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A Condition Called Love
Episode 3

by MrAJCosplay,

How would you rate episode 3 of
A Condition Called Love ?
Community score: 3.8


This episode is the best out of the first three. The pacing was solid, and the presentation was excellent. It makes good use of lighting and properly establishes music cues. But what makes this episode stronger than the previous two is how I finally understand what story A Condition Called Love is trying to tell. It's not perfect, but it has won me over on a few things.

With the premise revolving around a girl who has never experienced love and is curious about it, the character arc established in this episode for Hotaru makes sense. Some say ignorance is bliss. Other times, ignorance can accidentally hurt those around you. This episode reframes and recontextualizes a lot of Hotaru's former actions. You could see them as general airheadedness from someone who has never experienced love, but pairing her with somebody who feels love a little too strongly and immediately could make her actions seem unintentionally cruel. When you say it out loud, asking somebody who has expressed overwhelming love to you that you want to try kissing them as an experiment could be seen as playing with their feelings or, at the very least, downplaying them. Hotaru recognized that as her fault and properly apologized.

They are inexperienced teenagers who are tackling the same problem from completely different extremist worldviews. The show also establishes that love isn't the only thing that Hotaru is ignorant about, as she seems to have a general lack of understanding about what makes other people happy, herself included. While that point could've been better foreshadowed or set up before this episode, it's a firm foundation for her character arc and makes me like her character more. It also explains why she doesn't question Hananoi's actions nearly as much as she probably should; she generally doesn't know the right or wrong answer about being in a relationship.

I also have to give Hananoi a lot of credit because this episode scales back a lot of his behavior and even attempts to make it explicitly clear that he isn't dangerous. I mentioned a few moments during the first two episodes where I wasn't sure if the show was trying to frame his rather extreme approach to love as something quirky or one that should have more attention paid to it. This episode doesn't answer that yet, but it is clear that he's willing to bend over backward to make his love feel realized. In a relationship, you should be patient, understanding, and willing to compromise a few things for your partner's comfort. Hananoi was the ideal boyfriend in this situation, doing everything he could to make Hotaru feel as special as he thought she was.

You can call this stubbornness, but I still have some reservations about Hananoi as a character. If this is the setup it's going for, I would like to see this episode from Hananoi's point of view. I still feel like his original foundations and overall approach to love are too simplistic. At worst, he has the opposite problem that Hotaru has, where his overwhelming affection and attentiveness detract from who he is supposed to be. I don't feel like he's a serial killer anymore, but the trade-off is I know even less about who he is as a character. He's doing everything he can to be the perfect boyfriend, but that doesn't exactly tell me who he is. We don't know what he wants or what he's interested in outside of being a good partner, and all of this overwhelming affection is probably a result of him feeling very lonely. I have been told by fans of the original manga that there is a reason why he acts the way he does and that he does seem to break out of this box he's intentionally putting himself in. If we can believably get to that point, and it's handled with a similar level of care to this episode, then I think the series would be able to 100% win me over.


A Condition Called Love is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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