Catch the other episode reviews here
Last episode, we had some summer fun, and by “summer fun,” I mean they talked about summer fun and started preparing for it.
As expected, we do begin with the jolly summer times, specifically at a river as the title is reminding us of. I’m stealing at least “jolly” for the title of this post. It’s a good one and already sounds like something I would sarcastically say, so why not use the tools available, you know? I’d be but a fool.
Also, it looks like jolly summer times at the jolly river are a bit uneventful. Not bad, but not much to talk about. Mostly everything so far is pretty standard stuff. The weather is good. More gags at Izumi and his bad luck. Everyone is petrified Izumi will stab himself when cutting an onion, or more accurately, a random gust of wind will pick up and slit his throat.
Besides the funny gags, the only real point of interest is that Izumi and Shikimori have been dating for quite a bit at this point, close-ish to a year, and she doesn’t know Izumi is a great cook. This is also the first time he’s cooking for her. That seems odd to me, but maybe it just never came up. But you’d think with Shikimori being a welcomed guest at his parent’s home, she would know, but whatever.
The more interesting thing is that Shikimori can’t cook. A mystery food x situation, but not bad since the food is still recognizable. They actually, again, altered things here. The original scene where Izumi learns of Shikimori’s first flaw, her awful cooking, actually takes place somewhat differently in volume 1. They decided, and I think it was a great choice, to change up the food item and have the scene serve the same purpose here.
It was just as sweet. It got the exact same point across. But since the whole friend group was here, it added a bit more to the jokes and also made Izumi look like an amazing boyfriend, once again, by forcing himself to eat the food and telling Shikimori that even he makes mistakes all the time. I’m telling you, there’s a very clear reason she’s with this guy, so stop hating on my bland MCs! They’re people too.
Next, Izumi goes from choking to, well, choking is kind of like drowning, right? Same theory. Anyway, there’s this girl in the river being carried away by the current and, despite not being a good swimmer, Izumi jumps in after her, repeats that he needs to get her to safety first, and then gets a cramp and drowns, but he did look cool for a while there. Then Shikimori saves him, and you get the deal.
That scene right there does illustrate Izumi’s character pretty well, though. Unlike Shikimori, who appears flawless but has a few hidden away, Izumi is incredibly unfortunate and has an inability to ever really look cool because his luck won’t let him, yet he tries. No matter how many times he gets cuts or bruises or almost drowns, he refuses to stop trying, and I agree with Shikimori. That trait makes him a very strong, admirable person in my book.
As you can probably imagine, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” is one of my favorite quotes. I think Shikimori would probably agree. That line kept me going for a long time when I was younger, and it also just sounds badass, doesn’t it?
Now for something far less badass but still good, ice cream. They added in a nice little indirect kiss funny scene here with everyone stopping and getting ice cream. It’s possible they took this from another volume, but according to the six I have next to me I’ve been scanning through, that’s not the case. So, anime original scene completely, I’m fairly certain. Nice, and I guess they needed to pad time to end it with the summer stuff.
The ending of said summer stuff is how all good trips end, a nap on public transportation. Ok, maybe just the nap bit. But everyone except Izumi is tried, apparently, so Shikimori ends up falling asleep on his arm, but he then falls asleep, and Shikimori forcibly rips his head over to her arm as a pillow. Bit aggressive, but I like the hustle. Anyway, that’s how it ends. It was pretty damn cute, as you’d expect.
This episode was probably one of the best to see how good the anime staff has done with the pacing. I imagine this episode felt the exact same as the other four. Wasn’t slow, wasn’t rushed, same pace. This is actually quite a different episode, though. This is the first episode that hasn’t really cut around between different volumes. All of this summer stuff happens in the same exact order in the same volume. They managed to not only make a bunch of bits from different volumes work but also one normal progression that is present in the manga. Great stuff.
I’m super impressed with how well this series is being handled. It’s making an anime that is honestly better than the manga… is what I would say, but after volume 1, the manga really finds its footing, and with the amazing art, the manga is pretty hard to beat, but both are fantastic, really. I’m super happy about how well this is going.
Thank you very much for reading
I love this show. That’s it.