This Poor, Clumsy Woman | Bokutachi wa Benkyou ga Dekinai | Episode 11 Review
Too much pink energy is dangerous!
If you understood that reference, you’re a nerd like me and I appreciate you. But really, I’m once again shocked at exactly how much spotlight they’re giving over to Kirisu. And it’s not without warrant. She’s easily the most complex character in the series. So it makes sense that they give a lot of time over to fully exploring that complexity. What’s more, they do so while still allowing it to masquerade as fairly frivolous antics that this series is surprisingly adept at delivering. This episode was cute, charming, funny, everything it really needed to be. And a large portion of that comes down to Kirisu’s fairly standard but unusually enriched archetype.
Honestly, I had the discussion the other day that, if Kirisu wasn’t a teacher, she’d probably be right behind Uruka in the “best girl” war, if not tied with her. As things stand, if this wasn’t a show about high school students, she’d have already shot up past Fumino and Rizu, both of which are great in their own right. But their climb is a lot steadier, which may lead to them ascending beyond her level in the long run. The same can be said for Asumi, who’s likewise an adult. Though she has the disadvantage of having been introduced incredibly late into the season. And I still can’t tell how much of her own affection is serious because… let’s be honest. The woman’s a devil. I mean… just look at her face. Seriously.
Thems be the eyes of a demoness. All that said, I haven’t even really gotten into what it is about Kirisu that makes this episode shine so much with her in the spotlight. It’s something Asumi briefly hits on in the first segment and somewhat hits on what my original impression of Kirisu was. I thought she was going to be some sort of antagonist. An obstacle, trying to get in the way of Nariyuki’s getting closer with the girls. And, as it turns out, I was half right. She is an antagonist. But not in that respect. Which makes sense. After all, the only one making an active push in the romance department is Uruka (and poor her, because it looks like the next episode is gonna hand her the first big oof of the series). The actual objective of the show, make no mistake, is not the romance. It’s the tutoring and recommendation.
Often times people confuse an antagonist with a villain. They’re not inherently the same thing. An antagonist is just someone who stands in the way of what the protagonist wants. They are literally a roadblock. The antagonist of this series can’t be attacking the romance, because only one character is pursuing romance at all, and it’s not the protagonist. So instead Kirisu is an antagonist to the girls and – to a far lesser extent, Nariyuki – on the academic level. And Asumi points out the exact thing that honestly clarifies exactly what makes this belong in Shonen Jump.
“To achieve something you’re not suited for, you need a rebellious spirit that can break through a huge wall.” Kirisu was that wall. IS that wall. And the funny part is that she’s not even trying to be. She’s standing against them – trying to discourage them – because they stand diametrically opposed to how she views the world. She’s not trying to teach them that lesson. But they’re learning it from her, regardless. And thus they should be able to teach her, in the long run. At least that’s where I see things going in my head. Because unless she suddenly pulls a Frieza out of nowhere, becoming an unsympathetic tyrant at the drop of a hat, then that’s the only way I even can see this going. Overall, I’d say any chance to get to look into the philosophy of a show like this helps elevate it and show that yes, a Harem Comedy can be surprisingly thoughtful. As such, this episode is one I’d make as Super Effective.
What’d you think? Let me know, down below! And be sure to check out my reviews of that other Shonen Jump anime, out this season, Kimetsu no Yaiba. Thanks for watching, as always, folks! Keep up the Awesome!