Ai Yori Aoshi - 17: Ripples

Title:Ai Yori Aoshi
Episode:17: Ripples
Still on the beach holidays (continuing episode 16 of Ai Yori Aoshi) the whole group helps Taeko's grandmother running the beach house [image1] - even Mayu is selling ice cream. Taeko wonders what Kaoru means to her after he was so kind to her.
Chika gets aware of that and decides she has to 'help' her older cousin - by luring both Kaoru and (short-sighted) Taeko into the onsen's shower at the same time [image2]! But "Operation Love Cupid" isn't going to be anything near a success - and things get worse when Tina and Mayu enter the onsen as well. When Tina is about to look who is in the shower Taeko manages to save the situation for once [image3]; only after Chika joins the group things get totally out of control...
After this day's work is over, grandma asks Kaoru to go out with Taeko. They eat fried noodles at Chika's stall, and in the night on the beach Taeko apologizes for the events of the day. Taeko realizes that she is practically on a date with Kaoru [image4]; she gets super-nervous and does everything wrong...
Taeko is afraid Kaoru hates her now. Yet he is still nice to her and praises her optimism when she gets into trouble. But right when Taeko is about to confess to Kaoru [image5], fate is not on her side once again...
Taeko and Chika still have something to talk about [image6] before everyone is returning to the western style house.
(2004-03-03, Devil Doll:)
No Aoi this time, after she had been the focus of the two previous episodes. This girl is always happy when she can do cooking and housework - even in her holidays...
It's a pity that this series does not manage to show Taeko other than in slapstick scenes, as this girl is good at heart and has learned something today. But as for the 'harem scenario' of this series, Taeko has left the 'competition' already.
Chika is little more than a nuisance at this stage. Besides her appearance here she'll only be the lead character of episode 19 of Ai Yori Aoshi; she'll get more screen time in the Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~ sequel.
And by the way, is it just a coincidence that the Japanese name for firework is "hanabi" (fire flower)?

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