A water main breaks in front of Wagnaria, so they have to take the next day off. Everyone decides to go to a hot spring together to have fun. Souta is concerned about Inami going, and decides to go to watch over her after Nazuna kindly does his chores for him.
This is rather unique in anime: a hot spring episode without a hot spring, and where they spend time actually building up characters rather than having everyone hang out naked all episode long.
Souta and Inami’s relationship is still, understandably, rather awkward, with Inami wanting to be treated as normal, but Souta not really being able to because of her condition, though he still tries his best. While neither of them would admit to it, I’d say that what they did in this episode would pretty much qualify as a date. I mean, who else is willing to put his face on the line to protect other innocent men from Inami?
And while Inami may still be punching Souta 3 or 4 times a day, I think it’s just from them being able to hang out closer than they used to. At the start of the series, if Souta was as close to Inami as he was for most of this episode, he probably wouldn’t have a bone that wasn’t broken in his body by the end of the episode.
There were a couple hints about the Jun/Yachiyo relationship, though they’re still kind of in the “too awkward to even hang out” phase. I’m amazed that Yachiyo was willing to go onto the hot springs while leaving Kyouko behind. Maybe this is the first sign of a break in Yachiyo’s absolute devotion to her?
I’d say that this episode was less funny and more plot, though there were still some funny moments. I had to laugh at Inami doing her best to not punch Jun, though it ended up being Yachiyo that caused them to nearly almost wreck. Then Souta caught Inami with his claw hand to keep her from taking out an innocent guy who accidentally bumped her.
Aoi, meanwhile, was just kind of annoying. It’s like they kept having her pop up to remind everyone that she was actually there. But I’m not sure she really did anything. Poplar didn’t do much either (once again) other than come up with the idea to go to the hot spring in the first place, but after that, she was kind of lost as is per the usual.
I still find it rather odd to have Poplar showcased as the lead female, only to have the shoe, effectively, be about someone else (Inami). I don’t think it makes the show bad, it’s just…odd.
P.S. Nazuna is quickly becoming one of my favoriate characters.