by MrAJCosplay/Cartoon Cipher,
How would you rate episode 11 of
Girlfriend, Girlfriend ?
So there was a lot going on in this episode and by the end of it all, it very much feels like we are rapidly approaching the conclusion for this season. In terms of comedy, I did find it a little bit lacking when the majority of the jokes relied on just standard fanservice which is usually fine, but when it takes up most of the episode, it does feel a little bit lazy. It also doesn't help that almost all the jokes were the exact same set up with one in particular feeling like it was ripped right out of To Love-Ru. This was also the first episode in a while where it feels like the comedy was really undercutting some of the serious stuff that the characters were trying to talk about, and that's a shame because a lot of it was really good.
There were basically three major conversations that defined the three parts of this episode. The first one was with Rika forcing a situation where she can generate some kind of romantic progress with Naoya. What starts as her usual tricks actually does end up being a cute five-minute date with them learning more about each other. I specifically like the fact that Rika says they won't get very far if they don't talk more which was ironically what Nagisa and Saki were trying to avoid. It was a little bit weird because I wasn't sure if the show is communicating that they're actually not very good for each other and that Rika is just in denial. Plus I wasn't a big fan of the implication that Naoya might be developing feelings for her, especially since he spent half of the conversation just being a good partner to the others. Considering that we're almost done with the show and I don't think this will get a lot of proper follow-up, it was definitely the weakest section of the episode for me.
The second part ended up taking up the majority of the episode and does hammer home some things that I think would've made for great drama if they were introduced earlier into the season. Shino has every reason to be suspicious and uncertain about the current relationship dynamic. I was actually genuinely surprised at how hard she goes in on how difficult it is to live in a monogamous-driven society as a poly couple from a practical, financial, and social standpoint. This show is genuinely at its best when the comedy and drama are born out of the characters just looking out for each other in this unfamiliar territory, so it made sense that a more reasonable outsider would have needed to give input into this. What do you do about marriage and how do you bring this up to family members who might not understand? Again, I think the show would've benefited if this came a lot sooner and I can say the same thing about confronting Nagisa's insecurities in the final couple of minutes.
She is a character that's been forced to overcompensate for all of her life because she's not particularly good at anything. That line she has about needing to try a lot harder than everybody else just to be average really did kind of hit home for me and it would explain why she's willing to put up with so much when the deck seems so stacked against her. She's just lived most of her life trying so hard and waiting to come across something that's a natural fit for her so being put in an unfair poly situation almost makes sense in a weird way. My respect for the show has been growing as I continue to watch it, so I am genuinely looking forward to seeing what the resolution to this conversation will be in the next episode. If we can focus on that idea and spruce up the comedy with more of that over-the-top variety that we got before, then I can see the show ending on a surprisingly powerful note.
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