The highly anticipated second episode of the romantic comedy anime Girlfriend, Girlfriend was broadcast on October 14th, serving up the wild and hilariously awkward scenes that have become the show’s trademark. We get to look into Shino’s past experiences with her best friend, Saki, and the boy she hates to love, Naoya.
Episode 2 – “Welcome, Shino-san“
In the last episode, Shino pleads to move into Naoya’s house along with Saki and Nagisa in order to break up Naoya’s two-timing dating lifestyle. In Girlfriend, Girlfriend Season 2 episode 2, we see how her first day in Naoya’s household goes. Nagisa notices just how different Shino and Saki are despite being best friends. This leads to a flashback where we see Shino and Saki’s first meeting. Saki is intrigued by Shino and considers her both beautiful and interesting. Because of this, Saki goes to great lengths to make Shino her friend, displaying her eccentric personality in the process. Shino is a smart and focused student — a complete contrast to Saki then and now. In season one, I was curious about the story behind Shino and Saki’s friendship. I’m pleased that season two delved into it right away.
Back in the present, Shino contemplates her plan while getting adjusted to her new room in the house. She’s in a difficult situation. She wants the best for Saki, and that perhaps means having Naoya stop dating two girls at one time. But the real twist in this scenario is that Shino still has underlying feelings for Naoya, and this is further explored in another flashback where Naoya confesses to Saki in Shino’s presence. The situation of being attracted to the boy your best friend is dating may be a common theme in fiction, but it’s especially fascinating in Girlfriend, Girlfriend as it unfolds with a character as intelligent and seemingly composed as Shino.
Shino decides she needs to confirm her feelings for Naoya. She needs to find out if her affection is even real. This leads us to a thrilling scene where Shino finds Naoya asleep on the couch in the living room. She firmly believes that if she kisses him and fails to experience any hint of emotion, it could be an indication that her feelings for him are not authentic. Almost unsurprisingly, this strategy backfires the moment Shino is just inches away from Naoya’s lips as Saki walks into the room. Fortunately for Shino, an amateur excuse is all she needed to make the air-headed Saki not question her intention.
After the close call, Shino feels extremely guilty. After deceiving Saki with lies and nearly kissing her boyfriend, she finds it difficult to view herself as a trustworthy friend. These frustrations only increase when Naoya accidentally walks in on Shino as she’s naked in the shower room after a bath. In true anime fashion, Naoya and Shino fall over and land on each other in a provocative way, just in time for Saki to, once again, walk in on them doing something questionable. Shino’s rollercoaster of fortune and misfortune continues as Saki writes off the shower room situation as just clumsiness.
At the end of the Girlfriend, Girlfriend Season 2 episode 2, we see a spread of food that was prepared as a welcome party for Shino. Shino is flabbergasted by this warm welcome and reminds the trio that her goal is to break up their three-way dating scheme. Nagisa’s unwavering determination to never give up on Naoya fills the scene with intense emotions, making it clear that Shino’s plan is bound to face difficult challenges.
Although episode two may seem slower in pace, delving into the characters’ pasts brings a new layer to the story, particularly when considering our limited knowledge about Shino in the first season. Nonetheless, there hasn’t been a significant advancement in the plot apart from Shino’s arrival at Naoya’s household. I think the most important part of the episode was the glimpse into Shino’s past, which allowed us to further connect with and understand her emotions.
Episode three of Girlfriend, Girlfriend will air on October 21st, where it looks like we’ll see all the girls and Naoya together for a summer festival. While you wait for the episode, I urge you to check out another exciting anime this fall season, 16bit Sensation: Another Layer, and read my review of it here.
Episode Score: 6/10
Images Via Crunchyroll
© Hiroyuki, Kodansha / “Girlfriend, Girlfriend” Production Committee 2023