Most of the fun in unraveling a relationship involving a character like Urabe, in her rapturously-voiced glory, is the futility of the exercise. It’s counterintuitive, but no matter how much information we’re given about the enigmatic, the more enigmatic they end up being as a result. To put it a more concise way, it’s a case of taking one step forward and two steps back. If it actually progressed to where the audience could get a good handle on her personality, it wouldn’t be anywhere near as fun to write about, or watch. After all, the story is all about how Akira slowly but surely unravels her personality in order to progress their relationship, and if it were resolved right away that’d be one hell of a big space to fill for 11 episodes. Thankfully, there’s plenty of mystery in this mysterious girlfriend to go around.
So while last episode gave us an introduction to Urabe’s various quirks, this one gave us a glance at her temperamental side, and just how scary her scissor-snipping rage can be when aimed at poor Akira. The bedraggled boyfriend also learns about Urabe’s bounds, which are very lenient verbally and strict physically, and Urabe in turn learning how to tell Akira when he’s gone too far without scaring him off. Thankfully, both of our protagonists have innate tools at their disposal to help accomplish the task of balancing these two tasks. They’re definitely ignorant about just how much work being in a relationship is, but the two have chemistry and an understanding boiling under the surface that’s impossible to not notice.
If handled the wrong way, Urabe’s closed-off nature and Akira’s libido-fueled curiosity could end with them splitting up, or having the story reach levels that break the significant suspension of disbelief needed to immerse oneself in the setting. Thankfully, Akira and Urabe are gifted with two traits that ease the process of relationship progression: Self-control and patience, respectively. If just one element was missing from this relationship, it would be catastrophic, and the rest of the series would be a painfully realistic exercise in keeping afloat a failing ship.
The two may appear to be dissimilar in almost every way, but the way these differences complement each other, and how they can tell how the other’s feeling simply by sampling their saliva, gives them a sense of cohesion. Because of this, even when Akira fucks up, Urabe knows that he never intends to overstep his bounds, and Akira in turn knows that he’s screwed up and tries to make amends. It may look weird to outsiders, but because of this little ritual, their bond is practically unbreakable; what’s more, it allows for great character growth without compromising the lighthearted mood of the show.
I have trouble putting into words just how perfectly Urabe and Akira interact in context with the show, especially when Urabe offers her saliva to him. It’s a neat way of expressing just how important empathy is to a relationship, and something that keeps the show cohesive despite its episodic nature. In spite of how silly it all seems, it provides that extra step that made me analyze Urabe and Akira as an actual couple, rather than as characters in a show, and that’s definitely a sign of excellent quality.