Thanks to Yamaguchi admitting that he's harbouring feelings for Shizuku to Haru at the tail-end of last week's My Little Monster, Shizuku is having a tough time again as this tenth instalment of the series begins.
More precisely, Haru is acting more clingy than ever, refusing to let Shizuku out of his sight while seeming to be terrified of what might happen around every turn. Perhaps this isn't the best time for a Christmas party then, but nonetheless Natsume invites all of her friends along in her own peculiarly quirky yet determined manner, even going as far as to decide to hold the party at the batting centre where Haru lives without actually asking anyone involved with said establishment.
With both Kenji and Oshima tagging along for the ride, there's plenty of potential for fireworks, but for the most part the Christmas celebrations are all good-natured, albeit a little too over-the-top for Oshima's tastes. Eventually though (and thanks to Haru making a loud-mouthed proclamation to Kenji earlier) things do indeed swing back to who loves who, treating us to Haru at his most threatening worst. Perhaps on account of not seeing what he seemed to have planned to rid Yamaguchi from his plans, Shizuku finally seems ready to confess her feelings - not that this does anything but make Haru's jealousy and clingy nature even worse still.
As has become the template for the series at this point, this week's My Little Monster combines Shizuku continuing to be a great character (and Natsume coming along quite nicely in that regard too, it has to be said) with Haru being an absolute dick with pretty much everything he says or does. I know this is a tired old retreading of previous complaints, but it remains almost impossible to decipher what Shizuku sees in Haru, and although his behaviour does at least allow the more impressive parts of her determined character to shine it doesn't really help to create a believable romance angle - a pretty major handicap for, well, a love story. It's reached the point where I'm hoping that the series doesn't have a happy ending for him - a hope that seems likely to be dashed on the rocks, but oh well... for now, I'll just have to content myself with the aspects of the series that do work really well, and thankfully there are enough of them to make the show as a whole enjoying despite Haru's best efforts.