Seiren – Episode 7 [Brother Complex]
Shouichi confronts Hikari, who tells him about Toru’s past: Toru was hardcore into video games in middle school and part of a quiet group of girl gamers (including Hikari), but she was a fierce competitor and she relentlessly beat down anyone who played against her. This included all the guys their age who were interested in her. When the guys saw that she wasn’t warming up to anyone, they stayed away. And when Toru’s friends left middle school and stopped playing video games, Toru was left to play by herself. Shouichi pledges that he won’t ever run away from her.
Shouichi calls Toru because he’s worried about her not being in school, and it’s revealed that she stayed up all night playing GusGal. Because of the events at the arcade from the previous episode, Toru invites Shouichi over to her place after school so they can play GusGal together, and he nervously accepts.
He makes his way to Toru’s apartment after school, and we learn that the older guy Toru lives with is her brother. He and Shouichi sit down together in the living room while they wait for Toru to finish her shower, and more is revealed about Toru’s past from her brother. It turns out that Souta got her into gaming, probably because she wanted attention from him (hence the episode title). He knows that Toru used to be super into video games, and Souta worried about her making “normal friends” when she was younger (because all her middle school friends were into gaming too). As a result Toru’s older brother felt a lot of guilt over her behaviours, because if he hadn’t gotten her into gaming then she might have had a more average school experience, and maybe made more non-gaming friends.
Once in Toru’s room, Toru talks about how she worries about her older brother pushing himself too hard. She says she knows she should know what to do once she graduates high school, but she honestly has no idea what she wants to do with herself, although she’s thought about becoming a teacher like her brother. Shouichi suggests being a mascot craftsman, which sounds like something she’d be good at, but Toru doesn’t commit to the idea.
They start to play GusGal, but after Shouichi reveals that Akari and Ikou have been banned from the arcade and made to clean up the rabbit pen at school, Toru becomes distant and tries to get Shouichi to leave. She shuts herself up in the bathroom and makes a call to Hikari, who tells her that she only played against her at the arcade because Takeshi asked her to. Hikari declines Toru’s taunt of meeting her at the arcade and hangs up.
Toru emerges from the bathroom in a much calmer mood. Shouichi takes her to his secret hideout, a retro video game arcade with games so old that most of them use track balls. Ah, memories ~ They settle on playing a simple two-player soccer game, but despite Toru’s initial doubts, she gets really into the game and ends up beating Shouichi! But she injures her finger, so Shouichi gives her one of the LoveDeer bandaids Araki gave him. Toru realizes that she should probably take a break from gaming to focus on her studies, as Souta wants her to do (and probably her teachers too). Shouichi assures her that he’ll be waiting for her at their usual staircase for when she’s ready to return.
But she doesn’t come back, at least not right away. Shouichi has no one to play with now that Araki and Ikou have been stuck cleaning the rabbit cage, and Toru’s on hiatus. Just when he’s lamenting that his deer will die before she comes back, she appears on the stairs. She shows him the little Deermas character she made while on break, and says she’s thinking of selling them at the ComiMa convention her friend asked her to participate in. Toru then blushes and says she’d like Shouichi to go with her to help, and agrees that if he helps her she’ll go on a date with him.
Just then Toru’s friend Shiori and Shouichi’s older sister Tomoe pop out from their hiding spot on the stairs. Introductions are made and Shiori’s a little peeved that Toru only agreed to go to ComiMa once Shouichi said he’d go, but is really just relieved that Toru has agreed to go at all.
My thoughts: Anyone else notice that the expression on the plush rabbit Toru gave to Shouichi sometimes changes based on the situation and Shouichi’s own expression? x3 Super cute. I love that he takes the rabbit with him to school.
I’m still a fan of this route, and so far Toru is Seiren‘s best girl in my book. Hikari redeems herself slightly for talking with Shouichi at the beginning of the episode and for her phone conversation with Toru, but I still don’t like her and I still think she’s a bit of a brat.
I will admit I have high hopes for this route, especially after seeing the preview for next episode. The way the two blushed when agreeing to go on a date after ComiMa was really cute, and makes me think that their attraction to each other is mutual. Maybe they will agree to go steady at the end of this route? Aw man, but then it’ll be a new route and everything will reset…. ;~;