You had one job, Adachi.
I will fully admit that it was presumptive of me to assume this would be a turning point in Adachi and Shimamura. After all, the show is halfway through now and the episode is taking place during Christmas for Pete’s sake! Aside from Valentine’s Day, holidays don’t get any more romantic than that. The time is simply ripe for Adachi to confess to Shimamura. For a while, the show has me fooled a bit with the A part involving Adachi finding a gift for Shimamura and finally deciding to take her chances at the end. To see her ultimately back out yet again, it’s hard not to feel a little bummed.
To the episode’s credit, it also left signs that things may not go the way you expect. Within the opening narration, Adachi ponders what’s special about Christmas (religious aspects aside…) and if it’s really her best shot at taking things to the next level. Once the date finally happens, it becomes apparent that festivities and gift giving aside, it more or less plays out like any other hangout the two girls have spent together. Even Shimamura’s gift to Adachi, a boomerang, feels like a bit of foreshadowing. The general act of it coming back signifies that we’ll be back to square one. That or it actually failing to return to Adachi after being thrown suggests that she’s about to miss her chance. Perhaps that’s a stretch though knowing Hitoma Iruma’s writing style and the general prose in this show, it’s entirely possible.
The one positive to Adachi’s fumble is that she seems to fully acknowledge the fact that she’s in love with Shimamura. In fact, she imagines saying that to Shimamura that she does. Granted, that much was all but confirmed in the past couple of episodes but it’s nice hearing Adachi say it after starting off doubting those feelings and her sexuality. I’ll take the little victory just like how Adachi does with the time she spends with Shimamura.
Even though the main event is the Christmas date, I actually find Adachi searching for a gift to be the more interesting part of the episode. For starters, she’s accompanied by Hino which is a refreshing change of pace. It’s nice seeing Adachi interacting and getting along with someone other than her love interest. Hino meanwhile proves to be a good wingman, catching onto to Adachi’s intent while not prying too much into it while also trying to help her as best as she can. The two do still act awkward around each other but that kind of energy nevertheless shakes things a bit. When you think about it, Adachi and Hino are kind of in the same boat. Both are dealing with friends who keep teasing them romantically (though I suppose Nagafuji is blatantly more flirtatious than Shimamura).
The gift giving at the end of the episode really drives home where our two leads stand. Adachi goes out of her way finding something Shimamura would like, even asking an acquittance for help. Meanwhile, Shimamura gets her a boomerang as per Nagafuji’s suggestion because she figured that’s what the cool kids are into and she deliberately didn’t disclose to Nagafuji that Adachi is the recipient (even if she did, it wouldn’t have helped). Of course, Adachi accepts the gift because it is from Shimamura but I think the choice of said gift and how the latter goes about choosing it is another sign that she wants things between them to be platonic.
At this point, it really is up to Shimamura if her friendship with Adachi will be anything beyond friendship. Maybe Adachi will muster the courage another time but when will that happen if didn’t happen here? I suppose we do have Valentine’s Day coming up if we’re going by the show’s chronology, but I can see her backpedaling on even that. It seems more likely Shimamura will be the instigator and knowing her, that might take a while.
At least this show continues to keep engaged me in this romantic stalemate. Halfway through and it hasn’t gotten old. If anything, I’m looking forward to seeing more.
Thanks for reading!
Watch Adachi and Shimamura on Funimation