When a boy and girl spend enough quality time together, it becomes dating – but Aharen can’t tell when that magical moment should arrive.
Aharen-San Is Indecipherable sets itself apart from several other rom-com anime in one key way — it’s unclear at what point Raido and the kuudere Aharen Reina become more than friends and are officially dating. It can be a gradual process in any romance story, especially if characters like these two don’t put much thought into it.
As opposed to A Couple of Cuckoos‘ Nagi and Erika, Aharen-San‘s characters don’t have a convenient engagement to define their relationship, so Aharen and Raido must determine for themselves if they are officially boyfriend and girlfriend nor not. But perhaps they’ll get some help from their friends, including Futaba. Even kids can figure this out if they really try.
In Episode 11 of Aharen-San Is Indecipherable, titular protagonist Aharen Reina pulls out all the stops to make her friend Raido happy and impress him. This time she needs more than meatballs and study sessions, instead making an incredible impression with her own igloo maid cafe, with herself as the sole employee. Raido greatly appreciates this, and after the igloo collapses, Aharen has even more ideas for indoor winter fun at the local shopping mall; she doesn’t realize how far into ideal girlfriend territory she is going. It’s remarkable that she can be doing this well and not even realize it.
Halfway through Episode 11, Aharen invites Raido to the mall to spend some quality time with him, and they enjoy themselves immensely. Their food-based love language strikes again with Aharen sampling all kinds of food, and they even meet up with Sato and Ishikawa at a diner for a light meal. Every other character in this episode gets a good impression from seeing Aharen dressing up and holding Raido’s arm while spending so much time with him at a place like this. It’s just routine for Aharen herself, but by now she needs more self-awareness to realize how far her relationship with Raido has come. More than a few female love interests in slice-of-life anime have ended their own series without getting this far.
Episode 11 expands on Reina’s character in subtle ways, suggesting that she has a fairly complacent mindset when it comes to friends and love. She certainly values her friends Raido and the dandere Oshiro, but she also seems content to coast on those relationships after they have become stable enough. Aharen’s friendship with Oshiro remains the same, but while her partnership with Raido breaks new ground here, she lacks critical self-awareness about it all. Fortunately she has her other friends to lend a hand.
Aharen and Raido’s associates Sato and Ishikawa clearly approve of the budding romance, and they spend Episode 11 politely debating the topic to figure things out. Are Aharen and Raido officially going out as boyfriend and girlfriend? The line is a bit fuzzy for now, but Sato and Ishikawa will likely help their friends push things to the next level, right into unambiguous boyfriend/girlfriend territory. The young tsundere Futaba may help too, despite seeing Aharen as a rival of sorts.
If a girl like Aharen will spend all evening picking out the perfect outfit, can hold her male friend’s arm at the mall and share food with him, she is Raido’s girlfriend in all but name. Now it’s time for Aharen to get a push from her friends and make it official in time for Aharen-San Is Indecipherable‘s season finale. Everything is in place.