Satou says he’s under the weather with a “summer flu” but, in actuality, is simply afraid to go outside after the incident at the game creators’ school. He gets a call from his mother Shizue; she is going be in town in three days for a class reunion and figures she might as well check up on him. In his nervousness, he fibs that he is working at a game development firm and that he has a girlfriend. Satou then relates the situation to Misaki who volunteers to be his girlfriend for a day. They go on a first date the next day to prepare to face Shizue. Also, Yamazaki makes business cards for their recently formed company.
The day his mother is to arrive, Satou starts trying to clean his apartment by moving stuff onto the porch. Misaki comes by to help and helps him throw bags of garbage onto the loft. Shizue is tired from her plane ride and not being picked up by her son so she’d rather have lunch than look at his messy flat. They go out to a pretty good restaurant and his mother starts asking questions about marriage. While Satou is thinking up a plan in the bathroom, Shizue tells Misaki about his history of bad lying and lets her know she knows it’s a sham. Shizue leaves for her reunion after lunch and the “couple” walks around until Misaki finally leads the duo to a date spot. Satou is surprised by this and his underestimation of her bust but decides to seize the opportunity. Unfortunately, Yamazaki calls his cell to yell at him since he’s being waiting for Shizue to call and consequently hasn’t left his apartment to go to a convenience store. The moment’s ruined but Misaki still thinks about the lost kiss while lying in bed.
The relationship between Misaki and Satou really starts to develop in these two episodes. Sure, both are nervous but Misaki is being more forthright in the little things, like linking arms and tugging his shirtsleeves. They even have a “accidental positioning” moment and almost kiss before being interrupted. I think this whole effort by Misaki as counselor has had a slight hidden motive of spending more time with him. The secret notes in her notebook were the first hint of this. There’s bound to be more romantic but awkward moments in the next episode, #09 “Welcome to the Summer Days!”, with Misaki in a yukata at a festival…with fireworks.
I might have said this before but I think that Satou comes off as dumber in the anime than in the manga. I mean, ignoring Misaki three times when she’s right next to him and instead considering Yamazaki cross-dress. That kind of imagination shouldn’t happen in a man who has been looking at babe magazines as “reference material” for his galge characters.
Also, there was possibly a little ground being laid for the “off meeting” when Satou tried to call Hitomi. She said she already had plans, more specifically an “appointment with some acquiantances”. Hmm…maybe that’ll take place a couple episodes down the line. Or it could just be something completely unrelated, like a night out with friends, I don’t know.
Overall, the humor was pretty good between the two episodes especially the first steps of starting a company, one of the better uses of the purple “hikki” characters IMO. What I’m going to call “Misaki’s Sneaky Sleeve Grabbing Technique” was one of the cuter parts along with her barking back at her stuffed animal at the end of episode 8. It looks like the series is improving from its slightly shaky start and is moving more into romantic comedy territory than just staying a dark hikikomori comedy.
P.S. I really appreciate how the series is airing episodes that take place during the summer during the summer and not sometime in late winter, like other series have. It helps me relate to the subject matter if I too can open a window and hear crickets chirping outside at night.