In a universe where Junichi was somehow unable to end up with any of the girls Miya prepares to head off to a new bath house which is running a girls only promotion, intending to meet up with Ai and Sae when she gets there.
Of course it turns out that they’re not the only ones going to this promotion as Haruka, Hibiki, and Jessica also show up in order to take a break from studying. Inside in the changing room it doesn’t take long before Miya starts to molest Sae either, only stopping when she spots Rihoko who happens to be there with Kanae. Other than that Kaoru and Tsukasa also happen to run into each other, both in search of a bath that will help them develop and would both be particularly embarrassed if a girl with large breasts were to arrive.
Elsewhere at this point Miya happens to be employing more creative methods to molest Sae, while Hibiki, Jessica, and Haruka wash each other’s backs before going on to where Kaoru and Tsukasa are. Further realising their fears when Ai, Miya, and more notably Sae arrive as well, so in order to avoid further feeling embarrassed they point Haruka and Jessica over to another bath, with Hibiki picking up on this and dragging Sae along as well. On Rihoko’s side of things she and Kanae are resting in a bath where small fish nibble away at the dead skin on their feet. By now Miya and Ai have also grown bored and moved on, leaving Kaoru and Tsukasa alone. It also happens that Keiko and Risa are attending this promotion and when Keiko asks Risa about the boy she likes it jumps to Junichi and Umehara about to watch some certain video tapes together.
By now Haruka’s group have arrived at the bath that Tsukasa pointed them towards, a milk bath where Hibiki finds herself with a Haruka on each side, other than that Ai and Miya have split up, with Ai finding a ramen bath and Miya a sauna that supposedly rejuvinates those who use it, running into a teacher from her school inside. Who seems to have been in there for quite a while now, urging herself on when Miya takes off. Following this Kaoru and Tsukasa have finally left the bath they were in and have run into Rihoko, Kanae, and Ai at the massage tables. Where Ai, Kaoru, and Tsukasa seem rather envious when Rihoko mentions that she and Junichi have taken baths together. And around this time Miya, having bought a souvenir for Junichi, decides to head back, unfortunately the souvenir she got for him has a rather adverse effect.
Well this was a fun episode, I’d still much rather have preferred a quick Hibiki or Maya centric episode but fitting in with the trend of all the heroines getting an extra story, Miya being no exception, it wasn’t that bad. She was the protagonist for it but she wasn’t entirely the focus of it at all.
If anything it seemed to focus more on other heroines than her, making fun of some of the small things about them, such as how Kaoru and Tsukasa were intent on staying in a certain bath, or how likewise Maya was trying to rejuvenate herself, and even how Ai chose to bathe in a bath of ramen of all things. It pushed the envelope on what you would expect to actually find at a bathhouse to say the least, but it was done in a light fun sort of way and had fun results overall. Not to mention how Keiko and Risa, two characters both voiced by Mai Kadowaki, appeared on-screen at the same time, that must have been intentional.
Alongside that this episode also provided a fun opportunity for all the girls to meet up and interact, something that I don’t think we see that often as in each of their routes Junichi tends to quite literally go down a certain route that limits those who he meets and interacts with. Restricting the characters he meets and interacts with to those that know already each other, like how Hibiki really only shows up in Haruka or Ai’s routes, however this episode broke away from that mold by throwing them all into the same place and having them eventually meet up with each other regardless. Let alone these interactions with one exception were relatively free of the sort of things that you would expect to see in an episode like this.
Finally despite being a hot spring episode it was also somewhat surprising to see that the episode was relatively free of fanservice, well at least the sort that gets in your face, the girls were walking around in nothing more than towels for most of the episode with lots of closeups of their breasts, but those two aforementioned aspects seemed to come before it. So for your typical hot spring episode this was actually fairly fun, all the girls may have been either wearing towels or were nude (and conveniently submerged) but the lighthearted humour that this series has, came above that and in more abundance as we got to see some interesting meetings between the girls. Also I’m sure I’m not the only one questioning whether Miya likes Sae as more than a friend after this episode.
Overall this has been a fun show, only a few parts of it were actually necessary but all the more as an extra season of side stories to a relatively good series it was pretty good. It was a nice way to pass time and it gave us not only a chance to see the same characters again but also their stories extended.
All of which I thought were pretty fun as well, well except for Sae’s arc which to be fair wasn’t that bad but I personally just don’t like, none the less starting in reverse from the first season it was great to see Tsukasa on the defensive against a potential rival, Ai breaking down but in the end overcoming the odds, Kaoru going on a somewhat comical trip, and Haruka being her usual loveable self and getting her dream proposal. It’s hard to exactly pick out which I liked most, as extras they were all great, giving us the chance to not only see the heroines again but also how things were fairing a few months down the line from their original arc.
The most notable being Rihoko’s arc in this season, which without doubt I think makes this season worth watching if you had watched the first season, or at least her episodes. After the devastatingly disappointing ending she received the first time around she received the end that she deserved, her arc alone in this season could be considered a proper sequel to her original arc as opposed to the sidestories the other girls received. The result being a cause for relief and rejoice, the wrong that had marked her arc and just seemed as if the production staff hated her was made right, and the childhood friend finally overcame all odds and won. Well perhaps that’s glorifying it a bit, but my point is that she finally received the ending she deserved in this season.
Interestingly enough one of the things that I also liked about this show was how the issues that each of the girls faced with Junichi were mostly reversed or taken to their extremes. In Ai’s case being how all the responsibilities that they faced made having a relationship almost impossible for her and Junichi only to have them overcome it nicely in the end, Kaoru having wanted to change her relationship with Junichi wanting to somewhat preserve it, and Tsukasa despite being rather cynical and untrusting being much more open and accepting of those around her. In each and every arc that we saw it was simply interesting to see how things around them and the issues they faced had changed.
So in the end this was a relatively fun show, as a sequel it may not be exactly necessary to watch save for a few extra episodes, but for those who had watched the first season, enjoyed it, and took a liking to the characters I would recommend it. First and foremost I would almost describe it as fanservice, not the sort covered by obscene sunbeams and mysterious patches of fog, but the sort in which you couldn’t exactly say is necessary but you still enjoyed watching.