So if it’s ever been ambiguous, Masuzu’s feelings are laid bare this episode. There’s not a single doubt in my mind now that she’s actually in love with Eita. The question now is why she has to put up a facade of being anti-love. If her “original reason” for ensnaring Eita is any indication, it might just be a ploy to distance herself from the masses that would otherwise endlessly hound her in hopes of getting more intimate. Being a popular bishoujo sure is tough, right? Seriously though, I’m not all too sure why she has to keep this act up. Getting Eita as her “fake” boyfriend has pretty much solved the problem of other guys bothering her, no? Why pretend to be anti-love in front of Eita, then? Is it because he’s also anti-love and pretending to be the same might get her closer to him? If that’s the case, then Masuzu is clearly missing the main problem; her personality just needs a bit of work. Oh, and she might want to try not blackmailing the person she likes. That usually helps improve their opinion of you.
Lately though, it does feel like Masuzu is starting to let her true feelings show to Eita. She still claims that their needing to be closer together in public is just to maintain the “fake” image to keep other guys away. But so far she’s made no effort to try and justify why Eita shouldn’t look at any other girl and should only look at her. If you ask me, that line should be a pretty obvious hint to Eita that Masuzu really loves him. But unfortunately, being the generic male protagonist that he is, he remains none the wiser. Ok, so maybe I’m being a little harsh on Eita. While it’s still disappointing that he turned out to be ignorant of all love matters, it’s understandably hard to believe what a girl is saying if she’s blackmailing you and constantly portraying her relationship with you as a lie. I guess this is just Masuzu’s own lies coming back to bite her in her ass. Ouch. I’m almost tempted to say that she deserves it, but apparently she has some sort of family problems that might explain her behavior. Even so, it’s still kind of hard to like Masuzu as a character. Her manipulation of others might be entertaining at times, but her personality really needs a bit of work. What she’s been doing is no way to go about making friends, much less getting a boyfriend. I’d even go so far as to say that she’s lucky Eita and Chiwa are willing to go along with her.
Moving on, we finally meet the third member of Eita’s harem formally. She’s always been lurking around in the background for a few episodes now, which had me thinking that she might be a stalker. Turns out, she just suffers from a serious case of chuunibyou and idolizes Eita as her “fated partner” from their “past lives”. Again, comparisons to Chuu2koi abound, but I think that Himeka’s view of Eita is a little different from Rika’s view of Yuuta. To me, Rika loves Yuuta for himself1, but chooses interacts with him via their chuunibyou personas. Himeka, on the other hand, seems to only know Eita by his chuunibyou identity, and loves him for that. That is, Himeka in love with Burning Fighting Fighter, and not Eita. In fact, it might even be more appropriate to say that she is just obsessed with Burning Fighting Fighter as opposed to actually in love. I get more of an “admiration” vibe from her conversation with Eita as opposed to a romantic one. But OreShura being a harem anime, this will surely change sooner or later.
With three girls now vying for his attention (and soon to be a fourth), it looks like Eita will have his work cut out for him. I would also like to point out that it seems increasingly like Chiwa does have a decent chance of ending up with Eita (just watch the segment when Eita visits a sick Chiwa), despite Masuzu being the obvious “main girl”. Even Masuzu herself recognizes the threat that Chiwa poses, and the two have pretty much been in full-blown “rival mode” since the end of last episode.
The bad is still Masuzu’s personality. That’s not saying OreShura did a bad job with her character; she’s a surprisingly complex heroine for a harem anime, which is a good thing. It’s just that she keeps doing all the wrong things that are eventually going to hurt her and those around her. She needs to change this and be more honest with herself if she wants to have a serious go at Eita.
1You could argue that Yuuta’s chuunibyou persona is just as valid a part of him as any, but what I mean here is that Rika isn’t just enamored by Dark Flame Master.