So it’s finally time for Student Council President Elections with Iino going head to head against our favorite Shirogane. At first, I was kind of put off by how everyone seemed to just want to basically stamp Iino out in the running. Since she didn’t seem particularly bad, just very straight-forward and somewhat bossy. But it seemed as if Ishigami was bent on Shirogane winning by a landslide and I was disappointed in him. However, it seemed like there are a lot more things going on that meets the eye. Especially since Ishigami actually didn’t want to see Iino be mocked by the audience and was pissed off by the thought of it.
After the incredible disparity between her friend and Kaguya’s speeches, it was no wonder how incredibly nervous Iino would be to follow up. And while I’m still not completely sold on Iino as a character, I did feel bad for her when she was succumbing to stage fright. I think a lot of people can relate to something like that and I can’t blame her for being super nervous. Especially after coming off the heels of Kaguya’s presentation. We get a bit of her backstory where she often stays home alone most of the time and how she has a genuine want for people to follow rules. However, because of her rather strict exterior, no one seemed to take her seriously and instead laughed at her. Maybe I’m being too harsh, while I did feel bad for her, it didn’t hit me like I feel it should have. Maybe it’s because we dived straight into her backstory without really getting to know her and instead was told how she is rather than getting to witness it for ourselves.
I don’t know about you, but I really liked how Shirogane handled his debate with Iino. At first, he sounded rather harsh, but he was actually trying to help her. Especially when I realized he got her to only focus on him rather than the crowd so she wouldn’t be as nervous as if she were talking to the crowd. And while he may have talked down on her ideas, he laid them out in front of her and tried to offer suggestions on how to make them better or at least to try and get her defend her claims. I appreciate that he cared enough to try and give her a chance to fight back without just losing the entire opportunity. In the end, he won by only a small margin. He was pretty close to wasting his friends’ efforts and support for helping him get this far. And while Iino lost, it was nice to see students come up to her with encouragement. A completely different outcome to how her first lost election was in primary school where they just walked right past her and laughed.
After a rather dramatic student president election, we get to see the aftermath and that everyone seems particularly worried about being part of the student council again, especially Kaguya. Though I admit I absolutely lost it when Hanazawa was comforting Kaguya after all of her hard work was almost for nothing, she ended up having to push Kaguya away and make a run for it when Chika showed up. I died. Anyways, it was rather adorable how both Ishigami and Chika were worried about not being asked to join the student council again since they both have problematic personalities. But Shirogane being the guy that he is, put them right back into their respective roles in the student council. Both of their reactions were quite adorable since you can just sense the joy and relief just emanating from them.
And then there’s Kaguya… who was freaking out over whether Shirogane would want her back as vice president or not. We get to see a little more into her headspace and that she feels extremely insecure about her stance with Shirogane. Even doubting whether he likes her and if he’s actually treating her special compared to how he treats others. I appreciate that she realized how shady her actions were for going through certain lengths to get Shirogane the victory and that it could possibly lead to Shirogane losing interest. From an audience’s perspective, we all know that Shirogane wouldn’t backtrack on his feelings so easily. However, I can sympathize with Kaguya’s position since I can understand that insecurity can cause doubt in how others feel about us. We start viewing ourselves as the worst person ever and we need people to pull us out of that way of thinking. So I’m thankful that Hanazawa is there for her or else Kaguya would just let her negative thoughts spiral uncontrollably. And honestly, Kaguya really does need to learn to talk about her concerns towards Shirogane to him rather than just rant about them.
But of course, Shirogane asked her to become the vice president again. And I admit that her giving him the “ok” sign because she couldn’t bear to face him at the moment was adorable. This moment also confirms that Shirogane does treat Kaguya differently compared to everyone else since he specifically went to go see her to ask her to be part of the student council while Ishigami and Chika had to come up to him. Which I thought was a great contrast.
Can we also talk about the cinematography in this episode? I absolutely loved the different camera angles used and the whole blocking of certain shots. I especially liked the symbolism of pulling the camera away from Iino, showing that she was losing the attention of the crowd and felt farther and farther away. But after Shirogane was able to stand back up, the camera slowly zoomed back to her as if saying, she pulled the attention back to her.
I enjoyed this episode, especially with how great Shirogane is able to bring out the best out of Iino as to not let her become the school laughing stock… sadly there was no Shirogane to help out Mob when he was running for student council president… Anyways, while Iino may have lost the elections, Shirogane invited her to be part of it, allowing her to gain experience to when she may run again, but only if she wants to. As I’ve said, I’m not a fan of Iino, but I don’t dislike her. I’m just worried about whether she’ll bring something interesting to the group’s dynamic or will fall flat since I’m always hesitant in new characters being introduced into the group. So we’ll see what she’ll bring to the table now that she’ll be a recurring character.