The episode kicks off on an unexpected note with a peculiar isekai-themed RPG game featuring the series’ characters. While it’s clear the creators aimed for humor, in order to, I don’t know, maybe fix some sort of monotony, it just… sucks. Through and through. I’m just glad it wasn’t any longer.
Once the cringe-worthy intro concludes, the scene transitions to an office assembly. Here, we learn about an annual competition exclusive to the newbies. Akina, having been a newbie the previous year, had clinched the title. This year’s prize is a trip to a luxury resort, a prospect that excites Shinozaki, especially at the thought of visiting with Shiori. His colleagues rally behind him, expressing their support.
In a candid conversation with a coworker from a different department, Shinozaki learns about the coworker’s indifference towards the competition. Since winning would mean the winner’s entire department goes on a trip, and since the coworker doesn’t care for his colleagues in the same manner as Shinozaki, he simply isn’t interested. He remarks on Shinozaki’s fortune in having both a supportive boss and a remarkable senpai.
The episode introduces Kurusu, another newbie set to compete against Shinozaki. She’s portrayed as a soft-spoken individual, yet her seriousness at work borders on excessive. As the story unfolds, we discover that Kurusu’s manager, a rival of Akina’s, is hell-bent on her department winning this year. The stakes are high: if Kurusu wins, Akina will be transferred to work under her manager. This revelation fuels Shinozaki’s determination to ensure his own victory.
The latter half of the episode offers a heartwarming change of pace. Shinozaki, Hayakawa, Akina, and Shiori visit an elementary school to distribute toys and spend quality time with the children. In a touching subplot, Shinozaki mentors a young boy, teaching him the importance of kindness, especially towards a girl he has feelings for. The boy’s transformation, from being mean to reconciling with the girl, showcases Shinozaki’s positive influence.
The episode wraps up with Shiori reflecting on Shinozaki’s kindness. She begins to wonder if his affections extend beyond mere friendship, leaving her flustered at the thought of him harboring feelings for her.
Opinions / Analysis
Man, is it just a rule that after every good episode there has to be an absolutely horrible one? This episode is just entirely a mess.
The opening is horrible, then we set up this “Competition Arc” for Shinozaki. All we get is a set-up, and nothing else. The entire second half of this episode has nothing to do with that set-up, and instead we have to agonizingly sit through Shinozaki and Shiori playing with kids as they play House together.
There was no romance development, there was no plot development (not like there ever is any in this series anyway), but overall it feels like this episode could’ve been completely scrapped.
I hope the next one is better! With the series almost over, they only have a few more chances to make My Tiny Senpai feel satisfying!