Kubo-san wa Mob wo Yurusanai – 03

It was pretty much a given when Kubo-san wa Mob wo Yurusanai announced a hiatus that the third episode was going to connect with me.  I know how these things work by this point.  This is the first “Covid” pause this season that’s not Aniplex-related, and given how much of anime production takes place in China it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if there were some legit delays at the moment.  At least we’re getting through Episode 6 before the series pauses until Spring (at least that’s the plan).  Given what my spring schedule looks like already, I can’t imagine a scenario where I’d have time to cover Kubo-san, so that’s a shame.

If this series were continuing unabated I’d have a decision on my hands, which seems like the case with at least half the series I’m currently covering.  It’s that kind of season.  I’ll definitely say I liked this ep the best so far, another argument for the three episode rule.  The issues I have with Nagisa didn’t go away (and they’re not necessarily all a negative, complex characters being something I like) but it was simply more entertaining than the first two.  And there is a growing chemistry between the two leads, I won’t deny that.

I really do, honestly and genuinely, wonder if Nagisa is a for-real stalker.  Can there be any doubt she was standing at the top of the stairs waiting for Junta to arrive at school?  And what about just happening to run into him at the park with his little brother, after he’d left school saying he had plans?  Nagisa is pushy, that’s not even under debate, but that’s just who she is.  And pushy is not being a stalker.  At the very least she seems a bit too obsessed with Junta, to the point where it’s both confusing him and making him uncomfortable.  And I mean uncomfortable above and beyond the way being around a girl would make any 16 year-old boy with no experience with girls uncomfortable.

On the other hand, maybe she deserves credit for making it so unmistakable what she’s after.  Like that height business, and six CM being the perfect difference for a couple (it is?).  And that indirect kiss at the park, though that one is on little brother Seita (Ise Mariya having fun).  Give it to Kubo-san wa Mob wo Yurusanai, I’ve never seen that angle on the indirect kiss trope before – otouto is quite the wingman.  The bookstore bit was my favorite part of the episode, even if it did rely on anime coincidence (Kubonee-san working there).  Any reminder of Junta’s silly quirk is a little annoying, but that bit with the porno mag was quite funny.  I guess the ability to see Junta must be genetic.

The fallout from the bookstore incident was twofold.  First, Junta drops his school ID, which Onee-san gives to Nagisa to return, having no clue this was the boy her sister had fallen for.  And second, she off-handedly tells her about how he was ogling the porn mag with the big boobs lady on the cover.  This clearly shook Nagisa a little, to the point where she flat-out asked him (albeit in an uncharacteristically subdued manner) whether he really was a jugs man.  But she rebounded quickly enough (quicker than he did, really, after putting two and two together).

Finally, Christmas, that ultimate couple’s crucible for young Japanese.  That stunt Nagisa pulled showing up with an unannounced gift and giving Junta 15 minutes to reciprocate was very in-character (read: pushy) for her.  I’m not a big fan of that kind of trickery in a relationship, and it plays into my feeling that she’s not quite playing fair by temperament.  But Junta passes with flying colors – in fact getting Nagisa a gift that’s more thoughtful, appropriate, and romantic than the one she bought him.  16 year-old romances usually start off awkwardly so it’s not like Nagisa’s antics are anything outlandish – these two both have some growing up to do, but there’s plenty of time for that.