Rika Kawai (Saitou Shuka) in the shadow of Chiemi's statue
Rika Kawai (Saitou Shuka)

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A new player enters the game, and while she may come off shallow and highly annoying, there might be more to Rika Kawai than it appears.


Director(s) Yūki Yonemori
Writer(s) Shinji Nojima
Aired (Funimation) 1/26/2021
Introduced This Episode
Rika Kawai Saitou Shuka
Mr. Sawaki Nakazawa Masatomo
Cheimi TBD

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Recap

More Details Emerge – Ai, Kaito, Mr. Sawaki

Mr. Sawaki is the man who keeps coming to Ai’s house, since she became a recluse at the beginning of the semester and is also the man Kaito was found crying into the arms of. Was it because of the bullying, or something else? Why did Ai feel she intruded on something she wasn’t supposed to see? Could more have been going on, but Kaito didn’t feel comfortable or safe telling Ai? Heck, considering how the show is set up, will Mr. Sawaki be the final boss Ai has to face to potentially bring Kaito back to life?

I Don’t Like Her – Neiru, Ai, Rika

While buying a new egg for herself and Neiru, Ai runs into another girl named Rika. She is blonde, puts a high value on beauty, and pretty much follows (stalks) Ai for the entire day into the night. This leads to Neiru meeting her and not necessarily liking her, for Rika is shallow and a user. She eats all the snacks Ai brings, isn’t nice to Ai despite doing so, and the more Neiru hears about her, the more reason she has to not associate with Rika.

I’LL PAY YOU BACK! – Ai, Rika, Cheimi

Which, as Rika reveals more about herself, makes you feel the same way. She calls this girl who she is trying to save her wallet and makes fun of her weight. And just to really show you she is an ass, she notes she told the girl they couldn’t be friends not only due to her being a fan but because of how she looked. So, the girl, Cheimi, literally starved herself to death.

Chiemi before losing weight and dying

Now, mind you, between that and maybe other things that happened in Rika’s life, she is now or a former cutter. So it isn’t like Rika doesn’t have issues – a note that doesn’t excuse her actions. However, like Ai, maybe Neiru as well, you can see this all as an attempt to atone. Maybe, through the pain received from protecting strangers, understanding what their friend, sister, or associate felt before they took their life.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Is it only 500 yen to get an egg? Ai did give that much to Rika, so is it safe to assume that’s the cost?
  2. Aren’t the little demonic things not usually focused on the protectors? Why did one bite Rika?

Review

Highlights

There Being More To Rika Then There Appears

We’re a bit torn when it comes to Rika. On the one hand, she is shallow, a user, lacks boundaries, and is utterly rude. Yet, she is also a teenager, if not a pre-teen, whose father spoiled her, and with being a junior idol, clearly, something went left. Now, one doesn’t 100% explain the other or excuse it either, but all of it is necessary to understand who Rika is. Including taking note of both the cuts on her arms and her weapon of choice likely being the blades she used to self-harm.

Rika in the bath

This pushes you to wonder what Rika’s life was like as an idol and her relationship not just with her dad but also with her mom? Never mind, since she is a former idol and attaching herself to Ai, are her parents even in her life anymore? Heck, to add in one more thing, she clearly was talking to herself when in the bath, right? So, when and why did she pick up that habit?

Still Developing Kaito’s Story

While someone new was introduced, with seeing Kaito cry into Mr. Sawaki and then him visiting throughout the week, a red flag gets raised. Because, with Neiru hinting at the possibility Rika has sex with older men, Rika saying she wouldn’t want a sugar daddy, and us seeing violence done to or by children, it’s not clear where the line is. When you see adults shown to be violent and abusive physically, a character who cuts themselves and seeing multiple characters who committed suicide, there is a need to ask, how far is Wonder Egg Priority willing to go?

Mr. Sawaki (Nakazawa Masatomo) giving Ai the side eye
Mr. Sawaki (Nakazawa Masatomo)

Leaving you to wonder, when it comes to Kaito, what was the final straw and how much did Mr. Sawaki play a role?

On The Fence

Not Getting More of Neiru’s Story Before Introducing A New Character

Rika came out of nowhere and became the focus of this episode. Meanwhile, Neiru has been around since the tail end of episode one and remains a mystery. Outside of wanting to save their sister, nothing else is known. Not who she was, what happened to their sister – nothing. And with Rika’s introduction spilling into two episodes, it makes you wonder how long we may need to wait to learn about Neiru?

[ninja_tables id=”54711″]

Summary

Not Getting More of Neiru's Story Before Introducing A New Character - 76%
Still Developing Kaito's Story - 82%
There Being More To Rika Then There Appears - 83%

80%

Despite wishing we got more about Neiru before a new character was introduced, it's hard to say Rika doesn't make her presence known and leaves you wanting to know more.

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