The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior: Episode 12 – “I Want to Get Closer”

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 12 sees Ritsu looking very awkward at the mixer. A guy named Mitsui seems interested in her, but then he starts acting like a snob when it comes to who is a “true reader.” Just as things get uncomfortable, Ritsu’s phone rings and she heads toward the bathroom. It’s a message from Kazunari, who is using Mayumi’s phone, telling Ritsu he heard about what’s going on and asking if she’s OK. Ritsu says she’s not OK, but she has to handle this herself. When Maemura finds Ritsu, Ritsu says she has to go.

When Ritsu gets off the bus, Kazunari is there waiting for her to escort her home, since it’s getting dark. Ritsu vents her frustrations about Maemura, and Kazunari tells her that she needs to subtly tell Maemura that enough is enough, and he’s sure that Maemura will understand. However, when Ritsu tries to do this, Maemura doesn’t entirely get it at first. And when Maemura admits to having Ritsu’s picture taken and sent to the guys they met at the mixer, Ritsu becomes upset. Maemura tries to be insistent and to get Ritsu to change, but Ritsu wants no part of that. Later, Ritsu overhears Maemura telling her other friends that she and Ritsu ended up not being on the same wavelength.

We then see Kazunari taking notes and trying to read the book that Ritsu is really into. However, in light of what happened recently, he reads it in his room so she can’t see that he’s reading it. He’s not doing it to make her feel better, and that he’s genuinely interested in trying to learn to enjoy what Ritsu enjoys to try to get closer to her.

Their neighbor gives Sumiko-san some homemade plum wine, which has a rather high alcohol level. The adults are enjoying the wine, while Ritsu and Kazunari have plum juice. Unfortunately, Ritsu gets her drink from the wrong container and becomes rather drunk. She starts telling the others what she thinks of them, and also shares her recent issues with Maemura and the fact that she’s not happy with Kazunari for being so nice to Hayashi after she was so mean to him.

A drunk Ritsu insists on going with Kazunari to his room in order to get some snacks, and Mayumi and Sayaka escort them. The two guys are told to stay out of their room, and Ritsu and Mayumi fall asleep in there. The next morning, Ritsu finds Kazunari’s notes, and the two of them end up bonding over them and the episode ends with the two of them finally exchanging phone numbers and email addresses.

Well, this was the final episode for The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior. As I predicted, Kazunari and Ritsu didn’t become a couple. But, it was a satisfying enough resolution to see the two of them exchanging numbers and email addresses, since this is a sign that they’ve become closer friends.

After watching all 12 episodes, I’m still not convinced that Sayaka was a necessary character. In the long run, she didn’t seem to truly add much to the series, and tended to feel less developed as a character are more like she was just “there” a lot of the time. I think she was intended to be a foil for Mayumi, but I thought Shirosaki did a pretty good job of filling that role for both Mayumi and Kazunari.

While it would be nice to see more episodes and see what happens with Kazunari and Ritsu’s friendship, this type of ensemble series that has a stronger focus on vignettes usually don’t seem to continue after one season. If there’s another season of this series in the future, that would be great; however, I’m really not expecting one. And with the way the series ended, there’s a lot of freedom for fanfic writers to continue the story on their own and come up with their own resolutions for the various characters.

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior was a decent enough series, and I’m glad I was able to watch it for free from a legal streaming site. While it was enjoyable, I’m not sure that it’s a series I’d be in a hurry to re-watch or buy on home video to add it to my anime home video collection. However, if there ever is another season of The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior at some point in the future, I’d be willing to watch it and give it a chance.

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