by Rebecca Silverman,
How would you rate episode 6 of
Oh good, just what this show needed – another character for me to hate! Sawada makes her entrance in this episode, and at first blush, she really does look like the worst thing since Remi. If she truly was, though, that'd be in direct opposition to the philosophy of Horimiya, and for all my dislike of Remi, she did prove that she's more than just the recommended dose of obnoxious anime girl per series – she's also a really good friend to Sakura. Sawada takes a bit less time to be proven more than intensely annoying, because in this very episode she comes in, acts inappropriately with Hori, and then reveals to Miyamura that she lost her older brother recently, which would explain her fixation on someone she sees as a competent big sister figure. That's not the only reason she's obsessing over Hori (I think she probably does have a genuine crush on her), but just knowing that one thing and looking at her behavior in light of it does help to balance her out.
More than another aspirant for Hori's affections, however, Sawada is brought in to show us another side of Miyamura. He's usually so even-keeled – or actively hiding any overt expressions of emotion – that having him have to really fight someone for Hori expands his character quite a bit. He's open with Hori and with Shindo, but both of those are because he's close to them and cares about them. Sawada is someone he's annoyed by, to the point where he just can't keep things bottled up inside, and that's an aspect of him that we don't get to see often. That Sawada is objectively in the wrong, because if someone says to stop touching them, you stop, no matter what genders are involved and Hori is clearly not comfortable with Sawada glomming onto her, perhaps makes it easier for Miyamura to stand up, but the important piece of this is that he does. (And still helps Sawada when she needs it, because that's still who he is.)
In a lot of ways, this episode's theme is Miyamura asserting himself. Baths with Kyousuke notwithstanding, he's ready to put himself out there a little more, even if a piece of that is annoyance at hearing everyone say that he's not a good match for Hori. To that end he cuts his hair so that his piercings are all clearly visible and discards his glasses, letting his face be seen for the first time in high school. That's a lot scarier than the show lets on. If we remember that initially he did all of that to disguise himself in order to better avoid being noticed, he's fully aware that if he takes off his costume, he will be noticed, and speaking from experience, that's terrifying. Ultimately, I disliked the attention I got when my hair was short and I wore contacts and so went back after a brief experiment in the 10th grade (plus I enjoy long hair), and maybe Miyamura will too at some point. But the important thing here is that he made a conscious decision to try something different, and that he could even consider it, much less actually do it, says a lot about how far he's come since episode one and what Hori, Toru, and the rest have done for him.
He also is making more effort to be physical with Hori. Despite her comment that he never makes a move on her towards the end of the episode, we know that's not true because earlier he kissed her when she was complaining about the flavor of the candy she was eating – and apparently licked that candy right out of her mouth. (And can we all agree that both clay and cheese sound like horrible candy flavors?) He did it while Shindo's back was turned, but he still did it – and clearly Hori wouldn't mind it happening more often. What's interesting about their conversation before Kyousuke kills the mood is that she's uncomfortable asking, but she still asks, something that many a social construct tells us that girls “aren't supposed” to do. That Hori wants a more physical relationship feels like a breath of fresh air when we more often see someone get slapped for an accidental kiss, and that they're communicating about it is even better.
Horimiya is currently streaming on FUNimation Entertainment.
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