Sometime after the events of Kaoru’s arc in the first season, both she and Junichi find themselves working at the hero show at the local amusement park, and in order to counter Kaoru’s improvising Junichi does some of their own. Ultimately getting them both fired before it goes back to show how they reached this point.
Jumping back a bit to Junichi begging her to help him with his art homework, which led to her sitting between his legs and getting a little carried away, unintentionally drawing the attention of their entire class. In turn leading to Keiko confronting Kaoru on what sort of impression this gives people, and suggesting that she and Junichi go on a trip over summer break. Of course the very idea of this causes Junichi to be bombarded with fantasy after fantasy before he remembers that he’s broke, so in order to make enough money for it they took up the job at the amusement park.
After this things then go a bit further than they had at the start of the episode, with Junichi continuously cycling through costumes and Sae, Ai, and her brother being shown in the crowd, and when just why he did this is brought up he admits that he was a little jealous. However even with the small amount of money they made they find that they can still go on a cheap bus tour together. So the night before Junichi meets with Umehara to pass on a tape, who after congratulating him reveals that he’ll be stuck working at his parent’s sushi restaurant. Around the same time Keiko was surprised that their trip would involve staying a night together, and tells her to do her best.
So following a friendly race to their seats, Kaoru pulls out some limited edition snacks she had brought along, and while most of the bus is asleep Junichi decides to invoke the punishment game that came out of their race. Deciding on a game where they attempt to get a certain side of a piece of candy from between the other’s teeth, unintentionally slowly waking the entire bus up as they attempt to see what’s going on. And when the bus takes a stop Kaoru decides to use it as a chance to pick up some more limited edition snacks, something that appears to be a hobby of hers, but instead of getting back on the bus they decide to visit a tea shop, with Kaoru’s attempt to hide the snacks that she had brought accidentally giving the bus driver the impression that they’re already back and asleep. So of course once they finish, Junichi and Kaoru find themselves stranded and unluckily any attempt to call for help is cut short. With the tour service being out of hours and Miya already fast asleep. For once leaving them all alone.
I have to admit that I was a pretty surprised to see this show divert from the pattern that it had taken so far, but none the less I enjoyed this episode, Kaoru’s arc had been one of the ones that I had been looking forward to the most when this season first started. And it certainly didn’t disappoint.
Roughly half a year or so after the break off point of her initial arc, far before their epilogue, things appear to be going well for them however while Kaoru was intent on how their relationship as bros from middle school should change, she now doesn’t want their relationship to change at all. If anything for it to go on like this forever. It’s simply an interesting change, with her wishes that played a strong part in her initial arc now effectively being reversed. While she looked for ways to induce a change last time, she now looks for a way to keep things with Junichi how they are. Deciding, at Keiko’s suggestion, that they go on a trip together as a couple, and just as she was wondering how they act around one another when they’re alone they somehow find themselves in that state.
Which at the same time showed off one of the things that I liked the most about her initial arc (which in the first season had some pretty bad problems regarding pacing and focus), they just interact so well together, which I guess I rightfully say for most of the heroines and their arcs anyway. But with Kaoru it really stands out, they were bros before they became a couple and even after this change they still act as they always had. Just with a small romantic twist to it all, they still tease each other from time to time but on the other side of things they still work incredibly well together as a couple, throwing small romantic gestures towards one another every now and then. The only downside to it is that, unlike some of the other heroines, Kaoru neither acts for or against the fantasies he continually seems to get, we may get some good shots of Kaoru out of them but they can get kind of annoying after a while.
Other than that Kaoru is simply a fun heroine as well, initially coming into the story as Junichi’s “bad friend” who along with being his secondary bro alongside Umehara also had a tendency of doing stuff just to mess with him, however while the frustrations that may have led to her actually doing that sort of stuff may have been let out she’s still a fairly fun character. Likely continuing to do those sorts of things without exactly realising it now. On a side note it was also interesting to see how much her hobby of collecting limited edition snacks and drinks was played up, it was only lightly touched upon in her initial arc so it was quite easy to forget, but it managed to show up quite a lot in this episode. Even playing a role in putting them in their current situation.