What Is This Strange Feeling? | Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai | Episode 5 Review
Well. Someone just took the lead in this race. And it was entirely accidental, to boot!
This episode was all about Rizu as she’s made to confront her feelings, for a change, and I actually really liked that! As I keep saying, Rizu is the character who most wears her heart on her sleeve. It’s always fairly obvious what’s going through her head on an emotional level, adding to the beautiful irony of her problem being an inability to connect with people. Uruka’s general personality being pretty bubbly and such does make her harder to read in that context. And Fumino is such a flowery space case (Ha) that aside from the most basic and emotional responses, she’s even harder to read.
Rizu’s awkwardness was adorable, of course. But I think what I appreciated most in the episode was getting her internal monologue throughout the episode. It was a good way of showcasing her actual problem. And it makes a lot of sense when you figure it out. She’s thinking too much. Her highly logical mind is trying to process an emotion that has absolutely nothing to do with logic. She has no clue how to handle it. So when she’s forced to confront it, she overthinks it so hard that it just does not compute and she falls into a 404 Error: Common Sense Not Found. It’s actually a great contrast to Fumino, who doesn’t really think about her emotions, or Uruka who’s sort of the middle ground between the two.
In terms of the nitty gritty details of the episode, I’ll be honest. Accidental or not, I did not expect a kiss anywhere near this soon. They, of course, walk that one back almost immediately. But that was a surprise. The thing I was expecting, though, as soon as that was over and they got punished by having to clean the bathroom, was some sort of vast misunderstanding as it pertained to Nariyuki being in the women’s bath. Sure enough, Rizu’s current mental state meant her common sense checked out of the building, long ago, and she causes some trouble by forgetting to hang the Bathroom Cleaning sign. So now a collective of girls enters as Rizu forces Nariyuki to hide. And she does absolutely nothing to help matters. In fact, she only makes it worse because of where her head is, at the moment, resulting in a panic move on her part.
What made this work, for me, was actually her involvement, as well as what actually got them out of this situation. Rizu being at the center of this rather tired set up introduced a bit of a new flavor to the whole scenario. Usually, the guy is only in the setup because of a misunderstanding on his own part or because of pervy friends. So Rizu being the cause here was amusing. Especially given her desperate attempts to resolve things only making it worse. Then came their great savior, Sekijo. Okay. I like her. She’s levelheaded, diffused the situation so it didn’t get out of hand, a powerful ally, indeed, when it comes to a series like this. Hope to see more of her.
Other minor takeaways. I genuinely like how Nariyuki’s poor homelife has made him appreciate such simple things, so much, on top of its other impact on him. What’s more, I think it was a really nice touch having Rizu try to make up for an earlier outburst by giving him something she’d observed him wanting, earlier in the episode. It was a nice touch. Also, Uruka’s reaction to bumping into Nariyuka on his attempted escape from the women’s bath was hilarious, once more reinforcing her standing, for me as Best Girl. Overall, Super Effective episode that did what it set out to do.
What’d you think of this episode of Bokuben? Any shocking revelations I might’ve missed? What about the teaser for the next episode? Let me know, down below. As always, thanks for reading, folks. Keep up the Awesome!