There was a lot going on in this episode. However, I feel it was pretty well paced that did well to show the dynamics of different characters. Such as the dynamic within the Shirogane family. I’m actually really sad how Shirogane’s sister treats him. But it’s kind of understandable since after her mom left, Shirogane seemed to take up the mantle as mom of the household and seems to be the one to do most of the nagging. And being the younger, teenage sister, it only makes sense that her stupid teenage rebellion would be aimed specifically towards him. Well, at least the dad seems to be more caring towards him and involved in his kids’ lives. Respectable. Not to mention that he even sat down so that he’d be on his level and asked what was going on so gently. A hug contrast to how Kei initially went about it by looking down on him and said some rather harsh things to him… even though his dad botched it at the end, I still appreciate his approach to the topic. Though in the end, Kei was still able to give him some hopeful advice. So in the end, it was both of the his family members that helped him out in this situation. Which made for a nice family bonding moment.
Also, I feel dumb for not realizing that Shirogane was actually feeling jealous of Ishigami because he was getting Kaguya’s attention while he was being ignored by her. It makes sense now that I think about it from that perspective. But as an audience, we all know that Ishigami is more of a brother to Kaguya rather than a love interest.
In any case, I really did like the conclusion that mini arc of Kaguya being super self-conscious around Shirogane. And while the winner supposedly was Shirogane, it didn’t feel like a win or lose situation compared to how it would have been portrayed in the first season. It felt more pure as it highlighted the growth that Kaguya went through. Not only did she ask to walk with her to the student council room without using her relaxation technique, even going as far as to let it go before asking him, but she went to ask him for just the sole purpose of making up with him. No mind games, no underhanded tactics, just a pure desire to reconcile and be on “normal” terms with him again. It was honestly a very sweet moment between the two. And if you ask me, I feel like both of them “won.” This whole season has been devoted to showing that they are moving away from their typical “love is war” type of situations and just progressing as two dorks in love with each other but too shy to admit it. While I can see this as “devolving” into a typical shoujo, I feel like it’s more than that. With them slowly putting down their defenses goes hand in hand with character development and I just love how this series is handling it.
The sports festival at the school has arrived and we all know what that means. Chika teaching Shirogane how to do something he’s not competent at… PART 3. I didn’t think we’d get a part 3 of this so soon but here it is… kinda. I do feel bad for Shirogane since he genuinely wants to get better at these things. But he does really need to stop sugarcoating just how bad he is at these things. Though by this point, Chika should really have caught on to what she is getting into. But after not really understanding the feelings of “Soran,” Chika just dipped real hard because she had no more patience for him this time.
But then she has the gall to get jealous when she sees Kaguya take up the mantel to help teach him. Girl… DON’T GET MAD BECAUSE YOU GAVE UP IN THE FIRST PLACE. Not to mention she acted like he fired her but she’s the one who left him! He was trying to do this on his own after she left, but Kaguya turned up later and offered to help. So you can take your attitude and SHOVE IT, CHIKA. She was even acting like a backseat driver and was criticizing all of Kaguya’s tips so I was just done with Chika at that point. Though I will admit, I absolutely lost it when Shirogane got an epiphany from how the net feels in Soran when Kaguya and Chika started a tug of war for who would teach him. As long as Shirogane got what he needed, it all turned out well. Though I’m still kind of annoyed at Chika. =3=
I know Iino’s friend told us to remember her name… but I honestly forgot already. I’M SORRY I’M BAD WITH NAMES. Anyways, I definitely liked seeing her point of view, especially when it came it Ishigami. She’s like the quiet observer and sees a lot of things that others seem to miss since they’re either too caught up in what they’re doing themselves or immediately believe rumors. We also get a bit more of Ishigami’s backstory and that he apparently stalked someone and had beat up her boyfriend out of jealousy. However, because Ishigami never told his side of the story, leads Iino’s friend that there must be more to the story. And I appreciate that she sees Ishigami for what he has done rather than what she had heard. Since she has seen him do respectable things such as take the note off of Iino’s back and noticed that he is putting hard work into what he does. I’m also suspecting him to be the one that gave Iino that flower back in middle school to cheer her up.
It’s definitely sad to see that a lot of girls still hate him because of the rumors, even Ishigami’s classmate. When she questioned how he could be so carefree despite the rumors and he answered back that he does actually care despite seeming like he doesn’t. ISHIGAMI IS DOING THE BEST THAT HE CAN. LEAVE HIM ALONE. It just shows how damaging rumors can be and people shouldn’t jump on the band wagon of what something seems on the surface. There could be a completely different side to the matter entirely. So I appreciate that Iino’s friend (who’s name I should really learn) is able to see for herself what kind of person Ishigami is rather than let the rumors dictate. When she came up to the cheer leading captain, telling him that Ishigami didn’t join to the cheerleading squad as a joke, it warmed my heart to see her step up for him. I am also glad that others are starting to notice hard work Ishigami is putting in. Even Iino stepped up for him when he was threatened to not be able to move on to high school. And I am really happy that the cheerleading squad captain seems to want to take care of him as well after seeing all the effort he is doing. It also seems like everyone else on the cheerleading squad is starting to see this as well. THAT’S RIGHT ISHIGAMI, SHOW THEM WHO YOU REALLY ARE.
And with that, the School Festival Arc officially starts with a hilariously great moment of Shirogane realizing his dad came to watch him. He was so pumped for his Soran dance performance, only to freeze once he noticed his dad. His dad doesn’t seem like a bad guy… though there are times where he doesn’t seem socially aware at times. Like when he called himself Shirogane’s “Sugar Daddy.” I agree, Shirogane… he should never use that phrase ever again.
Interestingly enough, it seemed like “stepping up for someone” didn’t just stop at Ishigami, but Kaguya seemed to step up to the bat for Shirogane against his own father (even though she wasn’t aware of it at the time). When Shirogane’s dad was messing with Kaguya, it was both weird and pretty hilarious. Though it was very touching to hear that getting to know Shirogane allowed Kaguya’s perspective to change that there are genuinely good people out there. Not only in regards to Shirogane, but also towards others like Ishigami and even Chika. It makes you wonder just what kind of upbringing Kaguya had to have her believe that good people didn’t exist. Though from how her father treated her in the last season, it’s not too hard to imagine that she lead a lonely life in her family’s home. But despite that, I’m glad that Shirogane was able to change her view, allowing to open up to others and be part of the group rather than remaining aloof and alone.
Though I admit I absolutely died when Kaguya realized the guy was Shirogane’s dad and was completely mortified after looking back at their conversation.
This episode was a great mix of hilarious and heart-warming moments. Especially when we got a little more insight on character dynamics, their pasts and more character development. This episode also made me happy for a lot of characters and gave me more reason to root for them. Hopefully this arc doesn’t end in disaster because if something bad happens to Ishigami in this arc, I WILL THROW HANDS.