Chiyuki and Kokoro finally meet, not on friendly terms, but as one-sided rivals. Everyone begins to struggle with passion vs talent and it’s really starting to get to people. So the tensions are high and everyone’s about to snap… or already has. And overall? I think this episode was fantastic. I absolutely adored how they handled the first half and how they managed to keep up the energy for the remainder of the episode.
As I mentioned, the first half of the episode was pretty impactful. We pick up right where we left off last week where Chiyuki identifies Kokoro as the star of this shoot. Now, because we’ve been following Kokoro story line through Ikuto we know just what her thoughts are on modelling. In simple terms, she wants out. She wants to pursue what she loves, but unfortunately she has a real knack for modelling. I love how the narration from Shizuku plays into the interactions that the other models were having. I think the most impactful moment from Shizuku’s speech was when the other models were bad mouthing Kokoro for not showing up in time, but the moment she walked out they became faceless and essentially irrelevant. I don’t really know what their intention was but dang… I thought it was really powerful. But my absolute favorite line from Shizuku was “Justifying yourself through toxic behavior won’t foster confidence”, and not only was it incredibly applicable in that moment, it’s just a good thing to learn in life. Now, we know that Kokoro has previously commented on being bullied by other models, which ultimately led to her not liking the profession all that much, but that just really seems to be the nature of the industry. Everyone is trying to fight for the spotlight and obviously someone as meek as Kokoro is an easy target. But what’s nice to see is that Chiyuki isn’t stooping to their level. She already knows that she has to work so much harder to prove herself. Chiyuki’s invested in herself and will stop at nothing to achieve her dreams.
I think the two moments that really wrapped up this interaction was 1) when they were in the dressing room for the black gloves and 2) Kokoro trying to quit modelling once and for all. I felt the first one was pretty significant because you could just see how much feeling Chiyuki was holding back. Right in front of her was a stand out model and yet, she can’t even keep her hands in good shape. Chiyuki who has to pour her everything into making sure that she’s ideal in every way of course is going to point out the failure to comply with the basics. Especially, when the person in front of her is someone she can deem as a rival. But as the audience we know that Kokoro doesn’t care about the appearance of her hands. So of course she’s not going to take the time to make sure they are in the right condition for the shoot (but I mean… why can’t they use photoshop?). The second was great because all the emotions came out and it really emphasized pursuing passion. Chiyuki was able to break down in front of Kokoro and her manager, but in that very emotional moment, Kokoro finds it within herself to emphasize her own passions towards her manager. I… hope Chiyuki and Kokoro are able to become good friends.
How is Kokoro doing outside the modelling world? Well… honestly things could be a lot better. She has a lot of things on her mind and they are distracting her from what she needs to focus on in the moment. So, while I was really stressed out when she was told to leave from the studio, I can totally understand why that decision was made. At the end of the day he runs a business not a training facility (Though he has certainly turned into one) and this is not the place to let silly mistakes get the better of them. It shows that she’s not focused on the current task at hand which can ultimately harm her in the end. But Ikuto wears his heart on his sleeve and gets her to come back, and basically the owner of the area is a big softy and continues to let them come back. So, crises averted.
And so, by the end of the episode, things are starting to look up. Kokoro is back on her game and competing in the finals, Chiyuki and Ikuto might get a chance to collab and hopefully they will all be energetic and ready to go into the next episode – right? NOPE. I thought we were going to end the episode on a happy note!!! But NO! Of course something’s going to happen to Ikuto’s mom during a very crucial moment on his path to becoming a fashion designer. I mean being an untrained high schooler going up against students of a prestigious school is too easy, let’s add some more emotional distress to the situation. I mean, I’m not surprised that it happened… I’m just kinda bummed that situation is going to be the cliffhanger leading into the next episode. Oh well, we’ll just have to wait how this will impact the finals. Good luck to everyone! I believe in you!