Yatora really went through quite the range of emotions this week and to be honest there were quite the range of emotions from the rest of the cast as well. We’re getting closer to exam season and it’s becoming clear that while Yatora has grown in his art journey, he is still having trouble producing pieces that truly communicate with the audience. Which of course is tough to hear! He got his start with very concrete compositions of ‘paint what is in front of you’ and now he’s being asked to work abstractly.
And while he does move more into the abstract sphere, he’s having a harder time conveying a message. He’s able to create art that isn’t necessarily based on what is in front of him, but each time Ooba declares that he just keeps missing the mark. So much so that Yatora starts to second guess his art and fall apart. And I think it’s important to bring up the concept of ‘exam art’ once again since he’s working on strictly producing art that can get him into TUA. His composition and skills are what one would consider good… but his message is muddled and unclear. And that’s unfortunate because the message and connection from a painting is still incredibly important. I really liked how Saeki-sensei brought up Yatora’s Shibuya painting and that it was still a good piece of art even though it wouldn’t get him into an art school. In this case, good art is just being able to convey and share a feeling that you may not be able to express through words. Is that the case for all art? Probably not…. but it is definitely where Yatora shines the brightest.
I loved the slow realization in this episode especially in relation to Mori-senpai. For so long Yatora associates angels with Mori’s art, where that isn’t necessarily what she wanted to present. When he goes to ‘visit’ (is it really a visit if Yuka, Yatora, and Mori don’t even get to interact?), he’s almost disappointed at what he sees from Mori’s art. It’s not the angels that made him fall in love with her art, instead it’s Buddhism and he’s disheartened at first glance. But as he continues to question, he comes to realize that angels weren’t what she was trying to convey. Her message and desire to draw has always stemmed from the concept of prayer. Prayer may come in the form of angels, but there are many different ways to express it. Even in ways that one would not have initially expected. This of course ‘sparks’ something that helps him to briefly break out of his rut.
Saeki-sensei is a good teacher. I appreciate her encouragement towards her students, but she isn’t always trying to force them to do something one way or another. It’s refreshing especially when considering that ‘exam art’ again. So, I like that she has Yatora produce a F-100 painting essentially for himself, not for cram school. It allows him to see art in a different perspective. There was definitely a possibility that he was going to bomb the painting, but I loved the animation and lead up surrounding the furnace. It really comes through and allows him to express his true feelings. Plus, it’s a bonus that his clubmates loved it! That always makes someone feel good. And on top of that Ooba really enjoyed it as well. That piece was almost freeing for him. He was able to move beyond certain blocks that he was facing and really thrive. Yet… when it came time for the competition piece…. suddenly all that inspiration he had disappeared. He played it safe and just rehashed the bonds piece. And I must admit, it was a real sad way to end the episode. He was on this high and I was like ‘woo!!! go Yatora!!!” only for it to end in such a sad way. Yatora, you can do this! I believe in you!!
Now, of course, there is still plenty more to come. I didn’t even get the chance to talk about Yuka yet, and they are really… going through it as well. We get a glimpse into family life and… well… things aren’t going the best. It’s clear that at least between their dad and them, there’s the classic ‘where did I go wrong raising you’ going on. But it’s nice to see that Yuka’s grandmother is still very kind to them. I really hope that we get to see more Yuka content in the coming episodes. But first, there’s also some Yotasuke content coming soon!! We definitely ended on a sour note with him, but I’m really looking forward to seeing if Yatora takes him up on the invitation. I wonder what new piece of life advice Yatora is going to get from his future interactions! Mayhaps a new rivalry is on the horizon??
All around, I really enjoyed this episode. Not only is the story heating up, but I also feel like the animation has really settled in. The first few were… rough… to put it nicely, so this time around things really felt like they came together nicely. I’m really looking forward to the future episodes!! Yatora, hopefully things are looking up for you and your friends!