What’s the show? Domestic Girlfriend, Episode 2.
So how’s this episode? There’s a line any given trashy drama can cross where it becomes more than just the surface level exploration of its topic and dives deeper. I call it, ‘When A Soap Drama Becomes A Real Drama’.
You speak with such authority but truth is you don’t really know anything, right? I mean if you’re going to be like that sure, but let’s just pretend I do for a minute for the sake of getting this review out, aight?
Sure okay. So what did this show do that was so good? I don’t know…
Wow, so much for pretending like you knew what you were talking about? I think this is a ‘Goblin Slayer’ situation (yep, there’s a show I bet you didn’t think I’d be bringing up in these reviews) where the first episode had to entice with the ~big messy angsty stuff~ and then it’s left for the rest of the episodes to calm things down and put things in context and flesh out the characters. So while the first episode of ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ sought to entice through soap opera stylings to grab the audience, the subsequent episode brings things down to earth and as a result feels more realistic and humanistic as a result.
Okay that I understood. Why didn’t you just say that from the start? You mean why did I go for a messy opening instead of just getting to the point right away? Almost like I did it on purpose…
You didn’t though, did you. No, it was a happy accident, but here we are!
So what happens in the episode anyway? So in true anime style Rui transfers into Natsuo’s school and immediately fails the whole ‘making friends’ thing by speaking her mind rather than being polite. Natsuo schools her in the ways of being “sociable” only for that to escalate into a full blown quip-fest between Rui and Natsuo right in the middle of class which ends up doing double duty and endearing her classmates to Rui anyway. I really liked this scene, it showed strong writing and voice acting and managed to show a different side to both of these characters. More of this please!
And the rest of the episode? There’s an intimate scene where Natsuo walks in on Rui having a bath, but rather than admonish him she invites him in and the two have a talk with the bit of information being dropped that Hina is having relationship troubles with her boyfriend. The next day Akihito and Tokiko (their parents, in case I didn’t mention their names) decide to get married at city hall and have dinner at a restaurant afterwards, meaning that it falls to eldest sibling Hina to cook. Or rather that’s what Natsuo presumes, given that she’s the oldest–turns out Hina can’t cook at all and Rui ended up dishing out the delicious meal. More points in Rui’s favour it would seem–not that Natsuo seems to notice, he’s too concerned with wanting to be the shoulder for her to cry on. But Hina’s too committed to playing the sensei/big sister role to offload her “adult” problems onto him. She gets a call on her phone, its her boyfriend, he’s outside and wants to talk to her. An hour later she comes back in on the verge of tears, clearly something happened but before he can get any information out of her their parents return from dinner.
And that’s it? More or less. And this is probably what I meant when I said this show has gone from a ‘soap drama’ to a ‘real drama’–it’s not that anything presented here is suddenly more drama-filled or high-stakes–rather it’s that there’s a restraint and added sense of maturity to the proceedings that the first episode was lacking. And if the series can keep this balancing act up, being ~occasionally~ salacious while telling a compelling story with interesting and well-rounded characters, then I’m all for it!
Previous ‘Domestic Girlfriend’ Reviews:
If you liked my post and want to support my content, please consider supporting my Patreon page, or donating by buying me a coffee on Ko-fi!