English Dub Review: Real Girl Episodes 19-21



Many couples try to grow up.

Our Take:

Alright, so while I am actually quite fond of Ishino, her relationship with Takanashi is pretty uncomfortable to watch. Ishino is quite self-aware, although she is fairly sensitive about some of her aspects. Takanashi is the type to point these aspects out, for better or for worse, but despite that, they both look out for each other. That should be fine on a surface level, but Takanashi seems to be aware on some level of Ishino’s complex feelings towards her flaws and picks on her regardless. At that point, that’s not a friendship that allows for that kind of thing- he is hurting her in the process, and that’s not a line for friendship to have. He’s pretty stubborn and bull-headed in a different way compared to Ishino- he also meddles in other people’s business, but because of his own preconceptions. For example, not allowing his little sister to date Tsutsui’s younger brother, because he doesn’t think Tsutsui has a good enough image. He does this to the point of making his sister extremely upset but still continues regardless. Ishino is fond of Takanashi yes, but at this point, it feels more like he’s hurting her than being a positive figure in her life.

Ishino gets attention from a fellow classmate, a mutual friend, who saw her at the festival and thought she was cute. He doesn’t know much about her, but he asks her to hang out and spend time together so he can. And honestly, it’s so refreshing to see, because he actually treats her like a person with feelings and tries to spend time with her? He is a laid-back kind of person, but he still is actively putting effort into their relationship. Takanashi does the bare minimum of getting jealous, making Ishino cry, and then confessing like that makes everything better. And Ishino says yes because of course, she does.

Ishino’s going to settle!!

On the other hand, the majority of the episodes is actually about balancing responsibility with relationships and communicating with your partner. Tsutsui and Igarashi are the key couples for this of course, but they also touch upon Itou and Ayado as well. With the latter, it’s how to determine whether you’re ready for a sexual relationship or not, something I didn’t think they’d discuss at all in this series. In their case, it does seem a little quick, but they both have enthusiastic consent so well, good for them. As long as it’s mutual and properly communicated, those are good basics to cover.

As for Tsutsui and Igarashi, that is more of how far are you willing to push your personal boundaries for your beloved. Igarashi wants to spend more time with Tsutsui, including going on a long vacation during their weekend, but Tsutsui isn’t ready for that just yet. He realizes that he’s not quite ready for relationship escalation, but that he also needs to take his girlfriend’s wants into account. Tsutsui goes from being afraid of going too far from trying to experiment because he wants Igarashi to be happy.

Of course, it ends up on the idea that Tsutsui has gone too far, neglecting his studies to hang out with Igarashi instead. There’s a fine line to walk between doing both, and it seems like Tsutsui has ways to go in figuring that out.

Noelle Ogawa

A writer, editor, and 4th generation New Yorker. An avid fan of comics and manga, particularly psychological thrillers, or featuring sports. Can't stay away from the horror genre. Long-time kaiju enthusiast.

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