The introduction of Mizuki has left me less than thrilled, though it's easy to see that he's a character that will be pushing Aoba and Ko closer together eventually. A little conflict and tension tends to move things forward faster, though sometimes in a less than desired state. For Aoba, with the news that people believe that she's dating Mizuki now, she's very frustrated by it because she doesn't want that kind of attention and it's simply not true. Her focus is not on boys, unlike most of the other girls, and with this becoming more and more of a distraction, it's getting under her skin all the more.
With the notes around school, it is slowly getting to Ko though he can't quite put his finger on why. There's a really good exchange he has with Ichiyo at the restaurant later on where she relates some of how Aoba was feeling when she mentioned that Ko got introduced to another girl at school. Ko continues to play it all rather cool and disinterested, which he is to some extent, but it is getting under his skin and he's starting to realize a bit about what his feelings are like. What makes it really interesting is that Ichiyo is straightforward with him about the fact he hasn't dated at all since Wakaba died, not that the kids really dated of course, but that part of his life is seemingly on hold. Ko's able to slide that right back at her though when it comes to Azuma's older brother that clearly has an interest in her, while she serves as the mother for the family because of the problems there. Saying she's doing much the same for a different reason is an expected push back to be sure.
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