This episode definitely felt pretty slow. Though I feel like it has to do with it being more of a build up episode. Not to mention that there were some cut corners in the development with them just using the manga panels for some shots. Like, I wouldn’t have minded if they used it once… but then they used it MULTIPLE times where I couldn’t help but feel like they were being lazy. HOWEVER… if they pull out all the stops for next episode, I might be inclined to forgive them. Since… y’all aren’t ready for what is to come of this Culture Festival.

While I’m not always a fan of Kei’s attitude, her relationship with Shirogane is very interesting. Due to their mother having left the family, Shirogane had taken up the “mother” role and often comes into conflict with Kei because of how nitpicky he can be with her. However, it comes from a place of good intentions of trying to take care of her. Though from what we learned from Lilo and Stitch, the little siblings don’t want a parent from the older siblings, they just want a sibling. And deep down, I’m sure that Kei appreciates her brother in her own way despite not showing it often on the outside. Surely she’s aware of the sacrifices her brother had done for her in order for her to have niceties. While she chalked up getting Shirogane nicer/normal clothes as she wanted him to show up in something that wouldn’t embarrass her in front of her stall, I’m sure she also did it to do something nice for him. And from that look she had when her classmates were talking about him, there was a hint of pride for him in her gaze.

The moonwatch is also very symbolic of the lore of Princess Kaguya as she is the Princess of the Moon. Especially with the fact that Shirogane is in a way “reaching for the moon” in confessing to Kaguya. I love the use of an actual story integrated into series and the connections and references made along the way.

We got more focus on Kaguya and got to see where she’s at emotionally and mentally. She still seems to be in the initial mindset of the series, however, it does seem as if her reservations are breaking down and finally admitted to herself that she does indeed have feelings for Shirogane. However, while her pride may have finally been broken down, fear has replaced it and I feel like that’s a very normal feeling to have about this sort of thing. There’s always the lingering fear in the back of the mind where the person you like could reject you. Especially when you think someone has feelings for you but ends up being your own misconception. I feel like as a viewer it’s easy to just say to confess your feelings, but it’s not always easy for everyone, especially for someone like Kaguya. She just recently came to terms with her feelings and now she’s faced with the obstacle of actually admitting those feelings to Shirogane. Though it was hilariously frustrating to see her take one step forward and then double back to what is “comfortable.” Not gonna lie, I snorted at her rejecting the series’ main theme lol.

I really like the parallels between her and Ishigami. Both of them have quite the pessimistic outlook and are both currently feeling scared over whether or not their feelings will be requited. I also can’t stress enough how far these two’s relationship has come. Both of them act akin to siblings a lot of the time and are there to try and help push each other forward. Last time, it was Kaguya who brought the light to Ishigami while this time, Ishigami was the one to bring the light to Kaguya. He found his courage to at least try confessing, in turn inspiring Kaguya to try and do the same. When she was telling Ishigami to go for it, I couldn’t help but feel she was also telling herself that. I also love the symbolism of Ishigami standing in front of a line of the floor as if he’s going to finally cross over his fear of rejection with Kaguya looking over at him in curiously. And while we don’t actually see him cross over the line, he does still progress forward in the direction of where the line was. His and Kaguya’s relationship is just so good and wholesome with how supportive they are of each other.

I also respect Ishigami for not being petty towards the cheer captain when Tsubame was being friendly towards him. He knows the cheer captain is a good guy and didn’t let his feelings for Tsubame get in the way of him treating him nicely. Sure it made him a bit uncomfortable to see them being chummy with each other, but he didn’t snap at him out of jealousy. Though it was pretty funny how he did a reference to Shawshank Redemption out of triumph. He really has come a long way from being the gloomy kid in season 1. He’s pushing himself to try new things, see people differently and finding the courage to step out of his comfort zone. Ishigami deserves all the respect.

A lot of the stuff that happened this episode felt like filler almost. Though I’m sure they’re all just build up events that could actually be of importance later on. Though I am still a bit miffed that they skipped over Kaguya talking to Hayasaka after the rap battle. Definitely a lot of set up this episode, but I do appreciate them taking the time to really showcase Kaguya’s growth and her relationship with Ishigami. Hopefully all that development won’t go to waste. But knowing this series, it most likely won’t.


A passionate yet somewhat awkward individual who just wants to talk about anime