Boy… this episode was a roller coaster of emotions. We finally get Ishigami’s full backstory which answers why so many of the female students hate him and why he’s been just so destructively negative for all of season 1. At the start of the episode, I felt genuinely happy for Ishigami since he was having the most fun he’s ever had at a school festival. Seeing Kaguya and Iino’s friend looking happy for him as well was also really heartwarming since both have been rooting for him.
It was a very interesting episode seeing such a deep insight on Ishigami as a character especially with how his negativity prevented him from moving forward. But man, when you compare Ishigami to how he was in season 1, HE’S GROWN SO MUCH. He wants to look ahead rather than dwelling on his failures… and then his past comes to catch up with him. GOSH DANG IT. I honestly was caught up in the fun of this school festival as well that I FORGOT Ishigami ends up meeting the girl he “stalked” back in middle school again. CRAP. He was starting to become more positive, only for this FREAKING BLAST FROM THE PAST to come and rain on his parade. Basically leaving him in to stoop in his negativity once more. It was hard to watch because of how nice it was to see Ishigami actually happy and excited for once.
Okay, so I was right about the cheerleading squad at first in regards to them missing their eyes. It was definitely symbolic of how Ishigami was viewing people. Representative of him being unable to look certain people in the eye. When it showed that his classmate, someone he was able to look in the eye previously without eyes, it all clicked. Though I think it hurt the most when it showed him unable to look Shirogane and Kaguya in the eyes, the people he probably thought the most were his friends and the ones who always had his back when things were rough.
I do appreciate that the cheerleading squad is so supportive of him, even though he’s stuck in the guilt of his past. I think everyone’s hearts clenched when the captain said he heard about him in middle school. But thankfully, he only talked about how fast he was. They’re trying to push him forward and I think he has to recognize that to truly be touched by their actions. They’ve been nothing but supportive and kind to him (except for his classmate) and he hasn’t been in the right place to see that quite yet.
From the way that Ishigami talked about Otomo, it more or less just seemed like he was thankful to her, rather than harboring any romantic feelings. Since she was the only person to really interact and be nice to him during middle school. Interestingly enough, he didn’t wish ill towards the guy she ended up dating. He even stated that things may have been more simple if he actually did have feelings for her. It seemed like he just genuinely wanted her to be happy. And then Otomo’s boyfriend happened.
Even back in middle school, Ishigami hated injustice, kind of similar to Iino. When he found out that Otomo’s boyfriend was cheating on her, he confronted the guy and tried to get him to stop. He just didn’t want Otomo to get hurt. But wow… Just… Wow… This Ogino guy is a piece of crap. Not only did flippantly wave off Ishigami’s attempts to get him to stop cheating but he even had the gall to offer up his own girlfriend for Ishigami to sleep with to keep the secret between them. WHAT FREAKING GARBAGE. I legit cannot even believe how disgusting he is. I could hardly blame Ishigami for beating the literal crap out of him after that offer. But the repulsing actions don’t stop there. No, no, no, no. IT GETS WORSE.
The part that made me absolutely furious, was he used his theatrics to make him look like the victim. Not only that, but he falsely accused Ishigami of things such as stalking Otomo because he was in love with her and was beating him up because Ishigami had demanded he break up with her. And of course, Ogino being the popular one, everyone believed him. It was disgusting. Especially that it didn’t seem like he even cared about anyone but himself. He didn’t even seem to care that Ishigami was beating him senseless and only asked him to stop because he didn’t want to mess up his face for a theater performance. Out of everyone that was shown in this series, this guy takes the cake of being the absolute worst character of being a mix of acting so selfishly without remorse. He honestly felt empty inside just watching him.
I felt so bad for Ishigami and just watching this scene animated felt so much worse as opposed to just reading it. I agree that Ishigami made a few mistakes in how he dealt with the situation. While I completely understand why he lashed out violently at Ogino, it only made him out to look bad. And then he didn’t explain his position. While I’m sure no one would have believed him anyways, when and how he said things made it seem further like he was just trying to manipulate the situation. My heart goes out to Ishigami because it’s true, sometimes justice isn’t rewarded. Even if you’re in the right, you’re made out to be the bad guy. And it’s so hard to see Ishigami be treated like this while that scum of a person was treated like a hero and a victim. I too can’t stand seeing these sorts of things go on so seeing Ishigami so frustrated over this makes me frustrated too. Especially when everyone saw Ogino as a good guy. And I can’t blame Ishigami for being unable to write that letter of apology, especially after what he knows about that garbage person.
Ishigami was dealt such a terrible hand after he tried to do the right thing. After the incident, he started being bullied, none of the teachers wanted to deal with him, all of his classmates hated him and it also seemed like he had to deal with his dad beating him out of disappointment and anger. No wonder he was so suicidal in the first season. He literally felt like there was no one that would back him and no where to go. Which makes me wish that they didn’t treat his negativity on himself like a joke in season 1.
But best boy Shirogane comes and saves the day TWICE. Once in the past and once in the present. I admit, I almost cried when Shirogane wrapped his headband around Ishigami. Basically affirming Ishigami that he’s not alone and the first person since Ishigami fell back into his negative state to be shown with eyes. And then I nearly cried again when Shirogane was able to deduce Ishigami’s reasoning for what he did. This whole scene was so wonderfully done. The music, Ishigami being relieved that nothing bad happened to Otomo, Shirogane bringing light back into Ishigami’s life… IT WAS ALL SO BEAUTIFUL. And the symbolism with Shirogane bringing the light over to Ishigami… THEY ARE BEST BROS AND I AM LIVING BECAUSE OF IT. I absolutely love that Shirogane basically broke down the door to Ishigami’s heart and allowed light to shine through his negativity. And then I did end up crying when Shirogane basically told Ishigami what he’s wanted to hear. He did a good job. He wasn’t wrong. He’s not crazy. Even going as far as to tell him that “Go to hell, dumbass!!” was the letter he should write to him. And just the sheer fact that he was happy to hear that Otomo is enjoying her life gave Ishigami so much relief was just… AHHHH MY HEART.
And I have to applaud Shirogane for not being one of the many to just believe the rumors as they are told. He actually went and did RESEARCH to see if those rumors or claims had any merit. And in doing so, he found that Ishigami was innocent. Just a fantastic way to show that people shouldn’t just jump to conclusions by a simple claim or accusation and it makes me respect Shirogane even more.
It was honestly so satisfying to watch Ishigami finally talk back to Otomo with his newfound sass because he doesn’t deserve all of her verbal abuse and calling her stupid. And seeing his newfound positivity while he was running with all of his might was also great to watch. Especially when he finally put his foot down to actually show people that they were wrong and that he won’t let their words get to him anymore. I felt so proud of him because of his character development. He’s striving to continue forward and not linger on his mistakes any longer. We have ourselves a new Ishigami and he is shining. And while I’m sad that he lost, the cheerleading squad was there to cheer him back up and essentially tell him that he wasn’t wrong, snapping him out of his spiral of negativity. And then I almost cried again when he finally opened his eyes and we were finally able to see the cheerleading squad’s eyes for the first time. All the while saying that they are good people. AHHHHHHHHHHHH.
I love the symbolism and significance of eyes in this episode. Not only with how he views others, but how seeing Ishigami’s eyes are just as important. I didn’t realize that his current hairstyle told so much. With one eye covered basically demonstrated that a part of him was still trapped in the past. And when both of his eyes were covered, he was losing sight of what was in front of him. But when we see both of his eyes, the blindfold is off and he is looking forward. Especially when the last shot we see of him his hair isn’t obscuring his face and we see both of his eyes. There was honestly so much symbolism in this episode that I could probably just write up an entirely new post talking about it.
This episode was great. The emotions, the character development, just everything hit so well in this episode. There was just so much great things happening in this episode that I don’t think I can give it all the justice it deserves in my writing. I love that Shirogane and Kaguya basically watch out for Ishigami and treat him very fairly. Even Chika to an extent since she was part of the intel gathering squad on Ishigami’s situation. I’m sure that Ishigami feels so grateful to Shirogane since the guy went above and beyond for his sake and was the one to always pull him back onto the right track. THE BROTP IS REAL. Ishigami has finally moved past his guilt and seems to be headed towards a brighter future and I’m so happy for him. Though I do admit it was super annoying to see Kyoko so satisfied of herself for unloading on Ishigami, but just like Kaguya said, her smile was something that Ishigami wanted to protect in the end. So.. I HOPE WE NEVER HAVE TO SEE YOUR SMUG FACE AGAIN. #protectishigamissmile This honestly felt like the finale so I’m not sure how the heck they’re going to finish off this blast of a season.