No school-based anime would be complete without a sports festival episode, and Itazura no Kiss gets this mandatory subject mater in early. I often wonder if the equally mandatory borrowing race is really as fraught with danger and embarrassment in Japanese schools as it seems to be in anime, where the worst possible scenarios frequently occur.
After episode two saw Naoki Irie soften up towards Kotoko at least a little, for the duration of this episode he seems to have returned almost entirely to being the heartless bastard he appeared to be from the start, once again raising questions as to why Kotoko has any feelings for him at all. I know, I know, teenage love rarely makes much sense, and at least Irie gets the slap he deserves this time around, and at least even the ever-cute Kotoko rouses sufficient brain cells to question what the Hell she's doing falling for him, but yet the series churns on in the same vein.
Despite that, and Kotoko's ever irritating friends, this episode is still entertaining enough through the increasingly cliché-driven storyline, largely thanks to the protagonist's personality once again, which seems to shine through despite the predictable character design and the like. There's no way Itazura no Kiss is going to become any kind of classic, but it still has the potential to be at least somewhat sweet and enjoyable as long as Naoki can pull his head out of a particular orifice long enough to be believable as someone's crush for an episode or two.