Ore Monogatari!!, Episode 11

Unlike the last few times I’ve been a been down on Ore Monogatari!! and not quite sure about how I felt about it, this time I’m very much certain in what I felt about the episode and why I felt that way. Hold on tight, folks. This is going to be a rocky ride.  If you’ve been with me since my very hot-and-cold posts about last season’s Your Lie in April, you’ll know how much I find myself fascinated by shows that posses the capacity to simultaneously enrage and enthrall me. This episode of Ore Monogatari!! is very much the same—some moments of absolute brilliance, a lot of stuff that really got on my nerves. So. Let’s go to the beach!

Ore Monogatari!!

I flip-flopped between starting with the good or starting with the bad, and I decided to start with the things that were good about this week’s episode (because I know that once I get started on the bad I won’t be able to stop). The good things this week: some of the comedy, Free! flashbacks, and Takeo finally verbally expressing his love to Yamato.

Most of the comedy this week didn’t work very well for me, if only because I was so preoccupied with the stuff that was bothering me that I started see the echoes of it even in the moments the show was being funny. And Ore Monogatari!! is really good at being funny, so it was something of a shame to have the humor dampened by the other stuff the show was doing. The best comedy that happened was mostly comprised of Takeo and Yamato’s respective hysterics over the other’s beach attire. Takeo’s two amusingly over-animated (especially the first time) reactions to see Beach.0 Yamato were hilarious for the sheer ridiculousness of presentation, while Yamato’s hapless attempts to still her beating heart are as endearing and amusing as ever. These kids have it bad for each other and there’s an unavoidable charm in seeing two barely-young-adults try to manage what are totally unmanageable emotions.

Another great moment was Ore Monogatari!! doing its level best to pull off a Free!-like scene that would have left Gou Matsuoka in a daze. Of course, it does a pretty good number on Yamato, too, but the sheer indulgence in Takeo’s absurdly chisled muscular artiface was just so over the top that I was swept back to the days of “Swim free!” And fond memories those are. And, really. Look at those lines. They were clearly drawn with love.

And, of course, the best moment of the episode came near the end, as Takeo (after weeks of me pointing out that he always does this mentally!) finally verbalizes a “Yamato, I love you,” directly to her. I’m actually of the opinion that Yamato did a whole lot of the heavy lifting for this scene—between the show taking full advantage of the sunset to cast her in a gorgeous color palate and Yamato taking the initiative to once again spell out (literally in the sand ha ha) how much she likes Takeo, nearly all of the forces directing Takeo to this important statement were generated by Yamato once again taking initiative in the relationship to make her needs and wants known to Takeo. Plus, the cinematography at that exact moment—to be specific, the cut from Takeo’s confession to Yamato’s face—was totally beautiful. Easily the best single moment of directorial work Moria Asaka has had in this show.

Ore Monogatari!!

The shot of Yamato is exceptional, but the timing of the transition (along with moving from the straightforward shot of Takeo to the beautifully split shot of Yamato) made the moment even better.

It’s just unfortunate that such a perfect moment 1) fell into the time-honored, awful anime tradition of interrupting kiss scenes, and 2) came in an episode so bogged down with ancillary problems that it felt drawn out of an entirely different show. I don’t think I need to say all that much about why having Takeo’s friends interrupt was bad—it’s archetypal anime romantic-tonal dishonesty, a cheap laugh at the expense of (particularly in this case) a moment of genuine emotional authenticity. But that’s typical of anime. Expected. I hoped better from Ore Monogatari!!, but I wasn’t surprised. And I don’t think it would have bothered me as much had I already not be irritated with the show from earlier in the episode.

And it started early. The first moment that really caused me to go, “Really?” was when Takeo storms over to his classmates and threatens to exile them from the beach trip because they’ve expressed excitement at getting to see the girls in swimsuits. Now—to be clear—the whole “go to the beach to ogle girls in bikinis” line of thinking is yucky for reasons I don’t believe I need to articulate, but the way the show uses Takeo as the moral compass to chastise these teenage boys comes across as unsubtle and troubling in the way it builds up Takeo by breaking down these other characters. This isn’t that far a cry from the way shows like Sword Art Online emphasize the greatness of their male protagonists by making every other male character a complete scumbag perv.

Ore Monogatari!!

There’s an even more troubling dynamic in the way this plays out between Takeo and Yamato. While Takeo’s line—”Yamato, it doesn’t matter to me what you wear.”—should read as a really sweet expression of how he’s not attracted to her merely for superficial reasons, coming on the heels of this interaction with Takeo’s classmates it feels like a pointed comment that Yamato should not try to dress up for Takeo…which the show then proceeds to make light of via the silly sequence of Yamato testing out super skimpy swimsuits that, more than they don’t match her body type, don’t match her personality. Ha ha, look at this silly girl trying to impress her boyfriend by dressing way sexier than she can pull off. This should be a funny moment, but given that Ore Monogatari!! has opened up a dialogue about clothes, presentation, and impressing others—suddenly it becomes an entry into this conversation, even if the show is playing it like it’s not.

And then things just pile on from there—Yamato makes direct comparisions between her own body and Takeo’s (ridiculous, but the inferiority complex she has in this relationship is starting to come clear and eventually is actually articulated), Takeo again glaring at the other guys for giggling in cutesy animated contractions over seeing girls in swimsuits, the show allowing Yamato to drool over Takeo’s body while having Takeo aggressively work to not look at Yamato (hello double standard!), the eventual dismissal of Yamato’s outfit as “just clothes,” and the final straw sandcastle moment (at which point I was basically furious).

Ore Monogatari!!

While I definitely see the argument here for “Takeo’s such a great guy! He’s not objectifying Yamato and he’s not lusting over her body! He cares about her as a person!” the issue is that Takeo is continually being fashioned into an impossible fantasy of the “perfect boyfriend,” where his physical non-conformity has become nothing more than lipservice towards making an actually thoughtful critique. We’ve talked about Takeo’s flaws before, but this is a guy who is loved by everyone except for a small pack of snotty high school girls and people who misunderstand how awesome he is because of the way he looks. He’s strong. He’s kind. He’s not a “typical pervy teenage boy.” He looks after Yamato, cares about her, and builds walls out of sand to protect her cute drawings.

This is an unattainable ideal.

And Yamato, on the other hand, functions both as a self-insert character who embodies both “how to charm the perfect boyfriend” and “the perfect girlfriend.” She’s ditzy and totally in love with Takeo. She bakes food all the time. She constantly choruses how hot, cool, strong, and awesome he is. And she always blames herself for everything, so that none of the blame ever falls on Takeo. Now, obviously, we know Yamato not seeing a sandcastle because she’s out of her mind crazy for her boyfriend isn’t the mark of a bad person by any means—BUT NEVER IS THIS ADDRESSED BY THE SHOW. Yamato doesn’t change her mind. Takeo only says, “I’m not much better.” HA! YOU PLAY WITH SMALL CHILDREN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU ON ABOUT?

Ore Monogatari!!

We’re not going to try and contradict this line from Yamato at all!?

And instead of dealing with any of this—with double standard about who can look at who (incidentally, if looking at someone in their swimsuit is bad as per Takeo, doesn’t that make Yamato bad for doing that to him?), with Yamato’s incredible inferiority complex in the face of Takeo’s perfection, with the way Takeo chastises his friends and then gets excited by seeing Yamato in just her hoodie, with the way Takeo consistently failing to understand Yamato’s wants gets played for comedy—it all gets swept under the rug of an aesthetically gorgeous sunset scene and an “I love you.”

That’s not healthy. This is not how good relationships work—and the fact that Ore Monogatari!! continues to play with this untenable fantasy in terms of cuteness and comedy is incredibly troublesome to me. There are real issues that Ore Monogatari!! continues to hint at, but it won’t engage them. And then the fact that the one moment where the show isn’t playing at silly-cute fantasy is interrupted by boilerplate anime nonsense? Wow.

Ore Monogatari!!

Another moment that could have been a path into actual character development for Yamato—but it’s so vague that it’s meaningless and never touched on again.

So, that’s that—and, frankly, I don’t even think I’ve fully articulated with clarity everything that bothered me about this episode. In summary, I think it all goes back to the issues I’ve had with the show for a long time: the feeling of relational imbalance in terms of who the show validates, the relative lack of flaws in Takeo’s character (real flaws that cause him problems), and its irritating tendency to tease at deeper themes and character moments without ever committing to them. I won’t stop watching the show; I’m holding out for those good episodes—but this is no longer the trope-busting juggernaut it seemed to be. Instead, I think it’s dangerously close to becoming a subtly unhealthy romantic fantasy for both guys and girls alike.

Note: I know there are nuances and exceptions to these issues that I haven’t touched on. Please, hear what’s at the core of what I’m trying to say—and then let’s talk about the things I couldn’t address.

20 thoughts on “Ore Monogatari!!, Episode 11

  1. My opinion on the episode is pretty much Suna’s thoughts at the end of the episode: They’re not on the same page, but they’re happy so I guess that’s okay. To an extent of course. I totally understand your frustrations with Takeo and Yamato, but I guess that’s what Suna’s there for? I’m starting to get the feeling that he’s more of the audience’s stand in than anything else.

    I’ve read the scanlations and saw the raws before the show started, and it’s…okay? Mildly spoiler-ish but there’s finally a rival, a couple unexpected ships sailed, and maybe a smidge of character development for Yamato. Mostly slice of life stuff involving their friends and family though.

    For me overall, the closest analogy for describing the show is like watching a puppy/kitten cam. I come in expecting a does of nice warm fuzzy feelings and nothing more, and this show delivers. I honestly take this show at face value and enjoy the silliness of it so I can leave use all my show analysis for when I watch Hannibal.

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  2. This episode really bugged me as well and I wasn’t entirely sure why while I was watching it, but after reading this I think what got to me most was just how perfect Takeo was and how “imperfect” Yamato was this episode. Aside from just being ridiculous the perfect/imperfect contrast really served to highlight just how shallow their relationship is which is something that has been bothering me for a while now. What I always hoped would come from this show is for Takeo and Yamato to eventually enter into a deep and meaningful (but still adorable) relationship. The frequent hints of deeper themes and episodes like episode 9 were what was sustaining that hope, but with this latest episode I pretty much came to the same basic conclusion you did that the show doesn’t have as much depth as it initially seemed and that Takeo and Yamato will remain in a state of perpetual puppy love without their relationship ever being tested in a meaningful way. I hope I’m wrong though.

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    • I keep hoping! The bad thing is that I feel like I’ve been hoping for the kind of stuff you’re talking about since almost episode one—and nothing has materialized, just been teased. How long can I sit around a wait for that before I just throw up my hands and acknowledge that it’s probably never happening?

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  3. I’m not seeing the show’s gender bias with what you said up there. Yes, the characters have double standards – for instance, both Takeo and his dad treat Sumo Mom like a delicate flower while pregnant despite all the facts showing how amazingly capable and Just Fine she is – but the show? The show gave us both man muscle service and cute gals in cute bikinis. It even dreamt up Yamato picking some of the sexiest bikinis I’ve ever seen and, while making a joke about juxtaposition, not shaming her for wanting it.

    Of course, Gouda gets all Must Be Pure and Yamato gets Wow, Am I Into This Hot Man, but aren’t these character perspectives? Like, episodes previous have long since established Gouda has a Chivalry complex, and last episode showed this wasn’t in a vacuum – he gets it from his dense dad, who exhibits it to the point of getting on his mom’s nerves. It’s a bit les clear with Yamato, but just look at last episode; they were lost in the mountains yet 90% of her thought process was stuck on Her Hot Man. It’s not wrong but it narrows her thinking and can become a problem if that’s all she’s thinking about. Thoughtlessly near-stomping on the kids castle made her realize this and feel ashamed. She’s not bad but she thinks she’s bad, and Takeo has no way to combat or even process what she said because he legit has very little idea what’s going on in her mind.

    Like Suna said, they’re not even on the same page yet. Cute, happy (so far), but an ideal couple? Naw. They’re two idiots stumbling around in their first relationship.

    …wow. um. That may have come off a bit strongly. I can get a bit passionate when my opinion differs from whomever I’m responding to.

    But, uh, yeah. I just. Don’t see how Takeo is meant to be this Perfect Guy when the text (and Suna himself, in the background) is so often stating how slow and wrong he can be about stuff, or how some admiration of his good qualities means the show is ignoring his bad ones? Idk. It just doesn’t add up.

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    • Maybe it seemed like this, but I don’t even really thing this is about gender bias for me as much as it is an issue for me with the way the show is treating the characters. It just doesn’t feel fair. Takeo is a silly character, but he gets to be silly by being awesome and pure and strong and chivalrous and dense. Yamato is also silly, but the way she’s shown as silly seems to be less benign and less about her strengths being what makes her goofy and more about her weaknesses and insecurities making her silly.

      I don’t mind the difference in Gouda being Pure and Yamato being DAMN HE’S HOT, at least in concept. In execution, it just doesn’t seem balanced. I just want Yamato to be allowed to do more—even if that were to mean giving us some scenes of her away from Takeo or something.

      The text’s and Suna’s criticisms of Takeo just feel toothless to me, mostly because there haven’t ever been real consequences for him yet.

      And I didn’t think you came off that strongly, but even if you had, you were really nice about it! I like hearing people disagree with me, especially if they’re doing so in a way that’s civil. That’s where we get good conversation and growth!

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  4. Hm, I feel it’s not so much an unattainable ideal (that, too), but an unpalatable ideal of purity. There’s no genderbias on that basis: both Takeo and Yamato feel ashamed of their urges. The show’s aware of this, but they plays the embarrassment for cute and mines it for one misunderstanding after the other. I get a sense of “when they grow up they’re going to laugh at how dense they were.” That is: growing up means relativising the purity ideal.

    But for all that the show is aware that a purity ideal is unsustainable (they’re talking about being parents, but currently it’s hard to see where anime children come from), it’s not tackling it at all – so a boy who wants to look at girls in swimsuits must obviously be a pervert, and swooning over bodies is an embarrassment or inappropriate (which is progress from the earlier moral-character threat Yamato has perceived, I suppose).

    The sunset image near the end is as traditional as it gets: you sit side by side, looking at the same sunset, making memories. There’s a sense of security in each other’s presence, but they’re not facing each other. It’s like the notion of the “indirect kiss”: by looking at the sun together, you indirectly look into each others eyes. Portrayal of romantic relationships in anime at least (but I strongly suspect live action to follow that, too, if maybe not as dominantly) is often indirect like that. I’d think that’s a privacy issue, rather than a purity issue – with subtext implied.

    But if you add the purity issue and the privacy issue together, you get a topic you can’t possibly broach head on: it’s going to be incredibly subtle, and you need standard jokes to “relief the tension”. As a result, I’m not surprised by how the episode played out, nor does it bother me. And I’m still not sure I’ve found a way to watch this show post episode 3. At the very least, I liked this episode better than the last one. But all this also means that I’m unsure how much I agree or disagree with you.

    One thing up front: I never saw this show as a “trope-busting juggernaut”. I’ve always instinctively looked at it as an inferior Kimi ni Todoke; an ideal space that fully depends on how much the issues at hand touch you, and one that’s entirely compatible with the shoujo spirit. The comparison isn’t perfect: Kimi ni Todoke is a coming-of-age story with romance as its focal point, but the coming-of-age focus means that friends are as important, if not more, than the love interest. Kazehaya is every bit as much an unattainable ideal as Takeo is, but he’s relativised by a extensive social network. In comparison, Oremonogatari has always felt like a true-blue romcom, to me, with Takeo and Yamato as the funny folk, and Suna as the straight man.

    Also, for the people who said that neither Yamato nor Takeo are perfect: I agree, but I don’t think perfection is the point. An ideal can have flaws, but only “ideal” flaws, i.e. flaws that can serve as the trajectory for standard character growth. Take, for example, Yamato’s worry that wanting to hold hands is an impurity. This is a safe space; it’s so absurd that the audience can go “how cute!” without a worry. The “flaw” here is insecurity, with the purity ideal untouched. At the same time, because of the privacy issue, “holding hands” can be read as a place-holder issue for indirectly engaging the purity ideal. There’s no female “iyaaaaaa! ecchi!” in Ore Monogatari, so that’s actually a plausible interpretation.

    So, yes, I do think the main trio are all ideals; it’s just that I’m still not sure what sort of ideals. And part of this is that I’ve never really gotten into the show, as entertaining as it can be from time to time.

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    • Wow, this was…a really great comment. I’m honestly still wrapping my head around everything you said and I think I might need to come back to it some more to think about it.

      I especially like your point about ideals having only ideal flaws; that is, flaws that are played as endearing, not as character defects that might actually have consequences. And Ore Monogatari!! doesn’t have consequences, so every time we get into these issues there’s no bite for me to be able to latch on to and feel like the show is aware of what it’s doing or the potential for things to be problematic.

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  5. It seems to me that if the show’s mocking anyone here, it’s Takeo. Everyone else assumes that seeing each other in costumes is part of the beach experience, including the girls who are well aware of it (and Rinko most of all who’s trying to impress Takeo). The show seems very sympathetic to me to Rinko’s plight of not managing to arouse any physical interest in Takeo – not because he doesn’t have the instincts but because he represses them in the name of a ridiculous aspiration to purity. The story, seems to me, is exactly about Takeo overcoming this hurdle. Basically, I think you’re reading this in reverse – just because the show is affectionate to Takeo (he’s certainly not a bad guy just because of his naiveté) it doesn’t mean it thinks he is the lonely righteous man in a sea of perversion, quite the contrary. The lesson should be that Takeo is sweet and being gentlemanly is certainly part of what makes him so, but that shouldn’t extend to the extreme of not giving to his girlfriend the kind of intimacy she’s clearly been craving for all too badly.

    But I am with you about the spoiled kiss scene. DAMN YOU ANIME. That episode 3 confession tricked us, now we’re back into glacial-pace-relationships-land.

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    • Oh, I like this interpretation of the episode a lot. I guess, in the actual moment of watching, my issue was just that I didn’t feel the show had any kind of actual consequence (something I’ve mentioned in other comments) for Takeo’s extremity hurting Yamato. Because “I’m bad” gets subsumed (through a cut that jumps ahead in time) into the sunset moment and because Rinko not giving up makes it okay for Takeo to deny her that intimacy (because obviously it didn’t affect her that much anyways).

      Basically, I think the mix of “depth” and “idealism” here is just not working together at all. I thought initially that it might make Ore Monogatari!! special among romance, but it seems to be having the opposite effect.

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      • I think the lack of consequences is mostly due to this show being just too good natured for that. It does not seem willing to go any further than “oh look Takeo can be SO dense” because that would create relationship drama, which doesn’t really look OreMono’s thing. Of course it is what it is, mostly a lighthearted fluffy comedy, and that means we basically don’t really have any progression at all. Overall I think that’s the only big problem with OreMono… it doesn’t seem to have a real “story”. It’s just a series of episodic vignettes more or less frozen in time. With all the limits of that form which can grow boring and repetitive quite quickly.

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  6. Eh, I don’t even know what to say. I don’t see any of the things you’ve pointed out as flaws of the show as being flaws, just features. These are the things the show is about but it’s going to take a long time to develop and resolve them. This is clearly a story that’s into very sustained, gradual character growth. It knows that people don’t fix their flaws overnight or even over weeks. It takes years of living and building on your experience to really grow as a person.

    To me, it’s clearly NOT avoiding the issues, nor is it idealizing anyone. Everyone clearly has their flaws. But these aren’t earth shattering flaws that need to be resolved NOW. These are the little things about people and how they interact with each other that tend to be resolved by learning more about each other and growing together toward a mutual future. It’s not dramatic, it’s just life. And I LOVE that about this show.

    Honestly, I love everything about this show and how it treats the relationships. It feels so beautiful and refreshing to me.

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    • Yeah, at this point we kind of seem to be on entirely different pages on the show. I do feel a little bit bad that I keep coming back to rag on it, but I can’t really change the way I feel when I’m actually watching it.

      In any case, I’m glad you’re still enjoying it and I sincerely hope my criticisms of it aren’t in any way diminished your ability to watch and have fun with it!

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  7. OreMono’s relationship dynamics remind me of the way Piers Anthony writes romance in a lot of his fantasy novels, especially Xanth and Incarnations. He often set his budding couples up so that the man was a naive innocent who had to learn that it was actually okay to look at and touch his girlfriend (or wife!) when she wanted him to, and the woman was the one who had to take the initiative to seduce him and break down his barriers. I’m not bringing that up to suggest that Piers Anthony is the ideal writer to emulate in matters of romance (far from it), but maybe one of the reasons why I haven’t been bothered in the slightest by the things you’re pointing out is that this type of fictional romance is already old hat to me, so I didn’t give it a second thought because I pretty much know where it’s going.

    I don’t see that as a structural/narrative flaw in the show itself, either, because as others have already pointed out, this is a matter of characterization and personality traits and how these two specifics types of personalities (aggressive/determined woman and pedestal-building man) interact with each other in this type of scenario. I can totally understand not enjoying a romance that’s set up to follow this path, though, since that’s all about one’s personal tastes. It’s not necessarily my favorite kind of romance either, but I’m primarily watching this for the comedy anyway – calling back to your prior post, I’m not shipping anyone in this series right now, but as a comedy it works very well for me. Every week I enjoy it, laugh a whole bunch, and don’t really think much more about it until it’s time for the next episode. I do find when it’s time to put my weekly top 5 together, I often have to stop and think about what OreMono was about that week, because it’s already gone out of my head a few days later. The only other show I’ve occasionally had that problem with is the season’s other big fluffball, Yuki Nagato.

    On a side note, I borrowed the first three volumes of the OreMono manga from the library. I’m not caught up to the anime yet (I think this episode was the first chapter of volume 3), but one of the first interesting things I noticed is that the anime’s shuffled up the chapter order a bit. Like the group date/fire rescue in the manga actually takes place after the introduction of Suna’s sister and that whole arc. I remember people complaining that the fire took place too soon after the beam and it felt like the show repeating itself. That’s less of an issue with the manga since they’re spaced out a little more.

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    • Hm, you could be on to something there—maybe this just isn’t the type of romance I like. Of course, I haven’t really seen enough romances of this construction to really be able to see if it’s a pattern or not, so I’m kind of left flapping out in the wind, unsure of everything. It’s weird! This is not my typical wheelhouse of reactions!

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  8. Honestly, a lot of your complaints don’t make sense to me. I think the first three quarters of the episode work pretty well. However, I agree that the last quarter goes badly wrong.

    You say you don’t like the idea of ogling girls at the beach, yet you immediately disliked Takeo expressing this opinion. That’s a strange reaction to an opinion you agree with. Given the straight-laced characterization that we’ve seen of him throughout the series, it’s not surprising that Takeo holds this opinion, and the blunt in-your-face way he expresses it is also consistent with the way he’s been portrayed. So what could be the problem? You say it belittles the other characters: so you’ve developed so much sympathy for them that, when they express an idea you find “yucky”, you don’t like them being called out for it? That’s weird.

    For me, this scene played primarily as a boy concerned that his friends were going to embarrass him in front of his girlfriend. It also started setting up the surprise that’s in store for Takeo, getting him to say that he won’t stare at Yamato, an assertion he soon won’t be able to live up to. And as for any shade that got thrown on the boys, they get a nice measure of vindication later when they laugh with the girls after their “way too cute”/”dirty old man” exchange.

    The shopping scene troubles you because of some dialogue about clothes that got opened. I’m not sure what dialogue you’re talking about, but I guess the subject is something like, is women’s beachwear too sexy? I don’t know why the show ought to address that any more than it did, with it’s “just clothes” resolution (more about that later).

    For me, this scene played as the next beat in the developing surprise for Takeo. He thinks it’s just going to be another day at the beach, but Yamato has different ideas. His “It won’t matter to me what you wear” reads as a challenge, to which Yamato responds, OK, what about this, or this, or this? And Takeo’s line turns out to be ironically true: he was going to get blown away no matter what she wore.

    On the other hand, I agree that Yamato’s insecurity surfaces here, creating an ominous undertone that isn’t satisfactorily resolved in this episode. More about that later.

    Takeo glaring at the boys on the beach: this just reminds us of the assertion Takeo made earlier about not staring at Yamato, immediately before he breaks it.

    Yamato drooling while Takeo doesn’t look: I guess you’re referring to Takeo swimming in the ocean while Yamato sits under the umbrella. I don’t understand what’s bad about what Takeo does. He’s just gotten a sharp shock: the beach today is not what he expected. Given his physical character, it’s plausible that his response would be to go off and exercise vigorously to try to sort out what just happened.

    Or maybe your problem is that the show suggests it’s OK for Yamato to sit under the umbrella with hearts in her eyes. I think the show actually suggests that’s not OK in the sandcastle scene, but then you had a problem with that too. More later.

    Just clothes: what on Earth is your problem with this? In the broad range of attitudes towards women’s beachwear, from “just clothes” to “she must be asking for it”, I think it’s fine for a 15-year-old boy to start with “just clothes”. He can develop more nuance later.

    The sandcastle: again, I don’t understand what your problem is. To me, this scene suggests that the degree of Yamato’s infatuation with Takeo is a problem, that obsessing over something to the exclusion of seeing anything else can lead to a misstep.

    “I’m not much better.” What the hell is he on about? Directly, the fact that HE actually DID step on the sandcastle. Indirectly, that he also has had a problem in this episode.

    From this point, I agree that the episode fails. It has brought up the characters’ problems (at this point primarily Yamato’s, since Takeo, with his cartoon character superpowers, or perhaps due to Suno’s Svengali-like ways, seems to have dealt with his unexpected weakness to Yamato in swimwear) only to paper them over with a beautiful sunset and a love confession.

    Or did it? I have to admit, after initially being jarred by the abrupt transition from Yamato’s speech about selfishness to the romantic sequence, I was swept away by the romantic sequence until the kiss was interrupted. Perhaps that kiss was purposely interrupted as a reminder that what just swept me away isn’t right. And Takeo’s giant wall of sand around Yamato’s love umbrella looks impressive, but it isn’t going to work. The ocean is stronger than he thinks.

    Nah, I think it’s more likely that this show really is just kittens on Youtube, and whatever problems it raises probably aren’t going to be satisfactorily resolved. I suspect I’m going to get tired of it before the end of its second cour. But this episode wasn’t nearly as awful as you make it out.

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    • I mean, I suppose I’d differentiate between me trying to argue the episode was awful and me trying to express why I had a particular reaction to the episode.

      I dunno, I’ve said my piece and I’ve mostly moved on from emotions that motivated me to write what I did. I think the core issue is that I feel the show treats Yamato and Takeo differently—everything else is a function of that base concern, so if you don’t share that opinion, then I think it makes sense that all of my specific evidences seem weird!

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  9. I’m on mobile so I won’t write much, but I disagree with you. You claim you wrote this base on your feelings, thus I don’t believe you put much effort and went on a rampage. The sheer factor you stated there’s more bad than good in this episode is saddening. It makes me question what are your expectations for this show because I’ll let you know now, this is a puppy love couple show and it’s going to be that way for a long, very long time. Not to say your opinions are wrong, just you made this review for this episode unsightful for me.

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  10. “The first moment that really caused me to go, “Really?” was when Takeo storms over to his classmates and threatens to exile them from the beach trip because they’ve expressed excitement at getting to see the girls in swimsuits. Now—to be clear—the whole “go to the beach to ogle girls in bikinis” line of thinking is yucky for reasons I don’t believe I need to articulate, but the way the show uses Takeo as the moral compass to chastise these teenage boys comes across as unsubtle and troubling in the way it builds up Takeo by breaking down these other characters.”

    I actually interpreted this scene as something different, although it presumes Takeo is marginally more devious than he actually is. First, I thought this was Takeo’s way of being jealous and wanting Yamato for himself – he’s warning the guys not to ogle the girls, that means they’ll ogle Yamato, too. I think the pretense was using the excuse of “ogling girls is immoral and you guys shouldn’t do it” to disguise Takeo not wanting his friends ogling his girlfriend. In fact, given how (un)self-aware Takeo is, he really might consciously believe in the former but consciously be motivated by the latter.

    Coupled with the way Takeo reacted to Yamato in a swimsuit — ogling her and doing exactly what he told his friends not to do — I think that whole scene was supposed to imply the opposite of “Takeo is a moral compass and superior to his friends” — that Takeo is really no better than his friends and likes looking at his girlfriend just as much she likes looking at him and they like looking at girls. Given that the point of that arc with Yamato’s secret was that Yamato doesn’t want a totally “pure” relationship, I think this scene was partially to prove that Takeo doesn’t want a totally “pure” relationship either. The (attempted) kiss at the end further proves that, I think.

    I agree with a lot of what else you said, though. Suna put it best when he said that they don’t understand each other but it’s fine for now, but the key word “for now” makes me assume Ore Monogatari!! will delve into this friction between Takeo’s and Yamato’s desires.

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    • Yeah, Takeo’s verbalized stance is definitely somewhat at odds with his actual reactions.

      Anyways, as far as “for now” goes, I guess I’ve sort of felt we’ve been getting “for now’s” for a long time and I’m starting to get impatient to see the other shoe drop, as it were. I’m ready for there to be consequences. I dunno. We’ll see what happens tomorrow! Maybe I’ll be back to loving it like I was two weeks ago.

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