It’s tough feeling sympathetic for Takao, it really is. I feel for the guy and all the mental torture he’s been going through thanks to Nakamura’s blackmail. Having a guilty conscience can really mess with a guy, especially for a guy as weak as he is. It’s funny how a single act can change the course of someone’s life, in this case the life of an ordinary high school student. He was probably perfectly fine with blending into the crowd before, but the threat of being labeled a pervert must be the ultimate form of divine karma against him.
At the same time, I’m incredibly annoyed at how big of an idiot Takao is. Number one reason? He still hasn’t gotten rid of Saeki’s clothes. It’s been three episodes already! I don’t know how much time has actually passed within the show, but he’s had more than enough opportunities to get rid of the clothes. He could easily toss them in the trash on the way to school, or even just sneak out of the house in the middle of the night to toss them in a dumpster. Or better yet, he could go to an incinerator and burn them. Even if Nakamura went ahead and spilled the beans, he could just plead the fifth or deny everything. No evidence, no conviction, right?
Of course, being the brooding idiot that he is, he spends his nights putting Saeki on a pedestal in his heart while going on about repenting his sins. He’s like this generation’s Shinji Ikari, since both spend a lot of time whining and being depressed instead of taking action. Only instead of cries for him to get in a robot, I’m sitting here yelling at him to just get rid of the damning evidence that he’s keeping hidden in his own room. It just makes me think that perhaps deep down he really wanted to keep her clothes for himself…
With this episode, Saeki formally enters into the mix. This poor unsuspecting girl has absolutely no idea what’s been going on in Takao’s head, yet still ends up taking an interest in him. On any other day this would be a dream come true for him, especially when she agrees to go on what’s essentially a date with just the two of them. You should know by now that things never go right for our main character, and Nakamura doesn’t fail to turn his innocent little date into an absolute nightmare.
I gotta say, I’m actually on the edge of my seat wondering what’s going to happen in each episode. Slow start and animation criticisms aside, the show succeeds in really establishing a very tense and awkward atmosphere for both the characters and the viewer. Every time you see Nakamura flash her smile, you know shit is about to kick off for Takao. There’s a certain enjoyment in seeing psychological torture like this, which plays into the show’s whole theme about everyone being a deviant on the inside. I’m already nervous seeing what will happen next.
- Nakamura’s scream…just, wow.