The delightful office com-from anime The Ice Guy and His Cool Female Colleague for the Winter 2023 season features a pair of subtly infatuated kuuderes who are content to develop their relationship at a leisurely pace. While their coworkers Komori and Saejima are interacting in completely different ways, Himuro and Fuyutsuki are like two cool cats in a pea-shaped cool pod.
A secondary or even tertiary couple is frequently featured in romantic comedy anime series, either to provide contrast with the main couple or even to put them in friendly competition. The rival couple that Ice Guy is positioning Komori and Saejima to be has a wonderful contrast not only with one another but also with Himuro and Fuyutsuki. This opens up some intriguing possibilities for the Ice Guy anime going forward.
What Sets Komori & Saejima Apart from One Another
Recent Ice Guy episodes saw the main characters visit a cat-themed, off-brand-Disney theme park where they had all kinds of innocent fun together and, in this context, some serious romantic potential took root. Already, Himuro and Fuyutsuki are well-established as a pair of lovestruck kuuderes who understand one another, while the upbeat fox girl Komori came along and brought her somewhat kuudere-ish co-worker Saejima, who has been a total background character until now. Komori was just Saejima's playful friend at first, but then Saejima got a little more serious about her. Saejima even wondered if Komori was content to spend time with just him rather than the overall friend group, and Komori got bashful at once.
Since Komori hadn't anticipated this, she laughed it off and teased Saejima in an almost Nagatoroi-like manner while blushing. Komori is a typical deredere with a hazy dandere side; she is upbeat and content but becomes defensive and reserved when things get romantic. Saejima, who is more composed and self-assured in addition to being more assured of himself and his feelings for Komori, and Komori's personalities also perfectly contrast each other. This puts the two of them in a position where they can interact and potentially have an impact on one another. Komori encourages Saejima to let loose and have fun, while Saejima's subtly flirtatious advances kindly prompt Komori to reflect on her own feelings rather than just laugh them off.
Compared to Himuro and Fuyutsuki
Komori and Saejima have wonderful chemistry not just because they contrast with one another, but because they are also a foil to the main couple. While Himuro and Fuyutsuki are on the same page as fellow kuuderes who take things slow, Komori and Saejima are more playful and unpredictable with one another; their personalities are perfect counterparts while still being distinct. Each couple serves as a foil to the other, proving that there's more than one way to build a relationship.
Himuro and Fuyutsuki will undoubtedly pay attention if Saejima and Komori maintain this and develop into a serious couple. The plot would undoubtedly take exciting new turns if Himuro and Fuyutsuki felt some pressure to advance their own relationship and look for novel, flashier ways to express their feelings for one another. Even Himuro and Fuyutsuki are susceptible to a little competition, so this might bring that side of them out. Additionally, it might encourage them to reconsider the dynamics of their relationship and help to further develop their characters. Perhaps they've had enough of moving slowly and want to fervently pursue the next goal.
Of course, Himuro and Fuyutsuki also might not take that route, and as true kuuderes, coolly say "congrats" to the secondary couple and change nothing about their own. That reaction would be a tad anticlimactic, especially in Komori's own eyes, but it would also be on theme for the main kuudere pairing of this anime. After all, kuuderes are confident in themselves and aren't easily provoked, and they have relatively few insecurities. It would be fair to tell if Himuro and Fuyutsuki stayed the course and resisted any competitive pressure from the newest office couple, showing just how secure they are with their own relationship's style and pacing. They're truly unshakable and are in their own secure little kuudere world, which is inspiring in its own right.