A Rei and Leo focused episode this week! We get some character development for both of them, primarily with how Rei acts away from home and Leo’s desire to just help out the Aragaki family (I mean, he’s been doing it for a while, but this time around it seems likes he’s taking things into his own hands rather than being in the right place at the right time). It was actually interesting to see Jotaro as more of a background character in this episode while he’s getting ready for the NHK. But hey! He isn’t able to be in all aspects of Leo and Rei’s life, so it makes sense that he wasn’t around.
So, once we establish what Jo is training for, the focus quickly shifts over to Leo and Rei and how they are both going to handle what’s going on at Rei’s school. In the previous episode see that she is bullied for her father being known as the samurai and that she’s still being teased for the retirement press conference. And, I mean, they’re fourth graders so they can be pretty mean without necessarily meaning too… but it’s a bummer that she’s on the receiving end of that. Leo decides to swoop in to help her out, but she’s pretty adamant that she does not want him to interfere. So, what’s the next step from there? To spy on her of course! I mean, what else would we have expected from him? I’m honestly surprised that he didn’t try to blend with the students to get in.
Then we find out about Parents’ Day. I can’t quite pin what they were going for when Rei threw away the paper announcement. They did talk about how much trouble it would cause her if the Grandma or even Jotaro showed up, but I wish that we could have actually seen Rei’s perspective on the whole thing. I suppose that it might have been exactly what the other characters explained, but I think it would have been more impactful if she was able to say it. Also, the fact that Jotaro has absolutely no clue about it feels a little bit off! Even at the end of the episode, they don’t talk to him about it, and I know it’s not because Jotaro’s a bad dad or anything (or at least they haven’t shown enough of their relationship to express if he’s a bad parent). It just feels like something missing. Even with her personality of internalizing it, I still feel like something is missing.
But regarding Parent’s Day, I do feel for her when Leo shows up. At first, he caused a scene by him wearing a suit and part of me hoped that it would just end at that, but oh man the secondhand embarrassment really kicked in when he started sheering her on. I’m sorry you had to go through that Rei. I wouldn’t want to be in your position, but it’s a perfect catalyst for her to finally share her feelings with the boys who have been bullying her and also to scold Leo for what he had done. But all’s well that ends well as they’re able to reconcile in the end. And I won’t lie, her smile at the end of the episode definitely made me feel something. So, it was a happy ending :’)
Overall, I would say that this was an alright episode. It was a good opportunity to see more focus on Rei and a more thoughtful Leo, but I think there were a few moments that didn’t have quite the impact that I would have hoped it would have. Still it was enjoyable and I’m glad that we got to engage with the other characters!