Sukitte Ii na yo 6 is interesting from a high school romance anime story because it invents an improbable and contrived conflict yet doesn’t fall into any of the usual traps. We meet Megumi, a popular model who just happens to transfer to Mei and Yamato’s school, funny how that happens. She sees Yamato and makes a play for him. That’s par for the course. Yamato turns her down. Okay. Yet Mei, desperately trying to make edible cookies for him, grows worried and her self-esteem drops. That’s to be expected, too. I guess in her mind Megumi’s glamorous and she is, well, she’s not; instead she’s doing wife-material girlfriend things. It doesn’t seem fair.
It’s not really fair to describe the situation that way, either. In episodes like these you’d expect Megumi to be either standoffish to her classmates or falsely friendly while secretly scheming. But Megumi doesn’t show a bit of standoffishness; she’s kind even to the star-struck wimpy boys that surround her now. She’s also nice to the girls. If she is faking it the episode gives no indication. She seems genuinely delighted when some of them visit her at a photoshoot. I’m not saying she doesn’t have designs on Yamato and sees Mei as an obstacle to overcome, in fact, she doesn’t respond much to Mei, though Mei isn’t exactly going out of her way to interact with her, either. In fact, asking him to model with her at a shoot should make her plans obvious. But if she’s going to take Yamato away it looks like she intends to do it fairly, all aboveboard. Knowing Yamato it probably won’t work, but she’s won the first round by making Mei feel miserable watching her and Yamato, a “perfect couple,” pose together. And her willingness to go along with the photoshoot thing to show what a good sport she is might have sent the wrong signals to Yamato, who seems to want maybe not jealousy, but more of a sense that she needs him. She could start by calling him by his given name …
Meanwhile, in Space Brothers 32, Mutta’s story is again rightfully sidelined while we dwell on Hibito for another episode, and probably at least the next as well. This time we are introduced to his crewmates in space, well, the male ones. We haven’t seen the last of them. The show manages to keep the sense of wonder afloat but it’s nothing compared to last week’s launch. Next week they walk on the moon so that should bring it back. On Earth, meanwhile, they take care of plot points. Mutta again courts disaster by sitting with Azuma’s family and asking the question: did he defer in favor of Hibito? After he says that we spend some time in Azuma’s head, and we learn the answer is complicated. We see that he hated the limelight and hated even more that it also shone on his wife and son. Brian Jay brings up the idea that it keeps him from fully enjoying his work. As for Mutta, it’s another score as he meets the man’s much friendlier family and makes a small crack in the older man’s facade.
Little Busters 6 manages a genuinely emotional moment at the end of the Komari arc, so it wasn’t a total waste. We learn that Komari wasn’t just blocking out a single sad moment in her life, but any time death comes near her she goes through the same thing. Thus she goes from a girl with some emotional issues who’s in denial, to someone who might me mentally ill, not that it matter to the show. She goes through much of the episode dull-eyed and calling Riki “Onii-chan,” a bit of a relief to me because she’s quieter than before. But Riki has to “cure” her and does so in predictable fashion, continuing the story Komari’s dead brother wrote for her (Her brother had a strange sense of humor, reading her stories involving death and making that weird chicken-egg tale) so it included friends, and bingo! She’s all better after so many years! I hate that sort of thing, but they had built up enough emotion that I admit it had an effect on me. And now her arc is over and next we get a pink-hair girl who appears to be more interesting.
As for Wooser, I have no idea what they were doing through much of episode 6.