Suzuka - 16: Impulse

Episode:16: Impulse
While Asahina and Yamato are finally sitting in the train back to Tokyo, Honoka visits the boy's house already. But Saotome tells her that Yamato didn't return yet, and she teases Honoka [image1] that something might have happened between these two because she didn't confess sooner.
At the train Yamato wonders about Asahina's strange behaviour during the confession scene the night before. After arriving at Tokyo he tries to invite Asahina eating lunch with him - only to run into Honoka who waited for him at the railway station! Asahina gets it that she's the fifth wheel here and edges off; Honoka tries hard to be nice to Yamato who finally becomes aware how worried Honoka must have been. He tells her he wouldn't do anything weird now that he has someone he likes... [image2] and instantly Honoka nestles to the boy's chest: He said the word, finally! And when Honoka is afraid of having embarrassed the boy in public he wipes off her doubts with a long kiss.
On the next day the new semester starts; Asahina is about to go to school but when she hears Honoka's voice outside her door (as this girl came to pick up Yamato) she decides to wait until their gone. Ayano tells Yamato she'll return late today so she can't take care of his supper, and that Miho will eat at a friend's place.
During lunch break at school Hattori asks Yamato whether he and Honoka have kissed - and whether they had sex already! [image3] Yamato is shocked but Hattori tells him this is what dating actually is about, and that he should make better use of living by himself. After all, if a single woman accepts a single man's invitation to his place then she should be ready for the next step. Back in his room Yamato wonders how he could invite Honoka but can't come up with anything that would work; getting hungry he's about to go to the convenience store... when suddenly the doorbell rings. It's Honoka who has brought ingredients to cook dinner for Yamato!
Watching Honoka working in his kitchen in her apron [image4], Yamato is almost in newlyweds-mode. Could Hattori actually be right? Honoka's dish tastes delicious, and she's even feeding him the last bite. But right when he tells her how happy he is about her meal he remembers that Asahina won't have dinner tonight... angry about his unability to forget this girl Yamato decides to focus on Honoka more - and in an instant he drags her on his bed [image5], pushes her down and starts kissing her! Scared by his behaviour, Honoka breaks free and runs away - and Asahina just returns home at this very moment. Asahina asks Yamato what happened, but "that's none of your business" is all she gets as reply.
The next day Honoka is missing the club practice, and Yamato decides he has to at least apologize, even if she doesn't want to see his face any more... [image6]
(2005-10-23, Devil Doll:)
A wonderful episode, even without Miki in it, and with Yamato being on the verge of royally screwing up his relation. But Honoka-chan shines!
With Megumi having vanished from the series I am very pleased about the role in which Saotome ended up. As I were hoping for, she's the Konno Mitsune of this series now; we can never be completely sure what evil intentions she has up her sleeve and her contributions may well cause random events... but in the end she's effectively strengthening the bond between Yamato and Honoka. Can she actually become the third counselor of one of our lead characters, like Hattori is for Yamato and Miki is for Asahina? Besides, listening to Saotome's words Ayano should now be informed about Honoka's status, and probably Miho will soon learn about it as well; I wonder how they'll take the news, as sooner or later Honoka should become a regular guest in their house now.

Today's crucial scene of course is Yamato making "the next step", doing the wrong thing with the right intention this time. But I forgive him, just like Honoka does - I much prefer Yamato causing stupid blunders because of trying to overly care for Honoka instead of ignoring her feelings altogether like in the previous episode. Today he acts like an immature lover but last time he acted like a brainless kid, and that was a lot worse in my book. Think about it - Honoka would probably have been hurt more if he told her about his Asahina related thoughts at this moment! As long as Yamato shows the right attitude there's still hope for his relation to work, and Asahina will remain sidelined.
Ah, yes - Asahina. Just a few scenes with her today; of course she blames Yamato for whatever without having a clue what happened (she has to revamp her Ice Queen image at least once per episode), only to get Yamato's door slammed into her face. Yay! But more importantly, the closing scene when she couldn't keep her nose out of the Yamato/Honoka business to save one's life. Right, she's happy that Yamato and Honoka made up with each other, yadda yadda... girl, we do know better by now. And again, a door slammed before she could finish her line. Asahina, now it's your turn getting the cold treatment - but what did you actually expect? After all it was you who told Yamato to "be nice to one girl only". And you would be annoyed if Yamato treated Honoka irresponsibly, right?

What's really funny thing about this episode is that Hattori was right once again - at least in some way. While not actually expecting this move from Yamato, Honoka actually conceded it to the boy (as she tells him at the end of this episode), just not with this weird attitude he showed during the event. This miko had enough time to fantasize about how being his girlfriend would be, and as is was her who kissed the boy first I wouldn't be surprised if she at least pondered about what the next step in their relation would be, and when it could happen. While Yamato was still trying to find some excuse for calling Honoka to his room she was already standing in front of his door, prepared for everything! And even when Yamato pushed her down she was still hesitating instead of freaking out immediately - she must have accepted Yamato's right to get closer physical contact at some stage. That's why she considers herself at fault for finally running away: She feels unable to keep up with Yamato's pace, just like Yamato felt about Asahina! And look how sincerely she tells Yamato about her thoughts and feelings... this is why Honoka-chan is the shining light of this series for me: She alone of all important characters (which includes Hattori, and perhaps even Miki!) can speak her mind to the one she loves. No Asahina-style guessing game, thank you. For me Honoka-chan scored big time in this episode.
Then again I was agonizing when I watched Honoka kneeling besides the table and watch Yamato eat her dinner - the poor miko was almost in Sakuraba Aoi submissive mode in this scene. At the very least she should have cooked two servings and eaten it together with Yamato! But that's apparently not appropriate in her eyes - being a shrine maiden she might have been raised in a hyper traditional way. (And Yamato is of course too dense to take care of this issue... darned fool!)

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