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Aharen-san wa Hakarenai
Episode 12

by Nicholas Dupree,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Aharen-san wa Hakarenai ?
Community score: 4.6

Well, let the record show that Aharen-san, the series about its leading lady being totally inscrutable, managed to beat Kaguya-sama and Komi-san to the punch. It started a season or more behind both of em, but this little romcom that could, did. And by that I mean we finally have a full-on confession that ends with our leads at last getting together. Heck they even delayed the payoff for two weeks and still got in well ahead of their competition. One might think that such an accomplishment would leave this show with nowhere to go in a potential season two, but thankfully this finale offers up an equally worthwhile followup goal: get oshiro to join and turn this OTP into an OT3.

Seriously, while it's nice that we finally get closure on that camping trip, it's oshiro who steals the show for the first half of this finale. First, it's very honorable for her to challenge Raido to a boardgame instead of just painting the sidewalk with his face. More importantly, it's incredibly sweet how far she's willing to go for Reina, and the glimpse into how the pair first met is even more so. Leave it to this show to take a ridiculous gimmick like oshiro's ninja sentry nonsense and turn it into a tragic tale of a girl so scared to admit her feelings she had to distance herself from the person closest to her. Also you can't convince me that Reina's knack for noticing oshiro's presence isn't thanks to her recognizing the other girl's heartbeat. She knows when you're around, oshiro, because she knows the sound of your heart. And while I'm all for wallowing in bittersweet teenage emotions, I also fully believe that Raido and Reina have plenty of love to share. So c'mon y'all. If the incredibly messed up kids in Iron-Blooded Orphans can do it, you can also make a polycule happen.

Admittedly, a part of me was hoping the resolution to Schrodinger's Kiss would be either wackier or more dramatic, but thinking on it now, this is the resolution Aharen-san was always leading towards. For all this wackiness, this is a show about trying to understand others above all else, so having Raido and Reina frankly and openly confess to clear up a misunderstanding is the perfect way to bring them together. I'll even admit to tearing up just a bit when Raido had his little speech about how there are friends out there they haven't met yet. It's pure sequel bait – especially with that conspicuous new character who just happens to be in frame when he says it – but I certainly won't say no to more of this charming show. I also appreciate that we got a couple skits with our leads together – though it's still functionally identical, right down to a nonsequitor where Aharen somehow got a tractor for their school's garden – and as a total sucker for flower languages, the choice of lupinus was the perfect note to go out on.

Part of me worries Aharen-san will get left by the wayside, especially with it airing during a season stuffed to the gills with romcoms of all types. I sadly don't predict it topping a lot of end-of-year lists or becoming a sudden sales juggernaut. But while it was rarely a gutbustingly funny or audacious show, this was always a good time. Even weaker episodes never failed to put a smile on my face, and while its attempts at sentiment weren't frequent, they were always sincere and all the more heartwarming for it. This was a chill, laidback flavor of comedy that delivered itself about as well as you could ask for. If nothing else, here's hoping somebody will pick up the manga, because I'd sure love to see more of these kids.

Rating:

Aharen-san wa Hakarenai is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.


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