|Yamato is trying to make sense of Suzuka's behaviour when he observes her talking to an older student [image1] asking her to come along with her and "go together" somewhere. Sensing a rival, Yamato breathlessly hopes for her "dumping the ass" of the boy - but to his huge disappointment she agrees, and they walk away.
Consequently, Yamato feels like screaming - so what about going Karaoke with Yasunobu? The ladies' man invites Honoka-chan to come along, who happily agrees. Yamato still manages to "sing all out", [image2] but when Honoka happens to say words he remembers from Suzuka's conversation with that guy his mood instantly turns gloomy again. In his confusion he drinks from Honoka's glass of juice, taking an "indirect kiss" from her - which only the girl notices, blushing.
Yamato has left the Karaoke early, wondering whether Suzuka returned from her "date" already. To his surprise Suzuka and the guy are sitting at the stairs in front of Yamato's lodging, and he can hear them chatting and laughing - apparently they know each other for quite some time already. When they finally notice his presence, the guy introduces himself as Miyamoto Soichi and... asks Yamato to join the track&field club of their school! He had scouted Suzuka before (whom he attended middle school at Yokohama with), and she told him about this promising new sprint talent, thus Soichi had asked her to accompany him for the scouting, instead just asking Yamato as a complete stranger... Yamato is flabbergasted and turns down the offer without much thinking. Soichi leaves, [image3] stating "Suzuka, I knew at once he's your type".
During lunch break at school, Yamato is still confused about the way women think. "If you worry about it so much, just ask her yourself", is Yasunobu's advice. At home Yamato is still thinking about his situation when a thunderstorm causes a blackout at his lodge. Only seconds later someone is knocking at his door - Suzuka, with an aroma candle, apparently frightened by the darkness and asking to stay in his room for the time being. With every crashing thunder the tremulous Suzuka moves a little closer to Yamato... [image4]
On his way to school Yamato visits a bookshop and reads his horoscope, telling him that his zodiac sign will be the most lucky one this month and "if you confess, you might hear the good answer". So should Yamato actually do it? And how would this have to be done? Yasunobu encourages Yamato: "She'll never know your feelings if you don't tell her". Once again, Honoka appears and asks to eat her lunch together with the boys - which turns out to be no great success, given the weird questions Yamato is asking her. [image5]
Yamato watches Suzuka during her training, but when she becomes aware of him he tries to hide. Walking home already, he suddenly hears someone running after him... [image6]
|(2005-08-09, Devil Doll:)
Lots of Yamato's thoughts this time - he's the narrator after all, so we're reading his mind. The boy makes interesting progress in trying to make sense of Suzuka's behaviour, and despite acting jealously he manages not to spoil the situations too much this time... good performance! His loud public soliquies are still embarrassing, but - oh well.
A penny for Suzuka's thoughts this time, but she's likely not to understand her own situation. Just look at her reaction to Soichi's comment... outch, that hurt. At this stage Suzuka is a living example of the prejudice "women mean 'yes' when they say 'no'": Since the 50 meters dash she made use of every opportunity to be near Yamato while at the same time openly denying any interest in him. Yamato's reaction on Suzuka's behaviour in the candlelight scene was the highlight of the episode; we could see him wrestling with his doubts about what Suzuka might expect from him in this scene, as "too little" might turn out to be as disastrous as "too much".
I wonder whether the blackout scene was meant to be in realtime. It took Suzuka a mere 5 seconds to knock at Yamato's door, and that includes finding the candle in her dark room! Did she plan this event? While Yamato can't actually figure out most of her thoughts, she at least gave him more information about herself and what she likes and dislikes; he asked reasonable questions and accepted the given answers. Then again, there's one foreshadowing line in her explanation why she visits her home town every sunday...
Soichi announced to return and ask Yamato again about the track&field club; from a tactical perspective this guy must be the perfect information source for Yamato: He knows Suzuka quite well and he'll easily accept her relationship with the boy. And I didn't even mention how much more time Yamato and Suzuka could spend together in the club.
Yasunobu is still kind of cool. He gives us the simple answers, like what becoming a couple means for different people - different things, obviously. And he makes use of Honoka whenever appropriate... I wonder when the girl will become aware of this, which could mark a crucial point in her character development. I am really sorry for Honoka so far: Not only does Yamato completely ignore her many supportive signals, he even bothers her with questions that can only hurt her at this stage. Honoka's enthusiastic praise for Yamato might be exaggerated at times but I wonder whether other classmates can ignore her qualities forever. Usually the nice girl ends up lonely...