I AM LIVID. Not at this episode
surprisingly, but at a freaking character. I try containing my disdain towards characters most of the time, but I literally CANNOT with Tsumugi. But I’ll get into that later. I honestly had my hopes that we would be able to actually see just exactly how fine tore down the five eccentrics. Only for the series to smack down my expectations with their terrible habit of telling and not showing. At this point, I really shouldn’t be so disappointed. But I still am every time. I WANTED TO SEE WHAT THAT SCUMLORD EICHI DID TO DEFEAT THE FIVE ECCENTRICS DANG IT. But I digress.
This episode was an interesting one. It framed it in a way where it was supposed to make us feel sympathetic and feel like Eichi is the hero in this story… but he’s just downright cruel. He’s literally a mob boss with him sitting in a place of safety while giving out orders for others to do his dirty work. I’ve already reiterated how his system has done some good, like inspiring others that they can achieve great idol status if they put work into it. However, after this episode, I absolutely despise how he used the five eccentrics as sacrifices. And when Sakuma “cursed” him, my immediate response was: DESERVED. Not to mention I got super heated when Eichi basically threw his idol, Wataru under the bus and had the gall to say that he didn’t want to see him lose. It’s a little late for a guilty conscious. Not to mention he realized he made a mistake in cutting off a possible real friendship. LOOKS LIKE YOU PLAYED YOURSELF EICHI. I feel like the episode tried to make Eichi look like a sympathetic antagonist, but it just successfully made me hate him as a person. He’s still a good antagonist though. But he doesn’t have my sympathy.
I apologize in advance for my rant, but the one that I became disgusted with most was Tsumugi. I don’t know if it’s just him as a character or how the anime portrayed him, but what he did was DESPICABLE. The way he would constantly praise Eichi for his plans while knowing full well that the five eccentrics are being treated like villains because of it just left a terrible taste in my mouth. Not to mention he basically just told Natsume that they were all necessary sacrifices and it’s okay that this all happened because the fans are satisfied… TO HIS FACE WITH A FREAKING CAREFREE SMILE. I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to see the damage that was dealt to the eccentrics, but just from Natsume’s actions, it’s obvious that he’s hurt and Tsumugi is treating it like it’s nothing. It felt so insensitive, especially when he was acting as if he had no part in what happened to them. He sounded so matter of fact and happy when Natsume was just pouring out his frustrations to him. It was almost as if Tsumugi had no actual feelings at all and was just rehashing what Eichi told him. Even in the end where Eichi cut him and the other fine members out, it felt like he never truly understood the gravity of what he did to the eccentrics and was more distraught over the fact that Eichi never saw him as a friend. I honestly wish that Natsume had hit him with that book.
I felt SO bad for Natsume. You can just see how frustrated he was talking to Tsumugi, especially when his hurt and anger never got through to him. He was basically talking to a brick wall at that point. Tsumugi basically stabbed him in the back and sees no problem with it. I felt so angry for Natsume and it hurt seeing all of the things that Tsumugi said just be thrown at him as if he didn’t just help ruin his life at the school. You can just tell that he gave up trying to reason with Tsumugi. He even tried to devise a plan to give the eccentrics a fighting chance to get back their happy ending…. NATSUME NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED.
Wataru is an interesting case. You can probably interpret him having silent, well hidden animosity towards Eichi or him just willingly playing the role as a villain. I’m sure he has his reasons but I’m not exactly sure what they are. However, I do respect him for just going out with a smile despite the animosity he got from the audience. Not only that, but he basically off handedly dissed Eichi and Tsumugi at different points. When Natsume wanted to use underhanded methods to get back at fine, Wataru told him that they shouldn’t trample on others to get a happy ending. Which felt like a jab towards how Eichi does things. But the biggest burn had to be when he told Tsumugi that he was “the biggest clown.” I had to applaud the man for being so savage. However, despite how crazy he acts, he’s very down to earth and gives genuine advice on helping others.
It was also surprising to find that Hokuto used to be a part of Wataru’s unit. I have a feeling that Wataru’s defeat was part of the reason why he wanted to start a revolution in the first place. He obviously had a lot of respect for him considering he sported the same braid.
But man, I’ve come to love the eccentric group. While we never got to see them interact with each other beyond this episode (save for Sakuma trying to warn Itsuki and Wataru feeling remorse for what happened to the latter) you can just tell from their interactions that they all deeply cared for each other. They were like one big, weird family. It was touching to hear how much they all meant to Wataru and despite what happened, he felt glad that Eichi brought all of them together. He even rubbed the fact that he made true friends with all of them while Eichi remains friendless. I wish we got to see the eccentrics’ dynamic more with each other, they sound awfully close and it feels like Hibiki is about to say goodbye to them with this final performance. If this weren’t an idol show, he probably would be heading towards his death. It was also very touching that all the eccentrics (even the ones who denounced their titles) came to watch Wataru’s performance.
For better or worse, I enjoyed this episode. Even if it made me super angry at times and I want to strangle certain characters. However, it made me love the eccentric group more from how they view and interact with each other. This episode definitely felt like it tried to get the viewers to sympathize with Eichi and to an extent, Tsumugi. But they’re terrible people and I want them to fail and get decked by books. On the brighter side, it seems like Wataru was able to give Hokuto the push he needed by being a messenger for Hokuto’s grandmother. Hopefully this will put Hokuto back on track on choosing to be part of Trickstar again and just completely ripping the rug underneath Eichi. I’m sure that Hokuto going back to Trickstar would leave Eichi completely baffled. The next episode is most likely the last, so let’s see if Ensemble Stars can close out their first season (possibly their only season) with a bang.