Kageki Shoujo!! – Episode 3

Oh wow, this episode was unsettling. I was on edge and jumpy for most of it. I knew something bad was going to happen, but I was just never sure what it was going to be and when it was going to happen. Even though this episode took a much darker turn, I do appreciate how good the animation and narration were throughout the whole episode. You could really feel and see the fear in young Ai’s eyes, and the absolute relief she had when Taichi was the only one to help her.

In general, I’m not the biggest fan of the cold-hearted, reserved beauty character primarily because they push off other characters with very little explanation. And too be fair, I also wasn’t the biggest fan of Ai for the first few episodes. I appreciate an episode like this, because we are able to see why she acts the way that she does and see where this personality originates. I’m still not her biggest fan, but now that I know her story, I certainly understand her better. And quite frankly, I can’t be upset with the way that she acts. Her hatred for men stems from an early age, much before her time in the idol group. And during the time where she felt the most vulnerable, almost no one was there to help her or listen to what’s going on. It makes sense why Taichi is her safe person. She was traumatized and alone, but he was the first (if not only) one to help her out.

There was some pretty heavy stuff in this episode and what’s unfortunate is that this is not an uncommon story for many kids (perhaps the movie star mom may be uncommon, but it really can happen anywhere). Ai’s father has always been out of the picture, but in the meantime, Ai exists to be the perfect daughter for her mom. For a while they had a very good relationship, where Ai was very trusting of her mom and cared about her deeply. I would absolutely love to hear if her thoughts about her mom have changed since she was small. But eventually, there’s a new man that has been introduced into the house and one who just can’t seem to take his eyes off of Ai. The anime did a great job showing that something was off about this relationship, but in just young Ai’s facial expressions, but also from her general narration. This guy was a creep and she could sense it before anything physical happened. And the absolute horror when this adult man grabbed her face and kissed her? It sends chills down my spine.

But it’s definitely the aftermath of everything that sticks the most with me. From her running to the toilet to throw up and recounting what it felt like, to her being worried that she was a “dirty slut” and potentially pregnant, and then of course the destruction of her hair and “Papa’s Teddy Bear”. Even the phone call with her mom, where she officially  came to the realization that her mom was not going to come and help her, or that she even cared. It was just “oh, you’re too old to be acting like a baby” and completely dismissing what Ai was saying. Again, shoutout to Taichi for coming and being there to help her. I don’t think it mattered who it was, it just needed to be someone who was willing to help her. Someone to install the lock on her door and of course, giving her a key to their house where she could always go if needed.

I am a little worried if Ai will dislike Taichi after what he did in this episode. I think it was done in good faith, but Ai may see it as a form of abandonment since he didn’t come to save her and instead sent her off with Sarasa. I’m glad that Sarasa is willing to stand between Ai and the fan, but I’m sure she’s also very nervous since she only knows this guy based off of Ai’s reaction. I’m stressed and I just want to know if this resolves itself. I just hope everything ends up okay.

There was a lot of heavy stuff with Ai this week, but I also just want to take a moment to talk about what was happening in the tap-dancing class. I know these schools are brutal because they are raising Top Stars, but it was one thing to say that Sarasa was heavy, but the way she went after Ayako was also upsetting. I know this is not uncommon in things like dance, but the teacher didn’t cut any corners. I appreciate that Sarasa was willing to jump in and help both in the studio and in the locker room. While people may agree that what the teacher said was harsh, the little comments they made of “You need more discipline” definitely rub salt in the wound. And given the content that was presented in this episode, I really wouldn’t be surprised if Ayako either has or develops an eating disorder because of it. If that is the case, I wonder if it will be a side story, or if we’ll get a full episode for it.

Ah, I have a lot of feelings about this episode. I think it was good, just much heavier than I was initially expecting. I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens next week and hope, at the very least, that Sarasa and Ai become a little bit closer. They don’t need to be friends, but it would be nice if Ai had more people, she could feel safe around, or at least some more individuals that she can trust. But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Quietcupcake

I live up to my username, but I hope we can be friends!

3 thoughts on “Kageki Shoujo!! – Episode 3

  1. This episode was excellent. I watched this show expecting it to bring up serious issues facing teenage girls and potentially resolve them, and thus far, I have not been disappointed. Contrast this with Wonder Egg Priority, which only brought up such issues on a superficial level and ended up as a train wreck because the creators kept introducing twist after twist and had no plan on how to end the story, and Kageki Shoujo!! just looks so great in comparison. It’s too bad that Kageki Shoujo isn’t more appreciated because a lot of male watchers are uncomfortable with the show critiquing otaku culture and creepy male behaviour.

    1. I couldn’t agree more! In my initial research for the series, I read that they were going to touch on some serious issues but I wasn’t sure the lengths they would go for it. So far they’ve done a really great job in how they are handling things and not just using them for the shock value.

      I actually haven’t had the chance to watch WEP yet, I heard that it was really good for the first few episodes, but ultimately it seemed to crash really badly with how they treated some of the characters. So, I’ve been kind of hesitant to go back and watch it – would you recommend still checking it out?

      And I agree! It bums me out that people are just shrugging this aside. I check the ratings on other websites and I just don’t understand why it is so low 🙁

  2. No, I would not recommend checking Wonder Egg Priority out. As I said, the people who made Wonder Egg Priority had no plan when making the show and kept introducing twist after twist (with some being terrible, taking away the agency of the people) with no possibility of it ending due to it introducing too many concepts into a 1-cour show. The people involved in making Wonder Egg Priority had 3 months to make the final episode since it got delayed due to production issues, and they dropped the ball so hard that over half of it ended up being recap material. The new material introduced yet another stupid and asinine twist that undermined the bonds the characters had made, and was a completely non-ending. The show ended up being quite a train wreck that bit off more than it could chew by introducing sci-fi concepts into the show, and it was a huge disappointment.

    What I found especially effective in this latest episode of Kageki Shoujo!! was when the stalker was slowly making his way closer and closer to Ai and Sarasa, it showed Ai thinking back to when Seiji made a huge dinner for her, which reminded her of that man’s grooming attempt. Ai was conditioned to think that males, aside from Taichi, doing seemingly good things for her meant they were out to harm her. The fear was very culpable, and I have to applaud the animators for conveying her fear and trauma so well. I do think Kageki Shoujo!! has given us the best episode of the entire summer season so far.

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