Ah, this was a bit of an unexpected development, but I’m glad things turned out relatively okay for Ai and Sarasa. Despite the ending to the situation having a “positive” outcome, it’s hard to forget one’s trauma and a single decent act doesn’t override the past. However, I think this will serve as a step forward for Ai and her future relationships with those she will encounter in the future. And at the end of the day, I’m glad that we got away with some very minor injuries.

It turns out that “creepy stalker otaku guy” or Mikiya Kitaouji isn’t as bad of a guy as we were led to believe. It doesn’t change the fact that his behavior was stalkerish, but his intentions were much different in nature and if he hadn’t been in the area who knows how this episode would have ended. I’m not sure where my feelings are on how they handled the character, but I don’t think I’m upset with what they did. In our previous episodes he was definitely shown to be someone we should worry about and at the end of the day his behaviors were those that would set off  red flags. However, I’m glad that Taichi and Sarasa were able to sit down and have a conversation with him to discover his real intentions. (Also, shout out to Taichi for keeping an eye on the situation from the bushes in case anything went wrong).

I’m not surprised that Mikiya was a hikikomori, but I do like the story about how he eventually gained the courage to break down his own barriers and begin to connect with others. At the end of the day for him, Ai was the person that helped him out of the world that he was living in. Unfortunately, he wasn’t very good about expressing himself which ultimately led to her leaving JPX. I can understand why he would want to apologize as it was their interaction which ultimately got her expelled from the idol group… but there were probably better ways to navigate the whole situation. Thankfully, Taichi was able to clear up a few things 1) it’s not entirely Mikiya’s fault. He was just the snapping point and 2) being expelled from JPX was not as devastating to her as it would have been for many others. I also just appreciate that they were able to show him making connections with others over his interests, I think they handled that well.

Unfortunately, because Sarasa and Taichi were the ones to hear this story they ultimately conclude that Mikiya is not a bad guy. Creepy and stalkerish, yeah, but inherently not someone out to harm Ai. It’s just unfortunate that Ai wasn’t there to hear his side of the story and walks in on the group having a grand time with each other, ultimately leading to some tension between Ai and Sarasa. I’m actually glad that the tension didn’t last for too long. Obviously there’s a lot of feelings swirling around, but ultimately there weren’t any bad feelings being reciprocated. Thankfully Sarasa is the way that she is, because without her this episode could have ended in a much different direction. Mikiya and Sarasa (and Taichi) to the rescue! It was interesting to see how those stalkerish tendencies did end up saving the day though, but all’s well that ends well, I guess?

That being said, I did like how things were wrapped up. Ai was brave enough to give him her handkerchief, but not so much willing to make physical contact. It was a way to show a bit of growth without them pulling the “welp! everything is good now. she can be around me again!” There was still that hesitancy, but she was still thankful that he came to her rescue – even if Sarasa was ultimately the one to scare the other guys off. And the best part, was her facial expressions! This entire moment was very, very difficult for her and I’m glad that they were able to capture the feelings. And because of all this, I’m interested to see if Ai is able to open up a little bit more to those in her class or at the very least, Sarasa.

I want to briefly touch upon some other things that happened in the episode, namely the scandalous photo of Sarasa and Ayako’s diet. Hijiri is proving herself to be one to watch out for. She’s quick to spread rumors and is definitely more willing to harm the reputation of other girls than help. Overtime, I think she’s just going to continue to prove herself a threat, but her demeanor let’s her get away with a lot more. I guess you could say she the type with a rotten personality, but a pretty face. Good thing Sarasa was just so honest about the situation, I wonder if it is going to come back in a future episode. If it does, it might get only a little bit of screen time. It looks like we’re transitioning to Ayako’s story. I am interested to see how they handle the content as it’s different from what Ai is going through, but still a pretty serious topic. If her new diet requires throwing up the food that’s a problem right there, but it’s also worrisome if it doesn’t. She’s developing disordered eating habits and that’s very dangerous… though probably not uncommon in the industry.

But for now, all of that is speculation and I’m looking forward how things will play out in the coming episodes! It may be a little while, but I would love to learn more about Sarasa and her story, especially after those words she gave to Ai at the end of the episode. I am still thoroughly impressed by this series, so if you are still on the fence, I strongly encourage you to check it out!


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