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A Condition Called Love
Episode 8

by MrAJCosplay,

How would you rate episode 8 of
A Condition Called Love ?
Community score: 3.6


This episode brought in a lot of different outside forces that have the potential to test Hotaru and Hananoi's relationship. Considering that the resolution of the last episode was them acknowledging that they needed to come together and talk about disagreements over how to conduct themselves as a couple, this felt like a natural progression. Honestly, I think you could've gotten a whole episode's worth of content over just Hananoi working at the bookstore because there are a lot of different components to that environment that could potentially test the relationship. But then I had this sinking feeling that the show would do what it has done numerous times: bring up some interesting developmental issues or conflicts only to sidestep them instead of something else that arguably didn't need as much expansion. Lo and behold, that's almost exactly what this episode does, and it's hard not to get frustrated.

Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of cute and funny moments throughout this episode. I liked the scene between Hananoi and the store manager because even though it came out of left field, it highlights to Hananoi that he's not the only socially awkward person. He has people looking out for him in some way, even if he naturally thinks people don't like him. Plus, the bits at the end about the dogs were amusing and cute. There are also a lot of good conversation starters, like when Hotaru says they should probably sit down and talk about ground rules for their relationship and the confrontation between Yao and Hananoi in the locker room feels like it was a long time coming. But these conversations don't go anywhere! Hotaru can't think of any guidelines to put on the relationship because of her lack of experience (although she's the one who brought it up), and Hananoi probably wants to say a lot. Still, he held himself back with his dynamic, with Yao being a perfect case in point.

There are a lot of misunderstandings going on in this episode when you examine Yao and Hotaru's relationship with each other. It's hands-down the most subtle thing about the show right now, and maybe that's why I find it the most interesting. Yao is most likely unaware that his presence inadvertently led to Hotaru's suffering in elementary school. He was the target of affection from Hotaru's friend, and it was that affection that led Hotaru to get bullied. It's impressive that Hotaru doesn't blame him, but it also makes sense why she's awkward around him, or maybe she wants to keep a little bit of distance subconsciously. We don't see a lot of that awkwardness, but I can at least understand why it's there. On the other hand, Yao has no idea that any of the bullying went on and thinks that the two had a falling out because of something he did. No one's really in the wrong. It's a classic case of two people just not finding the right opportunity to communicate and clear the air, which is a shame because you could tell they valued each other as friends.

Hananoi's inclusion in all of this feels weird and awkward. We're seeing his possessiveness in full force around Yao, more or less threatening him to stop using a nickname they used a lot when they were younger. It's implied that Hananoi is trying to look out for her because he can tell that the two are awkward and uncomfortable around each other due to the misunderstanding that hadn't been cleared up. But it never comes off like that. It comes off more like blind jealousy and possessiveness. Hananoi even frames a lot of positive things that have gone on in Hotaru's life as something that he "can't compete with," which isn't healthy. There's still something missing, and I'm unsure if the twist at the end about Hananoi being a student at the same school as Yao and Hotaru will change that.


A Condition Called Love is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

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