Teruki, I feel, inhabits a character that I haven’t really seen too much of, and find is often amazingly underutilized.
He’s not the explicit comic relief (in this story, that’s a role primarily held by Dimple). No, rather, he’s the inadvertent comic relief.
He’s supposed to be all Cool and Charming and what have you - he’s got the personality for such a role. The former Antagonist turned Rival/Best Friend of the Protagonist, supposedly cool and in control-
And yet, this dude is such a fucking dumbass.
His clothes. His hair. The way he acts. How situations end up when he’s in them - the scene with Ritsu in episode 7 most clearly illustrates this.
It’s supposed to be cool and show how he’s changed, and show clearly just how much stronger Teru is than Ritsu. The standoff should end with Teru’s win over Ritsu, if you go by how other shows would have had The Rival facing off against an arrogant opponent.
But the narrative sets the incongruity of Teru’s goddamn Marge Simpson ‘do and how Ritsu finally escapes (not because Ritsu was humiliated…it’s because Teru has to keep his wig from blowing off), against that, and it’s so fucking hilarious.
It’s not just a few jokes at The Rival’s expense as one might expect to see. It’s not just the (changed) antagonist’s annoyance at the Shenanigans of the protagonist.
No, Teruki is the comedic relief you don’t expect, and it’s so fucking fascinating to see.
(Also, the fucking hairflip and Mob’s talking about the Body Improvement Club in the last episode. That just about did me in, I s2g)