The final scene of this episode really showed that the creators of this series are biased for the main couple. As soon as Kurumi even mentioned the possibility of talking to another boy, the dramatic music set in and they tried to make it look like a cliff-hanger. Like it’s blasphemy if the two were to even look at each other. Even though Kurumi was doing what she’s been doing ever since the previous episode, and it wasn’t really worse than any of her other plans. This really could hurt this show in the long run.
But yeah, it’s the small things like this that prevent me from fully enjoying this series. When you look at the big picture, there really isn’t much wrong with this series: it’s got a nice concept of an outcast who manages to find herself. The dialogue is well detailed and the characters have good concepts. But then there are times at which the creators are just trying too hard, like for example dragging the evil bitch-arc on for too long (I’m sure that I wouldn’t have complained as much about that arc if it was done in just one episode). This episode also carried Sawako’s naiveness a bit too far, and I feel that Mamiko Nouto doesn’t really fit her as a voice actress.
So yeah, I’m not often one to agree with the “the manga is so much better”-arguments, but I think that it really holds up here. This is not about cutting certain parts off, this is rather about blindly adapting a pretty good manga without thinking about the transition from still frames to animation. I personally couldn’t care less whether creators of an anime delete stuff or add extra stuff in, as long as it works. This goes with series that take a lot of these artistic liberties like Umineko and Full Metal Alchemist, but also with series that do try to put everything in from the original source-material like this series and Bakemonogatari.
Incidentally, I noticed something interesting when I looked at the staff page at ANN. While there is very little to say about the main director, the script has been written so far by two people: Tomoko Konparu, who wrote the majority of the episodes, and Mamiko Ikeda, who wrote episodes 2, 7 and 10. Incidentally, now that I look back, I can say that these three episodes belonged to the best ones of the series so far. My guess is that Tomoko Konparu, who also is doing the series composition, really isn’t having her right year: the series composition she did on Chi’s New Address also left a lot to be desired and while she has worked and contributed to a lot of great and awesome series in the past, this time she just seems to have an off season.
I think another reason why I’m extra critical of this series, even though it seems to be loved by many, is because half of the times, the jokes fall flat. Do other people have this as well? I mean, there are tons of awkward moments in this series for me when the creators are trying to make a joke, which just isn’t funny to me. There really is this thing called suspense of disbelief, and if this series had built up any at this point I definitely wouldn’t be whining as much as I am now, but it’s a shame that this show continues to break this for me. It’s especially annoying now that even Kobato, which once was even duller than this series for me, is getting better and better.