As mentioned in my Midseason Rankings, I’ll continue to cover Domestic Girlfriend until it finishes airing. Mind you, I’m still a teensy bit wary of this show. I mean, I am liking it by a lot but should this show really screw the pooch at the end, this would rack up with Fate/stay night and Darling in the FranXX for most disappointing anime ever. Whatever entails in the future though, I must acknowledge that the show is really interesting and to neglect sharing my two cents on it would be tricky.
Wary though I may be in general, I actually was hopeful about the introduction of Miu (Konomi Kohara), the fourth and presumably final love interest in Domestic Girlfriend. Part of that is this show having done a good job introducing the first three ladies. Part of it is also Miu appearing to be the most normal of the bunch, at least conceptually. A shy girl in a dead school club? That is such a far cry from retroactively awkward familial relationships and engaging in sexual intercourse as a coping mechanism. If anything, I think the creators of this story actually needed to go out of its way to make it weird.
Enter the Literature Club adviser, Kariya-sensei (Hikaru Midorikawa), a teacher who more or less eggs Natsuo into joining the club. How does the man make things weird? Well, he has an…interesting way of teaching writing to his students. I’m willing to believe that he is simply meant to be eccentric but when he encouraged Natsuo and Miu to kiss each other so that they have more “experience” to base their romantic writings in, I was baffled. That’s simply not a stunt you want to pull as an educator. And sure, Kariya-sensei did it to get a sense of his students’ characters and wasn’t expecting any of them to go through with the suggestion but even so, my point still stands.
Then again, the main takeaway of that scene is how Miu acted. That Natsuo immediately found Kariya-sensei’s prompt bizarre and uncomfortable is the natural reaction to have to so what does it say about the shy Miu when she actually agrees to be a willing participant? It’s possible that this was an opportunity for her to be more assertive. Judging by the tears on her eyes though, she might’ve been pushing herself too much, something which Natsuo catches on, prompting him to stop.
Other than that awkwardness, the chemistry between Natsuo and Miu is solid so far. Natsuo is a little taken aback at how shy Miu is but ever the understanding type, he doesn’t mind that personality at all. In a scene where the two hand out promotional flyers for the Literature Club, Natsuo offers to hand out Miu’s share after he notices that she’s struggling to speak up. The gesture isn’t out of annoyance and simply aims to help. An even better example is a later scene where the two are just chatting in the school library. Miu is quite adamant about not talking in the library so she instead communicates via writing on a notepad. It’s quirky but Natsuo decides to go along with it, perhaps even figuring that writing makes Miu feel more comfortable anyway. The whole scene is downright charming, the most Domestic Girlfriend has ever been since Natsuo and Rui’s mock conversation back in Episode 2.
So how does the show make things weird again? Well, by throwing Rui and Momo into the club roster of course! I’d say this club is looking more like a harem but then again, I guess in anime, those two terms are sometimes synonymous with each other. The funny thing is that Momo actually has the most innocent reason for joining the Literature Club. She’s friends with Rui and Natsuo and she’s apparently really smart (provided she’s not distracted by a boyfriend) so it really isn’t that far fetched for her to join. Meanwhile, we all know why Rui wants to join. It’s definitely not because she likes books.
I personally don’t ship it but even I can’t deny that Natsuo and Rui are great together onscreen. This episode even sneaks in some more charming scenes involving the two such as when the two check out various clubs while dealing with Natsuo’s horny friends checking girls out. And clearly, Rui is getting antsy when she sees Natsuo alone with Momo and now Miu. Really, the question is not if but when Rui will act on her feelings. At the end of the episode, former Yakuza member Masaki (seriously, that’s his backstory?!) encourages Rui to follow her heart no matter where it takes her so surely, she’ll make her move soon.
That said, there is also Hina to keep in mind. A proposed get-together with Natsuo? I don’t see anything “wrong” with that. “Nothing” at all…
Thanks for reading!