This episode, the Tomozaki anime demonstrates that it is peak fiction. Let's start with the most talked-about scene in the episode: the dick-measuring in the bath. When it comes to comedy, this series has been fairly mellow overall, so the existence of a dick joke in the first place was pretty surprising. Who wasn't taken off guard when it was revealed that Tomozaki is in possession of a massive member? It's always the quiet ones, I swear.
What makes this scene even funnier is how it subverts the usual expectations for how these bath scenes in anime tend to play out. The dudes manhandled and checked out each other's assets while the girls kept their hands to themselves. Anyone who has been following my commentary on the male characters in this series can probably guess that I felt 100% satisfied with the kind of "fanservice" we got this week.
For those of you who aren't as easily amused by dick jokes as I am, you'll be glad to know that this one fit the characters because the big theme of this episode in general was male bonding. Hinami says that Tomozaki needs male friends because it'll improve his social worth, but honestly I feel it's just good for him to make friends in general. It's neat seeing him express different sides depending on who he's talking to. Tomozaki has always struck me as the kind of guy who, after he gets over his initial nervousness, tends to get along better with girls because he's sensitive and willing to let himself be vulnerable. Male friendship, on the other hand, is more about ribbing each other, which is why Hinami keeps instructing Tomozaki to tease the guys which he regards as a significant challenge.
Tomozaki's target this episode is Nakamura, the guy he defeated at Attack Family. The interesting thing about Nakamura is that, despite his short fuse, he has never actually disparaged Tomozaki for being a "nerd" or a "gamer." In general, he seems apathetic to a lot of social niceties – I get the impression that he's popular mainly for his looks. That makes him very different from Hinami or Mizusawa, who are very adept at reading people and accommodating them accordingly. At first glance he seemed like a bully or jock character, but as it turns out he's just an awkward teen guy absorbed in his own problems. I like him a lot, even if it's kind of disorienting hearing Nobuhiko Okamoto put on his Bakugo voice for a much more down-to-earth version of that kind of character.
The other notable scene in this episode showed up near the end, when Tomozaki and Hinami end up together in the test of courage. At first, she attempts to tease him with her feminine wiles, probably out of some kind of power play, but then she ends up getting genuinely freaked out and clings to him. That part is pretty typical romcom stuff, admittedly. Despite little hints here and there of Tomozaki's interest in Hinami, I've never felt too much romantic chemistry between these two, so this scene struck me as somewhat abrupt. I can't help but wonder how Hinami actually feels about Tomozaki, though. They have an interesting dynamic as rivals, but I also get the impression that, like Mizusawa, she struggles with genuine intimacy.
At any rate, I'm glad to see her perfect girl image rattled. This season is winding to a close, so there's no better time to start digging into her head. Let's see how this episode changes her relationship with Tomozaki.