Oh no, I’m liking Yotsuba a lot. Miku really is getting a run for her money!
In all seriousness, I was looking forward to a Yotsuba-centric episode. I’ve generally found this girl to be pretty darn likable — a fun airhead type who is willing to help others even if to a fault. On top of that, she has good chemistry with Fuutarou with their whole “opposites attract” shtick as well as the fact that unlike the other quints, Yotsuba readily accepted her tutor’s aid.
This episode very much puts that relationship at the forefront. Some scenes are admittedly just fluff such as when those two try to trick Itsuki and Nino into staying home to study with them but even so, they are pretty entertaining. The middle part set in the school library admittedly has more depth going for it. You have Yotsuba folding paper cranes to wish a hospitalized friend well and Fuutarou begrudgingly helps her finish the task so that the former will get back to studying. The easy thing would’ve been to tell Yotsuba to hold the paper folding for later but I suppose this means Fuutarou is too fond of her to be that cold. There’s also an amusing realization Fuutarou has that I completely agree with. If Yotsuba is secretly wasting time then that would indeed put her above Nino for most wicked.
I have wondered about how exactly Yotsuba feels about Fuutarou. Given how well those two get along as well as the fact that Quintessential Quintuplets is a harem series, I couldn’t help but wonder if Yotsuba is falling her tutor or already has. Well, this episode kind of explores that possibility; the keyword being “kind of”. You do have one scene where Yotsuba tells Fuutarou she likes him, in a pretty intimate way too. Alas, it was just a prank. The Miku fan in me may be relieved but the Yotsuba fan in me was banging his head at his laptop screen. That scene would’ve been the perfect opportunity. The way Yotsuba sits down and caresses Fuutarou, the music, the close-ups, Yotsuba’s creepy smile…okay, maybe not that but everything else worked so well! Are you sure you don’t want to take it back, Yotsuba? You do realize who your competition is, right?
To be honest, I’m not entirely convinced that Yotsuba lied there. I mean, the scene right before it establishes that she’s terrible at lying. And sure, maybe she was able to pull off lying this one time but it feels more realistic that she partially meant what she told Fuutarou and copped out.
Surely, Yotsuba must feel something for Fuutarou if the episode’s climatic scene is any indication. Earlier in the show, Yotsuba was asked to join the basketball club and while she would naturally feel inclined to help, she ultimately chooses to decline the offer. The exact wording of her reasoning is noteworthy as Yotsuba says she’s declining because “‘there’s someone who’s spurring [her] on'”. No doubt, she’s referring to Fuutarou which would suggest that she feels some sort of attachment to him. I also find it interesting that Yotsuba chose her academics over a playing for a sport, something that she is really good at. I think she could maybe do both, similar to what Ichika is currently doing with her acting. You most certainly can make a career off of athleticism too. For her to forgo sports entirely only speaks more about her decision to focus on her studies. She’s fully aware that she does poorly in class and she really wants to overcome that hurdle. While Fuutarou is there to help, she wants to take advantage of his aid as much as possible and if it means letting go of something she’s good at it then so be it.
…Darn it, I really am starting to like Yotsuba a lot! Miku really is getting a run for her money!
Moving on, there are some elements about this episode that I want to address. First is while I figured it was still a bumpy road ahead for Fuutarou, I am a little annoyed to see Itsuki and Nino still on the fence about studying with him. Was that not what last episode tried to address? Then again, Yotsuba has a point. “Maybe on a good day” is at least an improvement from “No way in hell”. Furthermore, I will admit that the chemistry between those two girls and Fuutarou is starting to grow on me. A particular indicator is when Fuutarou has to get everyone’s contact info (Ichika, you devil). Itsuki budges after being promised to Raiha’s email address and Nino hates being left out so clearly, Fuutarou has gain a grasp on how to deal with those two.
Regarding the big twist at the end, I’m not too thrilled about it. Just the idea that Fuutarou had once encounter one of the quintuplets years ago feels cliche to me. Worse is that whoever the girl in the photo is, she’s an obvious lock as the bride teased back in Episode 1. And depending on where that girl’s character is at the time of reveal, it may not feel earned and it may anger audiences. One way I could see this working though is if the identity ultimately goes unsolved and Fuutarou learns that it’s who he loves in the present that matters most to him. As much as I like this show though, I’m not convinced that it’ll be smart enough to actually go in such a direction.
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