Returning back to Super Lovers, we take a look at the next two episodes in the series, numbers three and four. I think I was pleasantly surprised with these two episodes, though I did notice the same couple problems returning again, namely: jumps in time, overdone plot points, and certain large plot points popping up seemingly out of nowhere. However, there were a few things I enjoyed, but we’ll get to those in a little bit.
I think, at this point, I’m still a little confused on how I feel about Haru’s character overall. In the first two episodes it seems like the writers had been sticking to the trope of “bad boy with troubled past” given his job as a host and the continual references to how popular he is with women. I think we get to see a better picture of Haru’s personality in these two episodes, but I’m still not convinced that I like his character. For one, it still seems like he reverts to his pre-accident personality pretty quickly making me think that it didn’t really have much of an impact for his character. In episode three, though, we get to see a little of the impact it had on Haru. Through the flashback and subsequent drinking binge, we get to see that Haru has developed some PTSD from the accident. But I feel like this would be less jarring of an event if there was a little more build-up to it, say nightmares or other instances of drinking. I would also love to talk about the weird stereotype Japanese writers seem to have about Americans being okay with kissing on the mouth regularly, but I feel like that will turn this into a full-blown article, so I’ll save that for another time.
Now we’re back to what Super Lovers seems to love to do: overuse plots and make huge jumps in time without warning. First we have one of the main plots of this episode, the stalking customer who is obsessed with Haru. Here, I thought this plot was a little overdone and slightly out of place considering the tone of the past two episodes. So far the story has been fairly light-hearted, skipping pretty fast over darker themes in favor of a lighter tone. To have this scene which seems more at home in a serious drama or psychological horror in this episode really seemed out of place, especially when the whole art style changed to accommodate the switch in tone. Next we have the the huge jump in time at the end of episode three brought on by the equally surprising plot of Ren going back to Canada. I can understand his reasoning for leaving after the fact, but the way it was done left me reeling. If there was more of a lead-up to his leaving instead of him just disappearing all of a sudden, I might be more forgiving, but unfortunately that’s not the case. It also seemed pretty out of place for Ren’s character, considering that he never really cared what anyone thought about him and only ever wanted to be with Haru. To up and leave the only person you want to be with just like that was a little weird. This then led to a two month jump in time to where Haru joins him again in Canada.
Episode four starts with an even bigger jump in time as they move ahead to where Ren and Haru are back in Japan and Ren is just graduating middle school. If I remember correctly it’s about a six month difference or something. But starting an episode off with Ren’s graduation ceremony after just witnessing him and Haru in Canada is a pretty weird jump for those watching to make. It leaves a huge hole in the plot. Not to mention, their justification for Ren’s return is that he wants to eat fresh rice from Japan. This is just another case of the writers over-using jokes that are getting old very fast. I think I’ve had enough of Ren’s weird love for rice by now.
One big development that happened in these two episodes was the change of relationship we get to see between Aki and Ren. To be honest, this was probably the only part of these two episodes that I liked. I wish future episodes were more like this: delving deeper into the theme of trying to build a family in order to heal emotional wounds. I absolutely enjoyed seeing the interactions between Ren and Aki, seeing Aki show the depth of his character through his jealousy and subsequent guilt and Ren’s growing trust for the people he now has to call family. I really want these types of plot developments to continue, but we’re coming up on the point where Haru and Ren’s relationship really starts to kick off so we’ll see what happens in the next two episodes.
Keep a look out for the review for episodes 5 and 6!