Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu – Episode 08

2 09 2008

Summary

Mika is talking with some of her classmates at school.  When one of them mentions how she got asked out, they all badger Mika about what to do during a date.  She makes a detailed explanation that borderlines yuri when she uses a friend as an example.

On the way home, Mika talks with Nanami about what happened at school.  She is slightly upset because the only two guys she knows are Yuuto and her father.  Nanami then discloses that Yuuto is at their house with Haruka and the two decide the spy on them.

The the Nogizaka estate, Yuuto’s father is disconcerted by the fact that Yuuto and Haruka are alone together.  Yuuto’s mother stops him since he promised to trust Haruka.  Meanwhile, Mika and Nanami overhear Yuuto and Haruka having a conversation that sounds ecchi.  They burst into the room to stop them only to find out that they’re making pancakes.  The family enjoys the pancakes together.

Mika and Nanami watch Yuuto and Haruka to see if their relationship has progressed, but they are dissapointed to find that the two are still at the friends state.  Mika decides to take matters into her own hand and calls Yuuto out on Sunday to teach him how to make the first move on Haruka.  She disguises the outing as a date.

They first go to a cafe where Mika tries to teach Yuuto how to look at his date in the eyes.  When he does so, Mika gets incredibly flustered.  He looks like he starts to move on Mika, when in fact, he’s catching a giant oversize sundae that was toppling on her.  After learning about holding hands while walking around, the two next go to the movies.

During the movie, Mika falls asleep on Yuuto and starts sleep talking about perverted things.  Other people in the theater start to look at Yuuto funny.  After the movie, Mika explains that the two of them will go to the fireworks festival. On the way, they bump into Shiina who is also going to the festival.  Shiina and Yuuto start having a conversation which Mika is left out of.  She gets annoyed and pulls Yuuto away to buy some yukatas.

While changing, Mika is complaining about how Yuuto’s behavior when she realizes that she’s feeling jealous over nothing.  They go to the riverbank and the fireworks start.  Mika can’t see due to her height, so Yuuto offers to piggy back Mika for her to see.  When Mika starts to question her feelings for Yuuto, Haruka arrives and everything is set back to the status quo.

The next day, Yukari states that the cultural festival is coming up and that the class needs two representatives of opposite gender.  Shiina volunteers to be the girl volunteer, and Yukari volunteers Yuuto to be the male volunteer.

Thoughts

This episode was more successful in terms of humor then the previous episode, especially with the pancake scene, the phone call, and the movie theater.  As for plot advancement, Mika might’ve started to like Yuuto.  For the show’s sake I hope they leave that element at the episode, and keep this episode to emphasize why Yuuto is so likable.  

The show is fine the way it is with the love triangle involving Shiina.  On that note, seems like Shiina gets a bigger role starting next episode and we might see Haruka getting slightly jealous.  Which’d be a good thing, since then Haruka could make a move to take her relationship w/ Yuuto to the next level.

It seems like the speed at which their relationship was going was not only noticed by us, the viewers, but also the other characters.  And they too have realized that their relationship has suddenly stalled.  It almost made me feel like one of the characters =D.

8/10

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Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu – Episode 07

27 08 2008

Summary

The episode sets up with the revelation that Haruka’s father (who looks like a yakuza boss) has discovered Haruka’s anime hobby.  Obviously he’s pissed and sends out his personal military, the Hellhounds, to find her and bring her back.

In panic, Haruka went to Yuuto’s house for support from him.  Hazuki followed suit, and promised that she would protect Haruka no matter what.  Ruko, who was overhearing the conversation, permits Haruka to stay over the night.  Yuuto immediately imagines something a bit different (*wink*).  After convincing Haruka is not a burden, she agrees to stay over.

During dinner, Yukari, Hazuki, and Ruko begin pestering Yuto about their relationship.  After Yuuto insists that they’re just friends, they start pestering him about his feelings… which he blatantly avoids.  After dinner, Yuuto tells Mika about the Haruka staying over, which Mika immediately exploits.

After Hazuki begins patrolling in her oddly drunken state, Yuuto carries a half asleep Haruka to her room.  After which his imagination starts to run a little wild.  Haruka knocks on his door and explains that she’s scared of sleeping alone (at her home there are stuffed animals).  Yuuto reluctantly agrees to let her sleep in his room.  To further add to his woes, Haruka insists on sleeping while holding hands.  

The next morning, a bloodshot Hazuki spots a Hellhound member who found Haruka and immediatly takes him out, but not before he radios her location.  In the house, Haruka is making breakfast for Yuuto when Mika calls informing him about the discovery.  Almost immediately, squad cars and hellhound members surround Yuuto’s house.  Haruka’s father forces his way into the house and the confrontation begins.

Hazuki (with her chainsaw) and Ruko (with a katana) do their best in taking care of the hellhound members, but can’t stop Haruka’s father from reaching Haruka. He says that he’ll forgive her if she admits that her anime hobby is just a short-time deal.  However, after Haruka refuses, Yuuto starts to defend her and her hobby.  Just as Haruka’s father is about to take out Yuuto, Mika and Nanami appear and orders her father to stop.

After he refuses to listen, his wife shows up and manages to talk some sense into him.  She defends Haruka’s hobby and accepts it.  He finally gives in and accepts it as well.  Before they leave, Gentou (Haruka’s father) admits to Yuuto that he’s the first person to ever stand up to him.  Haruka’s parents leave by helicopter, Haruka takes Yuuto’s hand, and everyone goes back in to clean up the mess.

Thoughts

So this was the first real comedy centric episode of the show, and the comedy was somewhat reminiscent of Seto no Hanayome just not as funny.  This episode was one of the weaker episodes, animation and story wise.  A lot of the humor fell flat (namely with Yuuto’s daydreams) however, others worked well.  Especially with Haruka thinking Ruko is a great woman for her high alcohol tolerance, and Hazuki’s drunken state.

As for romance developments, Haruka and Yuuto are now comfortable holding hands with each other, as well as hugging.  Yuuto is also starting to think about whether he has feelings for Haruka or not.

Next week has something to do with Mika asking Yuuto out.  My guess, this is a ploy by Mika to push Yuuto and Haruka even closer.

7.5/10 (Animation quality really hurt the episode this week)





Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu – Episode 02

25 07 2008

SUMMARY

The episode starts with Yuuto meeting up with Haruka on their way to school.  Along the way, the two garner glares from jealous students. Yuuto and Haruka escape to school.  At school, Haruka asks Yuuto to go shopping with her.  At first, Yuuto interprets this as a date, but Haruka, flustered, insists that it isn’t.  She just wants Yuuto to accompany her to Akihabara.  Yuuto reluctantly agrees.

The next day, Yuuto meets up with Haruka at Akihabara and Haruka discusses the plan today.  In short, the plan was to move around Akihabara for most of the day and buy a PDS (Portable Dream Station) at the end of the day.  The two set off.

They first stop by a manga store where Haruka begins looking at some doujinshi.  Unfortunately, the first doujinshi that Haruka picks up ends up being a Yaoi one.  Overflowed with embarrasment, Haruka passes out.  Next, they stop by Animate (an anime merchandise store).  Haruka admires all the merchandise, but for some reason, refrains from buying anything.

While window shopping, Yuuto inquires as to why she refuses to buy anything.  Haruka mentions how her dad is very strict and doesn’t allow her to spend her allowance on her anime hobby.  Yuuto the asks about how Haruka got into Anime.  Haruka says that, when she was young, she was scolded by her father and she ended up crying in the park.  At the park, a boy gave her a copy of “Innocent Smile” (animage) to cheer her up, and she’s been hooked ever since.  Before the conversation continues, Yuuto’s otaku friend Nobunaga calls out his name. Quickly, Yuuto hides Haruka and tries to get Nobunaga out of the area.  After a little effort, Nobunaga leaves.  However, when Yuuto returns, Haruka is nowhere to be found.

Yuuto begins running around Akihabara looking for Haruka, along the way, he bumps into a girl with short red hair. (I’m including this because she appears to be an important character from her prominence in the opening credits)  The girl mentions that she’s seen someone who looks like Haruka and points Yuuto in the right direction.

Yuuto spots Haruka surrounded by some large, gruff-looking men.  Interpreting them as troublemakers, Yuuto goes in to protect Haruka.  As it turns out, the men are simply Russian foreigners, and Haruka was bridging the language gap for them.  After the misunderstanding was sorted out, the two go to a capsule hall.  Haruka tries her hand at a capsule machine and tries to get a Clumsy Aki-chan figure.  Unfortunately she has no luck.

Taking a break, the two end up going to a cafe; however, Yuuto didn’t realize it was a maid cafe.  After confirming this, the other waitresses has Haruka wear a maid outfit, and has Yuuto take pictures with her.  When it gets to the end of the day, Haruka and Yuuto go to buy the PDS.  When the get to AsoBitCity, the find out that the PDS is sold out.  Haruka, faints from shock and Yuuto is forced to carry her to a nearby park.

Haruka feels that she just wasted Yuuto’s time but Yuuto reassures her that he has a lot of fun.  The two promise to go to Akihabara again sometime, and thus the day ends.

THOUGHTS

Wow, Haruka really is an extremely likable character.  There were soo many cute moments with her, I lost count.

This episode had it’s share of pretty funny moments, namely, the “date” misinterpretation, and the doujinshi incident.  (PDS ftw!!!)  It was great to see Haruka and Yuuto’s relationship progress.  I mean we already knew that Yuuto might like Haruka from the previous episode, and this episode just cements that.  This episode also brings in the possibility of Haruka liking Yuuto. Call me impatient, but I can’t wait until their relationship finally goes to the next level.

As for plot development, there’s a strong possibility that Yuuto was the kid who gave Haruka that magazine, if not him, then Nobunaga.  And it looks like next episode has something to do w/ Yuuto visiting Haruka at her mansion.

8/10