At the beginning of the episode everyone is acting a bit strange, especially Kazu who really sucks at hiding his feelings. So of course, Haru notices something is up with him quite quickly but he’s not the only one, even the rest of the team has noticed Kazu’s acting weird. For some reason they all think it’s love or something but Haru isn’t convinced.
Before dealing with Kazu’s problems, Haru is forced to come with Gen while the latter watches over his little sister since he thought she was having a date with Ichiro. Turns out she wasn’t because she’s 9… I don’t know what to say… Sure it’s cute that Gen cares about his sister so much but that’s a bit dumb… Heh, but it’s not the only thing dumb that happened during this episode. The two delinquent guys are worried the coach might have a crush on Sho since she takes videos and pictures of him all the time. The coach tells Haru she does it in order to send those pictures to a fan of Sho and that Haru shouldn’t tell him. I’m sorry? Wow… That’s so wrong lol. Even if it’s not for her, taking pictures of someone like that is a bit stalker-ish… and you probably shouldn’t be doing that without the person’s consent… But heh, everyone seems fine with that so I guess I’m the one who’s making this a big deal…
At some point Haru goes checking on Kazu’s grandmother at the hospital and meets with Kazu there. So after all, Kazu’s grandmother basically has some sort of Alzheimer where she can’t recall anything and doesn’t even remember her grandson’s name. But one day, when Kazu showed her the cheerleading video (I think it was during episode 1), she remembered his mother’s name. That’s why he wanted to do the same routine for the school festival, with the hopes his grandmother would recognize him. But now, he has lost all hopes and isn’t motivated to do cheerleading anymore.
I don’t quite understand why he’d suddenly start losing his will to do cheerleading but heh… and I also don’t quite get why this is a big deal… Everyone has its own reasons to do cheerleading, so why Kazu feels like he’s been lying to everyone all this time? I totally understand Kazu’s reasons for not feeling well and how hard it must be for him but why now? Maybe it’s because the smiling face he was putting on all this time was forced and not his real emotions? So he couldn’t pretend anymore? Hummm… anyway, I’m relieved all the team all understood Kazu’s reasons and decided to not hold it against him (although they had no reasons to) and went to the Hospital to do a nice little cheer performance. So yeah for the performance and for not spending an entire episode trying to get the team back together with people being mad a Kazu for “lying to them”.
On a side note, I really like how Haruki’s character has developed throughout the series. At the beginning he was unsure about everything, following everyone’s lead but now he’s able to take initiatives and has become an important member of the team and the psychological counselor of almost everyone. Which is not a bad thing at all, since it shows people trust him enough to share their issues with him.
Overall I like how Cheer Danshi!! develops its main cast, it’s nothing breathtaking and the changes aren’t spectacular but it’s subtle enough for me to appreciate it. Like Haru for example, there hasn’t been any mental breakdown for him, nor really hard difficulty to overcome ( expect his fear of heights) but he has managed to grow and evolve with helping the other characters with their own problems. In a sense, that’s a nice realistic way to develop your characters. However, I would have wished to learn more about the rest of the cast, but sadly, I don’t think it’s going to happen :/
Now give more more actual cheerleading! I hope we’ll get cheerleading sequences like in episode 5 , that wasn’t the best animation I’ve ever seen but it was pleasing. It has already been established that Cheer Danshi!! doesn’t shine by its animation quality but heh there’s nothing we can do about it.
Based on the preview, it looks like next episode is going to offer us more drama, this time focused on both Haru and Sho. Also, Hairband-kun and Haru’s love interest are back. Hairband-kun makes me laugh because he’s an asshole but the girl is a bit useless to be honest. So that’s a “meh” for me. Surprise me Cheer Danshi!! Surprise me.