Oof. Watching this dude fumble about is reeeally hard to watch.
3D Kanojo: Real Girl
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
Genre: Shoujo, Romance, School
Good lord, where to begin. Okay, so this series has this thing with implausibility. I mean, there’s “That escalated quickly,” and then there’s off-the-rails leaps like episode 4. So there’s this guy who’s interested in Iroha (go figure). He’s an entitled prick so he confronts Tsutsui about this and beats him up. Sure, that’s a jerk thing to do, but it seems like pretty par-for-the-course high school bullying, yeah? Well, later he decides to up the ante by issuing a false police report to get Tsutsui arrested and convince everyone he’s a pedophile. Dude. There’s petty, and then there’s just outright absurd. Prickish as it is, the logical steps of beating someone up for want of their girlfriend are neither complex nor all that severe. This is an escalation on a nuclear level and something that could have far worse consequences for you if you get caught.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves because the episode ends there. And all throughout it and the next episode, we’re basically reminded of why Iroha is amazing. She’s understanding, supportive, and also not at all passive. Quite the opposite, she takes the initiative to solve these problems. And it’s one of the things that helps really make her the rock of this show. She also just gets a lot of the best moments.
She singlehandedly picks up everything else about this series, tucks it all in her backpack, and carries the whole thing. Without her, this show would probably crash and burn horribly. Which isn’t to say she’s perfect. She’s human and reasonably flawed, herself (as I’ve no doubt covered, by now). But the one thing that defines her the most and makes her so likable is her reaction to the unfair conditions of the world around her. Put simply, if she sees something wrong, she’s gonna try to fix it.
That said, the show seems to have a bizarre relationship with fairness. Because if you have even the slightest interest in seeing justice delivered… well… sucks to be you. You won’t get it here. The most you can really hope for is a lukewarm resolution to the problem in Episode 5, where the jerk (and his little sister, who he suckered into helping him set Tsutsui up) apologize exclusively to Tsutsui and his family without actually clearing anything up. What’s more? The prick suddenly develops a conscience or something yet is too brain-dead to realize this so instead of actually, you know, rectifying the problem by admitting to what he did, he just ridicules Tsutsui for not fighting back.
And look. I get it. Tsutsui does need to be more assertive and all that. I’ve been there. But my point is that the whole thing is ultimately just narratively unsatisfying. Even Iroha’s involvement doesn’t ultimately amount to much. Oh. They also get the guy to admit what he did to Ishino. That… goes about as well as you’d think, given it’s her. She’s honestly a bit of an airhead. She turned on Tsutsui pretty quick, but I guess she’s over it now, or something.
On to introducing another side character who isn’t important immediately. She’s a nervous, otaku underclassman named Ayado. She serves no real purpose in the scene she’s introduced. And is basically a prop for this and the next episode. In the meantime, Tsutsui and Iroha go on a date to a festival and it’s really cute. Until Tsutsui decides he hasn’t really participated in the dumbass do-si-do in a while, so he decides to put his foot in his mouth. He, of course, goes on to once again get into a self-deprecating mood, lamenting that she’d be happier with someone else. Of course, she reads this as his not trusting her and buying into the whole rumor about her being “easy,” so her being angry is completely understandable to any normal person. But it is kind of the point, I suppose.
Later he runs into Ayado again, and it turns out she likes to garden. Now that I think about it, this school takes some seriously long breaks. Anyway, while Tsutsui’s looking around, trying to find Iroha so he can apologize, he meets her in the halls again. He overhears some guys having a crass conversation rather loudly about her and it turns out she overheard as well. Taking this time, he actually goes out of his way to cheer her up. And it’s moments like these that make Tsutsui more likable. Unfortunately, he’s not given the chance to have many of them because he spends so much blasted time in his own head. This was a charming, cute little moment that really helped sell Iroha’s point about him being a nice guy.
Of course, then he finds Iroha and things… don’t get better. Not immediately, anyway. Turns out he doesn’t know why she’s angry. Helped none by the fact that what she told him at the festival was misleading and overly simplified. And she has no designs on telling him the actualy root of the problem. So now we’re dealing with a staple of relationship drama – communication issues. From here it’s gonna go more or less how one expects into Episode 6. He still doesn’t know what he did and is starting to really agonize over it. And because of this, he’s sort of starting to feel lonely, especially because Ito seems busy… until he figures out why. this, of course, leads to him putting his foot in his mouth again (though admittedly it’s not entirely on him) and thus now both his best friend and girlfriend are mad at him. This pretty much only leaves Ishino and Ayado, neither of which are really constants so I doubt they’d make him feel much better on their own.
Speaking of Ayado, he winds up talking to her again and she gives him some potatoes as thanks for cheering her up in the previous episode. Off gift, but whatever. Gives him an excuse to flex his cooking muscles. From there we get an extended bit of backstory revolving around his and Ito’s first meeting in Junior High. It’s honestly pretty standard. Though one has to wonder why apparently no one in Japan seems to have an indoor voice and has all of their insensitive conversations in places where they can be easily heard. It’s kinda weird how that’s a thing.
So, naturally, Tsutsui starts by apologizing to Ito. I assume because it’s fresher and easier for him. Could have something to do with Ito actually telling him what he did to make him angry (glares at Iroha). But either way, the moment becomes a nice, tender one afterward. Why? Because Ito admits to also being at fault in this regard. That some of his anger was what Tsutsui said earlier and admitting to something like that is hard. Because it is, frankly. People don’t like to admit that they’re having problems, much less having those problems pointed out to them by someone else. So he deflected onto Tsutsui and the two apologized mutually. I like that.
After that, he goes to apologize to Iroha, freaks out, and instead goes to her house later that night. I could’ve sworn he already knew where she lived, but nope. Apparently, he had to look up her address. This is pretty odd as she knew where he lived. But whatever. They wind up going to her room after he kind of apologizes and gives her some dumplings he made with the potatoes Ayado gave him (he gave some to Ito too). There they manage to do the thing they should’ve done from the start – talk. Of course, I don’t really hold this against them. Especially Tsutsui. The struggles of the relationship are kind of the whole point, after all.
So yeah. They talk it out. Iroha tells him why she was angry in the first place. Though oddly enough neither of them takes that moment to apologize. It’s honestly fine, as long as they come to the necessary understanding. I just found it weird that he was specifically there to apologize, she tells him to his face exactly why she was upset, then neither of them says the words. He doesn’t apologize for giving her the idea that he doesn’t trust her and she doesn’t apologize for being uncommunicative. But they kiss and make up, regardless.
Aaand then Tsutsui nearly loses his senses in the heat of the moment. But he stops himself and takes off running. Of course, they’re both flustered about it the next morning. But while she tries to talk anyway (albeit awkwardly), he freaks out and runs away… again. Good talk. Finally he goes on and talks to Ayado, giving her the remainder of the dumplings he’d made. Iroha passes by while he’s doing this and it’s… kind of implied that she’s jealous of Ayado? I… honestly don’t know what her problem is. But she’s upset… again. I suppose another possibility is that she didn’t expect to fall for him that hard and now regrets having to leave in half a year. Or maybe she’s starting to feel bad for stressing him out over that whole thing and driving him to count on Ayado? I dunno. I like Iroha, but there are times where I’ve not clue what’s going on in her skull.
Overall, I actually kind of liked the narrative of the two fighting. More so than I did the narrative about him being framed up as a pedophile. Ordinarily, a narrative shouldn’t be anything that can be resolved in a simple conversation. Romance and Drama are two of the few types of stories where that doesn’t hold up because lack of communication is one of the biggest obstacles in any relationship, romantic or otherwise. And the two genres are fundamentally about human relationships. So when something isn’t properly resolved in a drama or romance scenario when it very well could be, it’s especially disappointing, like the resolution of Episode 5. Not an altogether bad ending for that scenario, but it left a bit to be desired. Episodes 4 and 5 were more or less Harmless. Certainly some good stuff in there. Meanwhile, Episode 6 was a nice bit of Easy Viewing. Iroha continues to be the MVP, hoisting up the series more or less on her own. But Tsutsui does have his better solo moments as well. If you like a little more intrigue in your romance, there’s always Nil Admirari no Tenbin. It’s a thing.
3D Kanojo: Real Girl streams on HiDive. That’s all I’ve got for ya here. As always, thanks for reading, folks. Keep up the awesome.
Iroha not telling Tsutsui what the problem was gave me the first moment of this series where I found her annoying as a character. Previously I’d really enjoyed her, but it just seemed stupid to not explain to the guy who didn’t get it what he was not getting. Fortunately the anime resolved that by having her tell him later, but it just seemed like a needless conflict in the meantime.
Yup. It’s a rather stock thing though, and fairly common. Which is the only reason it didn’t bug me more than it did. It was fairly easy to figure out why, of course. But Tsutsui obviously needs a little help in that department. I don’t really hold it against her since it’s really the first time and, being teenagers, doing dumb stuff is inevitable. As long as she doesn’t make a habit of it. We’ll see, I suppose. I’ve no idea what her current issue is. I’m kinda hoping it’s her realizing she was wrong and sort of regretting it, but I doubt that’s the case. And if she winds up just being jealous of Ayado… eeeeh.
The being jealous of Ayado seems like it is on the cards and that is going to be pretty standard for the genre and yet really not fun to watch. I’ve enjoyed this anime so far and yet I get the distinct impression there’s a very fine line this anime is treading and it won’t take much to tip it too far into generic teen melodrama territory.
That does indeed seem to be the case, yeah. It’s teetering indeed. I wouldn’t even mind the jealousy arc if they actually did something with it that goes beyond pure jealousy, exploring somewhat more complex and introspective ideas. Like her, feeling bad about how she treated Tsutsui and feeling like she maybe chased him to Ayado in the first place. Obviously not the case and a misunderstanding easily rectified (which it probably won’t be, because, again, these two aren’t great at making good decisions) but it would be just one of any number of ways to make it more interesting if they do go that way. Of course, the other noteworthy aspect is exactly how much time they did to spend on any one storyline. Or, rather, how much time they don’t spend on them. Each new problem seems to resolve itself pretty quickly. So even if it is a standard jealousy arc, at least it isn’t likely to last long. Because that certain would be rather un-fun to sit through.
Pingback: Hisone to Masotan – Episodes 4 – 5 Recap (Is It Evil?) | GALVANIC
Pingback: 3D Kanojo: Real Girl Episodes 6 – 8 | And In Comes The Love Dodecahedron | Flash Anime-tion | GALVANIC
Pingback: 3D Kanojo: Real Girl Episode 9 – 10 | The Eye Rolling Intensifies | Flash Anime-tion | GALVANIC