewhere else.
9.0/10 (Feels Like Summer)
Summary: Masamune does wonders for his appearance in Aki’s eyes, and I don’t mean his gleaming muscles. A summer trope-fest turns in to a rather rewarding episode.
– We see you there, Futaba.
– You can’t just invite yourself to places…
– Yoshino is rather well-endowed.
– At least she’s wearing some.
– Kojuurou is a boy too, kinda.
– Perfect bodies naturally glimmer in the sunlight. Doesn’t yours?
– Got to fill out that summer trope checklist.
– Discount scream mask.
– Why the sudden sailor outfit?