‘Partners with a cooperative relationship.’ Nice one.
If nothing else, this episode has elevated Uesugi from a very dense harem protagonist to a mid-tier romancer. He went from calling Miku an ‘acquaintance’ and ‘heavy’ in the last episode to calling all of them ‘partner’ and somehow picked up on the fakeness of Ichika’s smile and that she was shaking earlier in the alley. Not to mention realizing the reason Miku was mad was because he called her an acquaintance. I’ll give props where they’re due. I had my doubts about him, but it looks like he’ll pull through just fine.
We’re already seeing the results actually. There were quite a few quality harem relationship point boosts this episode. Many with Ichika, grasping both sides of her face, hugging her in an alley, etc. and also quite a few with Miku. That hand grab. Spicy. It’s still up for debate for sure but Miku is really working her way into the #1 spot. She’s also had the most romantic development though so we’ll see. Her faces are damn cute though. On top of that, Itsuki was definitely tearing up by the end and Nino even complimented him on doing a job well done. It’s about as satisfying of a conclusion as you can get.
We also learned something probably pretty important this episode. When Ichika asks ‘why do you study?’ Uesugi clearly flashed back to an image of a very familiar silhouette. Judging from when they talked about their mom, it looks like the sisters used to not only be more in tune, but also looked like the exact same person. Now, maybe it’s just the anime making them different so we know who is who, but how the fuck does everyone keep mixing up the sisters?? I mean, it probably is supposed to be implying that the differences are only shown for us viewers, but it’s a weird way to go about it. Last episode even Uesugi got mixed up when Itsuki changed her hairstyle and now the talent agent or whatever got Miku and Ichika mixed up. Weird.
OH, right. So Ichika’s thing is she’s an aspiring actress! Almost forgot about that. I wonder if she initially lied about being a camera assistant because she was embarrassed? Either way, at least it’s a lot more wholesome than the show was leading us on to believe. I think it’s super sweet that she’s found something to be passionate about and that she wants to be a role model as the eldest sister.
I find Uesugi’s constant internal debate about helping the sisters throughout the episode very entertaining. His switching between logical thinking and emotions is tearing him apart at the seams! Although by the end of the episode it looks like he’s come to terms with it. He even decided to put off studying. I mean, I don’t blame him. It’s kinda hard to pass up on these faces:
So the theme of this episode was essentially, ‘we are all 1/5 of a person and together we’re whole’. While I get the sentimentality and meaning of that, jesus that must be exhausting. Don’t get me wrong, family is important, especially since it sounds more like the mother has passed away than just left like their dad did. But damn. You can all be a whole person and then just be close sisters. You don’t gotta limit yourselves to a fifth of a person. I’m probably being too harsh though. That creed they shared as children was adorable and definitely contributed to the emotional impact of the episode.
Speaking of, I think what caught me most be surprise were the feels. When Ichika was doing the audition and imagining how each sister would be smiling.. Ahh, it hit hard. The fireworks they shot off together and Uesugi deciding to hang out with them afterwards too. When the whole show has been building up how important studying is to him it just makes it all the more noteworthy when he willingly gives it up. Especially now that we know there is some emotional reason he’s studying so hard. I’m very curious how one (or more I guess) of the sisters impacted his life as a kid. I also wonder if the recent lack of studying will affect his upcoming grades or get worked into the plot some other way.
More importantly, I wonder how the hell he learned to sleep with his eyes open. Is that a natural thing for him to do? That’d be creepy af in real life. Could you imagine walking into a siblings room or something and it’s pitch black except you can see the whites of their eyes? No thanks.
Yotsuba and Itsuki so far are the least formed characters. Which I actually thought was surprising since Itsuki was the first contact. And Yotsuba may have even been the second? Maybe they’re just saving the best for last after all. My current standing has Miku at the top but that could change.