The episode opens with Nishimura finding an abandoned cat, and Takada encouraging her to take care of it. She’s afraid to, because she thinks that their classmates will make fun of the cat because she took it in. Takada, as his usual sunny self, tells her that she and the cat are similar, especially that they’re both cute. Nishimura doesn’t entirely believe it, though she decides to take the cat in.
The next thing we see is Nishimura showing pictures of the cat, which she named Kuro, to Takada. Some of the kids who bully Nishimura say things that Nishimura was afraid they’d say, but Takada turns it around to make it sound like one of the bullies is saying that Nishimura is cute. The leader of the girls who tease Nishimura sees the pictures of Kuro and starts excitedly talking to Nishimura. It turns out the girl thinks cats are cute, but she lives in an apartment complex that doesn’t allow cats. While Nishimura and the girl may not be friends at this point, the girl shows that she was willing to not tease Nishimura in order to see pictures of the cat. At this point, I’m guessing that Kuro may be what leads Nishimura and this girl to become friends, so it’ll be interesting to see if I’m right. I’m also curious to see how Kuro will be utilized as the series continues.
Before summer vacation begins, their teacher assigns them an assignment to come up with an agenda for summer vacation. Nishimura only comes up with a couple of things, but Takada puts down a lot of things that he’s never going to be able to do. When Takada asks to see Nishimura’s agenda, she refuses to show him. However, when they run into each other after school and Nishimura finds out that Takada has to redo the assignment, she decides to show him hers. He’s actually happy to discover she doesn’t have a lot of plans, because it means they’ll have plenty of time to play together. They sneak into the library and rework their agendas to reflect their plans to spend time together over break. At least Nishimura is able to help Takada rein in his ideas to things that are more realistic.
The first thing they decide to do for break is to hang out at the pool. They think that now that they’re in fifth grade, it’s uncool to wear the school sanctioned swimsuit. Nishimura asks her father to buy her a new swimsuit, and after a brief discussion, he agrees. At this point in the series, we’ve only seen Nishimura’s father, so I have to assume that her mother is out of the picture for some reason. I don’t know if her mother’s absence will ever be addressed in the series, or if the topic will be avoided due to the tone of the overall series. When her father takes her to buy a new swimsuit, Nishimura agonizes over which one to get.
When she meets up with Takada at the pool, we see Nishimura is wearing a cute swimsuit. She feels self-conscious about it, though, since she thinks the other kids will think that the Grim Reaper is trying too hard. Kitagawa, the main boy that bullies Nishimura, tries to make fun of her for wearing such a cute swimsuit. But, as we’ve seen in previous episodes, Takada turns what he says around to try to make it sound like a compliment. Since this is now the third time we’ve seen this happen to Kitagawa, and the fact that one of the girls in the class piggybacks off of what Takada was saying, it wasn’t surprising to see him become angry this time around and take his anger out on one of his buddies. If this wasn’t cool enough of Takada to do, he whispers to Nishimura that he thinks her swimsuit is cute and says he had forgotten to mention it before.
After the ending credits, we get a final scene of Nishimura and Takada on their summer vacation. Takada tries to encourage Nishimura to smile more, but Nishimura thinks about what the other kids have said about how scary she looks when she smiles. It was kind of sad to see how she has internalized what the other kids have said to the point where she believes it herself. While Takada doesn’t succeed in getting Nishimura to smile, he still tells her that he likes her stoic attitude and that he’ll always be friends with her, even if she quits being so stoic.
Takada may be clueless at times, but he seems to be the type of person that Nishimura has needed to befriend her and help her try to believe in herself. Takada is such a nice person, and I also can’t help but go “awww…” at some of his interactions with Nishimura. But I noticed in this episode that he likes to grab her hand a lot. A part of me wonders a little if perhaps Takada has a little crush on Nishimura, but maybe I’m reading a little too much in his interactions with Nishimura.
For the most part, this episode was much more of an overarching story than Episode Two had been. Since this episode is titled, “Summer Vacation Begins,” I’m assuming that the next one will continue the character’s summer vacation. Will this be another episode with more of an overarching story, or will it be comprised of vignettes like Episode Two?
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