Yahoo! Summer break is here and Sarasa and Ai get to spend it together in Tokyo as best friends! We get to learn a little bit more about Sarasa’s backstory with how she started on stage, and some of the parallels that came about in what she was told by Andou-sensei. I loved hearing about the past from Akiya’s perspective, but still seeing a glimpse into how Sarasa might feel about it in the modern day – plus it made for a charming departure and some nice words of encouragement to help Sarasa keep chasing her dream!
I’m glad that Ai and Sarasa get to spend some more time together even if Ai doesn’t take center stage. I’m happy that she’s just able to be there and learn more about her friend and attempt to provide encouragement where she can. She has her little victories in being called Sarasa’s best friend and it’s been enjoyable watching her try to fit into that role… even if it causes her to lose all her feelings in her legs. But another victory she had was being able to talk to Akiya as soon as she met him! A few episodes ago she probably would have been terrified out of her mind and probably run away (or she might not have even made it that far if she was going to be left alone in the house with the grandfather), she’s still pretty awkward when it comes to talking to others, but this is definitely progress!
I’m also pretty happy that a majority of this summer vacation was learning more about Sarasa and a little bit of Andou (how convenient that the next top star of the Winter Troupe was listening in!). I’m glad that we got to see what his motivation for might be for being a teacher at Kouka. At first glance he doesn’t seem to be as invested and some may interpret him as lazy – which is understandable given his messy appearance and monotonous teaching style. However, he wouldn’t be at Kouka if he didn’t feel a deep connection to acting. It was nice to see that he was a well-known actor with the Phantom of the Opera, but his career was cut short due to a tumble into the pit. That’s no small fall, that’s probably 8 ft down from the stage plus crushing down on everything in the pit. And there’s also the sudden end to his career as a stage actor. Some people are able to retire peacefully – they expect it to come – but for him it was one misstep and it was all over. However, I’m happy to see him at Kouka and that he was able to give Sarasa the advice about being more than just a copy of someone else’s version and to be Sarasa Watanabe, not just an imitation. I hope this means he’ll be able to continue giving good support and advice to the girls – even if it means practically tearing down their world.
Yet, for Sarasa this isn’t the first time that she’s been told “never”. In fact, for her “never” is like a curse – there’s some weight behind the word in her backstory. She found something she loved to do and was traumatized do to people essentially cursing her for being good. As a result, she was never allowed to see Kabuki again (well, at least until this summer). And that of course is coupled with the loss of her grandmother who, while knowing it would be essentially impossible to reach her goal, still was encouraging towards Sarasa’s wishes. In short, the bitterness of adults can really crush a child’s dreams.
Another thing I adored in this episode was the role of Akiya. I mentioned that we got to see a lot of Sarasa’s past through his perspective, but I’m also glad that he was the one to deliver certain lines. First, we see him when he’s giving the birthday presents to her. He’s able to tell her that Kabuki is not entirely about copying and that they are trying to breathe in new life to the art all the time. Though, he does acknowledge that there is tradition in Kabuki, but at the end of the day it’s still growing. Sarasa’s last touch with Kabuki was back when she was 6 years old so it’s understandable that she still only has that surface level understanding. But then, I appreciate that he was able to give her the words of advice before she left on the train. That though they may falter on their path, they can keep going. Not everything is going to be easy, but they should still chase their dreams! It was a nice thing to hear especially after seeing the history between the two. All around, it was just a really nice way to wrap up the episode :^)
Hopefully, this episode will lead to some newfound energy in Sarasa, it might not be easy trying to define yourself, especially when you have a talent for copying but! She’s at school and that’s the perfect place for learning. Hopefully, she will no longer be Sara-sad!