3D Kanojo Real Girl

July 28, 2018

It’s time for another otaku love story. Not to say that there are countless of such romance and love stories regarding otakus and nerds who do not favour 3D girls, start falling in love with normal hot chicks and in a way become slightly more tolerant and open about reality. I suppose it is that timely reminder to tell us that even otakus can fall in love with a real woman. Therefore this season, 3D Kanojo Real Girl is something like that. And at first I thought it was going to be a 2D girl from the computer coming to life into a real 3D girl and hence giving our protagonist otaku a chance to find real love of the 3D kind and not the 2D kind. Nope. Nothing that sophisticated or sci-fi level. But damn it would have been interesting if it was that instead of some normal high school tale.

Episode 1
Hikari Tsutsui and Iroha Igarashi are late for school. As penalty, they have to clean the pool together. Tsutsui as an otaku hates all that in Iroha as a 3D girl. Even more so when she considers his messy bangs as gross. While cleaning the pool, they both accidentally fall in. Tsutsui attributes his tardiness for school was because he lost track of time watching his favourite magical girl anime, Ezomichi. Tsutsui gets stunned when Iroha doesn’t hesitate taking off her top to dry herself. Plus, she doesn’t remember saying that gross word to him this morning. With him running his mouth about his stereotypes on sleazy girls like her, Iroha advises him he should fall in love. Tsutsui’s only other otaku friend is Yuto Itou. They are being mocked by an old classmate who still recognizes his otaku side. Tsutsui tries to stand up for Itou after she badmouths him until Iroha happen to pass by and tells off those ugly b*tches to go away. The guys start thinking she might not be a bad person because she did compliment them on their fetish that others think are gross. In the school corridor, Tsutsui sees a couple of guys fighting over Iroha. Apparently she has been two-timing them. When the ‘victor’ decides to have his way with her, Tsutsui jumps in to fight in. Can he fight this karate dude? No. He just wants to give time for her to run away. And so he got beaten up. He would have given up had not the power of Ezomichi give him encouragement.

In the aftermath, he sees Iroha by his side. As thanks, she kisses him! Later, she goes to his class and in front of everybody asks Tsutsui to date her. He gets upset thinking this is a prank and rejects her. After school, he sees her crying alone at the park. He then follows her to the bookstore and witnesses somebody calling the storekeeper to seize Iroha as she has been accused of shoplifting. It is made worse when she refuses to cooperate. When threatened to call the cops, Iroha empties her bag and even takes off her top! Tsutsui didn’t want to get involved but remember what Ezomichi said about cowards… He jumps in to defend her and becomes her alibi, stating the time and place where she was. Wow. Now he sounds like her stalker. Tsutsui is so bent on keeping her perfect school attendance record that he wants to go to school despite being sick! Of course he is late and the heartless teacher makes him clean the pool. Oh, Iroha is late too so that makes two of them. Feeling responsible for his cold, she decides to take it by kissing him! Tsutsui is confused but after Itou gives him a pep talk about being bullied for so long, he knows what to do. He confronts Iroha and asks her to go out with him. They hug and kiss. Man, this show has so many kisses between the main characters in its first episode. Then she drops the bomb that she will be transferring schools in 6 months. Let’s make this worthwhile. Damn…

Episode 2
Now that it’s official, the entire school is like shock and confused. One afternoon weekend, he caught glimpse of her with another hot man in town. That night when she comes to see him, he hints this relationship is not possible if she isn’t serious. Instantly she takes him to the hotel. She’s really letting him f*ck her???!!! It’s her first time too. Tempting but thanks to him being a virgin and virgins have their pride of being a virgin (WTF?!) I guess everybody’s virginity is intact tonight. Next day, he recognizes that hot man as the hospital’s doctor. He confronts him and being nervous, it is obvious the doctor can tell he is Iroha’s boyfriend and expecting him to tell him to stay away from her. Because Tsutsui is being negative about himself, the doctor calls him weak and shouldn’t be by her side. Ouch. He goes to confront Iroha. At first she lies the doctor is her boyfriend but after seeing his sad face, she tells the truth he is her family doctor and she has a grave illness. Next day, Tsutsui sums up all his courage to support her but then she reveals what she said then was a lie too. But she is grateful for him thinking about her. This better be the truth. The doctor treats her asthma. Embarrassed Tsutsui sees the doctor to apologize. In turn, he is told Iroha’s birthday is next week. Tsutsui brings her to his home, shocking mom and little brother. Never thought it would happen, right? She watches Ezomichi with him. The mood is right for them to kiss until mom comes in. Ever heard of knocking? Tsutsui and Itou work hard to make Iroha’s birthday gift. Mom is so kind to buy Tsutsui and his girlfriend amusement park tickets. Iroha is so happy she wants to ditch school right now and go there. Yeah, they did that. If only Tsutsui could stomach the killer rides… In the Ferris Wheel, he gives her birthday present, a miniature doll that looks like her. How sweet. Perfect mood this time for them to kiss. Yeah, it was definitely worth it.

Episode 3
This weird dream. Ezomichi is jealous Tsutsui has a girlfriend when he has her as his wife all along! OMG. 2D jealousy! Traitor! Tsutsui tries to balance his life of hanging out with his girlfriend and friend. But it’s like between a rock and a hard place. When he goes home with Itou, Iroha gets sad. During gym, he helps Arisa Ishino up after slipping but she didn’t like this otaku touching her. Tsutsui accidentally smacks Iroha’s hand away when she tries to touch him during his depressed mode. Later, Ishino happen to pass by and see his depressing state. He asks her for love advice seeing she has a boyfriend. When Tsutsui wants to walk home with Iroha and she declines, he can tell she is mad. Woah, like an expert? Even more so when she smacks his hand away. Oddly, Ishino again sees his depressing mode as he explains about it. She thinks his bangs are ugly and offers to cut it. Luckily Iroha stops her and warns not to touch him because he belongs to her. Ishino is unsure why she likes a guy like him so Iroha fires back if she knows him on the inside, she will come to like him. Hope that won’t come back to bite her someday. Tsutsui and Iroha reconcile but we’ll just get a hug for today’s episode. Because Tsutsui’s mom and Iroha like some baking drama, Tsutsui tries his hands at baking. Suddenly Ishino is like part of the groupie and joins them often? They get a chance to see Ishino and her boyfriend together. Because this love thingy still confuses Tsutsui, he thought of playing a dating sim to understand. Too bad it made him even more confused. A woman’s mind is sure difficult! Soon we discover Ishino’s boyfriend is a dick and leech. He brags to a friend the dumb girl she is and sticks around because she gives him money. Though Ishino knows this, she can’t help it because she is in love. Ironically, after Iroha tells her not to mind what other people think and do what makes her feel happy, she dunks her bag on her boyfriend for being a jerk. Her boyfriend soon break up with her and even if Ishino accepts it, she starts crying and isn’t happy about it. Tsutsui has treats her to his cakes because stressed = desserts spelled backwards, right? Ishino now feel jealous Iroha has a boyfriend like him. Iroha isn’t worried of that because she isn’t a good judge of character but is good at finding good things in people.

Episode 4
Iroha wants Tsutsui to help her study. Can’t blame him. This is his first time. Can’t concentrate. Went on to hug her. Before one thing can happen to the next, he realizes mom and little bro watching him. Damn drama tension… Is Tsutsui going to get a harem because now he has a love letter in his shoebox! He believes it is a trap but Ishino advises it might be a genuine girl waiting for his answer. To his worse fear, it is indeed a trap. It is actually sent by Mitsuya Takanashi. To put it short, he is in love with Iroha and wants this otaku to hand her to him. Of course Tsutsui won’t so Takanashi does some threatening. If that doesn’t work, he gets punched! Later at the park, he helps a lost girl, Anzu. She is Takanashi’s little sister. He doesn’t like this a bit and tells Anzu to scream. The most efficient police ever as they apprehend Tsutsui and record his statement but let him go due to lack of proof. Thanks to that, rumours spread that Tsutsui is a lolicon and once more the class is back to giving him weird stares and calling him names. Not that it doesn’t bother him but he is used to this sort of thing. He tries to tell Iroha to stay away from him until this blows over but she believes in him. When Takanashi tries to talk to Iroha, she completely ignores him. You have everything going in the world in your favour except the one goal that you want in which you can’t attain. Meanwhile Anzu talks to Kaoru who is Tsutsui’s little brother. He is sad that his bro is a criminal. He believes his life is now a wreck after working hard in his studies and being popular with his friends. Too bad mom even believes her son’s life is over. Tsutsui calls Iroha just to tell her there are other guys better than him but she cuts him off because she knows the guy she fell in love is nicer than anyone else, cares about his friends and awkward but loving. He is the best guy in the world. Instead of going in this alone, she wants to stand by him. Tsutsui ignores further mocking at school and even laughs it off. When Iroha leaves school, she bumps into Anzu running in. She is looking for her brother. Good timing. She is worried that Kaoru is down and not doing well because her brother is accused as criminal. She blames him all this happened because he told her to scream.

Episode 5
Now that the cat is out of the bag, Takanashi will not apologize. Not to that otaku. Tsutsui continues to withstand all the abuse and this pisses of Takanashi. Back home, Iroha tries to cheer him up over this big misunderstanding. A kiss is on the books but ruined by Kaoru who blames him for taking it easy while he has to try his best not to let everyone know he is his brother. Tsutsui’s abuse gets bolder so much so Takanashi confronts him about not doing something. Tsutsui is like so zen. Anyway it was Takanashi’s fault to begin with so don’t get caught up in the guilty conscience. When Takanashi’s friends teases him, surprisingly Tsutsui fires back at them and in a way saving Takanashi’s face. So they talk things out about what they want in life. Eventually Tsutsui brings him and Anzu to his home where they clear up the misunderstanding and apologize. Later when Tsutsui wants Takanashi to explain it to Ishino, instantly that girl wants to hook up with him. Iroha comments the tolerant part of Tsutsui is what she likes most about him. One morning, Tsutsui in his dizzy state (after binge watching Ezomichi) bumps into Sumie Ayado. He thought he lost his newly bought anime magazine but she returns it in the mix up. She is glad to have an otaku equal to talk to. But seeing him with Iroha, she thinks she has got a wrong impression of him and runs away. Tsutsui and Iroha hang out at the local mini festival. They see Takanashi and Anzu happy together. This prompts Tsutsui to ask if Iroha wanted to be his girlfriend when he first approached her since he is better looking. This makes Iroha mad. He has not listened to what she said up till now and if she liked hot guys, she would have dated them. She hates this inferior complex of his. Wow. Everything soured in just seconds. Of course when he tries to find her, you can’t seem to contact with women when you want to reconcile. So he bumps into Ayado at the school garden. He saves another time to talk about their anime preferences. Later he hears guys talking about Ayado’s figure. She happen to be nearby so he talks to her about their anime preferences just to divert attention. She is happy to talk to him because she believes people think she is weird and this makes her anxious. Later Ishino sees this and beats him up thinking he is trying to two-time Iroha. When he finally finds her, he explains being inferior is what he is used to. But she says that is not the point. Huh? Don’t understand. Why can’t just women explain and say what it is instead of letting men figure it out? No wonder he so confused.

Episode 6
Ayado gives him some potatoes. It makes him feel it is much easier to talk to her than Iroha. When he tries to talk to Itou for advice, he seems to be busy with his own thing. He discovers he is talking to a cat! Shocked, he confronts him and believes he is lonely. But his concern is unwelcomed and it makes him upset since Tsutsui sounds arrogant. Tsutsui starts thinking about Itou’s circumstances. This leads to a flashback when they first met. In the same class for the first time, Tsutsui ignored him. But Itou helps find his things that the bullies often throw out. When the duo are forced to stay back and work on some school project, that’s where they started ‘bonding’. Itou is also a bully victim in a way as they often copy his homework. Of course it isn’t okay but he rationales as long as he is useful to others, he doesn’t mind. One day the bullies try to rip Tsutsui’s newly bought magazine so Itou pushes him away but gets punched. That’s when they started hanging out with each other. Now Tsutsui makes up with him as Itou makes it known he would like to interfere as little as possible in his happy life. Tsutsui still hasn’t thought of what made Iroha angry so that night he visits her house just to give her dumplings he made from the potatoes. Before he knows it, she lets him into her room. First time in a girl’s room. Yeah, put his face all over her bed, will you? Now that she isn’t angry anymore (to allay whatever fears he still thinks she is), she reveals she was mad because she thought he didn’t trust her. Nobody knows his good side and she is lucky to have him. She kisses him. Is this enough to trust her? Apparently he still can’t believe it. Can’t believe he is this happy. Good for him. Then he has to panic and the cliché moment of him falling over her. Don’t expect anything because it has become worse for him as he runs away, fearing himself as the most dangerous! WTF. Because of that now he avoids Iroha at all costs at school! WTF. But he seems to mingle well with Ayado. Iroha spots this. She doesn’t like it. Nice timing for Ishino to turn up and provide a shoulder to cry on.

Episode 7
Ishino was so eager to hear Iroha out but feels disappointed when she starts talking about jealousy. Iroha thinks she has consulted the wrong person so Ishino suggests talking to him and he will listen to what she says. Iroha does just that but it makes him a bit awkward. Even more so when she runs away as if it was nothing. She even confronts Ayado but with Ayado admiring how beautiful and kind she is, this only makes Iroha feel guilty as she doesn’t think of herself as such a nice person. Later Iroha talks to Tsutsui again. She really finds Ayado as a nice girl. She realizes her own hypocrisy of telling him to believe her but yet she doubted him. Next day, Tsutsui is cornered by Ishino for his ‘cheating’. Complication arises with Ayado walking in to give him fresh produce from her garden. When Itou comes and Ayado takes an interest in his cat ears, he quickly gets out of the picture. Tsutsui points out he is shy of people. Tsutsui invites Ayado to join them from lunch for the tomato dessert he made. Ayado thinks of finishing her food face to be considerate after noticing Itou is staying quiet all this time. Ayado can’t hold back her tears thinking everyone around Tsutsui is so kind. Maybe he is kind, that’s why others around him reciprocate. Tsutsui’s mom wants him to dress fashionably since he has got a girlfriend now. But what does he know about being fashionable? Good timing Takanashi is passing by so he enlists his help to be fashionable. Not sure why this guy obliges even if he clearly doesn’t want to. In the streets, they meet Ayado working temporary as a maid handing out tissues. When a few other guys try to get touchy, Tsutsui defends her that this isn’t a cabaret and this would constitute to sexual harassment. Wow. Those guys really back off after being told off by a nerd? Okay. Whatever. I guess Tsutsui hasn’t got his portion of Iroha today so he purposely calls to meet her. Yeah, she mocks his fashion sense. Uh huh. This was what chosen by Takanashi. Maybe he got sabotaged? Ishino is trying to force Tsutsui and co to go camping at her uncle’s villa. Apparently if she helps clean it, he’ll give her some allowance. So she’s trying to get free labour? Heck, she even wants Tsutsui to invite Takanashi to come. Tsutsui doesn’t like such ‘normal’ event and doesn’t want to go. But Iroha looks interested. She’s never been camping before… And Itou is pondering about camping with friends… Uh oh…

Episode 8
Camping only brings back bad memories for Tsutsui. Yet he gets abused by Ishino for slacking off on the cleaning job. Apparently Takanashi is also here. Ishino tries her luck to score with him but he is being brutally honest she isn’t his type and even lists down all her negative traits. Karma is a b*tch when Takanashi tries to do the same for Iroha and though he really repented his actions and sees Tsutsui in a slightly better light, she still hasn’t forgiven him for trying to defend himself till the end. Meanwhile Ayado looks like she can do a lot of stuff but she sounds annoying with her low self-confidence that she is just a plain normal girl. Including praises from Itou. Itou’s action and monologue that he likes Ayado confirms it. That night when Ayado accidentally scalded her hand with boiling water, Tsutsui helps to wash her hand. With everybody awkwardly staring, Ayado becomes too conscious in noticing this and pulls back her hand. More awkwardness. So obvious that you can tell but the characters won’t say it. Iroha and Itou talk to each about their worries but not to the point they admit it. Unless you’re Ishino who tells Iroha straight in the face about her being uncertain about Tsutsui. She hints about Tsutsui each time he is with Ayado. Ishino tells her if she doesn’t say it next time, things will get weirder.

Then Ayado has slight fever and is put to bed early. Iroha nurses her and can see her obvious guilty looks. Even when sick? Ayado tries to give back her handkerchief but Iroha insists she keep it. Then things just got too emotional. Then it turns awkward when Iroha meets Tsutsui. Feelings thingy. She won’t say it properly and blames him that things turn out like this. Wait, what?! So she runs out into the woods. Oh dear. Ishino becomes abusive to beat Tsutsui up so that he could go look for her. Tsutsui is frustrated that Iroha doesn’t say things but Ishino rebukes him that if she has to spell out every single thing for him to understand, that makes him worse. Itou and Takanashi hear from Ayado (blaming herself again as usual) that this happened because she told Iroha in her face that she liked Tsutsui. It’s wrong but she felt she had to let her know. She can’t keep quiet forever. At this point, Tsutsui is officially Ishino’s punching bag. Does violence solve anything? He lets her know his traumatic camping during school days. He had no good memories of it, that’s why he felt uneasy coming here. But today was fun and he thought of wanting to cherish everyone who is with him right now. Thoughts that he was never good at interacting with people hence good at ignoring everything has him think if he will continue to unknowingly hurt Iroha since he never quite understood her emotions.

Episode 9
Tsutsui finds Iroha. They could have continued talking in the cold had not Ishino tell them to do that back at the villa. They do just that but as usual, the way Iroha talks sounds more like riddles to him. You know, she wants to make up since it is her bad that she gets jealous when he is kind to other people. But she fears the more she tells him, the more he won’t understand. Yeah. I guess her logic is don’t say a word so that he could be as confused. Heck, Tsutsui even asks Ishino and Takanashi’s advice. He really believes no other girls except Iroha would like her. Damn Takanashi just wants him to fail. Next morning Ayado leaves for the hospital. Itou is on his way out and accompanies her. Not sure if it’s due to her still being sick because being the blabber mouth she is, she tells Itou that she wants to confess to Tsutsui. What a way to ruin the mood. Does she like being in melancholy? Back at school, Tsutsui needs to solve this problem fast so he thinks of talking to her. The idea of confessing to her seemed good in his head last night. Not so now because he is getting all nervous. Good or bad timing, a text from Ayado to meet. Initially Iroha who wasn’t placing any hope on this talk, you can see the concern in her eyes. Out of the fire and into the pan. That’s what Tsutsui is in.

He meets Ayado only for her to tell him she loves him. Yeah, otaku boy so confused he even asked who. It’s you Tsutsui! More confused when Ayado says she told Iroha that first. Because now Tsutsui thinks Ayado x Iroha yuri! Ayado even come clean about hoping they break up. Poor Tsutsui. So shocked that it overloaded his system and ran away. Itou notices his depression and can guess Ayado confessed to him. Tsutsui thinks he can read his mind. Because he still blames himself for hurting Iroha and ran away before he could tell her, Itou scolds him. Great. Now best friend won’t talk to him. Turning to Ishino, he wants her to punch him? Before he could finish his sentence, her fist already reached his face! It’s like she knew. Yeah, everybody seems to know what he is thinking. Ishino shares the blame since they should show more of their good side. Takanashi’s chance to talk to Iroha. He still maintains Tsutsui sucks as a guy but overall he is okay. Iroha blames herself for wanting to trust others but end up not trusting them, hence she doesn’t understand herself. Wow, a woman not understanding a woman especially herself? Takanashi is forced to advice about believing in Tsutsui and talk to him often. But he leaves a disclaimer if all that doesn’t work out, he will be available. Tsutsui texts Ayado that he wants to meet her and reply her confession.

Episode 10
Both of them meet. Awkward atmosphere of course. Iroha hiding and eavesdropping of course. Since he has a hard time finding the right words to Ayado, he tries to explain his love for Iroha like playing catchball. Yeah, I don’t get it either. In summary, he hated it at first but gradually comes to like her because she pulled him out of his 2D otaku world and introduced him to the wonders of 3D life. Normally that is like betrayal to the otaku world, right? Then he pulls Iroha out from her hiding and says this is the girl he loves. You know, it feels like rubbing it in. Here’s my girlfriend. Hope you are acquainted. Ayado’s sad face is so visibly sad but they ‘collapsed’ after the end of this nervous confession. Later Iroha has Tsutsui confess to her again. Doing that automatically gives you a pass for a free kiss? Now that the shackled are free, Itou talks to Ayado, lends her another handkerchief (boy, it is going to take a while to get over it), they both look happier. A couple of girls spying mocks their first love. Ishino ticks them off that they don’t have such a grand love. Takanashi’s presence diffuses the tension. Ishino tries to ask him out. Flat out rejection. Here’s a romance that didn’t turn out well. With this love triangle resolved, looks like Tsutsui and Itou are back to being friends again. No more fighting over the same girl, right? Itou tells him there is a girl he likes and keeps him guessing. I guess the duo are now hardcore converted love bros that Itou hangs out and sleeps over at Tsutsui’s place. No gay moments. Just guys who are happy with their respected love.

Now we hear Iroha’s narration how guys from all ages (even old men) always confessed to her. Perhaps she is confused and that explains her poker face and her promiscuity. This also has her thought how everyone cares only about her looks and body and not the real her. Until she met Tsutsui of course. The duo are shocked to see Kaoru and Anzu holding hands! Woah. They’re an item now! Young kids these days sure have no shame in being flashy. They’re so cool about it. Iroha asks if there are things in life Tsutsui hasn’t done before. She suggests doing them. Like karaoke and bowling. Don’t worry, a guy like Tsutsui would never suggest sex. Oops! Tsutsui is a horrible singer but looking at the passion he puts in while singing, yeah Iroha’s pretty awed. During bowling when she accidentally chipped her fingernail, she allows him to take care of it or she’ll never hear the end of why she should. He treats her nicely and it makes her want more of it. I thought they are officially back and hence not still on breakup terms. Because Iroha is thinking of being invited to his room. Doing so means end of their breakup? Though he is happy just to see her smile, he knows she won’t be here in 3 months and hence needs to do something so he won’t forget her. That means a kiss on her forehead? Is this just the beginning of inviting her to his room so, you know, sex? Damn I’m reading too much about this!

Episode 11
Itou has tickets for Tsutsui for the Noseblade movie this weekend. However he has to visit his family grave as he suggests Ayado since she is interested in that show too. Itou feels scared to ask her but eventually does so. Tsutsui sees that kind of face his best friend never put up before. The face of love? Ishino feels jealous that there are couple vibes among her friends. So when an ex of hers asks her out, she jumps on the chance. She dresses up for the occasion but too bad that guy stood up on her. She feels like an idiot and close to tears but Takanashi happened to pass by and invites her for ramen. I guess all is not lost. Blessing in disguise? Yeah, her time of youth has come. Why is Tsutsui surprised when he finds out Itou and Ayado did go to the movies together? Their vibe is good but wasn’t it his idea? Anyway, he thinks of trying to help them out so he organizes a picnic. Is this like a double date? Because he tries to bring Ayado and Itou close together, he acts so weird that Iroha is able to catch on to what he is doing. He gets chastised for doing things that make others feel weird. Partly true because despite Ayado acting natural, it is Itou who is left feeling very awkward being alone with her. So going home on a train, when Tsutsui asks Itou about the girl he likes and he admits her to be Ayado, Tsutsui didn’t pull off any surprised reaction, showing he actually knows it. Well, duh? Itou knows he is trying to help him but also notes what he is doing is pathetic. This time Tsutsui is able to make amends by apologizing he thought he could pull this off easily. But if falling in love was that easy, none of them would be having so much difficulty. When Tsutsui and Iroha walk home together, suddenly this hot guy, Chika pops up out of the blue and punches Tsutsui! WTF?! This guy isn’t Iroha’s ex but her younger brother who just returned from overseas! He doesn’t believe this nerd his her boyfriend and drags her home. Even if he does ‘believe’ he is her boyfriend, he doesn’t want her dating him because the way he puts his hands on her face and says how worried he is about her… Oh no. I know this kind of guys… SISCON!!!

Episode 12
Chika confronts Tsutsui outside his school. Because he sees him wearing the broken glasses and hasn’t change as he doesn’t have a spare and this was given by his late grandma, Chika is kind enough to buy him a replacement?! This is sure awkward. Then they talk for real this time. Chika still doesn’t like him and wants him to break up with Iroha. Because she is from a well-bred family and if their relationship is pointless, please stop. I’m sure this serves to put more guilt into Tsutsui’s head but at this point he should have learnt a lot of lessons and isn’t going to easily give up Iroha. Besides, their relationship is not pointless! Tsutsui calls Ishino for advice. She suggests giving a ring. No money? Work for it! Yeah, Ishino is b*tching how she wants to fall in love… And so Tsutsui finds himself working as a mascot at the amusement park. Therefore he can’t walk home with Iroha every day. Chika notices this and asks Iroha about it but she replies she doesn’t know why but trusts him. Then he tells her about his talk with Tsutsui to break up with her. She’s not amused. She insists Tsutsui is the only guy for her. Chika tries to show his dominance. She isn’t cowed. Then the big reveal: They aren’t actually blood related! Holy sh*t! So no incest controversy! Itou was spacing out and got slightly injured during PE. At the infirmary, Iroha talks to him about love and understanding and what it means to be happy. Okay. Whatever. When Iroha finally sees Tsutsui and asks about why he isn’t able to walk home with her lately, he reveals his job. I suppose he has gotten enough that he shows her the ring he bought for her. Oh my. She is starting to cry! Damn, girls really do love shiny things. But I believe Iroha is in tears because of how wonderful her boyfriend is instead of being materialistic. But uhm, Tsutsui putting the ring on Iroha’s finger, doesn’t it look like he is proposing to her?! And then they kissed! Right in the middle of the school corridor! Oh what the heck. Who cares what others think when you’re in love, right? Thankfully there’s nobody around.

Real Love, Real Pain
If the ending of the friends eating ramen together feels weird and that it gives us an unsatisfactory feeling of whether it ended it ended or not, please be informed that even though this season has ended, a second season is given the green light but will only be back in early 2019. So shelve your disgruntled feelings and wait for next year if you really want to conclude your overall thoughts and opinions of this series. That is, if you intend to watch it.

Sorry but not sorry to say that the story becomes boring very quickly in the beginning. I thought it was going to take a while before Tsutsui and Iroha will become a pair but it came as quickly as the end of the first episode. Sure, all the awkwardness with love comes after that but considering that Tsutsui is an otaku who doesn’t have many friends in his early life, with Iroha he converts fast. There are some doubts and suspicions at first but they need to hurry the plot that didn’t go anywhere somehow. Then it gets annoying when they try to add other characters into the love equation like Ayado, it becomes irritating to watch. And then suddenly at the end of the penultimate episode, we are introduced to a new dick character. Did things get so boring that this was the only twist factor left? So basically the drama and tension comes from everybody being confused and amateurs at love. Yup, to quote them again, if love was this easy, they wouldn’t be facing this mess in the first place.

After a while, I find all the characters annoying in their own ways. Because all of them are amateurs in love (yes, that includes you, Iroha – because you haven’t experienced true love while flirting around), them trying to not offend the other and trying to be considerate ends up making them sound so irritating. Especially you, Ayado. It was amusing at first to see her over apologetic character but then it will dawn to you that if this is part of her character, boy, this is going to be annoying as hell. It’s like she wants to be with Tsutsui but knows he has a girlfriend so she can’t really confess straight up to him in fear that there might be repercussions but at the same time she really does want to be with him however the thought and fear that the status quo might be broken gives her the chills. Rinse and repeat. See where this is going? So they try to solve this by pairing her with Itou. But she is still going to be annoying if she continues to act like that. Maybe Ayado and Tsutsui have made their peace and just remained friends but in a way you can tell she isn’t totally over him and there are chances she is going to get into her trademark awkwardness when she is together with him.

I can’t blame Tsutsui for being awkward and a noob, trying to be a normal guy. After all, he spent most of his formative years as an otaku and loner. But still irritating nevertheless to see him fluster and trying to get it right even if it is not his fault (because if Iroha told him the problem straight up, it would have been much easier). It’s like the much needed drama and tension that this romantic series needs. Because I suppose clueless guys in love are fun to watch as they try to figure out the right path without making any permanent or irreversible damage. Because it would be too easy if he made all the right choices and viewers might not like that as it would be so unreal. Hence the dilemma that despite Tsutsui is trying to become a better character, it is the way we see him do it that makes it irritating and less appealing.

I’m surprised Tsutsui as an otaku have lasted this long with Iroha and is still going strong with no signs of breaking up. He will be considered a ‘traitor’ by otaku brethren’s standards. For an otaku, can you count how many times this guy got kissed by a hot chick! Already twice in the first episode! Damn lucky otaku bastard. At least he is treading a different path outside his comfort zone. He is willing to give this real love a chance despite in the early episodes we hear him narrate how much he hates reality thanks to all his stereotypic beliefs (which isn’t very far from the truth, by the way). So for him to change in this manner is a good and positive way. At least his mom can now breathe a little easier knowing her son will have a future.

Despite Tsutsui being a very weak character (so different than Kaoru that you wonder if one of them is adopted in the family), sometimes I can sympathize with him not fighting back and accept all the bullying others do upon him. He might look silly trying not to quell all the misconception on him during that period, but will people believe him? After all, he is being heavily painted as a lolicon so where is his justice? You can argue that he should have done something to have a fighting chance but what if he doing nothing is his way of fighting? Because he is like going the Mahatma Gandhi’s way of non-violence. If you look how ostracised he is, you have got to admire him for being patient instead of giving in to violence. In that sense, I respect him a lot even though it still makes him a wuss. Or maybe he just has no clue on what to do and hoped everything will turn out just fine. Thank goodness it did.

It doesn’t help with Iroha being one kind. In the synopsis she is labelled as a promiscuous girl and showy with no female friends. Therefore I had this pre-misconception that for most part of the series, Iroha would be trying to lure, bait and convert Tsutsui with her sex appeal but since the power of otaku nerdiness is stronger than the power of boner, she will fail often. Too bad none of that came about. It would have been funny and interesting had the series turned out like that. Instead, Iroha turns out to be close to an emotionless girl, like as though she is born with a face that cannot smile. Even if she does, it’s like a rare sight when the planets aligned or something. She also sounds tired that gives the impression she doesn’t give a damn and is not bothered with life. For example when she and Tsutsui had a fight, she didn’t want to tell him what the problem was. I know she wants her guy to think for himself instead of being spoon fed. But the way she does so rings very familiar bells in real life where there is indeed something VERY WRONG when women don’t tell you what it is or says she is not mad. Yeah, for a guy it can be very scary. One wrong move, game over. So can you blame Tsutsui for being insecure? Plus, she did say she doesn’t even understand herself. How can we understand her if she doesn’t know herself either? Is that why she has this poker face? Unsure about her life?

Then they have to throw in the red herring in the name of Chika at the end of the penultimate episode just to stir things up. Ultimately it didn’t do any good except for the fact that it adds to the number of rivals for Iroha’s true love. I think it would be an episode too early to end so that’s why they bought in this seemingly new character into the fray just in case for next time. I guess it must be a slap in the face for us to think he is her brother to be used as an excuse but then they are not blood related, hence another excuse if they should get horny and f*ck each other. Seriously. And do you remember that hot doctor in the beginning? No. Neither do I.

Also, like I pointed out Iroha being promiscuous and showy just felt like some cheap bait because in the initial episodes, Iroha has no qualms in taking off her shirt before Tsutsui. Don’t worry, this is such a mild fanservice than it doesn’t even constitute to be a fanservice. Because Iroha always wear a camisole, this is why she could take it off without any hesitation. I figure that in this world and modern society, when a girl does something this slightest, she will be labelled all kinds of names like a slut. After becoming Tsutsui’s girlfriend, this promiscuous thingy is fast forgotten. She might have dated other guys in the past but after becoming Tsutsui’s one and only, the power of loyalty is strong with her.

Even Ishino as the most honest in your face character comes across as annoying. Because it feels like she thinks she knows it all with her high and mighty attitude but if everybody were experts in love, she wouldn’t have to point out and give her 2 cents worth of opinion. It is a mini running joke that she tries to hit on Takanashi but that guy rejects her because it feels like as though he is the backup and next lover waiting in line for Iroha should Tsutsui to fail in his romance with her. Yeah, we’re all playing the waiting game. But if all the lose strings and love polygons are to be nicely tied in the end, I suppose everyone will end up having somebody. With Tsutsui-Iroha pair, this will relegate Ayado to be with Itou and of course Ishino for Takanashi because after constant bugging, might as well settle for the next best thing than nothing at all. Of course don’t forget Kaoru-Anzu, the first true couple in this series and ironically, kids younger than our high school characters. Let our young ones show you the way in love in today’s world!

Art and animation for the overall series is bright and simple as the background and sceneries sometimes look like they’re done with paintbrush. Sometimes it feels like the animation is low quality because of its simple design without any sophisticated art. So much so sometimes I get confused between Iroha and Ishino as they look almost similar at certain points and angles. The other characters look so generic that I mistake them to be characters from other animes like Tsutsui who looked like Soutarou Kanou from Kaichou Wa Maid-sama and Takamatsu from Angel Beats; Itou like a tame and lamer version of Shingeki No Kyojin’s Armin; Takanashi like all hot blonde guys but without the smiley attitude – Chiayafuru’s Taichi, Kodaka from Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai and Takumi Usui of Kaichou Wa Maid-sama.

I want to point out that Reina Ueda who voiced Ayado sounded a bit raw. At first I thought it was Ami Koshimizu but was totally wrong. Although Reina Ueda has voiced many characters in her career from Onoya in ReLIFE to Mikan in Jitsu Wa Watashi Wa and in the same season Fuura of Comic Girls, the way she sounds as though she is like an amateur. I don’t know, maybe this is how her character is supposed to sound but it still makes her character sound very much annoying. As the series progresses, I would be like hoping she won’t make that kind of flustering trying-not-to-offend-others voice each time. And every time she does, I would be like, “Oh God… Here she goes again…”.

The rest of the casts are Teppei Uenishi as Tsutsui (debut role), Yuu Serizawa as Iroha (Yumemi in Kakegurui), Shouta Aoi as Itou (Ai in Uta No Prince-sama series), Takuma Terashima as Takanashi (Mugai in Mushibugyiou), Minami Tsuda as Ishino (Yui in YuruYuri), Shiki Aoki as Kaoru (Asuka in The Idolmaster Cinderella Girls Gekijou), Kotori Koiwai as Anzu (Renge in Non Non Biyori), Yuusuke Kobayashi as Chika (Caules in Fate/Apocrypha) and Sayaka Kanda as Ezomichi (Miharu in Konbini Kareshi). The opening theme, Daiji Na Koto by Quruli has this sleepy feel to it that it sometimes feels like Iroha’s theme song. Hide The Blue by Bish as the ending theme has more rock feel to it but considering the pace of this series, I don’t feel it is quite suitable.

In addition to the sequel, there is a live action film adaptation of this series coming out months after the anime ended. No sci-fi, fantasy or complicated action adventure needed, hence perfect to adapt into a romantic drama movie. Like as though if anime and animation are too kiddie for you adults, here is the live action film adaptation to suit your taste. Not sure if it would be a continuation or just another media form of retelling. I wouldn’t want it to be a continuation since the media format would be too jarring. Imagine watching this in 2D for a dozen episodes and now you have to continue the story in 3D for a couple of hours. It just feels so odd. But if you know me, I’m not going to watch it. Excuse that 3D shows aren’t my cup of tea…

Overall, this series that started out with some potential quickly turned irritating and boring with its annoying characters and seemingly mundane plot. If this series was trying to tell us that there is merit in dating a real 3D girl instead of a 2D one, well, this certainly didn’t help. There is this temptation to go back to 2D should the real 3D relationship fail. Yes, both 3D and 2D love have their merits and pitfalls so it all boils down to preferences in which one suits you the most. Of course reality is more dangerous and you can’t reset it and go back to an earlier saved point if you made a mistake. Or try a different route with a different choice with different outcomes. Always almost guaranteeing that you will land ‘true love’ with your girl. For many, 2D kanojo is where the real girls are.

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