The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior: Episode 4 – “For Now”

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior focuses on Kazunari Usa, a first-year high school student who moves into a dorm. It turns out that the girl he likes, Ritsu Kawai, also lives there, along with a pervert named Shirosaki, the drunk and lovelorn Mayumi, and the childish and mischievous Sayaka.

Episode Four focuses on Kazunari and his belief that Ritsu must be lonely. Sayaka has told him that Ritsu seems to be opening up to him and that he should keep working with her, so he has taken it upon himself to try to keep her from feeling lonely. Ritsu explains that she doesn’t have friends because when she first entered high school, there wasn’t anyone from her middle school in her class; in fact, there weren’t many people from her middle school there at all. There was never a right chance to talk to anyone, so before she knew, she was alone. It was less stressful, so she accepted it.

Unfortunately, Kazunari ends up taking things too far and only manages to annoy Ritsu, especially since he ends up coming off more like a stalker than a friend. He becomes shocked when he sees her in a bookstore and is approached by two girls she knew in middle school. When Ritsu sees that he witnesses that, she runs out of the bookstore.

Kazunari finally gets the message when he overhears Ritsu talking with Shirosaki about how she truly feels about “being alone.” Fortunately, they’re able to patch things up by the end of the episode. While they may not truly be friends, they are at least on friendly terms again.

Unlike the past couple of episodes, Episode Four focuses more on an overarching story rather than on vignettes. There is one scene that focuses a little bit on Mayumi, but it really ties in with the overall theme of friendship that appears in the episode.

Poor Kazunari got taken in by one of Sayaka’s exaggerations. When Mayumi puts it to him plainly, he comes to realize that everything was fine the way it had been, so his behavior ultimately made things worse. So far, I have to say that I haven’t liked Sayaka’s character at all. However, I think she’s a character that the audience really isn’t supposed to like. So far, though, I’m not seeing any real use for her in the long run. She’s more of a background character when compared to the others and only seems to flit into the story every now and then.

While I kind of enjoyed this episode, I was also a little frustrated. It really felt like the relationship between Ritsu and Kazunari took two major steps backward here, after it seemed to make some kind of progress. Will these two characters ever end up getting together by the end of the series? Or at the very least, will they develop some kind of a friendship that will make for a satisfying ending for the series?

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