Episode 08 – “Takamiya-kun’s and Kagari-san’s Wounds”
Somehow, middle school Ayaka looks somewhat less threatening than older Ayaka. That’s what I thought until I learned that she was pretty much as ruthless as she is in present times, and more or less the same amount of spacey too. In middle school, she never did anything on her own volition and required some guidance from her two royal retainers. Oddly, she now seems to be on bad terms with the two girls who were her only friends in middle school.The only thing that Ayaka seemed to be interested in back then was locating the mystery boy from her dreams.
I feel like some people might be a little put-off by how her fated encounter with Honoka was set-up, especially given that the show feels (for the most part) a bit more progressive with the whole reversal of traditional gender roles. In this episode, we watch a montage in which Ayaka, Touka, and Kanae undergo makeovers, eat lots of dairy, and working out, as advised by a cheap fashion magazine. I can see how people can interpret this as a conformation to societal pressures and fashionable nonsense, but I kind of look at it a different way. What’s important here isn’t the fact that Ayaka wishes to change herself for some guy, but rather the fact that this guy means so much to her that she’s willing to do anything. Considering her attitude towards everything else, I think it says a lot about how much she cares about Honoka.
Fast-forward to the present, and we get a cute scene with Ayaka and Honoka sleeping in the same bed. Somehow, he doesn’t ever notice her there and she’s even smart enough to pretend to come in from the outside to wake them up. Outside of the earlier flashback sequence, there isn’t too much in the way of actual plot. The rest of the episode has Honoka dealing with his first insurrection as Student Body President, in which he beats down the main trouble maker with the help of Ayaka and the Ivory Quintet (kind of).
I think it’s hilarious how well adapted to life in the Takamiya household those five witches have become. They deserve their own anime series, in my opinion, especially since we’ve pretty seen nothing about all of their powers. Though, we do see a couple of them in the Ayaka flashbacks, but that doesn’t really count as character development. I’ll also never get over Kasumi’s defensive growling noises against Ayaka.