Eita claims that, unlike his bland male bretheren, his mind is not occupied by love. He makes absolutely sure that the only thing he must be worrying about is his grades, his dreams of going to med school, his ultimate goal of repaying the kindness of his caretaker that his real parents did not have. He willingly alienates himself from the rest of his peers by scoffing at their romantic thoughts, because if he does succumb to the level of his peers it means that he would fail his dreams of going to med school. It’s either be in love, or be successful. One, in his head, is the more plausible and long-term choice in terms of the benefits. There’s something to be said of his single-mindedness of trying to succeed that’s sort of endearing but not really because he’s kind of an asshole in the process. A cute and easily picked-at asshole, but still a bonafide authentic asshole.
Aside from the fact that his irresponsible parents have scarred his romantic tendencies, Chiwa (I’ll just call her Chihuahua-chan) does nothing to alleviate this either. She’s pushy, needy, and oh-so-subtle. He’s with her practically all the time and the relationship is pretty much platonic in his eyes. These are just characteristics of childhood friends, but she basically exists to offer some non-romantic banter (at least from the protag’s point of view) and act as the long-term pining love interest that’s under Eita’s nose the entire time. The bigger issue that I was trying to get at is the way she tosses around lines like “I hate you” and “I love you” in the blink of an eye, and for completely mundane actions. Seeing that she’s probably the only reference that Eita has in terms of relationships with girls, Chihuahua-chan cheapens love and trivializes romantic confession. She exemplifies the reasons that Eita has for not wanting to pursue romance. She’s also really, really annoying. And short. And squirrely and is basically a chihuahua I just want to pet her tiny little head and then punt her across a football field OKAY MOVING ON.
Not to mention he has all this responsibility set on him because he’s so alone. I don’t know whether it’s because she works so late or because she’s kind of a less-than-stellar example of the Japanese workforce, but Eita is forced to grow up a bit faster than most other people who still have their families intact in order to provide back for Saeko. He prepares meals for her in the morning, perhaps as a sign of gratitude for her taking him in when his parents didn’t (or maybe it’s just a Japanese thing i dunno). Much of his motivation to becoming a med student is in repaying her kindness, though I suppose having lots of money would help in general when it comes to being economically successful. Certainly after realizing that his parents are basically not going to help him through his last stages of high school life does he believe that he needs to take charge of his own life and begin to look at the world a bit more cynically.
Now, the reason I chose to compare this anime to Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun and not, say, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, is because I find characters more convincing than plot entrappings. Shizuku is, in a lot of ways, similar to Eita. She studies just as hard in order to get the best grades and the best test scores, which would allow her to succeed and bring in lots of money and such. She, too, is also forced to grow up faster than most other teens of her age because the family business is run by her incompetent father and her mother doesn’t seem to bring in that much money either (even though Shizuku idolizes her and mimics her behavior). Though her goals aren’t as specific as going to med school, her general dream of making one-million yen requires that she be self-reliant in order to do what she wants to do. She can’t let herself function like a normal high school student if she wants to reach for the top.
When Haru enters her life, she’s unable to invest both in him and her dreams. Her relationship with him is mostly her coming to terms with a way to both accept Haru for what he is and be able to chase her dreams at the same time. She ponders, reconsiders, and rewrites her ideals one at a time until she can finally, comfortably reconcile her feelings and her goals, which sort of ends up happening by the end of the anime. She doesn’t openly hate love, but it gets in her way more often than not. Even though she and Haru don’t end up together by the end, she grows to be a better person, one who’s not so fixated on the future and can stretch a bit to enjoy the present.
So knowing this, I’m kind of interested in seeing exactly what may happen with the relationship dynamic between Eita and Natsukawa, aside from what we already know from the premise and such. Then again… I’m kind of not. Male-oriented romances tend to put the romance at the forefront, sacrificing character development in the process. I don’t foresee a lot of changes coming Eita’s way, nor in Natsukawa’s, nor in Chuhuahua-chan’s. I don’t think that other chuuni girl from the OP is going to get anything meaningful out of this anime other than being established as another lame love rival. See, these people don’t have very many problems, at least not ones that are plausible enough. Eita’s fine because his parents are top-tier assholes, but the rest of his harem isn’t looking too hot right now in the character development department. I’ll just see if anything changes for the better with the next few episodes.
- Eita is probably most likely has a high chance of being possibly the illegitimate child of Mizutani Shizuku and Togashi Yuuta, of whom both proceeded to elope with their own dearly beloved (Haru and Rikka, respectively) to their respective anime universes, leaving their final embarrassing moment of youth behind to hate them for all eternity. Ah, one can only dream of this being canon.
- I honestly have no idea where the no-pantsu gag was supposed to come from.
- Dear lord that OP is squeaky as all hell.
- That preview suggests that yet another dinghy little club is to be formed. :I