Episode 3 of the second season of Girlfriend, Girlfriend, released on October 21st, brings us to the summer festival. Shino has made her goal clear: to make her best friend, Saki, happy by assisting in the downfall of Naoya’s two-timing. So far, in this season, Shino has been a major focus, but in episode three we witness an emotional scene as the spotlight shifts to Mirika.
Episode 2 – “Get Yourself Together“
Shino is determined to make Saki happy, even if that means embarrassing Saki in the process by calling her out on never sharing a kiss with Naoya. This leads to Shino’s summer festival battle strategy: to have Saki set the mood during the fireworks show and finally kiss Naoya. All four of our Naoya-obssessed heroines suit up in yukata for the festival.
The summer festival episode is nothing new for your veteran anime fan. The girls and Naoya indulge in delicious festival delicacies while they joyfully partake in all the traditional games that make a regular Japanese summer festival so special. Meanwhile, Shino focuses on setting the stage for Saki and Naoya to take their fated kiss. In the usual madness of festival crowds, Saki and Nagisa get separated from Shino and Naoya. This sparks a deep and intimate conversation between Shino and Naoya – and it’s hardly surprising that every interaction between them intensifies Shino’s love for Naoya, despite her attempts to resist it. One thing to note about this scene is how Naoya mentions he can’t bear to stop two-timing since he doesn’t want to break his girlfriends’ hearts. He soon seemingly contradicts himself later in the episode.
Meanwhile, Mirika is distracted while making online video content for the festival. Eventually, Mirika and Naoya get some alone time of their own, which is really where the episode gets fascinating. Mirika has often received the short end of the stick when it comes to Naoya’s attention. The viewer may even start to feel sympathy for this egotistical girl as she pleads Naoya to give her the same attention he gives to the other girls. Naoya responds harshly, almost uncharacteristically, and rejects Mirika’s feelings. This is in complete contrast to earlier when he told Shino that he couldn’t bear to see a girl sad and would avoid rejection to make her happy. This is where our uneasiness with Naoya may start if we haven’t already had negative feelings about him.
Right before the emotional scene between Naoya and Mirika ends, he exclaims that he can’t allow himself to fall in love with her. Of course, this strikes a chord with Mirika – maybe Naoya does see something in her, but doesn’t want to act on his feelings. Mirika is the kind of girl to hold on to even a small sliver of hope, and I’m interested to see what she does with this hope in the next episode. This scene, in particular, was one of the most emotionally impactful and atmospheric moments we have witnessed in season two so far – with the raging fireworks exploding in the background as Mirika tears up.
All we know is that Naoya and Saki are still separated as the fireworks begin. We’ll have to wait until the next episode to see if Shino’s plan to have Saki and Naoya share their first kiss plays out. Until then, check out my article on the first three episodes of The Apothecary Diaries also airing in the Fall 2023 season.
Girlfriend, Girlfriend Seaosn 2 Episode 3 Score: 8/10
Images Via Crunchyroll
© Hiroyuki, Kodansha / “Girlfriend, Girlfriend” Production Committee 2023