At last, the mysterious 4th member of the student council is introduced to us. We saw him briefly from behind at the end of the last episode, but it gave us very little to work off of. At the beginning of the episode, I had no idea what to expect and at the end I can only look at him and go “Wow, relatable.” but also “I’ve known Yu Ishigami for 1 episode and if anything happens to him, i will riot.”
He was the perfect balance to the student council, as the 4th member/treasurer he needed to have a dynamic personality that would change up the comedy a bit and we got exactly that. Now let’s look at each part of the episode and dissect what made each bit work and what Yu added to the mix.
Part 1: ‘Yu Ishigami wants to live’ in this part we are given a brief introduction through narration of Yu, he’s a first year student and was drafted onto the student council directly by Shirogane. Who knew of his skill with numbers and respected him for his ability to calculate things. What are the first words we hear from him in this, the first episode he appears in? “I want to quit the student council.” his reasoning for wanting to quit. He seems to think that Kaguya wants to kill him.
Not without good reason mind you, he stumbled upon some coffee shop coupons in one of her attempts to get the president to go out with her and messed up her scheme and she gave him a death glare. Then he asked her straight out if she liked the president romantically and when she said no offered to go give him a hint that she wasn’t interested and she almost choked him on the back of the sofa. “She’s a trained assassin.” made me laugh way too hard. The punchline all comes together when Kaguya comes in covered in ‘blood’ and holding a ‘knife’ which are both actually just things from her helping the drama club.
Chika comes in ‘killed’ by Kaguya but it’s also just drama club stuff.
Shirogane tells Yu to have more faith in the other members of the student council and to his credit, he tries. However, Kaguya accidently throws all of that out the window by not directly saying she was listening the whole time and that if he’d blabbed their secret about the coffee coupons, the knife would be real. This poor boy.
Part 2: ‘Chika Fujiwara wants to test you’ Chika decides to give her student council friends a psychological test from a book she found in the school library. Unaware that it was yet another trap laid by Kaguya, who placed the book where Chika would notice it and bring it to the student council for sure and also studied the entire books contents and figured out the best answers she could give without embarrassing herself. This section has a hilarious moment as one of the questions “A person comes up behind you on a dark path and taps your shoulder, who is it” is supposed to reveal who you love but Yu in his absolute fear of Kagura answers her. Leading him to believe he secretly loves the person he is absolutely terrified of and he fleas the student council room saying he needs to go home early because he developed ‘stockholm syndrome’
This part has a cute ending though, when Chika looks up a question on the internet and throws Kaguya for a loop. “You can take as many flowers are you’d like for free, how many would you take.” the answer that Shirogane gives is “A whole truckload” which honestly reflects his mentality as a poor person but the psychology behind the question is to see how much love you have for the person you care for. Kagura keeps this to herself and a victory that Shirogane will never know about is achieved.
The last part: “Kaguya just wants to be noticed” is about Kaguya doing her nails and trying something fashionable for a change at the advice of her maid. She does everything she can to try to show her painted nails to Shirogane and get him to comment on them. He just doesn’t know how to act or how to respond, he wants to compliment her but he doesn’t know how too. He’s afraid of coming off as creepy, and Yu accidentally comes off as creepy complimenting Chika’s new shampoo making Shirogane’s fear worse.
He does bike up to her in the end of it all and stutter and try to call her nails cute, but he fails and bikes off in a panic. Leaving her wondering what he was going to say, a small victory for both of them in this segment.
This episode was honestly a combination of everything that makes Kaguya-sama: Love is War a fun anime. It had the overthinking and planning from Shirogane and Kaguya, the innocent Chika shenanigans and it added Yu for that perfect touch of dark humor. This show is so often animated like a horror that I love taking screen shots out of context and seeing what people think is going on in the scene.