With summer in swing, Kukuru puts the Gama Gama staff to work setting up the Touch Pools exhibit, with Fuuka assigned to be the main attendant, and with the return of Umi-yan, a gentle middle-aged man with a bad back and an eye for identifying pop stars. He leaks Fuuka’s identity to the young women from the tourist association and the nearby bar, who later use this information during the exhibit to tell that being recognized by a group of local teens almost gives Fuuka a panic attack. They summon Kukuru, who takes Fuuka “backstage” where the two have a heart-to-heart about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. The pair emerge with new confidence and closeness.
Moving right along, aren’t we. I expected some befriending to happen here, but not that my socially inept brain would be left wondering if bringing another person’s hand to your face doesn’t carry romantic overtones. This could also be skewed by the pandemic increasing my already worrying isolation to the point that I couldn’t say whether I’ve shared any more than a fist bump with another human being in a year and a half, but enough about my problems.
This episode seems to make good use of setup & foreshadowing, with multiple interactions amongst the Gama Gama employees pretty well laying the groundwork for the emotional climax. Most of the parts that don’t serve this purpose are snippets of Fuuka making signs and origami for the expected children, which is adorable. No complaints about the production values either – everything looks and sounds great.
The end of the epsiode brings things back down a little, with Kukuru showing us that she hasn’t forgotten the empty handbook from the previous episode (best-case scenario: the local imp is her little brother?), and the stinger brings the surprisingly early arrival of Fuuka’s concerned mother (from, like, a narrative perspective, I guess, since she seemed like she might function as a final boss of sorts – not a stretch that she’d go daughter-hunting immediately after getting a location). Definitely looking forward to seeing how everything plays out.
A somewhat saccharine episode, but well put-together.