The episode may not be what I expected, but the comments and Rosie's and Cherry's posts really made up for it.  The comments section was still as animated as ever, and I found myself chuckling a lot! So, all in all, this episode was not a super memorable one but it is still fun because of the fans. Cherry is on-the-spot with her "big three" favorite moments or revelations in this episode.  I still hold that Kin's scene is my absolute favorite out of this episode, but Jinko & Satomi's confrontation scene came in at a close 2nd.  A lot of people liked how this episode shows how much Naoki cares about Kotoko and how he will even go out of his way to 'revive her'.  (<that wording just conjured up the image of Sleeping-Beauty-Kotoko and Prince Naoki.  *w*)  Yeah, it is cute how he shows his concern for her but at the same time, I think I need to move past that stage of "LOOK HE WENT OUT OF HIS WAY FOR KOTOKO, SEE HOW MUCH HE CARES!" Naoki has already done that on multiple occasions!  He can do better than that!  Come on Naoki, I know you have it in you! One point that Rosie brought up is that Naoki's moving out from home is part of a coming-of-age for him.  I loveeee coming of age stories!  And it is so appropriate for this time period in which Naoki, Kotoko & Co. are all freshmen in college and are doing some soul-searching.  I hope that we will get to see Naoki & Kotoko grow up more together.  Even though zombie-Kotoko doesn't seem all that mature, we have seen Kotoko's more serious side and I think she is gradually changing in her relationship with Naoki. This episode's discussion also brought up the "BIG QUESTION" - WHAT EXACTLY IS YUKO AND NAOKI'S RELATIONSHIP!?!?  When I thought about this question, I realized I had no idea!  So, I have reached the conclusion that Yuko and Naoki are friends.  Not close friends, but not distant friends..they are sort of in between.
  • Naoki doesn't reject Yuko's presence and is comfortable around her.  So, I think they are friends.  I think Naoki's friendship with Yuko can be equated to his friendship with his old high school bestie.  (I forgot his name.)  They are companions but they do not have a deeper level of connection.  I think it says a lot that Naoki is very comfortable when Yuko is around.  I mean, he actually talks with her when she makes conversation with him, they play tennis together, and they walk around on campus together.  If Naoki didn't want Yuko around at all, I'm pretty sure he'd make it known to her right from the get-go.
  • Naoki knows about Yuko's unrequited feelings for him.  He is leading her on whether it be intentionally or unintentionally.  I know their "date" was, in Naoki's view, just for show because he was trying to make Kotoko jealous.  But considering how he did all of the 'date-like' things, this shows that he knows Yuko intended for it to be a date.  Also when Yuko says that they might make a great couple, Naoki replies "KAMO NE" (maybe) all ambiguously just to make Kotoko jealous.  OOPS, LEADING YUKO ON..  Naoki may be clueless when it comes to women, but I think it is pretty clear when Yuko asks him about his type and says, "WE WOULD MAKE A GREAT COUPLE" and Naoki replies "MAYBE," even Naoki has gotten the hint.
  • Naoki is using Yuko to make Kotoko jealous.  DUH.  I don't think Naoki is ALWAYS using Yuko as a jealousy tactic, and I don't think that's why he's keeping her around either.  But Naoki is, shall we say, very resourceful and sees Yuko as a way to mess with Kotoko some more.
  • Yuko knows she is friend-zoned and that her chances against Kotoko are 0.000001%, so she is desperate to get Naoki's attention.  Yep.  Why else would Yuko go through all the trouble of mentioning fake rumors, planting the seed of misunderstanding in Kotoko's head, confronting Kotoko, etc.  But she does have a small hope that maybe Naoki will warm up to her.
  • Yuko & Naoki look good together, but that doesn't mean they have good romantic chemistry.  Naoki & Kotoko are good together because they are exact opposites.  This is what makes them endearing and fun to watch.  On the other hand, when Yuko & Naoki walk around together, they look good but are not a very interesting pair.
inke09.10 ^Did anyone else notice that Yuko's little sister gets to call Naoki "Naoki-san".  SHE'S IN A FIRST-NAME BASIS WITH HIM.  LUCKY!!!  Not even Kotoko or Yuko call him Naoki! Previous Mischievous Kiss posts! Stalk the Drama Club on their blogs: