A Girl and Her Guard Dog – Season 1 Episode 1 “Spring and Beginnings” Recap & Review

Spring and Beginnings

Episode 1 of A Girl and Her Guard Dog begins with Isaku’s introduction to her new home and caretaker, Uto Keiya. She is introduced to her grandfather, the boss of the Yakuza, but she sobs due to the loss of her mother and father. Keiya promises to be both of them to her, despite not being related by blood. Isaku recalls that those were the words that made her fall in love with Keiya.

Returning to the present time, Isaku gets into Otow High School. While reporting back home, Keiya is overjoyed and lifts her up to celebrate, treating her like his own child. Her grandfather takes objection, as Otow is too far, but she claims that’s the reason she chose it. She explains that she wishes to have a normal high school life unaffected by her family status, and she also wants to find love because having a one-sided crush on a Yakuza member is not fruitful.

Isaku arrives for her first day of college and observes the students. As she fumbles around, deciding to talk to someone, she trips and is saved by a boy. She turns around, only to realize it’s Keiya. She scolds him for being a grown adult cosplaying in a high school. Isaku tells him to only see her at the train station, but he insists on studying at the high school with her and offers her an overly elaborate reason why boys are not safe for her. 

Isaku learns that he bribed the school authorities and also got permission from her grandfather. She threatens him to stay away from her before heading back in.

A flashback rolls in wherein Isaku recalls her childhood days when kids avoided her because she was from the Yakuza family. She enters the classroom and takes a seat after noticing that everyone has already formed groups. Keiya approaches her once again and begins talking to her.

Two boys approach them, asking Isaku if they are together and calling her cute. Before Isaku can respond, Keiya begins to intimidate them and sends signals telling them to back off. He goes so far as to threaten them, but is interrupted by Isaku. The two end up creating a scene, and their classmates begin calling them weirdos, which worries Isaku as she doesn’t want her first impression to be ruined.

Just then, the teacher walks into the class, asking who would like to be the class representative. Isaku contemplates whether it’s a good idea or not, but Keiya sees her overthinking and voluntarily gives their names. They also receive their first assignment, which is to assign roles for the upcoming sports day.

Keiya and Isaku receive a laid back attitude from the students. While Isaku stares in confusion, Keiya quickly gathers everyone’s attention and calls the students by name to make them feel better. He proposes that it’ll be a good idea to participate, as the students will get to make friends. He also expresses that he would like to be friends with Satonaka.

The students are taken aback as he claims to have memorized everyone’s name. Keiya quickly begins delegating work by taking the names of every single student. The students take a liking to Keiya.

Later that evening, Keiya walks into Isaku’s room to find her curled up in bed. Upon inquiry, he finds out that she feels hurt about her communication skills. She expresses her envy of his way with words and also tells him that she doesn’t like being called a weirdo and blames it on him. He assures her that things will get better. He then hugs her in bed, calling her cute, but she resists.

The following day, Isaku approaches two of the Yakuza members, requesting that they play volleyball with her for practice. She expresses that she wants to win. One of the members throws the ball, but Isaku misses it, and it instead falls on her shoulder. This upsets Keiya, and he beats him up. Despite this, Isaku refuses to train with Keiya, claiming he will go too soft on her. 

The next day after volleyball practice, all her teammates praise her skills and promise to practice together during lunch breaks. This motivates Isaku to train harder and get better at the sport, and she thinks that it will win her some of Keiya’s respect as well.

Isaku walks in on Keiya smoking a cigarette inside the school and scolds him. He mentions that he has bribed his way in anyway, and he’s a 26-year-old Yakuza dude. She notices he isn’t in a good mood, but he deflects the question and tells her to focus on the game instead.

Once the match continues, Isaku realizes that her finger is hurting and that she won’t be able to use her hands anymore. Just then, she sees the ball heading towards her and uses her foot to return it and score a point, all with the intention of not disappointing Keiya.

Post-match, Keiya doesn’t let her celebrate. Instead, he carries her and takes her straight to the infirmary and applies a bandage. She asks him his opinions on the game but receives a pale response. 

He explains that she’s been very energetic lately and fears she won’t need him around anymore. He also claims that the very thought of it makes him feel lonely. She reassures him that she cannot break away from him despite wanting to and that he is the center of her world now. 

The Episode Review

At the beginning of the episode, we get a glimpse into Isaku’s personal life. Following this, the backstory of her connection with Keiya and the reason she lives with her grandfather are revealed. She also starts school for the first time. Being the overprotective parent/love interest figure in her life, Keiya follows her everywhere and even goes to class with her, despite being 26 years old.

This episode sets the stage for the rest of the anime by introducing the primary characters and establishing the basic plot points that will be explored in this problematic romantic comedy.

The dynamic between Isaku and Keiya is unsettling to watch. He originally suggested that he take on the role of a parental figure, but in the current timeline, he appears to be more of a romantic interest, which is, to put it bluntly, extremely bizarre. In addition to this, the fact that he has no boundaries with a girl who is 15 years old makes it an uncomfortable watch.


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